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How to write big chords like this:

nuyo

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How to write big chords like this:



I can clearly hear horns but no trombones or a lot of low brass. Also choir and strings.
If there are big brass chords with the whole brass section, the only instruments that play in the f range are the horns.
And you ofthen hear people say that lower dynamics sound more cinemtic, but does that apply to this kind of music aswell ?
And should I use 12 Horn patches or 6 Horn patches ? & Trombones, 3 Trombones or bigger ?
Do you think they orchestrated full brasss chords or just the horns and low brass playing the root notes.
I hope someone can help me out.
 
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Great Zed

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Very hard to tell, but sounds to me like a couple of fhorn sections in the higher register, trombone sections in the mid-low, and a bass trombone doubling tuba in the lower registers. That's how I'd write it, anyway. Could be whoever wrote it just used the same fhorn patch for the entire chord progression. The problem with that is the number of players you'd need, plus Fhorn can sound a bit anemic in the lower registers, so using bones gives it weight.
 
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Karl Feuerstake

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In the first video (I can't access the second), at 2:30 I hear Horns playing a melodic fragment beginning on a chord tone, High Strings on ostinato, Low Strings on bass line with Low Brass in unison (but mixed very quiet), and Choir filling out the rest of the harmony. At 2:35 mid/Tenor Trombones give an answering melodic fragment that dovetails into the next chord. At 2:45 another High String part starts that is on the harmony.

I think you might want 6 or 12 Horns, but they're not playing brassy (that or they are but are in such a huge room they don't sound shrill). The Tenor Trombones might be only 3, and Low Brass might be something like Cinesamples Monster Low? Idk.
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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I'm aware of his channel but he hasn't gone trough one of his tracks that are similar to my examples. Something like "Brothers in Arms" or "Marathon".
Very hard to tell, but sounds to me like a couple of fhorn sections in the higher register, trombone sections in the mid-low, and a bass trombone doubling tuba in the lower registers. That's how I'd write it, anyway. Could be whoever wrote it just used the same fhorn patch for the entire chord progression. The problem with that is the number of players you'd need, plus Fhorn can sound a bit anemic in the lower registers, so using bones gives it weight.
Sounds reasonable, but I can't hear trombones. I can only hear bass doubled by low brass and the melodies played by the horns.
 

jcrosby

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The biggest clue to the orchestration happens at 1:31. Like a lot of trailer tracks the brass arrangements isn't so much about being realistic as much as (perhaps) going with whatever they felt works best for the track.

Anyway if what happens at 1:31 is any clue (which sounds to be the case), the bulk of the harmony seems to be spread across a number of different instruments and the brass is mostly focused around horns and low brass. (My vote for low brass is Trailer Brass... Could be Monster Low Brass though which would certainly do the job...)
 
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cet34f

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Sounds reasonable, but I can't hear trombones. I can only hear bass doubled by low brass and the melodies played by the horns.
In the live concert, there were horns, trombones and a tuba, so I guess that's how you create this effect in real life.

In the other hand, the OST version might be achieved through the magic of post production.
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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The biggest clue to the orchestration happens at 1:31. Like a lot of trailer tracks the brass arrangements isn't so much about being realistic as much as (perhaps) going with whatever they felt works best for the track.

Anyway if what happens at 1:31 is any clue (which sounds to be the case), the bulk of the harmony seems to be spread across a number of different instruments and the brass is mostly focused around horns and low brass. (My vote for low brass is Trailer Brass... Could be Monster Low Brass though which would certainly do the job...)
It's definitly CineBrass Monster Low. I would say the Horns are from CineBrass aswell. The Zimmer example is recorded live.
 

jcrosby

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The Zimmer example is recorded live.
Ah ok. The 2nd track actually shows up as "Video Unavailable" for me so I had no idea what it is.. All I can see is the 2WEI track so I figured it was another trailer reference.

In that case for sure, HZ's would be live, and the orchestration would reflect that of course...
 
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cet34f

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Ah ok. The 2nd track actually shows up as "Video Unavailable" for me so I had no idea what it is.. All I can see is the 2WEI track so I figured it was another trailer reference.

In that case for sure, HZ's would be live, and the orchestration would reflect that of course...
The second video is "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?", aka the MoS theme.

In the OST, when the brass start playing at 2:39, they sound full but clean at the same time, and the timbre is dominated by horns, so I guess that's what OP wants to ask.

I believe there are trombones in the OST (they are definitely in the live concert), but I was having hard time hearing them too. (However, in the later passage, the trombones double the horns and become apparent.)

I then tried harder and heard the trombones one octave below the horns (not doubling). They are most apparent when playing the triplets. And there is a tuba supporting the orchestra in the lowest register.

I would like if someone can confirm what I heard.
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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The second video is "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?", aka the MoS theme.

In the OST, when the brass start playing at 2:39, they sound full but clean at the same time, and the timbre is dominated by horns, so I guess that's what OP wants to ask.

I believe there are trombones in the OST (they are definitely in the live concert), but I was having hard time hearing them too. (However, in the later passage, the trombones double the horns and become apparent.)

I then tried harder and heard the trombones one octave below the horns (not doubling). They are most apparent when playing the triplets. And there is a tuba supporting the orchestra in the lowest register.

I would like if someone can confirm what I heard.
You are talking about the last part where the Brass is playing shorts ? There was a big Sub Synth or Guitar playing during the part that comes before that. Maybe the didn't use Trombones during that time ?
 

cet34f

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You are talking about the last part where the Brass is playing shorts ? There was a big Sub Synth or Guitar playing during the part that comes before that. Maybe the didn't use Trombones during that time ?
Hi, nuyo, when I opened your MoS OST video, it started at 2:40, so I assumed that's the passage you want to discuss. My comments are for the 2:40 to 3:27 passage.

What I meant to say is that I hear trombones in the 2:40 to 3:27 passage, so I agree with Great Zed: building a big brass chord with horns only is anemic. Hans did use trombones here.
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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Hi, nuyo, when I opened your MoS OST video, it started at 2:40, so I assumed that's the passage you want to discuss. My comments are for the 2:40 to 3:27 passage.

What I meant to say is that I hear trombones in the 2:40 to 3:27 passage, so I agree with Great Zed: building a big brass chord with horns only is anemic. Hans did use trombones here.
Hey,
But what about the 2wei example ? Hans is orchestrating more "traditional" but the 2wei example sounds like just Horns with Low Root Note Brass and Bass.
 

Mr Pringles

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Hans is orchestrating more "traditional" but the 2wei example sounds like just Horns with Low Root Note Brass and Bass.
Exactly and that's why Hans track sounds way better: because of its orchestration, arrangement and mixing. It does not lose focus on what's important. That would be the brass melody and the percussions. The rest, mainly strings and bass, never interferes contrary to the 1st track where the melody is not that clear and can sound muddy.

Anyway, I'm not sure what you find so complicated to reproduce. Maybe you could try to do an 8-16 bars mockup and we could help and guide you through it?
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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Exactly and that's why Hans track sounds way better: because of its orchestration, arrangement and mixing. It does not lose focus on what's important. That would be the brass melody and the percussions. The rest, mainly strings and bass, never interferes contrary to the 1st track where the melody is not that clear and can sound muddy.

Anyway, I'm not sure what you find so complicated to reproduce. Maybe you could try to do an 8-16 bars mockup and we could help and guide you through it?
I did a quick mock up that is similar to the 2wei example. I added MIDIs and Stems so you guys can analyse it. I didn't add any fx because it usually doesn't make things better if they aren't arranged right. Let me know what I can improve. ^^
 

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Mr Pringles

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Ok I think it was a good start. It didn't sound anemic. To me the issues are:
1/ HUGE lack of reverb for the higher register especially horns. Your track is supposed to sound huge, think huge, huge reverb 2-3s tails.
2/ Not enough dynamics curves, it sounds a bit boring or dry (not talking about reverb here), especially for the brass and the NI Bass. Make the NI Bass behave like a low brass section.
3/ Too much bass. The synth bass is a good addition but you have NI Bass + Monter LOW, + Trombones blasting. That's too much. Please choose and tame the others.
4/ No EQ especially on the horns. Too much bass + mids. Make room for your 1st role ie the horns melody.
5/ Monster LOW Brass is way too Brassy. They sound like an orchestral fart. Change the dyn layer and turn up the volume if you can't hear them anymore.

Here is a quick sketch of what I just talked about. It's not perfect but eh, you've got to work too :grin: The challenge will be to find a good reverb. I just fired up a random reverb here (First tried VintageVerb, it didn't work so I switched to Reverence) but you should achieve a better result if you spend more than 5min like I did.
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Screenshot 2021-07-15 162744.png Screenshot 2021-07-15 162710.png
 

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nuyo

nuyo

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Ok I think it was a good start. It didn't sound anemic. To me the issues are:
1/ HUGE lack of reverb for the higher register especially horns. Your track is supposed to sound huge, think huge, huge reverb 2-3s tails.
2/ Not enough dynamics curves, it sounds a bit boring or dry (not talking about reverb here), especially for the brass and the NI Bass. Make the NI Bass behave like a low brass section.
3/ Too much bass. The synth bass is a good addition but you have NI Bass + Monter LOW, + Trombones blasting. That's too much. Please choose and tame the others.
4/ No EQ especially on the horns. Too much bass + mids. Make room for your 1st role ie the horns melody.
5/ Monster LOW Brass is way too Brassy. They sound like an orchestral fart. Change the dyn layer and turn up the volume if you can't hear them anymore.

Here is a quick sketch of what I just talked about. It's not perfect but eh, you've got to work too :grin: The challenge will be to find a good reverb. A just fired up a random reverb here (First tried VintageVerb, it didn't work so I switched to Reverence) but you should achieve a better result if you spend more than 5min like I did.
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Good Points :2thumbs:

So what you are saying is that the main problems are to much energy under 400 kh and the lack of Reverb ? And would you agree that the 2wei example doesn't contain trombones or low brass but mostly guitar or synth basses ?
 

Mr Pringles

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Well it's not the energy but more the traffic in the low register, there are too many cars on the same road. You have to choose which is the main car and hold back the others. Also, hombre, don't use Stereo on your bass. I had to use Imager in my mp3 example and put everything to mono under 100Hz. Look at the waveform of your NI Bass track. Should be mono, not something that wanders left and right when it wants to.

Well all my points are "main problems" because you definitely should EQ your tracks. Not like a butcher though.

I can hear trombones in the 1st video playing in harmony and I think some are also playing in unison with the horns. The low notes are also in harmony and not following the bass which makes the track muddy IMO. I would more focus on your Zimmer example which has depth.
 
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nuyo

nuyo

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@nuyo did you get a chance to listen to my rendered mp3 of your stems?
Yes I did, It sounds much closer to the Hans Zimmer Example than my version but it's definitely far away from what I want it to sound like. And I really can't tell if the solution is something within the mixing and sound design process or the arrangement and sample libraries.
 
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