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James Bond Style Brass

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
I'd go with SampleModeling/AudioModeling trumpets, bones and french horns plus Screaming Trumpet for that, plus a reverb that gives that kind of room tone. You need to play each line in separately, unquantized.
 

shsCT

New Member
This deserves the "Most Insightful Post" award for the year. Thanks for sharing!
Haha - you’re too kind :) This place is full of insight; and long before this post. It just seemed an apropos story.

I think my point is that, we all often put far too much emphasis on the “library” - and especially the idea that a new library we don’t yet have is the silver bullet - as the tool to get you there. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone (dear lord, I think I’m up to something like 10TB of sample drives and a whole server room full of computers).

However, the puzzle that comes along with that notion is that there’s an inverse proportion of time at which you can get really really versed in any one tool as an expressive instrument; we end up with so many options we don’t get really really good at using any of them.

Another story: I remember another composer friend of mine (who is now very successful in his own right) once played me a cue he’d done using the old Miroslav library that was hosted on those old Digi SampleCell cards. For my money, I could never get those samples to sing - everything I did using them sounded unconvincing - but this was the only sample library he had available to him and so he really dove in and learned it’s strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies.

This is true of ANY “ensemble” we all get to work with - live, sample library-based or otherwise - one has to learn to write to the strengths of the ensemble before you. There is just no substitute for this skill. And before we all had so many choices, we had no other choice but to be clever with what we had. As amazing as all of our sample tech is now (and it is, and I love it) I think this truth has gotten a little lost by the wayside.

Anyways, the piece sounded incredible, and completely believable as live - and this was when I was going to work at the same time with a live orchestra almost every week - for four years - myself on Futurama. I remember thinking that my “real” live session from the prior week didn’t sound as good as his track...

So some of the suggestions in this thread are good ones to be sure. “Glory Days” looks to be an amazing library (hmmm, now... why don’t I have that... maybe I should go... :) ) But FWIW, I don’t think it’s the library that gets you there. I’d say, find whatever tool you can be emotionally, expressively compelling with, and focus on practicing how to be so with it. A lot. Not as fun as a shiny new download I know. But all real instruments have some “rough spots” on them - a great cellist doesn’t chuck the instrument - but learns how’s to play up the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. And I’d argue that some of the rough spots sometimes aid in the “realism” - even with sample libraries (ok I can think of another story but let’s save that :)) I’m not even sure that the folks working on those original Bond scores saw that sonic signature as a strength - but they certainly made the best of it!

And since CTS is now gone, we’re all going to have to be clever at mimicking it’s sonic signature - when desired. And all I’m really trying to offer up is, don’t let what you don’t have be a roadblock to crafting your own signature sound
 

Daniel James

Senior Member
Amazing work, Daniel! Snake Eater will always be my favourite non-Bond Bond song. Cynthia Harrell is great, and so is Harry G-W's score to the game.
HGW's Metal Gear Solid 2 score is the reason I'm a composer in the first place! (Imagine my joy at getting to work with him on Metal Gear Solid V!!!!! :D)

Also I agree the vocals for Snake Eater are incredible! Perfect bond tone!

If you are interested I synced my backing track to the accapella. I think its pretty close XD

(you might want to turn down the acapella a little bit to make the mix better)

https://viewsync.net/watch?v=LDZebVCjAEI&t=11.42&v=8aYeoR9LVlI&t=0&mode=solo

-DJ
 
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Suntower

New Member
Thanks for the very interesting story.

As a bassist who has played next to a range of brass players over the years, I well understand the issues you bring up in terms of brass 'hot spots'. It happens in even the best opera houses. There's this pleasant back and forth between the brass and strings that the brass never -really- get to play 'forte'. They -always- have to hold back... at least a little.

I keep seeing the name 'Screaming Trumpet' and I looked that up and Wayne Bergeron definitely rings a bell.

Thanks to all for some very, very good tips.

----JC



So... a sort of on-topic/off-topic story:

I scored a movie a bit back (“Kazaam” - yes, the one featuring Shaquille O’Neil as a genie...) in London with the London Studio Orchestra - amazing players and I think essentially the LSO under a different name. Anyways, an action score but ~not~ a Bond film.

Due to the often various, shall we say, “idiosyncrasies” of scoring a film in Hollywood, the production dragged it’s feet on deciding where and when they wanted me to record the score. By the time they decided they wanted to send me to London, Abbey Road and Air were already booked with other sessions, and our scoring stage choice was left to CTS.

When I arrived at the stage the first day, I was in awe of all the classic Bond posters hanging in the Lobby; as many of those scores had been recorded there. “Cool!” I thought.

CTS was a bit of an odd room. A huge and very square sunken space, the control room was “upstairs” - one walked down a flight of stairs to get to the stage floor below - which was funny because the control room window then looked out at nothing but the back wall - you couldn’t see the orchestra at all from the console, but had to walk over to the window and look down.

Anyways, we had a big band for the sessions - something like 95+ players if I remember correctly. And as an action score, I had written some big forte brass motifs - with a big brass section to perform them. I was excited. At a stage like say, Warner Bros, this would have sounded, well, awesome.

It was the first time, on the first day, that the brass got to one of those big motifs, that I discovered an important, however accidental, clue to the Bond score “sound.” When the brass hit the first big moment, they room acoustics of the stage completely overloaded - essentially obscuring the rest of the orchestra - strings, woodwinds just vanished in the mics - and we had a lot of string players! And the characteristic “honk” of the brass - my score had instantly turned into a “Bond” score! We weren’t using mutes or stops; but the scoring stage, being a big square box, clearly had a few modal resonance peaks that were at the right frequency to accentuate brass (especially horns and bones) resonances and create “that” sound. It was both a “wow” and a total “uh-oh” moment. We spent the rest of the week re-marking all of the dynamics in the music so that the brass never played above mF and the strings had to dig in a lot more. The brass still hounded huge - just - to the degree we could even control it at all - a little less “Bond” “honky.” The takeaway was that, as always - the recording room is a huge part of the sound.

Back to the OP’s goal here, in addition to some orchestration/articulation choices - like stopped horns etc, I think you can get this sound by using whatever brass samples you have - and some creative use of filters and saturation plugins to process them. Put a filter plugin on your brass stem, reduce the top end curve of the filter a bit and dial up the resonance peak/sweep it around until you start to find ‘that’ sound. Add some subtle distortion/saturation to taste. And (though this might be a little counterintuitive) possibly feed a little of the brass to a spring reverb plug-in - as this will make it cue “vintage” aurally as well. When I was scoring Futurama I used these tricks a bunch, because often I needed the orchestra to sound old and vintage - but the LA scoring stages actually sounded themselves too “clean” and modern. I used to also stuff a mic into a trash can in the center of the orchestra and blend that recorded signal into the mix - essentially trying to mimic a “honky” and less perfect recording environment.

So... until someone finds a big resonant and funky square room and samples an orchestra in it, my suggestion is to be creative and experimental with whatever tools you have already; you might be surprised just how close you can get! :)
 

GingerMaestro

Active Member
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/derek-watkins-trumpeter-who-played-on-every-bond-soundtrack-8550572.html

Derek Watkins was the trumpet player who’s sound you are trying to replicate. He was the first call “lead style” session player in London for decades. Wayne Burgeron is the equivalent, or certainly one of them in LA at the moment and has been one of the top Lead session players in the world for some time. Sadly having heard him live, I don’t think the realitone library really does him justice. Swing and Swing more are really good and fun to work with. That would be a good place to start in my humble opinion. You could try mixing this with a more straight ahead brass library and see if it gets closer to the sound you are looking for.
 

Dr.Quest

Senior Member
This is true of ANY “ensemble” we all get to work with - live, sample library-based or otherwise - one has to learn to write to the strengths of the ensemble before you. There is just no substitute for this skill. And before we all had so many choices, we had no other choice but to be clever with what we had. As amazing as all of our sample tech is now (and it is, and I love it) I think this truth has gotten a little lost by the wayside.
THIS!
 

Jack Weaver

Senior Member
Derek Watkins was the trumpet player who’s sound you are trying to replicate. He was the first call “lead style” session player in London for decades. Wayne Bergeron is the equivalent, or certainly one of them in LA at the moment and has been one of the top Lead session players in the world for some time. Sadly having heard him live, I don’t think the realitone library really does him justice.
Realitone did not record the Screaming Trumpet library. They purchased it from a company called Warp IV. Realitone resurrected a very limited and flawed product and via some nice programming made it eminently useful for the first time. I owned the original product (and now the Realitone) and the Realitone version is heads above it. But either version is unlike any other product out there.

Now... if Realitone's Mike Greene were to re-do this product by getting Wayne Bergeron (possibly the world's leading trumpet high-note specialist) back into the studio it would be a significant library.

Note: I was doing a 'Rocky' kind of cue today and happily used a combination of CSB and Realitone's Screaming Trumpet. Was there some finessing and processing going on to make them match ambiences? Yes, there was. But... if you need screaming trumpets then you must use Screaming Trumpet.

.
 
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Suntower

New Member
I think the fact that they are willing to do a refund -and- that it's only $99 makes Screaming Trumpet a no-brainer... and at least one piece of the puzzle.

My belief is that what I want is a hybrid... I think a decent 'straight' brass library and sax library is fine if there is one -lead- player in each section with 'personality'. So maybe the next step is to look at those SampleModeling gizmos.

Thanks,

---JC


Realitone did not record the Screaming Trumpet library. They purchased it from a company called Warp IV. Realitone resurrected a very limited and flawed product and via some nice programming made it eminently useful for the first time. I owned the original product (and now the Realitone) and the Realitone version is heads above it. But either version is unlike any other product out there.

Now... if Realitone's Mike Greene were to re-do this product by getting Wayne Bergeron (possibly the world's leading trumpet high-note specialist) back into the studio it would be a significant library.

Note: I was doing a 'Rocky' kind of cue today and happily used a combination of CSB and Realitone's Screaming Trumpet. Was there some finessing and processing going on to make them match ambiences? Yes, there was. But... if you need screaming trumpets then you must use Screaming Trumpet.

.
 

jason.d

Member
I did a mockup of this James Bond piece for Vir2 with their MOJO 2 library a while ago.
It did pretty well:
Ok this one is incredible! Nice job, you nailed it!!

I did a version of my own a couple years ago (shameless plug): https://m.soundcloud.com/ones_and_zeros/shaken-not-stirred

The main brass libraries that really made this happen were Sample Modeling Trumpet and Trombone 3, Chris Hein Horns Vol 2, and Session horns pro that came with Komplete. For the orchestral parts Cinebrass also was a huge help for those thick warm parts.
 

BezO

The Artisan
I did a mockup of this James Bond piece for Vir2 with their MOJO 2 library a while ago.
It did pretty well:
Nice! Not sure I could pull this off but I've been looking to replace Session Horns Pro and considered Mojo2. Among other things, SHP doesn't scream; at least I can't get those sounds out of it. I need to take another look Mojo2.

I've since added to my brass & winds via Spitfire Studio but that obviously didn't address saxes.
 

Eptesicus

Senior Member
I did this a while back with Hollywood Brass


Most of the recognisable James Bondy bits are at the end :P

This has some bond brass bits too (this was just playing around really)

 
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antonyb

Member
Another insights on 50s/60s swing big band sounding brass came from Michael Giacchino on The Incredibles soundtrack (another take on the Bond-ish sound), he mentions that brass sound best for that era of music when recorded on tape.
Use a tape plugin to add the mojo.
 

Przemek K.

Senior Member
Ok this one is incredible! Nice job, you nailed it!!

I did a version of my own a couple years ago (shameless plug): https://m.soundcloud.com/ones_and_zeros/shaken-not-stirred

The main brass libraries that really made this happen were Sample Modeling Trumpet and Trombone 3, Chris Hein Horns Vol 2, and Session horns pro that came with Komplete. For the orchestral parts Cinebrass also was a huge help for those thick warm parts.
Thanks man. It was a labour of love:) Yours sounds good too.
 
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