I just received an email from Soundsonline announcing the imminent release of a new Brass library by Quantum Leap. If you are on the lookout for a brass library, the preliminary specs look very promising. Here\'s what the mail said:
Quantum Leap Brass - 5 CD ROMS in native AKAI S1000, AKAI S5/6000, GigaSampler - (Our price $625 - save $70!!). This is a purist, no compromise library with an emphasis on expression and dynamics. Those that checked out the library at the recent Los Angeles NAMM convention had only one word to describe what they heard - AWESOME!!
The Definitive Collection of Multi sampled Brass Instruments & Sections, Solo Trumpet, Solo trombone, Bass Trombone, Piccolo Trumpet, Tuba, Baritone, Sax, Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, 4 French Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones.
5 CD-ROMs (6 CD-ROMs in Akai format).
Incredibly full & dynamic 24 bit stereo samples UV22 converted to 16 bit.
Detailed and authentic attacks and swells.
Brass for every occasion - ORCHESTRAL, POP, JAZZ, BIG BAND, ROCK, MARIACHI.
Patches as large as 200 megs in Gigasampler format.
Patches as large as 128 megs in S5000 format.
Akai S1000 version fully compatible with EMU KURZWEIL ROLAND YAMAHA UNITY.
The news about this library fell under the heading \'Coming next week\', so it should be available in only a few days. If the library delivers what it says it will, it is just the thing I have been waiting for.
Well from what I heard on the demo the library sounds bloody fantastic. The samples are dry recorded and seem to be more pop-oriented but I will take those trombones and tubas featured on the demo anyday over the AO Brass version.
I\'ve been anticipating this library for a long time as I\'m very into brass to the point that I made my own brass library. Unfortunately, I\'m a bit dissapointed. To my ears the majority of it still sounds very sampled. There was only one piece on the demo that I thought sounded convincing and that was the salsa piece at the end. The tight staccato trumpets in the upper registers sound great. The alto saxophone sounded terrible in character. If I hired an alto player and he sounded like that, I would have fired him. Frankly, the solo alto saxophone is simply an instrument that should not be sampled because the character of the instrument is largly dependant upon the transitions between notes rather than the attacks like the other brass instruments. That\'s the problem that I find with sampled woodwinds in general.
The tuba sounded too overblown and not warm at all. I prefer to have the tuba round out the lower end rather than compete with the trombones in timbre. They call that wimpy, I just call it proper distribution of timbre. Same with the French horns. Maybe it\'s different in the piano / mp range, but it doesn\'t sound like it.
The trombones sound pretty good for a big band style but not really for orchestral playing, if the library weren\'t $700, I\'d buy it just for that, but I\'m afraid that I\'m going to pass this one up. I think the XSample solo brass instruments sound a lot more convincing.
Brass Super Section is very usable, but to get realistic sounding brass you have to use ensembles. If you use an instrument alone the sampled character shines through (in other words, it sounds lame). I have not been able to use the Quantum Leap Brass library yet, but the demo sounds better than the Brass Super section, and secondly there are more instruments on the Quantum Leap discs. I do not agree with the observations of Iocomposer, but I think this is a difference in taste and expectations. If you hope to find a perfect replacement for live players you are always going to be disappointed, because there is no substitute. Whether it is a trumpet or a saxophone or a violin, the tonal variations those instruments are capable of are infinite and can be very drastic. With a sample disc you get an approximation, not a substitute for the real thing. And judging from the demo, the Quantum Leap Brass library is a very good approximation. It is nice to have such a library if you want to hear how your arrangements will sound or if you cannot afford to hire a good brass/wind player. It is also a good thing to use as a fail-safe option just in case the trumpet player has secretly been drinking before the recording session and is playing his part just slightly out of tune. It\'s better to use a sampled trumpet that sounds good than a live player with a lame sound.