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Topic: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's

  1. #1

    Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's

    Hey everybody there,

    I have this two audio-snippets since a long time, trying to figure out whats exactly going on. I just can't get it, but those parts are extremely magical/powerful to my ears.
    1. http://www.box.net/shared/5hc6habhcn
    2. http://www.box.net/shared/bkg3hqcisc

    The first is from the old game MDK - a powerful (maybe overused) sort of brass rip.
    The second being from Star Wars - Carbon Freeze/Darth Vaders Trap. That brass-swell is just beyond me.

    @The first, it's just a sort of Horn rip, but whatever I try, I dont know whats exactly going on! Why does it sound so powerful?
    @The second, I know It's a gong (actually very similar sounding to gpo' one), bass-drum some glissando (probably oboe), some brass chord (probably sus4. Someone suggested Horn+doubled Trombone 2octaves lower). I'm very iritated by that sound, whats really happening here?

    Help me figuring those two out
    Maybe a midi file would be great.

  2. #2

    Re: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's

    Well I have now figured out that the first sound indeed is a Horn Rip. See the gpo master class tutorial (for brass) http://www.garritan.com/wiki/index.p...BRASS_Tutorial

    Still trying to figure out what supports the horns to give it the needed power/fundamental.
    I tried a bass trombone double at 2 octaves lower. It sounded rather can-like. Not the desired punch.

    I think there is something different going on the lower register. Like: Horn rips as given, but bass maybe plays sort of an arpeggio, something in a different tempo. For me it seems by simply doubling it, doesn't cut it....

  3. #3

    Re: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's

    Hello BuddhaMaster

    Its great to see your passion and attention to details. BTW I remember MDK very well, that black dude with a strange head

    As for personal opinion - I`ve listened both extracts and I could not spot any unusual tricks. In fact MDK sounds much more "sampled", but the Horns rip sampled well - thats why it sounds so cool - are you trying to make such a rip with regular articulations?

    Star Wars sounds quite lively, and looks like low strings reign at the bottom - and warmth in the overall picture is their fault.

    Could you describe what samples are you using, it would make possible to estimate needed technics. Only by my opinion and taste of course

  4. #4

    Re: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's


    Although I'm no brass expert, I thought of giving my two cents on this question.

    As for the 1st cue: for me it sounded like a French Horn section glissando, using the "cuivré" techinque (something like a mute sound for French Horns) and played really loud, to achieve that rather "brassy" sound. Assuming that the French Horn section is composed of 6 players, I would say that the 1st 3 players are doubled by the last 3 players an octave lower, maybe with the help of a trombone (not sure about this last one, though).

    As for the 2nd cue: foreground sound - it sounded like cup muted Trumpets + "cuivré" French Horns in high notes, played loud to sound "brassy". Their cue is answered in background, possibly by a Bass Trumpet, perhaps doubled by a Trombone, an octave lower. Background sound - I heard no gong, but rather cellos/double basses reapeting low notes, and than later joined by the other strings, with fast low notes.

    Hope this helps!

    Best regards

  5. #5

    Re: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's

    @ Vladzakr

    Obviously I'm using GPO4!
    At least when posting here, maybe

    Yes thats true, MDK soundtrack is extremely sampled, but I love the arrangement and powerful use of motifs and strong shapes. In case you didn't know, the Music was only short cues (~40s) made by Tommy Tallarico, the full-lenght tracks were then arranged by Todd Denis.
    There is also a lot of synth used, exactly it was an Oberheim OB-X.
    Tommy Tallarico does now Video Games Live- playing live orchestra performance from classic videogames, and he plays the lead/solo Guitar. There is a full suite involving the history of videogames (Pong, Invaders, Tetris etc) It's real great.

    I'm really trying to emulate the MDK sound.
    When I loaded the HornRip.mid from GPO Master Class: Brass Tutorial I figured this is exactly what I'm looking for. But when I try to create a horn rip myself, the result is not that good. Maybe you can help me explain whats exactly going on. I'm not entirely sure whats going on with the Mod-wheel.

    It seems the first notes should overlap a slight bit with low expression, then punch the expression (mod) for the last note which stays slightly longer (eight note)

    I recently read about the cuivré for brass. If I'm not mistaken, this is a lcone shaped object getting stuffed up into the bell. I hear there is one for the Contra tuba, but it is rather large and needs special attention to set up (while a trumpet player just snaps it on while in performance)

    So you suggest the powerful sound of example 1 (brass rip) comes mainly by the full horn section playing (and doubling)? Maybe thats my mistake, because I've never tried it with multiple intruments, just a single horn playing a glissando/brass rip. However in the midi example of the GPO tutorial it sounds very convincing and like how I'm trying to sound it like.

    What is the difference of the cuivre and plain mute (in sound)?
    What filters, Equalizing could simulate it?

    I will try to play around some more.
    Thanks and greetings

  6. #6

    Re: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's


    The GPO tutorial tells you how to do a rip with 1 FH. Then, you must decide how many FH you'll need for your own rip. For a quick 1-0-1 lesson on brass arranging, let me say that in brass sections, generally, French Horns (FH) are used in pairs. This is a matter of sound balance.

    In terms of relative loudness: 1 FH = 2 flutes (FL); 1 Trumpet (TP) = 1 Trombone (TB) = 2 FH; so 1 TP = 1 TB = 2 FH = 4 FL. This means that, generally, FH are used solo when doubling or interacting with other less loud instruments in the same register (e.g. flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, violins, violas, cellos, etc.). When playing against other brass instruments they must be in pairs, at least, so they can also be heard.

    A typical brass section is made up with: 4 FH + 2 TP + 2 TB + 1 Tuba. A FH playing solo doesn't sound that loud. A pair of FH is more convenient, but not always enough. So, for the kind of sound you're trying to achieve, you'll need a full FH section, maybe even doubled in unison/octave by the TB (if playing in mid register) or the TP (if paying in high register).

    As for the "cuivré" technique, in TP, TB and Tuba this rather "brassy" sound is achieved with mute cups made of a metal alloy (an aluminium alloy, if I'm not wrong). These mute cups don't muffle the sound, like other "plain" mute cups, but make it rather "thin" and strident, because metal cups favour and intensify the upper harmonics, thus changing the timbre of those brass instruments, giving them a more "metal" or "silvery" like sound. FH don't have mute cups, so this effect is achieved when the player fully inserts is hand in the FH's bell, acting like a "mute cup".

    I don't know if this effect is easy to reproduce just by filtering and EQuing the sound, because the mute cups don't just muffle low/mid frequencies and intensify high frequencies. More importantly, they change the instruments' timbre, which is more cumbersome to do with filters. Try seeing if your sample library (or libraries) have a dedicated "cuivré" patch. This would simplify things a lot more for you!

    Hope this helps!

    Best regards

  7. #7

    Re: Help figure out how to score those 2 "micro" Brass cue's

    I've quickly considered the possible:
    Do you- or anyone thinks a cuivré effect could be achieved by doubling the instrument one, or two octaves higher (apparently, I forgot which octave) to generate a metallic effect, by adding overtones/harmonics, common technique for synths)
    -Next using a slight bit of Low-Pass for the mute effect (something has to get taken away by the cups)
    -Now using a slight bit of reverb with a very small decay and times, basically creating additional body/reverb in approximatively the size of the body.
    -Maybe adding a bit of lo-fi/bit-crush/down-sample would be useful to add the nasal quality

    What do you think? I don't play those instruments myself, Would this be a good approach?

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