We have already reviewed Musical Sampling’s (MS from here on forward) Soaring Strings and Adventure Brass libraries. Now MS have developed yet another brass sample library, that aims towards trailer music production. But is this library really only useful for trailer music, or can it be used in other genres as well? Let’s see what Trailer Brass has to offer.
MS give a very great statement on their website about Trailer Brass: “While Adventure Brass lends itself to bold lines in traditional settings, Trailer Brass was produced with more modern, over-sized contexts in mind.”
MS recorded a ten-horn ensemble, a ten-trombone ensemble and the Horde; a three-cimbasso/three-tuba ensemble that they have additionally processed to achieve a pretty impressive and huge sound.
In the overview section of the Trailer Brass library on the MS website you will also find this information: “To get the wide, wall-of-brass sound we were looking for, we sat the players evenly across the stage of a huge concert hall. We also spent a lot of time going for maximum volume, which is no easy task. It got so loud in there that the trombones ended up busting one of the microphones. Congrats were issued.”
We can see, that MS have really thought out their recording process. I feel that the inspiration in making Trailer Brass must have been the iconic brass sound popularized by the score to Inception by Hans Zimmer. This score was so fresh at the time, since Zimmer really buffed up the brass section and took it to the extreme. He recorded a massive brass ensemble, which not many composers have done before. Check out this cool video of the recording process of the soundrack to Inception.
This trademark brass sound was quickly picked up by other composers and especially the trailer and epic music world. Nowadays it seems like you cannot really write a good epic trailer track without layering all your brass sample libraries together to achieve the huge brass sounds expected from you.
Trailer Brass on the other hand was already recorded with a impressively big brass ensemble. I decided to write a epic/trailer music track with this library to test it out and I must say, that I was quite impressed with how easy it was to achieve a big, round, lively and brassy sound with it (you can listen to the test track below).
Content and sound
If Donald Trump would try to explain the sound of Trailer Brass, he would probably just simply say: ”HUGE!” And he would be right. Trailer Brass does sound enormous. But besides the impressive fortissimos, the lower dynamics sound very pleasant as well. I was also surprised how well the library mixed. In the test track below I used practically no EQ or other processing (only reverb) on the brass and I think it sits in the mix quite well! The stereo spread of the library is very soothing as well!
– The 10 horns come in five variations:
– Ten Horns – Adventure
– Ten Horns – Majestic
– Ten Horns – Breakout
Users of the Adventure Brass library will already be familiar with the adventure and majestic patches. The Adventure patch aims at its playability of “adventure” type melodic lines. It indeed is extremely playable and you will be able to get great results with ease. The Majestic patch is quite as playable but is more suitable for slower lines. The Breakout patch is new and is great for fast staccato repetitions. In my test track I used the adventure patch for the main melodic line in the horns and the sustains patch for some chordal accompaniment. Although I have up to 5 tones in one chord, meaning that in reality 50 horns would be playing simultaneously, the sound still sounds very natural and chordal writing works surprisingly well!
The setup of the trombones is the same as with the horns and the sound is in equivalent with the horns. In the trombones you get an additional cluster effect patch as well.
– Ten Trombones – Adventure
– Ten Trombones – Majestic
– Ten Trombones – Breakout
– Cluster Effects
The horde is a combination of 3 tubas and 3 cimbassos. The samples were additionally crafted and modified by the very successful trailer music composer Joshua Crispin aka Generdyn music. The Horde is probably the best patch in the library! The sounds is bass heavy with rich upper harmonics. Its great to for creating BRAAMS or as an additional bass instrument. It is a truly unique patch, that cannot be found in any other sample library and I think the purchase of Trailer Brass is justified just by this patch alone. It also comes in a few variations:
– The Horde – Evolving Sustains V1
– The Horde – Shorts V1
– Short Marcato
– Long Marcato
– The Horde – Evolving Sustains V2
– The Horde – Shorts V2
– Short Marcato
– Long Marcato
Sound Design Patches
Trailer brass also comes with 11 sound design patches. The source material for all the patches were the original brass recordings. Here you will find great BRAAMS, pads, synths basses and rhythmic drones. Some really interesting and inspiring sounds can be found here.
– Aftermath Pad
– Approaching the Monolith
– City 17
– Hindenburg Horns
– Nastier Bass
– Nasty Bass
– Rhythmic Drone
– Slow and Clear
– The Engineers
The GUI is the trademark GUI of Musical Sampling. Owners of Adventure Brass and Soaring Strings will already be familiar with it and will be able to dive straight into it. The GUI is as straightforward as it can get. You can easily see which patch you have selected and which key switch triggers which patch. You can also dial in your desired microphone settings. The “Humanization” feature is a really cool feature that will randomly adjust the attack and release of the samples which help with the realistic playability of the library. Humanisation can be set to tight, normal or loose or off. The “To Silence” feature makes the samples fade out to silence when CC1 is set to 0. This feature is great if you do not like using CC11 for fading out your instruments. All in all I really like the slick and not overly cluttered setup Musical Sampling have going in their GUIs.
Price performance and conclusion
Trailer Brass sells for 249$ and I think this is quite a deal, since the library is truly unique. With the already saturated brass sample library marker, Trailer Brass is a breath of fresh air. It does not aim to be a brass library that will fill in all your brass needs, but it does fill in the gap for a brass library made especially for epic/trailer music productions. But I think, this library could be used in various other genres as well. Any cinematic music composer will for sure find a spot for the sounds in this library in their music.
All in all I would definitely recommend this library to anyone in the trailer/epic music industry or anyone who is searching for some additional brass sounds to equip their arsenal with.
- Great sound and playability
- The Horde patches are amazing and unique
- Overall uniqueness of the library
- Would be nice to have some trumpets as well