What's new

MSB or CSB? Please vote.

Which do you prefer?

  • CSB

    Votes: 64 82.1%
  • MSB

    Votes: 14 17.9%

  • Total voters
    78

tim727

Active Member
Which do you prefer? I need a dedicated brass lib (still don't have one) and am having trouble deciding between the two.

Main things that appeal to me about Cinematic Studio Brass (CSB):

(1) Easy of use/playability
(2) I heavily use OT libs and CSS in my template and my untrained ears have always found CSS to blend with OT stuff pretty effortlessly. I imagine therefore that CSB would do likewise.
(3) Greater dynamic range than MSB?
(4) The price is RIGHT (though this is more of a nicety ... I have no issue paying more if I feel it's worth it)

Main things that appeal to me about Modern Scoring Brass (MSB):

(1) Vast instrument selection
(2) The ability to create any sort of section my heart desires
(3) Auto-divisi

**Note** I know there was some discussion about the differences between the two libs in the main MSB thread, but given the popularity of both libs a dedicated thread seemed justified, and I wasn't able to find an already existing one. Also I wanted to create a poll, so there's that.
 
Last edited:

Sean

I don't know what I'm talking about
I don't have MSB but to my understanding it is also more resource intensive than CSB. Something to certainly keep in mind.
 

Mucusman

Enthusiastic hobbyist
Well, I only have MSB, so I don’t feel I can cast an informed vote. I’d be surprised if there were many people who have both and therefore can provide informed opinions. I fear your poll may just turn into a popularity contest with the owners of just one package voting for the one they own... but I could be wrong. Good luck.

Addendum: My ad-hoc advice would be to go for CSB because of workflow. Already owning CSS, you’ll be able to relatively “jump right in” to working quickly in CSB. And save significantly as you do so.
 
OP
T

tim727

Active Member
I don't have MSB but to my understanding it is also more resource intensive than CSB. Something to certainly keep in mind.
Valuable info I hadn't heard before ... thank you.

I fear your poll may just turn into a popularity contest with the owners of just one package voting for the one they own... but I could be wrong. Good luck.
Although direct comparisons between the two libs are interesting and valuable, the relative popularity of the two libs in relation to each other is actually info that I'm keenly interested in as well. After all, if 80% of the forum users end up preferring CSB for instance then that really tells me something. Libs are usually popular for good reasons ;)
 

Sean

I don't know what I'm talking about
Valuable info I hadn't heard before ... thank you.



Although direct comparisons between the two libs are interesting and valuable, the relative popularity of the two libs in relation to each other is actually info that I'm keenly interested in as well. After all, if 80% of the forum users end up preferring CSB for instance then that really tells me something. Libs are usually popular for good reasons ;)
I agree that knowing the popularity of two products is good but it will be most likely skewed towards CSB in this case since it has been out much longer and is cheaper and more accessible.
 
OP
T

tim727

Active Member
I agree that knowing the popularity of two products is good but it will be most likely skewed towards CSB in this case since it has been out much longer and is cheaper and more accessible.
That is certainly a valid point.
 

nawzadhaji

Member
from last month I am using CSB I am very Happy with it , some time I combing with (Trampet,Trumbon) from Bravura brass thay will go well together at least for me.
When i listening MSB demo look like good library but need to much Time ,work to get the good brass sound .
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
I don't have either library. This is one of THE questions for me currently.

I was really hoping that MSB would be great and an easy choice, but I've been dissapointed. In everything I've heard so far it seems the overall tone (way too clean), the dynamics (not enough layers, no P dynamic), the attacks (not strong enough), and even the vibrato (just plain bad)... they all lack something.

I prefer to stick to Spitfire Symphonic, which I already have, even if it lacks some of those same instruments and articulations, and has the occasional annoyance. I keep thinking to myself "but in SSB that sounds more natural". Maybe it's just a user thing and I'm being too picky. It's stopped me buying, even though some of the instruments (like the horns) do sound very good. Especially the modelled legato stuff they have.

So I'm seriously looking at CSB again. More limited instruments, but it just strikes me as more having more realism, consistency, and better tone (although somewhat dark).

The other thought I have is I shouldn't have so quickly dismissed Berlin brass at that recent sale they had. :sad: Now I have the Arks, I know how good and warm sounding the OT brass can sound.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
MSB is versatile, with a unique engine and options for getting a broad multiplayer brass sound. It takes time to get down, and I honestly havent even put in enough time yet to master it.

CSB is instantly playable but its not as dynamic or versatile in its ability to play things outside of cinematic/classical music. Not saying its impossible, but the sound lends itself to really powerful expressive brass parts, but you might struggle if you needed a less classical and more subtle option.

I'm still using both, but I find myself going to Aaron Venture Infinite Brass and/or Sample Modeling Brass.
 

Geoff Grace

Senior Member
I realize that the Modern Scoring Brass demos left a bad impression with some people, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find unhappy purchasers of either Modern Scoring Brass or Cinematic Studio Brass. Certainly, @Guy Rowland and @Nathan Furst seem to be very happy with their Modern Scoring Brass purchases, and I've read a lot of praise for Cinematic Studio Brass by its users as well.

As for ease of use, if a limited library—such as Cinematic Studio Brass—doesn't beat a more diverse and versatile library—like Modern Scoring Brass—in that area, then it's doing something wrong. That said, my understanding is that once you've taken the time to audition and learn what Modern Scoring Brass can do, it is actually easy to use.

Best,

Geoff
 
OP
T

tim727

Active Member
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful feedback and for voting in the poll. I've decided to go with CSB for the following reasons:

(1) Today I reread through the entirety of the CSB and MSB main threads from the point of each respective lib's release (which is ... a lot of reading material). What I found is that the feedback for CSB was overwhelmingly positive. Negative remarks of any kind were extremely hard to come by. The feedback for MSB, rather, was far more mixed.

(2) Although the poll in this thread has only been up for a couple hours, the early returns already show CSB positively steamrolling MSB. I'm aware that part of that is almost certainly due to (A) CSB's lower price, (B) CSB's earlier release, and (C) what may be a commonplace forum bias toward CSB on account of baked-in affinity for/loyalty to CSS and Alex W ... but nonetheless I don't feel that those factors would account for the entirety of the discrepancy between the vote counts.

(3) The odds that I'm literally unhappy with CSB seem next to none. I'm sure the sound and playability will be great and it will almost certainly slide seamlessly into my template. Between that and the low price, the likelihood of any imminent significant buyer's remorse seems extremely low. If I find myself ever feeling like I need more from the lib (auto-divisi, more instruments, more flexible sections etc) I can still buy MSB and at that point I will have only "wasted" about $270. If however I buy MSB and am unhappy with it straight away (which seems unlikely than the same scenario occurring after buying CSB) then I might be pretty bitter at having misappropriated $600.

Thanks again to everyone for their input. Hopefully the reasoning through which I came to my decision which I indicated above might end up helping someone else who is similarly on the fence between the two libs.

Cheers!

Tim
 

pderbidge

Senior Member
CSB was overwhelmingly positive. Negative remarks of any kind were extremely hard to come by. The feedback for MSB, rather, was far more mixed.
If listened to the negative feedback around here I wouldn't own some of my favorite libraries that I enjoy everyday. I honestly wouldn't put any weight one way or the other with the mixed reviews. A lot of this comes down to understanding your own personal preference of workflow and sound. Some people, like myself, enjoy a drier and more malleable library like what Audiobro offers, while others prefer more baked in and pre-processed sounds. I actually work faster when I feel I have more control rather than struggling with something that is just too "baked in" for me. For example, people raved about Albion when it first came out. I don't think there was a single negative comment about the library. I spent a lot of money on Albion and then got seduced again with Albion One. It was the first and last time I listened to the "popular" crowd. On the other hand, LASS 2 had mixed reviews. Some people found the tone too scratchy and too many out of tune notes was the other complaint. I absolutely adore LASS and use it all the time. I never find myself having a hard time getting it to sound elegant or big or etc... I'm willing to bet that the majority (not all) of people that don't get along with MSB are likely to prefer something like SSB, with more baked in room sound. I believe that most people, although they understand that adding space makes a difference, I don't think they realize how "much" of a difference it makes which makes other "wet" libraries seem more enticing up front and out of the box. One approach is not necessarily better than the other because I've heard beautiful music made with both types but rather understanding your own personal preferences and workflow is the real key. Not polls on the forum.
 
OP
T

tim727

Active Member
If listened to the negative feedback around here I wouldn't own some of my favorite libraries that I enjoy everyday. I honestly wouldn't put any weight one way or the other with the mixed reviews. A lot of this comes down to understanding your own personal preference of workflow and sound. Some people, like myself, enjoy a drier and more malleable library like what Audiobro offers, while others prefer more baked in and pre-processed sounds. I actually work faster when I feel I have more control rather than struggling with something that is just too "baked in" for me. For example, people raved about Albion when it first came out. I don't think there was a single negative comment about the library. I spent a lot of money on Albion and then got seduced again with Albion One. It was the first and last time I listened to the "popular" crowd. On the other hand, LASS 2 had mixed reviews. Some people found the tone too scratchy and too many out of tune notes was the other complaint. I absolutely adore LASS and use it all the time. I never find myself having a hard time getting it to sound elegant or big or etc... I'm willing to bet that the majority (not all) of people that don't get along with MSB are likely to prefer something like SSB, with more baked in room sound. I believe that most people, although they understand that adding space makes a difference, I don't think they realize how "much" of a difference it makes which makes other "wet" libraries seem more enticing up front and out of the box. One approach is not necessarily better than the other because I've heard beautiful music made with both types but rather understanding your own personal preferences and workflow is the real key. Not polls on the forum.
You make good some points. In particular I agree that people should strongly consider their unique workflows and preferences when deciding on libraries. However, your post seems to suggest that I'm basing my decision purely on forum feedback, which is not the case. The feedback from the forum is certainly weighing in heavily into my decision, but so is my price/value assessment of the two libraries as well as my sense that CSB will be easier for me to use.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
Neither library has great lower dynamics - neither are particularly resource intensive.

MSB is not more resource intensive, if you actually load up the solo instruments from CSB - its going to be pretty even - because when you see ram use from msb - you're actually loading(and can use) the solo instruments that it's built from.

neither come with too many mics, but msb technically has more - and both have a resource friendly mixed position.

csb is extremely vanilla, but the way it's programmed allows for easy playing of things like crescendos - but also allows for ridiculous FFF that would never realistically be playable. Great for when you need to reach for it via crescendo - or short bursts, but in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they are doing - can quickly turn your 4 horns into a mediocre buzzing synth that stopped sounding like French horns bars ago. That said, getting phrases down quickly(not many options to switch between) gets the music out faster - even if it limits the expressiveness/nuance of the line.

msb has tons of options to shape, but again - these options are just as easily a danger(as you've probably heard from people trying to demo it) because they often don't move the extra CC's they've got to use the library, and then to overdo both dynamics and the sizzle knob. Having multiple note heads/legato alone is a huge shaping tool - and it does have better lower dynamics(even though not great) so in the end, It's probably more useful than the extra "F" at the top range that CSB adds - unless you absolutely need that in your music. But more shaping = more expressive = more time sunk into sculpting phrases.

CSB sounds pretty good out of the box, MSB takes some work(although this is majorly overblown - if you don't know what you're doing - you'll be spending even more time and energy NOT writing music)

Both can easily worth with OT stuff(teldex and trackdown are about the same size, although very different frequency buildup) And msb will never quite have the "shine" of brass recorded in teldex(csb gets closer to this sound) but it doesn't sound out of place with strings recorded in teldex.

If you're not that experienced with writing with samples, orchestral music - ect… I would suggest CSB in your shoes, because it'll blend with 1-2 bands of an EQ with the rest of your OT stuff - and you can actually make music instead of getting stuck perfecting passes for a 11+ member brass ensemble. Because realistically - if you're going to use MSB, you'll want to ditch auto divisi and just record each line separately for the extra realism(and balancing chords)
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
Since I don't have any experience with MSB, I didn't vote. But I will say that CSB is amazing. He could charge twice the price and it'd still be a good deal.
There are a few things that irk me ever so slightly. I feel like the Trombones should go lower. I'm always stuck using a Bass trombone. Maybe that's the range in real life, but my VSL trombones go a few notes lower. I'd also like it if it had a piccolo trumpet included, but that's more of a wish list add on than a complaint.
 
Last edited:

pderbidge

Senior Member
You make good some points. In particular I agree that people should strongly consider their unique workflows and preferences when deciding on libraries. However, your post seems to suggest that I'm basing my decision purely on forum feedback, which is not the case. The feedback from the forum is certainly weighing in heavily into my decision, but so is my price/value assessment of the two libraries as well as my sense that CSB will be easier for me to use.
Not at all. I don't mean to insinuate that I know what you base all your decisions on and it's not my place to make assumptions like that. I'm just saying that's what I did early on and I've found that about 50% of the time, maybe more, I tend to disagree with the majority of the popular vote. That's not to infer that the majority is wrong but rather I tend to work a lot differently than most people. Probably a side effect of my ADD:)
 
Last edited:

Land of Missing Parts

flibbertigibbet
I spent a bunch of time with Cinematic Studio Brass last week, replicating a live brass session, posted here.

Lower dynamics seem plenty good to me. I'm not sure what "vanilla" means. I guess people can judge with their ears. I've got a bunch of parts with lower dynamics in there. And I pretty much didn't touch the volume knobs when mixing. The live brass versions are also in the post, so you can compare CSB to the live.

To me, performance is more important than tone. I like CSB because it really gives me the ability to sculpt the phrasing. It's flexible and can be quite expressive. You can morph longs into shorts, dial in the attack. Alex is usually good at capturing performances with the Cinematic Studio Series. Also, everything just works, it's balanced.

@ProfoundSilence -- I'm not sure why you say CSB is limited in its expressiveness. A lot of the stuff you are saying about it runs completely contrary to my experience as an owner and user. Do you own it?

Modern Scoring Brass looks really good too, but I haven't spent a ton of time looking at it since I already bought CSB and won't be buying another big brass library any time soon.
 
Last edited:

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
I spent a bunch of time with Cinematic Studio Brass last week, replicating a live brass session, posted here.

Lower dynamics seem plenty good to me. I'm not sure what "vanilla" means. I guess people can judge with their ears. I've got a bunch of parts with lower dynamics in there. And I pretty much didn't touch the volume knobs when mixing. The live brass versions are also in the post, so you can compare CSB to the live.

To me, performance is more important than tone. I like CSB because it really gives me the ability to sculpt the phrasing. It's flexible and can be quite expressive. You can morph longs into shorts, dial in the attack. Alex is usually good at capturing performances with the Cinematic Studio Series. Also, everything just works, it's balanced.

@ProfoundSilence -- I'm not sure why you say CSB is limited in its expressiveness. A lot of the stuff you are saying about it runs completely contrary to my experience as an owner and user. Do you own it?

Modern Scoring Brass looks really good too, but I haven't spent a ton of time looking at it since I already bought CSB and won't be buying another big brass library any time soon.
From the mod wheel at 50% down, it doesn't sound like soft dynamics, just mp fading out via volume. I do own it - and expressiveness =/= lack of real lower dynamics. It's still an expressive instrument, but that doesn't change the recorded dynamics - and if there truly is a very soft dynamic, its completely lost in the crossfade to the point that it's just wasting ram. By vanilla, I mean that it contains the barebone articulations and that's it - nothing to do with the sound character, just pointing out that cinematic series is strictly most common tools(although well made).

MSB has a much better ability to sculpt phrasing, but at the end of the day - you might not appreciate that much extra control over productivity. you probably write most of your brass with 2 patches, and probably don't fancy the idea of having 3 different sustains to switch between - and needing to individually record each phrase with each divisi instrument to get the most of out it. The numbers here:

you play a phrase with 4 horn legato once = done

vs

you play 4 the same horn part 4 times while toggling between 3 different legatos mid phrase while controlling a tone(sizzle) knob at the same time.

not to mention the extra time you'll be spending spatializing each one - and the amount of tweaking with EQ and reverb + delays to get the sound you want, versus just throwing any old reverb on a send and then EQing out some of the weirdness trackdown studio has.


What do you like for lower dynamic brass?
I like berlin brass has the lower dynamics nailed, although all the crossfades + top dynamics aren't the best, so you really need to program using "short" articulations to get appropriate phrasing + top dynamics.

this should be obvious, considering you can push a lot more air for a long marcato than you can hold for 4 bars, but CSB defies reality and simply has a short burst of like fFFFFFFffFF that's looped and ready to go whenever. It's nice that it's there, but it definitely takes self control to use it realistically hahaha.
 

Land of Missing Parts

flibbertigibbet
Here is a Cinematic Studio Brass mock up. It's only brass, and fairly exposed. The cue starts at a low dynamic and eventually gets pretty loud. (Composed by Mike Verta.)

And here is the same cue, played with live brass at a scoring session. (Raw tree mic only, with some added reverb). More info on Mike's Live Brass class here.

People can judge if the lower dynamics are lacking or not, but for me they are fine. Levels were set out of the box, only minimal volume adjustment in mixing.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom