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Brass mixing tricks Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 29th November 2009
  #1
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skiroy's Avatar
 

Brass mixing tricks

Everybody knows that decent midi brass is hard to come by. Im having a hard time between having reason,sampletank,kontakt findingbrass thats convincing.

Im using a brass from reason and another from sampletank layered toghether and it sounds decent but there still is something not right. I think EQing and verb can make it better.

Is there any EQing tricks yall could share that you strat off with to make a midi brass sound alittle more convincing?
Old 29th November 2009
  #2
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not really a trick but you might want to try messing around with midi parameters first before you start layering and processing audio.
Old 29th November 2009
  #3
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skiroy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beat you down View Post
not really a trick but you might want to try messing around with midi parameters first before you start layering and processing audio.
I have but I dont know enough of what Im doing yet so I end up putting myself in a hole where as I have to just take everythin off and start over.
Old 29th November 2009
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy View Post
I think EQing and verb can make it better.
Unfortunately, you're wrong.

Your ear isn't hearing the timbre or ambience as fake, it's hearing the lack of realistic articulation. You gotta learn the instrument to program it convincingly, especially one as nuanced as brass.
Old 29th November 2009
  #5
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Slight flanging/chorus/phasing works on strings, so might as well try it on brass and see if it works or not.
Old 29th November 2009
  #6
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I think that with fake brass you have to admit it's fake and deal with it, there's some tracks with super fake roland brass that I like... On the other hand if you want real brass you should pay for musicians or just dig sample and chop.
Old 30th November 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Unfortunately, you're wrong.

Your ear isn't hearing the timbre or ambience as fake, it's hearing the lack of realistic articulation. You gotta learn the instrument to program it convincingly, especially one as nuanced as brass.
Gee, I'm not sure how related this may be to your post, but I have to admit that in my experience, trying to "fix" brass tracks with EQ is often a "fool's errand."

With brass, it seems that the more "fixed" the freq-response problems get from EQ, the less "real" the instruments sound.

There seems to be something about capturing brass (sampled or live-tracked) that requires a working knowledge of these instruments which can only be acquired by actually spending some time with your own lips to the mouthpiece!

(Come to think of it, other things work that way too!)
Old 30th November 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpuma View Post
I think that with fake brass you have to admit it's fake and deal with it, there's some tracks with super fake roland brass that I like... On the other hand if you want real brass you should pay for musicians or just dig sample and chop.
I agree but you have to admit that EQ and reverb can make a diffeence. After messing with EQ and verb a brass patch can go from a corny part that sticks out like a sore thumb to it fitting in the tracks. Its still going to sound fake but it wont stick out like A sore thumb. Im just asking how to make it fit better. I know there are no one way but do yall mostly just dial in a patch and never look back?So if you dont have a patch thats perfect right off the rip you wont use brass? No tips on type of verb of time of verb,dampning,Eqing out areas to smooth out a annoying brass?
Old 30th November 2009
  #9
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maticlee's Avatar
 

simple solution that helped me.....buy better refills,vsti,hardware,etc....i suggest sonic reality as far as reason refills go
Old 30th November 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Unfortunately, you're wrong.

Your ear isn't hearing the timbre or ambience as fake, it's hearing the lack of realistic articulation. You gotta learn the instrument to program it convincingly, especially one as nuanced as brass.
word...

a lot of times people complain about a program or workstation not having realistic sounds, but once you let someone who can actually play get onboard you'll see the sounds weren't so bad.
Old 30th November 2009
  #11
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Get you samples to stand round the mic together.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
Old 30th November 2009
  #12
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Infamous's Avatar
sample the mutha****a and blend him on the instrumental..
Old 30th November 2009
  #13
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audioguynyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpuma View Post
I think that with fake brass you have to admit it's fake and deal with it, there's some tracks with super fake roland brass that I like... On the other hand if you want real brass you should pay for musicians or just dig sample and chop.

they have some pretty good royalty free sample kits you can buy, I know big fish audio has a couple, they are a bit over processed to sound good but definitely nice and clean
Old 30th November 2009
  #14
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EQ and verb won't solve your "fakeness" problem.

I started playing trumpet about 4 yrs ago and it has tought me a great deal about brass instruments and how they are played. It also has opened my ears when listening to brass recordings and how they fit into a track and add to a song. Will I ever be a brass player?......No. Learning to play has been a ton of fun though and has actually made me a stronger singer with better pitch. You can buy a used horn for $100 and really learn a lot about how to write "fake" brass parts, or better yet.....real ones.

Brass instruments have a huge dynamic range that can go from soft to loud very quickly. Try programming volume swells and changes instead of static note volume. The second big thing with brass, that makes it sound so "Human" is the fact that almost every not played is never perfectly in pitch and has some amount of vibrato. A note can start without any vibrato and progress to heavy and then back again. A ribbon slider or the D-beam on my Fantom-x keyboard are great for controlling this. I think Kurzweil K2600 really does a nice job with "Human" vibrato control and modulation with their sliders and mod wheels. Lastly you want to consider the "Glissando" thing where each note is probably approached from higher or lower than the pitch you are going for. The trouble with sampling brass is really the same problem with sampling any string or voice instrument. There are too many variables. Drums and Keyboards are mostly "note-on, note-off" and velocity which makes them easy.

When you think about programming all this stuff to sound human, and taking hours to do it, you may want to just consider calling a good player to play your parts that you have already written....charted in Bb.
Old 30th November 2009
  #15
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Orrow View Post
EQ and verb won't solve your "fakeness" problem.
<snip>
Yep.

It's easier to use "stupid gear tricks" to make real brass sound fake than it is to make fake brass sound real.

(In fact, folks who don't know brass sometimes do it by accident!)

Old 30th November 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy View Post
I agree but you have to admit that EQ and reverb can make a diffeence. After messing with EQ and verb a brass patch can go from a corny part that sticks out like a sore thumb to it fitting in the tracks. Its still going to sound fake but it wont stick out like A sore thumb. Im just asking how to make it fit better. I know there are no one way but do yall mostly just dial in a patch and never look back?So if you dont have a patch thats perfect right off the rip you wont use brass? No tips on type of verb of time of verb,dampning,Eqing out areas to smooth out a annoying brass?
o yea I can use a bit of eq verb delay or whatever to make some brass patch line fit a track nicely. But it will be more about mixing/giving a nice sound, it will not make it more realistic. And it's hard to give tips, there's a lot of different brass sounds, depending on the track I will do something different. For example if you're going for the high "glorious" brass line like, let's say "make it rain":the obvious hpf, a nice hall, a touch of delay. If it's more like dub brass hits: heavy on the delay with time movements...unfortunately the list is endless.
Old 30th November 2009
  #17
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illacov's Avatar
 

Free tip of the day.

Record your midi information with your fake brass library etc...

Take your best mic, with your best preamp with your best compressor.

Solo your brass track. Throw it in mono, sum L and R together whatever.

Mic up your monitors, put on your headphones.

Move the mic around your room until it sounds good in the cans.

You might even want to use a second mic for up close. You want to give the brass some air by moving the mic back some, try 3 ft to 6 ft away. Now record that into your program. Depending on what you use, a good deal of them have already compensated the latency for you so it should already be lined up.

Whatever you have recorded will sound significantly different than what you started with and if you really want to go bananas, then run it thru a tape impulse like the Beamsonic stuff, really clusterf**k it with saturation and stuff to lofi it up and it should sound pretty cool. Alot of the old school synthesizers were played through keyboard amps or tube guitar amps. That would def add some dirt to your synthesizer and thus help to fatten it up, a tube preamp stage didn't hurt either.

I also +1 real horns if you can afford it. I started up my e session service because too many cats, always complained that session players cost too much.

Peace
Illumination
Old 30th November 2009
  #18
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Unfortunately, you're wrong.

Your ear isn't hearing the timbre or ambience as fake, it's hearing the lack of realistic articulation. You gotta learn the instrument to program it convincingly, especially one as nuanced as brass.
Yep. Brass instruments are extensions of the mouth. Different mouth shapes and breathing techniques yield widely different sound shapes. Also, some brass instruments have subharmonics - the fundamental frequency is actually lower in volume than the first overtone - which I don't hear adequately represented in synth brass sounds. Try eq'ing a trumpet where you think the fundamental tone is, and then try eq'ing the octave up and see what happens - it's friggin' weird.

And then there's the small fact that real brass is played in a real room.

I say let a synth be a synth. Embrace it, don't fight it.
Old 30th November 2009
  #19
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skiroy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Free tip of the day.

Record your midi information with your fake brass library etc...

Take your best mic, with your best preamp with your best compressor.

Solo your brass track. Throw it in mono, sum L and R together whatever.

Mic up your monitors, put on your headphones.

Move the mic around your room until it sounds good in the cans.

You might even want to use a second mic for up close. You want to give the brass some air by moving the mic back some, try 3 ft to 6 ft away. Now record that into your program. Depending on what you use, a good deal of them have already compensated the latency for you so it should already be lined up.

Whatever you have recorded will sound significantly different than what you started with and if you really want to go bananas, then run it thru a tape impulse like the Beamsonic stuff, really clusterf**k it with saturation and stuff to lofi it up and it should sound pretty cool. Alot of the old school synthesizers were played through keyboard amps or tube guitar amps. That would def add some dirt to your synthesizer and thus help to fatten it up, a tube preamp stage didn't hurt either.

I also +1 real horns if you can afford it. I started up my e session service because too many cats, always complained that session players cost too much.

Peace
Illumination
Never cease to amaze me homie. Thats sound HOt. Yo. What do you use to use the beamsonics impulses? Altiverb wont load them and I dont think the free Nebual 3 will either?
Old 1st December 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Free tip of the day.

Record your midi information with your fake brass library etc...

Take your best mic, with your best preamp with your best compressor.

Solo your brass track. Throw it in mono, sum L and R together whatever.

Mic up your monitors, put on your headphones.

Move the mic around your room until it sounds good in the cans.

You might even want to use a second mic for up close. You want to give the brass some air by moving the mic back some, try 3 ft to 6 ft away. Now record that into your program. Depending on what you use, a good deal of them have already compensated the latency for you so it should already be lined up.

Whatever you have recorded will sound significantly different than what you started with and if you really want to go bananas, then run it thru a tape impulse like the Beamsonic stuff, really clusterf**k it with saturation and stuff to lofi it up and it should sound pretty cool. Alot of the old school synthesizers were played through keyboard amps or tube guitar amps. That would def add some dirt to your synthesizer and thus help to fatten it up, a tube preamp stage didn't hurt either.

I also +1 real horns if you can afford it. I started up my e session service because too many cats, always complained that session players cost too much.

Peace
Illumination

Cool tip.
Old 1st December 2009
  #21
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaKid View Post
Cool tip.
I MUST admit that this is now my 3rd favorite way to deal with a "turdtrack."
1.) Polish the turdtrack:
(a) There is much protracted argument over whether this can in fact be done.)

(b) There is also plenty of evidence that it happens all the time.)
2.) Just because ya can't polish a turdtrack doesn't mean ya can't apply a few coats of shellac, spritz it with gltz, take a picture of it (and then flush the turd).

...And now:

3.) What HE said!
Old 1st December 2009
  #22
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Midi brass really sucks...but if you must use midi horns,program your individual parts seperately..ie from top to bottom:
first trumpet,second trumpet, first tenor bone,second tenor bone,bass bone.
Then for your woodwinds,alto sax,tenor sax,bari sax.
Old 1st December 2009
  #23
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illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy View Post
Never cease to amaze me homie. Thats sound HOt. Yo. What do you use to use the beamsonics impulses? Altiverb wont load them and I dont think the free Nebual 3 will either?
You need something that uses impulse responses.

I use ReaVerb. Colortone is also good for this but we have to wait for native vst versions.

I remember there was SIR vst and theres keffir vst?

Just have to sniff around.

I like using tape impulses with saturation plugins. Tone plus heft usually.

Nebula I will give a shot once I get more ram lol.
There are some cool effects I have heard recently on the Nebula forums like Dusty tape etc... Sounds good.

Peace
Illumination
Old 1st December 2009
  #24
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I was just doing this today to be honest.

I had some soundfonts, i was just mocking them up for a demo i'm doing for an artist. And i actually forgot that my monitors were in the null of the cardiod pattern on my Kosmonaut. SO it came out really lofi and dullish but perfect as far as giving it that kind of sampled vibe because of the top end being the way it was.


Sometimes what I'll do with this is record it in mono and then use a stereo reverb to give it some breath or if push comes to shove, I'll stereo mic it with my AT omnis.

Usually works out ok.

I'll probably blend the live horns with this fake sample though.

Peace
Illumination
Old 1st December 2009
  #25
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Left Headphone's Avatar
 

good stuff illacov... i never thought of doing that...
Old 1st December 2009
  #26
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reamping is cool
early reflections are cool
deessers are sometimes cool on sharp brass thumbsup
Old 1st December 2009
  #27
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
<snip>
program your individual parts seperately..ie from top to bottom:
first trumpet,second trumpet, first tenor bone,second tenor bone,bass bone.
Then for your woodwinds,alto sax,tenor sax,bari sax.
This is one of the best tips I've seen regarding this subject.

When done properly, the "inexactness" between the timing of the tracks is NOT random!

...And in my experience, the order in which such tracks are overdubbed makes a big difference:

A musician can react to a track that is being cut, but the track cannot react to them.

Some of the really good studio musicians are capable of "reacting" to an imaginary track (if they've been clued into what is to come by a good producer). ...But still, its NOT the same thing.

Even so, a much more convincing simulation of a horn section (or whatever) can be done this way than by simply playing chords on a keyboard from samples.

Old 3rd December 2009
  #28
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Reggmail's Avatar
 


When recording software horns, use layers / octaves
For each recorded line, try repeating the same line an octave lower
it will make the section sound much fuller.
Listen to horn sections close to what your trying to accomplish in your mix.
Being a sax player for over 30 years I can tell you that when recording software horns,
fist start with good samples / plug in's, then its all in mimicking horn section playing.
Don't play part like a keyboard player, you must play your parts like playing the horn, the phrases, fall, articulations, glissando passages, Layered voicing's and so forth.
Some of my fav brass vids I like to listen to before recording brass is.

Steely Dan
YouTube - Steely Dan - Babylon Sister (Live in NY)
Chacago & Earth Wind And Fire
YouTube - Beginnings......Chicago with Earth Wind & Fire
Fat City Horns Live http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbmkO1hRkY8
Fred Hammond Session, Live Horn Recording http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz7eH6P6p34&feature=related
Tower of Power - Diggin' on James Brown Live http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH7rt48pmEs&feature=related
Brecker Brothers
YouTube - Brecker Brothers - Baffled (Budokan)

The Motif XS, the Fantom, and Korg M3 all have nice horn sections that could cut the mustered as well.

Software

Kick Ass Brass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTAQLgrUE04&feature=related
http://www.samples4.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=680
http://www.amg-software.com/Kick-Ass_Brass!.html

Liquid Horns http://www.bigfishaudio.com/4DCGI/detail.html?1338
http://www.ueberschall.com/en/no_cache/products/details/view/liquid_horn_section.html

TITAN Sound-Show 21 Brass Instruments "Synth & Real"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH56Wgdd7Ug&feature=related

Chris Hein Horn Vol. 1.5 - Kontakt 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTTo4jtdTTk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgFna_Mmc6c&feature=related

ROLAND FantomG ARX-03 Brass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUC3vhu82Hs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmtGc68dNMc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grmXX0-dAJI&feature=related

Yamaha Tyros - Big Brass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSHMRWetl5Q

Arturia Brass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isadh0_qc8c&feature=related

Edirol HQ Orchestral tutoria
YouTube - Edirol Orchestral VSTi Demo

Lots to check out, hope this helps.
Peace & blessings.
Old 3rd December 2009
  #29
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Reg you are the anti-space2012
Old 3rd December 2009
  #30
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audioguynyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Free tip of the day.

Record your midi information with your fake brass library etc...

Take your best mic, with your best preamp with your best compressor.

Solo your brass track. Throw it in mono, sum L and R together whatever.

Mic up your monitors, put on your headphones.

Move the mic around your room until it sounds good in the cans.

You might even want to use a second mic for up close. You want to give the brass some air by moving the mic back some, try 3 ft to 6 ft away. Now record that into your program. Depending on what you use, a good deal of them have already compensated the latency for you so it should already be lined up.

Whatever you have recorded will sound significantly different than what you started with and if you really want to go bananas, then run it thru a tape impulse like the Beamsonic stuff, really clusterf**k it with saturation and stuff to lofi it up and it should sound pretty cool. Alot of the old school synthesizers were played through keyboard amps or tube guitar amps. That would def add some dirt to your synthesizer and thus help to fatten it up, a tube preamp stage didn't hurt either.

I also +1 real horns if you can afford it. I started up my e session service because too many cats, always complained that session players cost too much.

Peace
Illumination
wow I will have to try that out
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