Trailer Brass by Musical Sampling - Music Software Review

Trailer Brass by Musical Sampling

The new Trailer Brass – It’s brass. Big brass. Really big brass.

Last time, Musical Sampling brought us Adventure Brass; a bold, super playable brass for a more traditional cinematic setting. This time around, they present us with something much more bold: 10 horns. 10 trombones. 3 cimbassi + 3 tubas + a mother-load of processing – they gave us Trailer Brass.

Trailer Brass is a new library that features a total of 26 brass players to bring out a really wide, wall-of-brass sound that would really shine in huge cinematic music such as trailer music. This is all about getting a massive brass sound to your music productions.

Quick overview of Trailer Brass

  • $249

  • 2.4 GB uncompressed (24 Bit / 48 kHz)

  • Kontakt 5.5.1+ (Full version)

  • 26 brass players in different patches (10 horns, 10 trombones, and a processed ensemble of 3 cimbassi +3 tubas)

  • Performance patches + breakouts (Sustains, Staccato, Clusters)

  • Sound Design patches (braams, impacts, pads, synth basses, rhythmic drones, etc)

  • Mixed, Close, Room mics

  • Massive and very trailerish triple-forte sound

Included in Trailer Brass

Here are the patches included in Trailer Brass:

  • Ten Horns

    • Ten Horns - Adventure

    • Ten Horns - Breakout (Staccato, Sustains)

    • Ten Horns - Majestic

  • Ten Trombones

    • Ten Trombones - Adventure

    • Ten Trombones - Breakout (Staccato, Sustains, Cluster Effects)

    • Ten Trombones - Majestic

  • The Horde

    • The Horde - Evolving Sustains V1

    • The Horde - Evolving Sustains V2

    • The Horde - Shorts V1

    • The Horde - Shorts V2

  • Sound Design

    • 12 different sound design patches with braams, impacts, pads, and more, based on the brass samples of the library. These also have keyswitches for variations.

“So loud, we actually broke a microphone.”

Well, that should set the style of this library pretty quickly – they actually broke a microphone while recording it. Intense... !

Before I loaded up the first patch with Trailer Brass, I was pretty sure that it would sound big and brassy. I had listened to the demos, and now I wanted to really try it out myself to see if it was any good.

So, was it?

The sound and the playability

Immediately when I loaded up the patch Ten Horns - Adventure and started to play some lines, I was in love. This thing sounds HUGE. And not only that, it is so playable. 

Through their unique “morph stacking” program scripting, any note length you play will sound natural. You can play pretty much any note with any length, and it will always sound realistic while having that big sound.

It does not contain any legato articulations, but I don't think that's too big of an issue. The playability + sound that Musical Sampling have achieved here lends itself well to the style of writing big wall-of-brass type chords and also more majestic and quicker brass melodies.

I think it does a great job for what it’s intended for.

Then there are the patches from The Horde. These are 3 cimbassi + 3 tubas, and they have applied a lot of audio processing to make them sound really beefy and deep. The low end is really powerful (almost to the point of overwhelming). Very useful for braams.

Difference between the "Adventure" and the "Majestic" brass patches?

The main patches of this library is definitely the Ten Horns - Adventure/Majestic and Ten Trombones - Adventure/Majestic. These are the performance patches. But what is the difference between the Adventure and Majestic patches?

At first, I heard quite a little difference. But then I started playing more with it, and I found out (they also state this in their official library walkthrough) that the attack of the Majestic patches sound differently. They have a bloomier attack to them, and I like that if you play soft, it will have a quicker attack, while if you play harder, it will expand and bloom out nicer. Perfect for those majestic melodies (not so much for the quicker ones!).

Wall-of-Brass

The quality of the library is pristine. The dynamics really sound like true triple-forte. When you do chords with the horns and trombones patches, it just fills up the space beautifully – like something you’d hear in the cinema from a Hans Zimmer soundtrack.

 

Now, the sound is not positioned as original brass sections are positioned in the standard orchestra. They are all seated in the middle, and in a wide array. This is what gives rise to that big wall-of-brass sound that envelops you in it.

This was to me a problem initially, as I would like to use these awesome samples in a more natural way as well. However, I’ve found that just panning them a little bit to one side or the other, and adding on a lush reverb tail to sort of bring them back into the same hall as the rest of the mix, it really can sound quite marvelous in a standard orchestral cinematic setting.

This is definitely not the first tool I’d bring up if I wanted to do softer, choral brass writing. It’s just too powerful and brassy for that! But whenever I need big brass, and I’m not too picky about it being panned properly such as in a more classical orchestral setting, I’m loading a few of these patches up to really bring some power to my overall sound – especially for my trailer music. I really love this over-the-top sound.

The User Interface

The GUI is simple, functional and elegant. I like when there are not too many things going on cluttering down the interface.

Here you have the functions to silence and humanization. There are also 3 knobs for the different mic positions, Close, Room, and Mixed. I like the mixed one, and sometimes only use the room mics.

To silence simply means that when your modwheel (cc01) is turned all the way down, it is dead silent, and then gradually goes up to 100% of the volume, and Humanization is simply a slight off-beat when you're playing staccatos – this is great for when you're quantizing and you want to have some realism going on.

There is one thing however that i dislike, and that is that when you have To silence activated, it seems that it starts turning down the volume as soon as you go down from maximum modulation. If you have the modwheel all the way up, the sound is at full volume. But if you go down to 80% modulation, it also goes down 80% of the volume, and I don't think that's a good thing. It should go to silence when it's around 30-40% in my opinion, to give a realistic feel. For now, I am not using To Silence, but will rather use expression (cc11) to control that last bit of expression that I need.

Final words

I’ve written a lot of trailer music, and I’ve had my music placed in several Hollywood campaigns (Warcraft, Independence Day 2, Sicario, etc), and the one thing I am constantly in search of is unique, big, and friggin’ powerful sounds. Trailer Brass from Musical Sampling contains all of those attributes, and boy will I use this in my trailer music.

But it works for more than that. If you subdue the sound just a little bit, you can get really big and cool soundscapes with reverb and processing. And that is what Musical Sampling has done with some of the sound design patches in Trailer Brass.

All in all, I think this library is magnificent and I have already found some great uses for it – especially in my trailer music. The price? It's not the cheapest, but it's definitely not over-priced. For the money you'll get some fantastic powerful brass patches for your trailer music needs, and then some.


Trailer Brass - Music Software Score

Sound:
Playability:
Interface:
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5/5
5/5
4/5
4/5
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4.4/5


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Walid Feghali

Co-founder of Evenant, Walid is a composer, mechanical engineer, 
concept artist and entrepreneur from Sweden. Travelling and exploring new opportunities, always looking for new things to learn and create.