Horn Section - Funk/Soul/Motown

John Judd

Member
Hey folks,

Looking for horn section recommendations: funk/Soul/Motown

Hopefully including bari sax

Looking for a VST instrument, but would take sample packs as well if you thought they were must haves.

NI Session Horns just doesn’t sound that great in the demos, so I’m avoiding it. Sounds like midi instruments to my ear. Tell me if I’m wrong.

Thanks for any and all help.
 

kurtvanzo

Capt. Zorro
Start with audio modeling swam saxes (bari, alto, tenor, soprano). Best bari out there. Lots of controls for growl, flutter, and dynamics. Helps to use a breath controller or use pedals (I use 4) to help the performance come to life- no keyswitching necessary.
https://swamengine.com/portfolio-item/swam-saxophones/

Add sample modeling brass (trumpets and trombones). The best stuff out there but it does pay to learn the controls, like the swam saxes.
https://www.samplemodeling.com/en/products_trumpet.php

Add Orange tree passion flute, just because those short hard notes are Anchorman good, yet can play strong or soft flute for anything. :)
https://www.orangetreesamples.com/products/passion-flute

Or if you prefer bigger sections (5e ablove are all solo instruments), swing more from Project Sam is an option.
https://www.projectsam.com/Products/Swing/1460

Broadway Big band is also an option but the cost, even on sale, is more than all that I’ve listed combined. And for me the programming is a bit sloppy (dynamics and tuning issues) which makes me grab the swam stuff first, and I love the control I have over the solo stuff I mentioned above.
 
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DSmolken

Senior Member
Straight Ahead Jazz Horns does that stuff pretty well if you can't do the breath controller thing or deal with the learning curve of the SWAM and Sample Modeling stuff - you get all the typical articulations like a couple different types of falls, trumpet shakes etc. sampled.
 

Lode_Runner

Senior Member
I'm not sure if these are good or not as I don't own them (must say the demos aren't doing it for me), but Big Fish Audio have Vintage Horns and Vintage Horns 2.

Vir2 are going to be releasing Mojo Horns 2. The existing Mojo library dates back to 2010, so is probably not one of the better options out there these days. It looks like Mojo 2 will be a new thing entirely.
 
OP
John Judd

John Judd

Member
Thank you all for chiming in. Much appreciated! There are a couple ideas up there that I hadn’t seen previously.
 

BezO

The Artisan
...NI Session Horns just doesn’t sound that great in the demos, so I’m avoiding it. Sounds like midi instruments to my ear. Tell me if I’m wrong...
I use them often for this and have been happy with the sound. I'm only looking to supplement my solo & small section collection with something more cinematic sounding.

Maybe check Youtube for 3rd party demos as NI's could just be sub par programming. Or your requirements may be different than mine.
 

Iskra

Active Member
Isn't the original MOJO horns a bit overpriced in 2018 at 500 bucks? Just check vir2 website and that kind of price struck me as a tad too high (actually same for their guitars, taking into account the dozens of different options now)
 

cmillar

Active Member
If you're just writing basic horn 'shots', chords, and shorter simple lines I would feel that your most important consideration is really the 'sound'....not the most expensive or best legato library or trillion sample soundset.

Don't use something with 'baked in' reverb if you can help it. Adjust it yourself depending on the context.

You can get great sounding results with:
- Chris Hein Horns (even the Compact library, which comes with great Bari Sax as well as excellent other horns)
- Realitone 'Screaming Trumpet' (hey!....it's Wayne Bargerone!....come on!)
- Kontakt Session Horns
- Kontakt Factory horns
- Kirk Hunter Diamond (mix up the Studio horns with the Orchestral horns for fat sounding section)
- UVI (or MachFive) horns (the trombone has a nice fat, blending sound to it to go under a trumpet section)
- a few Garritan Jazz horns are nice
- even some stock Apple horns are nice sounding if you use Logic

If you have a real hardware synth/workstation, you'll have access to excellent horns in some of the Yamaha Motifs and the good old trusty Roland XP/JV series as well.

I suggest to mix and match, and make sure that nothing 'sticks out'....
 

BezO

The Artisan
...You can get great sounding results with:
- Chris Hein Horns (even the Compact library, which comes with great Bari Sax as well as excellent other horns)...
I'm near definitely going with Complete, but do you know which 5 articulations are available with Compact? I can't find them listed any where.
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
I'm near definitely going with Complete, but do you know which 5 articulations are available with Compact? I can't find them listed any where.
Good question. I wonder if he's talking about the various setting controls since there will be varying arts depending on the instrument. I pulled mine up to see and took a snapshot. I count 5 settings on the left hand side which each have their own sub set of controls when highlighted.
ChrisHein.JPG
2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG
 
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BezO

The Artisan
Good question. I wonder if he's talking about the various setting controls since there will be varying arts depending on the instrument. I pulled mine up to see and took a snapshot. I count 5 settings on the left hand side which each have their own sub set of controls when highlighted.
And 5 Hot Keys under Keyboard Layout.

I do see Trill, Shake, Vibrato, Legato & Sustain controls. Might that be the 5?
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
And 5 Hot Keys under Keyboard Layout.

I do see Trill, Shake, Vibrato, Legato & Sustain controls. Might that be the 5?
That could be the more likely section that the 5 are referring to. Nevertheless all of those other controls affect performance similar to how different articulations do so I suppose one could argue that there are more than 5 when combining these functionalities.
 

g.c.

Active Member
Look at Big Fish for the Vintage Libraries and for the 1ST Call Horns, and on Realitone for the Screamimg Trumpet. All of these are viewable -listenable in both on site demos and utube tutorial- reviews videos. These are rarely if ever mentioned here as ther're mostly older libs at heart. But before you buy, given your need as described in yourrequest these may be much more what you are looking for. They are all multi articulated Muulti sampled libs , not loops. Also, again seldom seen (by me) on these pages for your need, definetely look at XSamples and finally, look at Warp IV.
With exception of Samplemodelling, I think you'll find these much more playable and manipulatable (is that a word) then any of the 1940 Film Noir libs. As a Jazz horn player and arranger I couldn't imagine playing Count Basie, Tower Of Power or Tito Puente with most of the above mentioned.
Also, look to Big Fish for sales.
Good luck!
g.c.
 

Polkasound

Senior Member
NI Session Horns just doesn’t sound that great in the demos, so I’m avoiding it. Sounds like midi instruments to my ear. Tell me if I’m wrong.
Session Horns Pro can be more flexible than what the demos indicate. The "MIDI instrument" sound comes from two things: tempo-synced crescendos which sound very "MIDI" when played repetitively, and no crossfading between dynamic layers, so held notes just kind of hang there. There are alternative ways of getting around these limitations, such as creating ensembles from solo instruments and editing MIDI data, such as timing and (especially) volume CC.

In my opinion, SHP is beautifully sampled, but it was designed as a quick-result ensemble library. You can use it that way and get excellent (though perhaps somewhat "MIDI-ish") results, but good composing skills can stretch the library further. I bought SHP several years ago for $149, and still consider it to be one of my best purchases.

Since SHP does not crossfade between dynamic layers, it's not going to work the best for exposed/solo parts. Chris Hein Horns Complete does the crossfading and offers tons of articulations, but I prefer the sound and legato scripting of SHP over CHHC's solo instruments. I mainly use CHHC for ensembles.

When I bought Audio Modeling's saxes last year, that was a game changer. I haven't touched any of my other solo saxes since. It simply put the solo saxes in SHP and CHHC out to pasture. Audio Modeling is working on a brass library, and I'll be the first one in line to buy it when it comes out.