Trumpets in trailer music

Arise

Member
For those here who write trailer music (mainly the hybrid style), how often do you use trumpets? I am just asking as I would like to know how big of a place they have in trailer music, as I dont hear them much in this genre...French horns, low brass instruments sure, but trumpets not so much.

So I was really just curious as to how you use them, how often you use them, etc.

If you know of any good trailer music that has good use of them please feel free to share :)
 

whitewasteland

Senior Member
Trailer music is all about building, and building, and building again. A good idea would be to save your trumpets for the last bars of the climax, they will help you getting really over the top :)
 
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OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Trailer music is all about building, and building, and building again. Save your trumpets for the last bars of the climax, they will help you getting really over the top :)
Yep, so would you normally just add them as a layer in the climax?

What also made me wonder about the use of trumpets in particular is Audio Imperia's Talos Brass series. I have Vol. 1 Horns, and I was considering getting Vol. 2 Low Brass but I was interested to see if they would continue with a Vol. 3 of for example Trumpets to have high register brass as well. Though they told me they dont have plans to continue the series. AI make very trailer music oriented libraries so it made me wonder if Trumpets are not so important in trailer music, compared to the mid and low register brass.
 

whitewasteland

Senior Member
Well, french horns playing the melodic line on top of angry low brass is trailer music orchestration 101, but I think you can do so much more ! Trombones can play melodic lines too, or play in a higher register. French horns can play beautiful chords, and trumpets can add lots of options : doubling the melody an octave higher, doubling string shorts, play a powerful final crescendo... Anything that gives the final extra push ?
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Well, french horns playing the melodic line on top of angry low brass is trailer music orchestration 101, but I think you can do so much more ! Trombones can play melodic lines too, or play in a higher register. French horns can play beautiful chords, and trumpets can add lots of options : doubling the melody an octave higher, doubling string shorts, play a powerful final crescendo... Anything that gives the final extra push ?
Yeah those seem like good ways to use them :)
When I hear stuff like trumpet shorts/repetitions, fast trumpet passages, it usually sounds very "adventure-y" to me, so I think that doesn't fit the best, but maybe as you mentioned layered with strings shorts, or doubling melodies etc. yea. Though maybe for a darker piece the trumpets might not fit at all, due to their tone.
But yea, those are good ideas!
 

whitewasteland

Senior Member
Yeah those seem like good ways to use them :)
When I hear stuff like trumpet shorts/repetitions, fast trumpet passages, it usually sounds very "adventure-y" to me, so I think that doesn't fit the best, but maybe as you mentioned layered with strings shorts, or doubling melodies etc. yea. Though maybe for a darker piece the trumpets might not fit at all, due to their tone.
But yea, those are good ideas!
Of course, that's one way to consider trumpets :)
But they can also be sinister, grandiose and apocalyptic. All depends on the context and orchestration.
 

will_m

Active Member
I'd say trumpets can have a place in hybrid trailers but there's a definite emphasis on lower brass and french horns in their higher register for those heroic brass leads. I mainly use Ark for my brass and the trumpets probably get used the least from the brass section. I layer them into the lead lines when I need some extra cut through but at the point in the track sometimes synths work better.

But hey there are no rules really, if you find a better use for them you might end up doing what other people aren't.
 

WhiteNoiz

';...;'
Here's a few examples off the top of my head:

Doubling horns and counterpoint. Apart from more power, it gives you a nice stereo stage spread. In this specific one, they also add some mariachi vibes.


Doubling horns again (+ accents).


Melody doubling (first violins, trombones, horns) + supporting chord sustains. Doubling (1st) violins lines is quite typical.


A lot of the above, plus fast repetitions for accents and movement.

These are a bit more traditional though, not really hybrid. But anyway, the style is in the ballpark.
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Here's a few examples off the top of my head:

Doubling horns and counterpoint. Apart from more power, it gives you a nice stereo stage spread. In this specific one, they also add some mariachi vibes.


Doubling horns again (+ accents).


Melody doubling (first violins, trombones, horns) + supporting chord sustains. Doubling (1st) violins lines is quite typical.


A lot of the above, plus fast repetitions for accents and movement.

These are a bit more traditional though, not really hybrid. But anyway, the style is in the ballpark.
Yeah TSFH are my absolute faovrite (prof pic shows that as well ahah), but they do have their own style and those are older more loose traditional tracks as you mentioned. I'm thinking newer, maybe darker, hybrid action trailer cues, lots of synths, big wall of brass, impacts, etc. The more generic trailer action stuff I guess you could say.

Good examples though :)
 

David Chappell

Active Member
I find trumpets are great in the latter half of a climax, not too high in the mix, often playing block chords in a high-ish register (from around C5-C6), or doubling with female choir (since they also are great in the same range).

This track is a good example, from 1:43:
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
I find trumpets are great in the latter half of a climax, not too high in the mix, often playing block chords in a high-ish register (from around C5-C6), or doubling with female choir (since they also are great in the same range).

This track is a good example, from 1:43:
Nice, thanks for the example :)
 
I find trumpets are great in the latter half of a climax, not too high in the mix, often playing block chords in a high-ish register (from around C5-C6), or doubling with female choir (since they also are great in the same range).

This track is a good example, from 1:43:
Thanks for pointing this example out, it get me a bit more inspired than these typical trailer cues with 90% sound design and 10% loud brass and string ostinati:)
 

WhiteNoiz

';...;'
Also, surprised you didnt post this one :P

Yeah, didn't want to make it overbearing but I like this album on the whole; and especially the spanish style tracks. Very good writing and orchestrations. Good to have a feel for this stuff anyway (also pay attention to the contrast, for example sustains when the harpsichord or the violins are playing runs, the accents both in short notes as well as doubling and tripling parts between bones, horns and violins and moving stuff around in general).

Here's a more hybrid one from the DXHR OST:

For me McCann's stuff is some of the best hybrid you'll ever find. Shivers every time.

And another great one from C. Armstrong's In Time:

Anyway, the trumpets are still used in a similar fashion. I guess your best bet is to try them with different approaches and see if they work or not.
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Yeah, didn't want to make it overbearing but I like this album on the whole; and especially the spanish style tracks. Very good writing and orchestrations. Good to have a feel for this stuff anyway (also pay attention to the contrast, for example sustains when the harpsichord or the violins are playing runs, the accents both in short notes as well as doubling and tripling parts between bones, horns and violins and moving stuff around in general).

Here's a more hybrid one from the DXHR OST:

For me McCann's stuff is some of the best hybrid you'll ever find. Shivers every time.

And another great one from C. Armstrong's In Time:

Anyway, the trumpets are still used in a similar fashion. I guess your best bet is to try them with different approaches and see if they work or not.
Yeah this is great stuff, Thomas is imo the best out there, he does also play the trumpet himself, among other instruments.

And I love Michael's work on Deus Ex, especially Mankind Divided :)
 

WhiteNoiz

';...;'
Yeah this is great stuff, Thomas is imo the best out there, he does also play the trumpet himself, among other instruments.

And I love Michael's work on Deus Ex, especially Mankind Divided :)
Splinter Cell Double Agent has some great textures. XCOM also has some nice hybrid.

Some quite edited/effected brass in this too (Quantum Break OST):

And another very recent one (Captive State OST):

They did some more out there things with the LCO brass. Rob is amazing. Do yourself a favor and listen to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G he's ever produced (although it's more minimalistic and traditional in general); just because. And maybe keep an eye out for a Spitfire LCO Brass. :whistling:
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Splinter Cell Double Agent has some great textures. XCOM also has some nice hybrid.

Some quite edited/effected brass in this too (Quantum Break OST):

And another very recent one (Captive State OST):

They did some more out there things with the LCO brass. Rob is amazing. Do yourself a favor and listen to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G he's ever produced (although it's more minimalistic and traditional in general); just because. And maybe keep an eye out for a Spitfire LCO Brass. :whistling:
Awesome, thanks man, will check them out, as I'm in need of some new music :)
 
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Daniel James

A Nice Guy
Thomas Bergesen is fantastic with Hybrid writing and making trumpets feel at home. Check out this track from one of their latest albums.

Notice how the trumpet (right speaker if that helps) goes from a chordal swell over the top of the other to doubling the melody with vocal, back to chordal swelling, then accenting the royal sounding chord changes, then its back to doubling the melody with some lower strings. The reason I think this is an amazing example of trumpet use is sometimes he does nothing more than have the trumpets hit one note, but hit it with all the sonic character of a trumpet, which makes everything just 'feel' more powerful and royal. Really incredible composer to study for me.


-DJ
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Thomas Bergesen is fantastic with Hybrid writing and making trumpets feel at home. Check out this track from one of their latest albums.

Notice how the trumpet (right speaker if that helps) goes from a chordal swell over the top of the other to doubling the melody with vocal, back to chordal swelling, then accenting the royal sounding chord changes, then its back to doubling the melody with some lower strings. The reason I think this is an amazing example of trumpet use is sometimes he does nothing more than have the trumpets hit one note, but hit it with all the sonic character of a trumpet, which makes everything just 'feel' more powerful and royal. Really incredible composer to study for me.


-DJ
Thanks for the breakdown, DJ :) and yes, Unbreakable is probably my favorite from that album. It also has a trumpet heavy, trumpet solo (?) section before the climax.

And yeah Thomas is a master!