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Topic: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

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  1. #1

    Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Does anyone know of any samples for drum corps brass and marching percussion? A guy called Donnie had a CD of samples back in 2001 but the links on the forum are now dead. I'm looking for a really big brass and percussion sound. I know I could use an available library (SAM for example) but the overall sound and the instrumentation is different (trumpet, mellophone, baritone, euphonium, contra bass (tuba) with anything up to 20+ instruments in a section. Does anyone else use big brass sections - and if so what do you use?

  2. #2

    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    As far as I am aware there is no specifically designed library for marching brass although you can do a very convincing 'fake' with various brass libraries out there. I've been having great success with the SAM products in this arena as well as a few choice Dan Dean Solo Brass samples to beef things up.

    As far as marching battery is concerned you'll definately want to take a look at Virtual Drumline. It's recorded by the Santa Clara Vanguard line and gets the job done really well. It also appears that they're getting ready to release a largely improved second version of this library for Kontakt that contains both updated battery and pit samples.

    Have a look at http://www.tapspace.com/vdrumline.html

  3. #3

    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Thanks for the tapspace link - great stuff! Could you post some mp3 samples of the brass music you have been working on? Also - how do you get that big brass wall of sound using relatively small ensemble samples? What software are you using to put your music together?

  4. #4

    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    The wall of sound effect is definately one of the more trickier things to pull off. Unfortunately just playing everything fff doesn't cut it at all. Before I owned the SAM libraries I had pretty good luck with combining multiple velocity layers to get a big sound. For example the Soprano I line would be performed by six or seven lines comprised of Dan Dean Solo Trumpet and where possible the Solo Picc Trumpet playing at both mf, f, ff, and sometimes fff if it sounded alright. On top of that I added in the free SAM trumpet they had on the site some time ago just to help smooth out the bumps. Anyway, the combined effect was gritty enough to get the job done. I used similar techniques on all the other parts as well. But now that I have all the SAM products things are much more effective.

    I use Sibelius 3.0 to do most of my writing. I'll just load up my template and go. When everythings done I'll export the MIDI file into Cubase SX and further tweek the MIDI. Then I record, etc, etc.

    I'd love to show you a working example of this, but I'm about 600 miles away from the computer I keep all my stuff on. I'll be heading back up to my place in about two weeks if you can wait that long.

  5. #5

    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Thanks for advice - Yes I would still love to hear your work, send as much as you can, mp3 format. You can send to philjackson@ntlworld.com

    I'm really new to sampling and don't quite know what templates are or how to set one up. Any advice or links on how to do that? I think I'm going to be using Kontakt and maybe another sequencer altough I do have Finale 4.

    I think more samples will come out at NAMM and I hear Garritan are bringing out a jazz library with hopefully lots of brass on it - Blue Devils here we come!!

  6. #6

    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Will do then.

    Templates, I may be using the wrong word here, are just presets that I've already setup. Like in Finale you'd open up a file that has all your staves, instruments, and MIDI channels already setup so that you just open and go. I do the same thing in Gigastudio. I've got a template for full orchestra (paired down to be useful), full woodwinds (with practically every ww sample I own), full brass (diddo), full percussion, full marching percussion, etc, etc. This way I can work on new projects with a minimum of setup time.

    As far as how to do this, I'd start with the sampler of your choice, in your case Kontakt, and audition sounds that you want to use. As you flip through and find ones you like either write their names or type them up in a word document. Once you've got everything you want, I'd arrange things in a logical score order for quick locating if, say, you find you'd like to change something out halfway through the project. This step is really only useful if you're loading a lot of samples though.

    Anyway, load everything in and then open up Finale. Create your score with all proper instruments, making sure to clearly mark every line or it can get confusing as all hell, do all the MIDI mobo jumbo like assigning patch number and channel number. When you're all done, do a quick run down and make sure everything's in order and properly connected, and there you go. Save the blank score and the Kontakt setup and you've got yourself a template. Pain in the butt the first time through, but seriously worth the time.

    If anyone has a cleaner way of getting this done feel free to chime in.

    Good luck to ya!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by phil86
    Blue Devils here we come!!
    God help us.

    Seriously, you won't get that sound with any of the libraries available, because first, the bugle sound has a radically different tone...the horns themselves are much larger bore, less cylindrical, etc., than traditional symphonic instruments.

    Also, that "wall of sound" is about doubled parts and the outdoor acoustic...there are no walls to diffuse the directionality.

    Just for the sake of checking arrangements, you could combine a bunch of ensemble patches and get close, but there's still the telltale "indoor" sound of the samples to contend with. Even the most dry samples still have a lot of room in them.

    Are you really arranging for D&B Corps? If so, you also have to take into account the "dog notes" on the bugles, depending on how modern a particular corps's horns are.

    Is everything fully chromatic now? Definitely dating myself here...when I played sop in Sky Ryders ('80), the bugles still had two valves, and you had to fake a lot of notes. But they sure were fun!! After one season of screaming through a drum corps book, I had lead chops for years.

  8. #8
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    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    yeah theve got trumpets now and fully valved tubas

  9. #9

    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Musica, thanks very much for the advice and looking forwars to hearing your music.

    Bruce - Thanks also for the advice. Yes I am writing for drum corps. Great to hear you marched and I think I've got some old tapes of Sky Ryders '80 - taped by a guy from Crawley, UK who marched - some fine high notes if I remember rightly! I think the sound nowadays is cleaner, somewhat thanks for B flat brass (they aren't called 'bugles' anymore but trumpets, for instance). Listen to the Cavaliers from 2000 onwards. I have one of thier standstill encore performances recorded on minidisc which is as clean and sweet a brass choir sound as I've heard anywhere (obviously being a standstill performance they weren't running around like mad things, but all the same).

    I have contacted all the main orchestral libraries and some do seem interested in putting together some specific marching brass instrumentation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Drum Corps/Marching Band Brass and Battery Percussion samples?

    Bruce - Thanks also for the advice. Yes I am writing for drum corps. Great to hear you marched and I think I've got some old tapes of Sky Ryders '80 - taped by a guy from Crawley, UK who marched - some fine high notes if I remember rightly! I think the sound nowadays is cleaner, somewhat thanks for B flat brass (they aren't called 'bugles' anymore but trumpets, for instance). Listen to the Cavaliers from 2000 onwards. I have one of thier standstill encore performances recorded on minidisc which is as clean and sweet a brass choir sound as I've heard anywhere (obviously being a standstill performance they weren't running around like mad things, but all the same).
    Too funny. That's me playing the solo on "Here's that Rainy Day" and doing the high part of the trio-screamout at the end of Fire Dance. I remember one of my professors (who was a killer player) telling me that I should have heard him 25 years ago when he actually had chops. I certainly don't think I can run twenty yards while nailing a double-C any more!!

    I remember the guy from Crawley, although I am forgetting his name right now. He was a soprano player, right? Oh, wait...Martin, right? I'm sure his name was Martin. If you still keep up with him, please tell him hello. I liked him a lot, he was extremely funny. He taught us how to make it look like we were pierced all over our faces with safety pins.

    I loved being in the Sky Ryders...we had one of the hottest hornlines in DCI that year, but for some reason couldn't get great drummers to relocate to Kansas for months at a time. Go figure. It was always a bummer to see the horns and visual GE scores coming in with the best, and then the drum scores would drag us down five or six places. The real bummer was that George Tuthill, the corps director and drum coordinator, was probably the hottest actual drummer to be found in all of DCI, part of the Manhattan School bunch (Steve Gadd was a classmate) that put African/polyrhythmic playing in the forefront. George played with Rosemary Clooney for years. Part of the drumline's scoring problems were not so much related to their playing, but the fact that George refused to write a bunch of what he called "snare vomit" all over the parts just to ratchet up the GE scores. His parts were all about kicking the tune.

    I never really knew all this undercurrent with the judges until the next year, when I stayed on to direct the horn line while the full-time guy dealt with some family health issues. We would go into critiques after the show, and these drum judges would start telling George that his parts were "too musical" and that he needed to write more exciting rudimental parts. The thing is, that you would have to just sit and take it in those critiques, even though sometimes the people laying them on you had never actually played a musical note in their lives--fat stupid band directors who had no professional playing experience at all. The only time I ever saw George lose it was when they called his parts easy. He said, "OK, genius, what is harder to do, a five stroke roll followed by a rimshot on the & of four, or a single rimshot on the & of four?" They said the former would get a higher difficulty rating. So he made them do it. Needless to say, they all nailed the roll-shot combo, and were all over the place trying to just nail the & of four.

    DCI was frustrating sometimes, but I really enjoyed the time I spent doing it on both sides of "the sideline." Probably the teaching and arranging was a bit more rewarding (at least less physically draining) than the actual marching, but I had chops out the wazoo for years after marching that single season. I think I still may have some chops left over from that, 25-years later!!

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