Sample Modeling Brass Horns, how to make them sound huge?

DANIELE

Senior Member
Hi all, I love Sample Modeling instruments (as I said many times) and I'm trying to achieve something especially with horns.

Infact, playing them directly without EQ or reverb results in a pretty dry sound which is nice to work with.

For Star Wars like music they sound pretty well by adding some reverb in insert.

I know already about insert and not send tecnique or about TODD AO etc...

However I have some difficulties to achieve the sound I heard on some YouTube videos.
I'm really having a hard time trying to get these results.

I would also like to get another result by working on them. I hear some differences by directly comparing them with the sound from 4 Spitfire Symphonic Brass Horns or with 4 Berlin Brass Horns. I like SM brass because of the extreme playability and dynamic range (that Spitfire or BB don't have) and I would like to transform them to get different results.

Is there anyone that could help me to achieve that results? Maybe there something I'm doing wrong. The sound I get is pretty metallic or too loud but not huge as I wish.

There something unnatural expecially with horns, trumpets and trombones seems better
even if there is something wrong there too.

Did someone accidentally do some experiment or know how to treat them?

Thank you to all of you.
 

oivind_rosvold

Active Member
Do you have any links to videos where you hear anyone use only the SM horns and a link to your sound so we can listen to the difference and what you are aiming for?

I would guess you would need to do combinations. Trombone, Bassoon, Tuba, Oboe, Trumpet etc to get that extra ompf! :)
 
there is a video that Blakus has done, where he shows somewhat the reverb, routing and sound of the sm brass trumpet if I recall correctly.
If you do a search on his channel you will find it.

edit: it is Mixing - Template Walkthrough 3

maybe that is what you are looking for.
 
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leon chevalier

Piano roll musician
I love SM brass but they are not the best when it come to "hugeness". I remember Blakus saying in one of his video that he has stop using sm brass for big ensemble sound. All the epic/trailer libraries are quite wet.

I did some tests a while ago, that gave some pleasant results (but not as good as a wet lib) I've layered SM brass with the free angry brass:
http://performancesamples.com/legacyselection/ (sorry I did not keep and audio example of those tests)

I did something like:

The 4 SM horns > eq to reduce low freq and very high ones> convolution reverb (small or medium room) > into Bus 1

Angry brass horn (no fx) > into Bus 1

Bus 1> algo reverb with a long tail to glue the two lib and to create the hugeness

Maybe it's not what you're looking for but this can give you some new ideas.
 
OP
DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
Do you have any links to videos where you hear anyone use only the SM horns and a link to your sound so we can listen to the difference and what you are aiming for?

I would guess you would need to do combinations. Trombone, Bassoon, Tuba, Oboe, Trumpet etc to get that extra ompf! :)
Thank you.
Sure, I'll do as soon as I can.

I want to get this sound from horns alone because I don't think Spitfire or OT use other instruments to get the sound they have in a patch called "Horns".

I know that brass used in combination (I still have to learn much about it) could get a very big sound but I'm trying to work on single instruments right know because I want to learn how to achieve the maximum performance possible from every instrument of the orchestra. I trying to study orchestration and I'm looking for good courses for the combination purpose.

Sorry if I'm making mistakes in writing, english is not my mother language and I'm trying to explain some difficult stuff.

there is a video that Blakus has done, where he shows somewhat the reverb, routing and sound of the sm brass trumpet if I recall correctly.
If you do a search on his channel you will find it.

edit: it is Mixing - Template Walkthrough 3

maybe that is what you are looking for.
Thank you, I know that video. He get a pretty good result and it is good for certain purposes but I'm trying to reach a big sound (epic brass like sound).

However I did not manage to get the exact result shown in his video. I see that he cut low frequencies with EQ to emulate distance but high frequencies should be the first ones that are lost by moving far from the sound source.

I feel like I could get very big results with this great instruments thanks to their flexibility so I feel frustrated to not be able to get this.
 
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DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
I love SM brass but they are not the best when it come to "hugeness". I remember Blakus saying in one of his video that he has stop using sm brass for big ensemble sound. All the epic/trailer libraries are quite wet.

I did some tests a while ago, that gave some pleasant results (but not as good as a wet lib) I've layered SM brass with the free angry brass:
http://performancesamples.com/legacyselection/ (sorry I did not keep and audio example of those tests)

I did something like:

The 4 SM horns > eq to reduce low freq and very high ones> convolution reverb (small or medium room) > into Bus 1

Angry brass horn (no fx) > into Bus 1

Bus 1> algo reverb with a long tail to glue the two lib and to create the hugeness

Maybe it's not what you're looking for but this can give you some new ideas.
Thank you. I'll listen to it after work.

Well ok, but wet libraries are made with dry instruments in some hall with some microfone at some distances from the source so the final result is a combination of recording, sampling and processing. I should be able to do this on a dry sound as they are able to do it.

Maybe I have to duplicate the number of instruments going for 8 horns but is not a question of number I think. For example I listened to the sound of 12 horns library from Cinesamples and this is the sound I would to reach.

I don't want to use an ensemble patch, I'm trying to learn orchestration and I want to write as realistically as possible with midi. This is why I'm trying to get those results (in addition to the fact that SM libraries offers flexibility and playability as I just said).
 

Janos McKennitt

New Member
I use SM Brass very often. And for me a weakness is the horn "ensemble" (when you create one). What works very well with trumpets and trombones is a little bit cumbersome with the horns. I use VSS for the staging of the instruments and a simple Cubase Reverb for the tail. But when it comes to ensembles I like to stack the 4 SM patches with a VSL Horn Ensemble (the Download Instrument for about 50 bucks). It is itself recorded dry and you can handle it pretty much like SM.
Also I like to increase the width of the VSS Preset of the SM horns a little bit.

Edit:
Oh, by the way: I think it is very hard to get a sound like CineBrass out of SM. I think (but that's much guessing) they put into their ensembles patches a lot of processing. I lately listen to a recording of the Berlin Philharmonics playing Gustav Mahlers 3. Symphony. There are 8 Horns in it - and even when they played forte they didn't sound like CineBrass 6 Horns. ;)
 
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OP
DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
I use SM Brass very often. And for me a weakness is the horn "ensemble" (when you create one). What works very well with trumpets and trombones is a little bit cumbersome with the horns. I use VSS for the staging of the instruments and a simple Cubase Reverb for the tail. But when it comes to ensembles I like to stack the 4 SM patches with a VSL Horn Ensemble (the Download Instrument for about 50 bucks). It is itself recorded dry and you can handle it pretty much like SM.
Also I like to increase the width of the VSS Preset of the SM horns a little bit.

Edit:
Oh, by the way: I think it is very hard to get a sound like CineBrass out of SM. I think (but that's much guessing) they put into their ensembles patches a lot of processing. I lately listen to a recording of the Berlin Philharmonics playing Gustav Mahlers 3. Symphony. There are 8 Horns in it - and even when they played forte they didn't sound like CineBrass 6 Horns. ;)
I'll listen to that piece.

I also use VSS for panning my instruments and I agree on the horns, in fact I'm focusing more on those just for this reason, I've the same feeling as you.

So are you telling me that SM Horns are more real and that other wet libraries are heavily processed a not so realistic?

I feel infact that SM brass are more like those that are heard in real orchestral pieces than those that are heard in trailer music.

Hans Zimmer used real horns in some track giving tham this huge sound, I don't know what kind of post processing he used. Perhaps it is also a question of where they were recorded.

Before leaving I want to be sure I have tried everything. I also hope that they will update these libraries with more features also oriented to the ensemble.
 

Janos McKennitt

New Member
So are you telling me that SM Horns are more real and that other wet libraries are heavily processed a not so realistic?
No, not exactly. SM Horns are certainly realistic but others are not unrealistic. They have a different sound. If I make epic music, I will use CineBrass, no doubt, cause that is the sound that I need and for what they are produced.
But for a - lets say "William-ish" - style of music, I would prefer SM. It always depends on what you need.

And Hans Zimmer horns are a special thing. I heard rumors that he recorded some twelve horns in different position to get this kind of sound. I'm sure he knows exactly where to place microphons and instruments. But I guess this can't be really replaced by stacking samples. And for sure: his Brass section is recorded alone without strings or any other instruments, so the sound can be prepared afterwards. :)

Just one last thing: I like your way of thinking, to produce everything as authentic as possible. But don't forget: we all are dealing with samples. So you have to use tricks to get them sound like you want it to. In case of real musicians you can say "play this more harsh / soft / aggressive, etc." and you will get the same line played in a different way. Your samples will always sound the same and you have to "fake" to get the sound you want.
 
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DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
No, not exactly. SM Horns are certainly realistic but others are not unrealistic. They have a different sound. If I make epic music, I will use CineBrass, no doubt, cause that is the sound that I need and for what they are produced.
But for a - lets say "William-ish" - style of music, I would prefer SM. It always depends on what you need.

And Hans Zimmer horns are a special thing. I heard rumors that he recorded some twelve horns in different position to get this kind of sound. I'm sure he knows exactly where to place microphons and instruments. But I guess this can't be really replaced by stacking samples. And for sure: his Brass section is recorded alone without strings or any other instruments, so the sound can be prepared afterwards. :)

Just one last thing: I like your way of thinking, to produce everything as authentic as possible. But don't forget: we all are dealing with samples. So you have to use tricks to get them sound like you want it to. In case of real musicians you can say "play this more harsh / soft / aggressive, etc." and you will get the same line played in a different way. Your samples will always sound the same and you have to "fake" to get the sound you want.
I know I have to do some tricks to reach some level of realism but I like the idea of limiting their use as much as possible, the SM libraries help a lot in this.

Moreover the SM libraries have a dynamic range that no other sampled instrument I know has. A sampled instrument has some dynamics sampled and the others are obtained through crossfading. Especially when it comes to ff or fff many libraries out there are weak and unable to pierce trough the orchestra like real instruments do.

These are the reasons why I prefer to use the SM tools in every situation. It's a shame we can't do more with those fantastic instruments, I hope for a great update this year as they teased on SM forum.

About HZ recordings he said (in his masterclass which I own) that they recorded many horns in differend positions as you said and he explains a little bit how they did although they do not go into detail. Definitely I can not afford to do it. :laugh:

I like to do some trailer/epic stuff but I'm moving on a more classical composing and I would like to compose as John Williams (for example), I'm studying after work and sometime by night all I can do. :sad::sleep:
 
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DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
I really want to use SM (mostly) exclusively as well, so I appreciate the adventurous path you're taking. ^-^
Thank you, I hope this path leads somewhere. :grin:

Maybe if I could find some information on how they get that results on these libraries I could try to emulate this by mixing instruments at different distances using the Virtual Soundstage included with the library. :cautious:
 

maestro2be

Active Member
Daniele,

Can you post a link to an example of the sound you're talking about where it's very obvious and exposed? As in, the end goal you're trying to achieve?
 

NoamL

Winter <3
@DANIELE

Could you upload the following at dynamic levels 0, 18, 36, 54, 73, 91, 109, 127? Just copy the MIDI region over eight times and each time with a new dynamic level flat across the passage. Don't change the level of buzz or any other controller, just dynamics.



This will help me give you some reference points as to how your SM Brass compare to real instr / other sample libs.

I won't have time to get to it until Monday though. Thx -Noam
 

NoamL

Winter <3
Especially when it comes to ff or fff many libraries out there are weak
I agree with this. These are my observed top dynamic levels for the horns in my template

fff - Trailer Horns, Jasper Blunk Bells Up Horns
ff - Hollywood Brass Horns, Jasper Blunk Angry Horns
f+ - Ross Sampson a2 Horns
f - Berlin Brass Horns
mf+ - Auddict Octohorn
mf
mp
p


These are true timbral dynamics, not just the out of the box volume.

Some libraries have much more limited dynamic range than others on this eight point scale - and again, the point here is not the number of layers but the span...

Auddict's Octohorn, for instance, only spans mp to mf+. While Hollywood Brass spans mp to ff.

As a quick fix for your SM Brass problems you can try layering them with @Jasper Blunk Angry Brass (you can get it for free, www.performancesamples.com)
 
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DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
Sure I'll post it asap. I think I could do it in the weekend, thank you so much for your help. I'll try to post also some links to video references or similar.

My Soundcloud is actually full, what service can I use to host some audio sample?

I'll try also Angry Brass as you suggest and as suggested from leon chevalier before.
 
OP
DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
@DANIELE

Could you upload the following at dynamic levels 0, 18, 36, 54, 73, 91, 109, 127? Just copy the MIDI region over eight times and each time with a new dynamic level flat across the passage. Don't change the level of buzz or any other controller, just dynamics.



This will help me give you some reference points as to how your SM Brass compare to real instr / other sample libs.

I won't have time to get to it until Monday though. Thx -Noam
I noticed number 241 up here. Do I have to play it at 241 bpm?
 
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DANIELE

DANIELE

Senior Member
Here they are:

1) 1 Horn, 120 bpm: https://clyp.it/twgidvgz

2) 1 Horn, 241 bpm (just in case :grin:): https://clyp.it/3rfbkkiv

3) 4 Horns in unison, 120 bpm: https://clyp.it/1vsejl0a

3) 4 Horns in unison, 241 bpm: https://clyp.it/ostinp5d

Every parameter is at default, I used the dynamic levels you asked for.

Tell me if you can download them or listen to them without problems.

Here's some references:

Cinebrass Twelve Horns Ensemble (ok this is not a direct reference but gives an idea):

Here you can listen to 6 horns longs from Spitfire (not a direct comparison but gives the idea too):

Here a more direct comparison (Berlin Brass 4 Horns Ensemble):

Also here I like to perform staccatos like them (or better), it is not so easy to perform staccatos with SM libraries, it is not only a question of note length. I have to study some more to perform them well (any advice is highly appreciated).:scout:

Here another example with Cinebrass:

Here 8 Horns from NI Symphonic Brass:

Someone is better and everyone has is own features. These references is useful to understand what it can be achieved with horns and how they could sound loud and huge.

Thank you for your help. :2thumbs: