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Topic: Pop brass: howto?

  1. #1

    Pop brass: howto?

    Hi all,

    I'm in the middle of writing some pop stuff. I'm trying to achieve that typical 70's and 80's pop brass sound. Is anybody experienced here in what and how many instruments I should combine, and which sample library might do the trick?



  2. #2

    Re: Pop brass: howto?

    listen to "Chronic Horns" (at bigfishaudio, i.e.), which is quite old but still good I think.

    The 70s sound you only get when you record to tape with very high gain and then record back into your pc (never tried this one, but it could work).

  3. #3

    Re: Pop brass: howto?

    Popbrassstuff is mostly unison or in octaves.
    i can recommend the Chris Hein Horns for the job plus some older stuff like Rolands Rock&Roll Horns for layering.
    If you can get at least one real player (sax or trumpet) to double the lines it will take the whole mockup to the next level.


  4. #4

    Re: Pop brass: howto?

    Ok there is the "Liquid Horn Section" from Überschall, witch is live played and you can change every note with the liquid player. Sound real and popy and funky!

  5. #5

    Re: Pop brass: howto?

    Anything good for playing live to sound like a decent horn section? I could do with something that's better than the patches on my Triton...

  6. #6

    Re: Pop brass: howto?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy
    I'm trying to achieve that typical 70's and 80's pop brass sound.
    There are many different flavors, especially the 70's variety:

    1. Earth Wind & Fire/Phil Collins - Phenix Horns (2 trumpets-alto sax-trombone, multi-tracked on recordings with added notes)
    2. Tower Of Power (2 trumpets-2 tenor saxes-bari sax, multi-tracked on recordings with added notes and an occasional trombone thrown in)
    3. Disco Horns (3 trumpets-3 saxes-3 trombones, the YMCA sound)
    4. Stevie Wonder/Ohio Players (2 trumpets-alto sax-tenor sax, multi-tracked on recordings with no added notes, just straight stacks-the "I Wish" or "Fire" sound)
    5. Chicago (trumpet-tenor sax-trombone, multi tracked on recordings with an occasional low trombone note added)
    6. Van Morrison/Sons of Champlin (all saxes)
    7. Stax - Memphis Horns (trumpet-tenor sax, more players added for some recordings)

    The main thing with horn writing is that you've got to know what you're doing to some degree to pull it off. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of an audio CD of Phantom Horns and a lot of audio editing/pitch shifting, also the SRX expansion board for the XV5080 is highly underrated (combined with the crescendos from Quantam Leap Brass it's quite convincing). That said, no samples or libraries beat the real thing. If budget is a concern, just get a good trumpet and/or sax player and pile up some parts. Double it with a good synth brass sound (my favorite is still the original TX816 synthbrass patch) for that Al Jarreau/Jerry Hey brass sound (which was usually 2-3 trumpets and a trombone, occasionally a sax thrown in, Gary Grant is a god). The buzz of a sax is very important in all of the sounds mentioned above, it's got harmonics that gives a section its grease.
    a $120k business degree will get you a job on Wall Street - a $120k Berklee degree will get you a job on Beale Street...

  7. #7

    Re: Pop brass: howto?

    All good recommendations, but are there any of the software/sampled options that don't need intensive programming and could therefore be triggered live from a Powerbook? I'm not talking hyper-realistic with falls etc, just something that makes a decent sound that can be cajoled further by some mod-wheel and pitch-bend action...

    Edit: my posting crossed over with bruceup. Thanks for the 5080/srx tip.

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