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A little more agressive Trumpets...
Last post Thu, Sep 08 2005 by PolarBear, 46 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Sep 04 2005 05:33
by rpmusic
Joined on Sun, Sep 04 2005, USA, Posts 205
Just wanted to see if anyone else is finding a need for more "agressive" sounding contemporary Trumpet/Trumpets. For example: I'm finding that when I'm scoring chase scenes I end up using the "Kick Ass Brass" trumpet library for certain lines for the mere reason that they have that "bite" that we've grown used to hearing. Also, for the fact that they are Bb and not C Trumpets. Don't get me wrong...I love the Tpt library and in most instances it's perfect but this side of it is lacking for me.

Let me know if anyone else has run into this!

Posted on Sun, Sep 04 2005 20:18
by Matt 1
Joined on Wed, Dec 11 2002, France, Posts 308
Defenately - you got my 2 cents...!
Posted on Sun, Sep 04 2005 21:03
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2371
Matt 1 wrote:
Defenately - you got my 2 cents...!

Yes. me also. I think the issue of Bb trumpets has been discussed a lot. I think trumpets are probably the hardest of the brass section to get right.
Posted on Sun, Sep 04 2005 22:42
by SyQuEsT
Joined on Mon, Jan 13 2003, Quebec, Posts 617
at this moment, you can add a solo Bb trumpet from another sampler (Dan Dean or Sam Brass) ...

Only a solo VSL Bb trumpet should be nice ... very nice
Mathieu Laprise
Sonomax inc.
Posted on Sun, Sep 04 2005 22:54
by homebilly
Joined on Sun, Aug 01 2004, venice, ca & paris, france, Posts 98
and to think that i just bought a C trumpet to get that sound.....?
i am a trumpet player and play my own parts and i just wanted
to get that Bach C trumpet LA legit sound
Posted on Sun, Sep 04 2005 23:07
by Beat Kaufmann
Joined on Fri, Jan 03 2003, Switzerland/Brugg, Posts 1763
Remember, VSL has also sampled a "Piccolo Trumpet" which I find very
useful when I need some more punch.
Unfortunately I have no other examples than Bach Playbacks played by this Piccolo Trumpet.
But they anyway show the piccolo trumpets beautiful sound.
So listen to the following example - just as you like: J.S. Bach, BWV43, Aria 7

Beat Kaufmann
www.musik-produktion-createc.ch (Konzertaufnahmen, Musik mit Samples)
at www.beat-kaufmann.com : MIXING an ORCHESTRA - TUTORIAL
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 02:20
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5704
I disagree with the tone of this thread.

I feel the VSL trumpet samples are very aggressive if used correctly. You must remember they are far more extensive than other samples, so have a larger number of the more classical sounds, which tend to be less aggressive in most cases (Not all. We must remember there are certain classical composers who are aggressive to the point of psychosis.)

In other words, people tend to use the non-aggressive patches and compare them to simple little sample libraries that are strictly for pop (in other words, crap samples. Can you say "single-note" ?) Anyway, I demanded very aggressive samples on my symphony which no one listens to in preference to Britney Spears, and got them quite easily by using hard attack, full modulation, and in a couple cases layered solos. I would love to hear an A and B of what is supposed to be so non-aggressive about these samples - and know exactly what patches were used.
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 05:38
by magates
Joined on Thu, Aug 14 2003, Los Angeles CA, Posts 484
homebilly wrote:
and to think that i just bought a C trumpet to get that sound.....?
i am a trumpet player and play my own parts and i just wanted
to get that Bach C trumpet LA legit sound

LA trumpet players use Bb trumpets for most of their work. I've never seen a studio trumpet player pull out a C trumpet (even though they own them).
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 13:45
by rpmusic
Joined on Sun, Sep 04 2005, USA, Posts 205
Wow! I feel like I've started a "Fire Storm" here. My intent was not to insult or delute the validity of the VSL Tpt library...in fact, it's just the opposite-it's fantastic! Unbelievable! Incredible! (and whatever other adjectives I've forgotten) However, for those of us who are doing more LA type of film and TV scoring, it would only enhance the library to have that (for lack of a better way of expressing it) Bb "bite' in our library. That also doesn't always mean only in the upper range. If it is, as one expressed the pop sound of "crap samples", there is a reason that they are being sold...someone is using them. And unfortunately, because I can't find that sound in our VSL library I have to resort to layering them into the VSL Tpt pack every once in a while to get it!

For those of you more classically oriented composers, my appologies. No offense intended. For the rest of us, let's only express our desires to make this library even more superior than what it already has become!

How's that for a "soap box!"

By the way, if you're wondering what I'm babbleing about, here's a rough excerpt from a new PBS series called "Danger Rangers". You'll hear what I'm talking about with some of the Tpts. I only had to use the other samples on certain lines. Be aware that this is my "composer's video" which doesn't have any FX's. http://www.rpmusic.com/DR.html
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 13:55
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
You see, it all depends on what you call bite. I agree that I could do with more edge to the Trumpets occasionally, but to my ears a C Trumpet usually sounds brighter, so in a way a Bb doesn't have more bite.

Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 14:34
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
Rp, I have a question.
You write of needing a 'brassier' sound when writing chase scenes etc, and i think we've all seen enough action movies to have at least some idea of the genre you seem to be attempting to emulate. So, what's happening in the rest of the orchestration, that requires the trumpet to cut through? Is the sound really thick, resulting in the trumpet getting lost in the, at a loss for a better term at the moment, 'Wall of Sound?.'
We seem to be inundated these days with massive, thick harmonic skyscapers of sound, and any instrument attempting to make a musical point wuld find it difficult to cut through.

I mean no offence to your writing skills, or expertise, i'm just curious if this a another instrument becoming an unwilling victim of the ever increasing need to go to 11 on the orchestral amplifier, and if a review of the orchestration would yield the result you want.
For what it's worth, that 'hollywood sound' you hear so often mentioned has it's roots indeed in the US, and more specifically, the type of music played in school and colleges. Many many marching bands i the US for example play to make themselves heard, and talented though they may be, they have short time to be noticed, and enthusiasm takes over. So much American music I've listened to is loud continually with less dynamic variation than you might find in Europe or elsewhere. That's not a criticism, but an acknowledgment of culture, and the trend seems to pervade in the movie industry as producers want a wall of sound to go with a big picture. (At least in the mainstream).
I understand you're making a living, and as the saying goes, if the man wants big and loud, then you'll eat a lot more regularly working with him.

I wonder if it's worth thinning the orchestration a little and let the natural tone of the trumpet give the impression of brassier noise, as great composers of the last 200 years have done successfully.


[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 14:57
by rpmusic
Joined on Sun, Sep 04 2005, USA, Posts 205

I understand what your're saying. I've put a link on my previous post ( http://www.rpmusic.com/DR.html ) of a rough excerpt (no FX's) that I'm scoring for an episodic that I do for PBS. This is a chase scene and yes I'm sure by European standards that this would be considered that "wall of sound" (though I'm not quite sure our definitions would be quite the same) but to be able to get that "brassy" sound in the midst of musical "controlled chaos" seems to be a bit of a challenge. That's why I used the KAB library as an addition. I don't think it really has to do with thinning the orchestrations (as I stated before, I think our definitions of "wall" are probably respectivly different) as before VSL when scoring with live orchestra I never had this problem.

But if you or anyone has a solution to getting this sound with VSL. I'm always open to suggestions!

I really do appreciate the responses...this is the only way we improve when we live in a day to day studio vacume!
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 15:40
by herb
Joined on Mon, Aug 05 2002, Posts 4622
A tip:
In the Pro edition you'll find for the solo trumpet a 5th velocity (ff) excluxively in the "KEYSWITCH VELOCITY" patches (all other patches do have only 4 layers)
So you can trigger the ff using keyswitch E1

In detail:


Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 15:48
by rpmusic
Joined on Sun, Sep 04 2005, USA, Posts 205
Thanks Herb,

I certainly give that a try! I'm open to suggestion!
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 15:58
by rpmusic
Joined on Sun, Sep 04 2005, USA, Posts 205

Someday someone will write great songs about you! That did the trick!!! I don't know why I didn't see these before?

They are "big and fat!" Just what I was looking for!!!!

I thank you and the world of animation scoring thanks you!
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 16:13
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
I'm not going to insult you by suggesting ways of orchestrating for punchy brass, but simply offer the following based on my own experience, and observations gained from study.
You've raised a good point and as there are those who may read this starting out on their musical journey, who may wonder how they can achieve a punchy sound with VSL without having everything playing at once.
The biggest impact from brass comes with unison writing for instruments of the same type, then octaves, then in the trumpets with close three part in the upper part of the treble clef with the lead trumpet sitting on or near the top line.
Trombones are well suited to stronger dynamics near the G in the top of the bass clef. That's the 'meaty' part of a tenor trombone sound, and with the bass trombone in his favourite place doubled an octave lower, makes for a strong base for the trumpets to sit on.
Then articulation makes a difference too. Trumpets in unison playing detached staccato notes at forte or above will cut through almost anything, with maybe the exception of the piccolo in its upper register. The thicker the brass section orchestation, the less defined it is, as each instrument effectively cancels the other, particular with the horns included.
So much music today is written for stopped horns, that i wonder if they feel they're only being appreciated for the crackling noise they make rather than all their musical skills! Fanfare statements written near the G low in the Treble clef give horn players a chance to make a significant noise without losing tone, or having a hernia!
As I said, i'm writing this not to be disrespectful in any way, but with a view to others who may be starting out, and will read this thread with a small library of experience rather than a large one. And for those who are starting out in the wonderful world of orchestration, the following tip will be useful. When writing for a particular instrument sound at a loud volume, thin the orchestation 'around' the instrument a little. E.g. When writing a trumpet line about an octave above middle C, it would be self defeating to have the violins and W/W playing long sustained notes in the same pitch.
General rule is question and answer.
The trumpet plays the question, and the orchestra answers. If the trumpet section has 'fanfare' type lines, give them the room to be heard, and don't muffle them with long and sustained tremolos in the same pitch or place. (One cancels out the other.) To create a 'busy sound' that the brass can compliment with sharp attacks, remember the important role of Rhythm. (Examples can be found in Beethoven, Shostakovich, Saint-Saens organ symphony 2nd movement etc.) two alternating Rhythms alternately scored between small groups of instruments playing 'stridently' can create far more chaos, than a never ending stream of loud percussive effects, or endless scalic string runs, which become dull to the ear and possibly irritating, in a very short time.
If you want a sound colour to be heard, and as brass are far more effective and 'punchy' at musical statements than long sustained dynamically strong notes, here's a tip.
Imagine you've tipped a bag of marbles onto a table. They are all close together, and although there may be one or two that by variation of colour, may stand out a little, the general impression is one of 'mass'. Pick one marble in the middle that represents your chosen featured instrument, and gently move the others a little further away from it, until it stands apart from the others. In this simple analogy, use the sinlge marble as your statement instrument (be it brass or something else). The rest of the marbles represent your orchestra, giving the statement instrument 'room to move.' The rest of the marbles can be expressed in harmony, counter melody, Rhythm or a combination. As long as the lone instrument has a little space to work with, he will be heard clearly.

Hope this helps those who are starting out, and remember it's important not to lose your marbles!


[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 17:43
by Fred Story
Joined on Tue, Jul 08 2003, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, Posts 257
If you're using the performance legato trumpet(s), I've found you can get some extra brightness and blare using the 'Filter Control' patches and opening up the mod wheel. They're the ones with 'f+fiter' at the end of the their patch names.

By the way, RP is a good friend of mine. The orchestration tips are great for those starting out...or as a good reminder. But trust me, he's no beginner.

Fred Story
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 17:58
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
Guess i'll have to trust you then!
I'm not implying at all rp is a beginner, anymore than i would 'look down' on anyone who was starting out, or asked musical questions that may seem simple. We all did that, and as you wrote, the tips are a useful reminder for the experienced as well as beginners (me included). There are times even now when i write something, and some else asks if that's what i am really trying to do. The 'wake up' call i get, and the consequent re examination has, more than once alerted me to a potential problem, or made me think again, and consider an alternative more objectively. I don't second guess, but i do appreciate an alternate POV may be valid. And as so much time on this site has been devoted to film and that 'sound', discussion of orchestration, methods, and alternatives can surely only be a good thing.


[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 20:21
by homebilly
Joined on Sun, Aug 01 2004, venice, ca & paris, france, Posts 98
you'll notice i said LA legit (not hollywood). I was careful to phrase it that way.
Posted on Mon, Sep 05 2005 21:06
by rpmusic
Joined on Sun, Sep 04 2005, USA, Posts 205

I guess the intent of my thread has been slightly misinterpreted. I was merely looking for a timbre instead of orchestration and arrangement style and technique. It's not so much the use of "colour", "instrument range and combinations" or other rudimentary orchestration scenarios, but more of what I call "that sound." The same sound I get when I record with a live orchestra and want to "dig" into the brass section. And yes it is that "LA Hollywood sound". Love 'em or hate 'em, LA players are the best at what they do and I loved it the first time that I recorded them there and do everytime since then (budget permitting). Now fortunately Herb turned me on to a Velocity ff Tpt patch that I had over looked and as it turns out, it's exactly what the Dr. ordered! Big and fat and can add the dynamic that I'm looking for when I need that timbre, or alternatively as someone jokingly put it, "need to go to 11" (very funny-Spinal Tap does live on) I'll best equate it to the difference between the 4 Horns in the Pro and the grandiose of the Epic Horns! Big difference when you're trying to get your musical point across. (Which by the way, I'm just now ordering Epic as I've had a friend of mine replace my 4 Horns in my sequence for me. When I heard the difference, all I can say... Just rediculous!)

Don't misunderstand me-I do appreciate the advice and I know anyone who is starting their musical journey can only learn from our experiences. We are the Gatekeepers! (Okay, that was a little cheesey, but you get the idea!)

Thanks again Alex,
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