OT MA1 Horns a9 vs. Cinesamples Twelve Horn Ensemble

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
I'm in fact very happy with my fff MA1 Horns and don't really know of anything better.
Still, does anybody own both and could provide a comparison to the 12 Horns Library from Cinesamples? Do 3 more Horns really add something worth noticing? Do they get as loud as Metropolis Ark? etc.
 

Akarin

pragsound.com
I'm in fact very happy with my fff MA1 Horns and don't really know of anything better.
Still, does anybody own both and could provide a comparison to the 12 Horns Library from Cinesamples? Do 3 more Horns really add something worth noticing? Do they get as loud as Metropolis Ark? etc.
If you want to, post a MIDI file for a horns line you want to test and I'll render it with the CS 12 horns patch.
 

halfwalk

Active Member
Doesn't MA1 have a 3-horn patch as well, that you could possibly layer with the 9-horn patch? Or maybe my math is off here.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
As promised, here is an apples to apples comparison.

Process detailed below:

I only used 2(and a half I guess) articulations, because the 12 horns literally just has legato(sustain) and staccato.

step 1: since Ark doesn't have a mixed mic, and for the sake of fairness, I routed the following channels separately
Cinebrass = close room surround
Ark= close tree surround

then I gain staged them all to the same level, and reduced the ambient mics down do something closer resembling a blend someone might actually use.

then I removed the dynamic range modification from all the Arks so it's 100% recorded dynamic
then I hand edited the dynamic range slider for cinebrass to match.

cinebrass reverb was disabled, and no external reverb was used.

1.) legato at lowest dynamic then highest dynamic
2.) Staccato chord examples in different registers
3.) Sustain chord examples in different registers

results:

while I might prefer the ff of the sustains/legato of cinebrass 12 horns, I prefer the mf of ark 1.

Ark 1 wins on shorts - especially considering it has multiple other short articulations(along with other articulations in general) they are tighter and punchier(and more realistic in general)

the sustain swells: the crossfade sounds better for the cinebrass slightly - but both are more or less weak. The major difference is the ark is much warmer and rounder at the low dynamic, and the cut off programming is weird and clunky with cinebrass.

At the end of the day, if you just wanted the horns patch - it's not worth the extra money to buy ark 1. However, Ark 1 also comes with much more - and when you compare cinebrass pro to ark 1 it gets akward because they have quite a different arrangement of instruments. I think cinebrass is under-rated in general, but it really suffers with short notes even if you get past the dated scripting issues.

Both were recorded on absolutely fabulous scoring stages, although the sony stage gives almost a more heroic/american flavor to the sound. Teldex has this darker and smoother tone in general, and feels almost more... sinister?

Hopefully my example was scientific enough, nothing annoys me more than when people post different mic choice/non volume matched examples. Some people would just grab the tree mic from ark and the mixed mic from dennis sands and feel like that's even enough - but obviously thats ridiculous, because one is an eq'd and multi-mic baked version(and time aligned if I'm not mistaken)
 

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ScoreFace

Active Member
I personally can't really see the benefit to use 9 or even 12 horn-patches - to me, it doesn't even sound more epic or powerful than 6 horns. When playing chords with a stacc patch, it automatically leads to ridiculous amouts of virtual musicians playing together: 4-note chord with a 12 horn patch = 48 horn players, not sounding so much stronger than 4 horn players
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
the main thing is the attenuation of the lower mids the more players you add. Might sound thicker due to intonation differences between players, but you lose the definition.

And I do prefer 6 horns, simply because I prefer 2+2+2 on triads, and would rather 6 horns trying to match volume of 3 trombones over 4 horns. I like cuivre as much as the next, but I also think horns should be distinctly the low mid warmth, with that crisp top end - and you lose some of that when you go ffffffffffff trying to keep up with bones/trumpets.

I think 8 horns is probably the most anyone should reasonably go, unless your entire brass section is like a 12 horn semi circle choir. But even then - why would you choose that over having like 4/3/3/1 +any other brass instrument like a 2nd bass bone, cimbasso, euphonium, or 2nd tuba.(or maybe a piccolo trumpet)