That dank vintage brass section sound

Hello all, hope everyone is doing reasonably well.

At the moment I'm really into music featuring brass-sections and would like to recreate the sound ITB. Here's an example:


I'm aware that a lot of the vibe comes from the players' abilities and the recording setup, so I don't strive for a perfect emulation, I just want to get into the ballpark. I'm guessing that a lot of it has to do with the instrumentation and composition. I know pretty much nothing about that, so any insights/pointers to resources are much appreciated.

I have NI Studio Horns (basic) and picked up CHH Compact a while ago. Even with heavy processing, it's hard to nail that raspy, in-your-face-yet-kinda-spacey sound. Again, any pointers/infos/thoughts are much appreciated.

Thanks and best wishes to everyone!

EDIT: Just to clarify, I have a solid understanding of basic music theory and (IMO) a good understanding of audio production in general. When I say "I know pretty much nothing", I mean that specifically in the context of writing for brass sections in a 60s/70s soul/funk style.
 
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FabMrT

New Member
Hi,
I'm not deeply versed in a funk/soul, but I've got some pointers.

Firstly I would suggest to read Gabriel Roth's writings "Shitty is pretty", which is essentially about how to write and produce funk. Also it's quite funny to read.

There is also third part, but I couldn't find it on the website. I'm sure if you google for it, you will find it.
Gabriel Roth is the guy behind Daptone records. His stuff can be heard on Amy Winehouse's "Back in back" album. Also the Daptone house band The Budos band is worth checking out.

I think that Roth's writing pretty much sum what you need to do, if you want more of funk sound. If I would have to over simplify funk writing it would be something like this; Section A is riff over one chord, or maybe two (I and IV). Riff like crazy. Horns mostly in octaves or occasionally using paraller 4ths and 3rds to voice them. Then you get the B secion that might have bit more chords (like III - VI - II etc).

Soul for me is somewhere between jazz and funk. I can't really summarize it as easily as funk. Regarding getting that vintage horn sound, do you mean that you find difficult to program them in a way that they sound lively and old, or is it mixing or the ararnging that is causing you the trouble?
 

FabMrT

New Member
Hmm, that might be. I'm quite sure that I have read it, but then again, I might be just imagining things. Anyways those first two parts are great recourse anyway. :)
 
OP
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derschoenekarsten

New Member
...
Firstly I would suggest to read Gabriel Roth's writings "Shitty is pretty", which is essentially about how to write and produce funk. Also it's quite funny to read.
...
Wow, this is incredible. "Shitty is pretty" has to be one of the most entertaining articles on music I've ever read. It touches on so many aspects, it's just phenomenal.

...
Soul for me is somewhere between jazz and funk. I can't really summarize it as easily as funk. Regarding getting that vintage horn sound, do you mean that you find difficult to program them in a way that they sound lively and old, or is it mixing or the ararnging that is causing you the trouble?
There's a couple of aspects to this for me. MIDI programming isn't the issue per se, it's more about chord voicing and rhythm. Mixing is definitely more of an issue. I come mostly from an electronic music background, where mixing is often centered around drums and low frequency content. I'm aiming to get a sound more veering into 60s-70s territory and it seems like every component is handled differently there: Decidedly less bass, more distortion on high frequencies, a kind of soupy/liquid quality where the sounds melt together. At least, arranging feels somewhat familiar due to the repetitive structures.

However, the articles you posted cover that in great detail, so I have so many leads to follow. I feel inspired. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
You're the man, peace and all the best!
 

FabMrT

New Member
Yeah, I think that "Shitty is pretty " -article is pretty fun and entertaining to read. However I think that mr. Roth has somewhat toned down his approach to writing funk. Despite that, it's great "how to" -guide.

I actually find the programming to be the biggest issue. I mean regarding mixing I think that can kinda create the illusion of vintage recording (emphasizing the word "illusion" here), but it's really difficult (for me at least) to program funk/soul horns so that they sound convincing. What I been trying to do, is take classic soul/funk records and re-create the horn parts, or at least try to emulate the phrasing as much as possible. So far I am not too keen on the end results.