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Author Topic: Brass first impressions  (Read 9372 times)

child.stratosphere

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Brass first impressions
« on: December 02, 2005, 12:26:11 pm »
just received it ...

first bad news:
it has a dongle, smaller than the SX one, but still ...

second bad news:
it sounds crap, i mean really crap, as in so bad it's scary ... the saxophone sounds like a kazoo played through a chorus and a really bad reverb. i think the emulation on a roland soundcanvas for 50$ sound better, way better

everything sounds like it's playing through a chorus, can you turn that off ?

third bad news:
even with maximum latency (20ms), the riffs where there is more than one instrument are unplayable on my PB 17": overload (and normally i can have Ivory, Lounge Lizzard and CS80 run together in SX3.1 ... so that thing is 'heavier' than those three and sx together)

lessons to retain:
- don't believe anything you hear
- past performance is not an indication of future results

i feel so silly ...   :oops:

PS. I'm not normally a hate spilling flamer in forums and i have praised Arturia in many other forums for their Moog and CS80 ... but this is a joke, especially considering the high-flying announcements ....

Armando Rojas

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2005, 06:08:42 pm »
Oh dear...you know I have always known physical modelling is a VERY difficult thing to pull off, at least where the human interface is very intimate in nature. Like guitar, or wind instruments. Where the interface is more mechanistic (keyboards, drums) and the variety of expression is smaller, it is very do-able (like Lounge Lizard). If there is fundamentally no difference between a good sample set (like Dan Dean's Giga brasses) and physical modelling, the ONLY advantage to a VSTi is less of a resource hit - once again, like Lounge Lizard.

But if your VSTi causes as big or worse of a hit than, say, Kontakt with a Gigasample, and sounds the same or even worse...ay ay ay!

 :(

Armando.

child.stratosphere

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2005, 07:41:04 pm »
i just want to state again that i am a real fan of Arturia for having given me the CS-80 and the Moog (although i don't use the Moog any more since i have the CS80) ...

but on this one, sorry guys ... the synthesis of the sax is really really really really really bad, and the riffs don't run on my 1.67PB with 2 gigs of ram and nothing else running ... come on, please ....

maybe the trumpet and trombone in very homeophatic doses could be usable with the 'amazing' real life control features, but i haven't really looked at the famed 'control' aspect yet, since everytime i play a couple of notes i have to laugh so hard i have to stop :lol:

PS: can i trade it in for an Arp or a MiniMoog please ?  :oops:

Tony Ostinato

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2005, 09:58:03 pm »
The thing about physical modeling thats NOT true with samplers, as far as live straightahead playing, is its the PLAYER who makes it sound good.

Perhaps if you spend some more time practicing on it you will get better, especially if you master the expression which is the key to all acoustic physical modeling units.

I'm just assuming youve used only samplers and havent used any acoustic physical modeling units like VL.

I mean i seriously didnt like the sound of the vl70-m when i started on it but after practicing all the techniques and nuances i can see why every windsynth player around uses one instead of samplers. With a sampler the first time you play it will sound as good as it will a year later whereas with acoustic physical models you can hear how your technique gets better from year to year.

I just think people confusing this with sample libraries that basically play themselves are in for a huge initial dissapointment. Thats why VL had a smaller following, people arent ready for synths you have to learn to play they want a basic keyboard / accordion approach.

Armando Rojas

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2005, 10:29:12 pm »
Your point regarding learning to master the expression with a proper interface is very well taken. I am not a wind player but may wish to become one by default :)

Any thoughts on the other matter, of resource hit?

Armando.

langbehn

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2005, 10:07:07 pm »
I've got to weigh in on the Brass first impressions. I'll begin by claiming some qualifications. I'm a classically trained trumpet player, jazz composer and arranger, pianist, and I have several years experience working with Yamha's old wind physical modelling card-including using it with a breath controller/keyboard combo. Now, my own opinions after several hours on the Brass demo:

True, the saxophone sounds like a kazoo being fed through a harmonica microphone into a practice amp. It's marginally acceptable in riffs behind the trumpet and trombone, but I would never use it on a recording to emulate a real saxophone. No amount of mastering control of a physically modelled instrument is going to substantially improve this fundamental problem. It has to do with the tone quality that Arturia chose to model.

I think the trumpet and trombone models are another story though. I'm quite impressed with the authenticity of both the sound and the responsiveness of the models. I've even spent some time A/Bing the jazz trumpet solo preset versus my own trumpet playing. The model is close enough that I can use it for a convincing duet with a real trumpet. I did find the responsiveness to my Yamaha breath controller (run through a Motif) to be substantially different than other instruments that I'm used to. Even if you are used to breath controllers, plan on spending a chunk of time learning how to use one to control Brass  On the up side, the contorl I could achieve through a keyboard with aftertouch is really excellent.

I find the trombone sound and responsiveness even more impressive than the trumpt's in many ways. However--and this seems totlally inexplicable--the bottom of the trombone range only extends to a concert c below middle c. Excluding pedal tones, a conventional tenor trombone goes down to e natural below that. As the bottom of a jazz/pop horn section, those notes are often badly needed in trombone scoring. I view this as another major shortcoming.

I have experimented with Cubase's built-in pitch shifting and will attest that the bottom of the Brass trombone range can be very convincilgly shifted as much as an octave down (for Bass trombone). However, this would be a pretty annoying workaround to have to use regularly.

(I'll also note that the sax range more than covers the tenor sax, but does not reach to the bottom of the baritone range or top of the alto range. However, the tone quality is so bad that this point seems secondary. I recommend a sample based program called Candy for good, detailed, jazz sax emulations.)

Curiously, I'm not noting a huge, work-stopping cpu overload with Brass, though clearly, more than 3 instances (read 3 sepearte horn parts) would overload my machine--a 3.2 GHz Sweetwater Pentium with 2 gb RAM, running Cubase.

Even with the above mixed review, based on the demo, I am feeling quite tempted to purchase the product in order to have a convincing source of solo jazz trumpet and trombone. I would also consider using these for the lead parts on top of a section otherwise comprised of instruments from the new Garritan Jazz Library. However, anyone hoping to be able to use this for a general horn solution would be well advised to consider the above limitations.

I'm also a fond user of all of Arturia's vintage synths and want to see the company succeed. I realize that getting Brass out the door turned into a big hassle and hopefully will not prove a major misstep. I'd be satisfied if they would just lower the trombone range an aditional half octave to octave.

Hope others find this fair and helpful.
D Langbehn
Producer, Composer, Arranger
Vilura Music

child.stratosphere

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2005, 11:25:45 pm »
thanks langbehn, i totally agree with everything you said. my main beef is with the sax sound ... thanks especially for validating the 'kazoo' experience, i simply do not understand how this could have made it into the final product ... no matter how much control you have on it, if the sound is that bad, it is simply UNUSABLE ... the higher registers are especially repulsive.

the trumpet and trombone has potential, although i think the 'ambiance' effect still is quite bad quality (but that can be replaced by any good reverb).

unfortunately the 'Riffs' do not work at all on my laptop.
i'm on a Mac Powerbook on which the performance is limited (but enough to play any other VSTi, even the most demanding). but my system is well above the 'minimum system requirements' advertised and printed on the box ...

The 'Live' mode works but again performance is a problem, since anything under a buffer of 768 cannot be played with anyhting else running.

I think my main problem with all this is a combination of the high price i paid and the enormous dissapointement in respect to the extreme hype around this programme.

nobody forced me to order, i did it as soon as i heard it was out simply on the assumed quality after the CS80 & Moog and what Arturia said on their site.
i just wanted to give other people who might have the same impulse a warning to step back and have a good look at it before they buy it.

i wish this forum would allow me to rename thhe thread into "Brass, MY first impressions". For me, a convinced Arturia customer, AB doesn't run properls, it's not that easy to use, and it doesn't sound that good ... TO ME ...  :wink: and another dongle, i have an SX Syncrosoft dongle, why can't i just use that for both, Cubase and Brass ?

Armando Rojas

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2005, 01:12:31 am »
Thanks everyone for impressions at last. I guess I am impatient and I am sorry about that.

langbehn, your thoughts were most interesting as you are a pro horn player. You mention Garritan Jazz as a section - do you have thoughts on it as a lead instrument? Perhaps this is not the best place for such replies? I think Arturia are a very fine company of good people and I don't want to offend...

Armando.

langbehn

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2005, 03:53:54 am »
Armando,

I think Garritan has done a v ry good job for a sample based set of instruments. I'm currently doing my first 1950's-style studio orchestra and vocal project that will use them for all of the section work and feel confident that I'm going to wind up with a high degree of authenticity when it comes to that Nelson-Riddle type studio sound. (Still haven't settled on what I'm going to use for strigns though. All of my sampled string sections are at least chamber orchestra size--larger than what they use to use in the studios behind pop singers.)

While the Garritan sounds could be used for good solos, it would be impossible to acheive many of the nuances of brass performance that I feel Brass does achieve very well for trumpet and trombone. As for using the Garritan sounds for lead instruments in a section, I think they are fine for this. However, I'm considering using Brass instead for the lead trumpet and trombone because of the added nuances of authenticity. Having these come through in the top instrument of the section is likely to impart a more realistic sense to the entire section sound. I should also add that I have checked out mixing the Brass and Garritan Jazz instruments together and, in my opinioin, they mix quite compatibly.
D Langbehn
Producer, Composer, Arranger
Vilura Music

Armando Rojas

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2005, 07:05:26 pm »
Thanks for your reply langbehn. Sounds like very interesting work you're doing. I am trying to recreate the early bossa sound, including both small ensemble and ensemble with backing in the manner of Ogerman. Good flute, sax, and horn articulations are very important to me. I am very interested in seeing what both Garritan and Brass could do for me. Tony Ostinato's thoughts on the limitations of expression in sample sets is accurate in my experience, then I heard the Garritan demo songs and am quite amazed. I also very much enjoyed the trombone solo in the Brass ska demo.

I am new to the world of digital music production, so have been very concerned I could never find a good horn solution. Thanks all for your very helpful remarks.

Armando.

jaxtone

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langbehn
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2006, 12:10:12 pm »
Hi!

My first meeting with Arturias Brass was not a very pleasant moment. I had been told for so long that this was a real cracker. But it was not even close to my expectations. However, the trombone as I see it is the only instrument in Arturias Brass that could match a sound thats close to a real trombone. Mostly because it have these natural glitches and growls that can make a digital performances come alive.

My hope now is of course that Arturia listen to the critics and correct the Kazoo (sax) and the electronic tube (trumpet) as fast as possible so that next version of their Brass soft will reach levels wearthy a composer or arranger.

If they do so, I am definitly their customer. Until that I am both amused and sad because so many people in the forum still think its close to the real thing. I have a big heart and if I had a budget just as big I would send at least one brass section to each of them to make them feel the love in music when its at its best... and definitly a double section to Arturias Brass department.

J
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child.stratosphere

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2006, 11:21:29 am »
after a couple of weeks, my impression doesn' get better.

i am now on a brand new Mac Quad with 8Gb of RAM and Brass is nearly unusable. It eats so much CPU power that you can only use the Riffs at quite high buffer settings ...

the sound still is horrible

and it is NOT easy to use as touted by Arturia

jaxtone

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Child Strato
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2006, 12:22:56 pm »
I am sad to hear that... seems like the presets could have been much better in the first place... Even if I am a vocalist guitarist more than a synth modeler I have tried to tweak Brass inner settings for the sax a little myself... unfortunally it doesnt seem to be easy at all to find the natural touch of a real sax.

But still to say... the Trombone is really impressing to me.

If you read between some rude and bullying lines from the very angry Tony Ostinato at my thread named "Brass! True or False!" Something good might comes out of it since he seems to be an expert of these modules.



J
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child.stratosphere

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Brass first impressions
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2006, 04:14:09 pm »
yeah well, i did read that other thread but i read it before from the same person in other forums/threads ... it's not really my debate. i don't care about how big a technical miracle physical modeling is or what/how the Yamaha hardware sounds ...
Arturia are touting/selling Brass by stating a certain amount of things on their site and the packaging (you quoted some yourself in that other thread)... i would say those things are rather misleading to say the least. i'm not bitter or pissed of that i bought it, i think it's rather on the expensive side, but it's not the first time i buy a pooper soft i end up not using. sure the trombone and some of the trumpet sound 'better' but to me an instrument just got to sound good. if it sounds so bad as brass i find it very difficult to put any significant effort into it to make it sound better or even try to get the best out of it. working with that sound quality is hilarious at first but then i find it mostly painful and counterproductive.

i find it quite surprising that Arturia even released the product, as i said before, i think the idea has got potential but the execution at this point is rather experimental and certainly not for people who appreciate the sound of real wind instruments. luckily not all wind players i know are grumpy old stubborn men, so i'll just carry on like those past years ... real people and sample libs which works pretty cool anyways ... the only problem with real wind players and brass sections is that they are really loud so jamming recording in one room or any place with neighbors is a bit difficult .... that's where sth like brass would come in handy ..

let's see what the first update of this miracle pdct brings us. Arturia have been pretty good in optimising cpu performance on other of their softs. let's hope they start listening to their sounds with the ears of musicians ... for the Moog and the CS80 they managed to pull in the right musicians and sound designers so eventually brass might come to maturity a bit later ...

PS - pardon my bad english and surely a couple of spelling mistakes but english is not my first language  :oops:

jaxtone

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Child Strato
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2006, 05:36:30 pm »
I agree in all point of views here... Interested in hearing what kind of music you planned to use Brass for in the first place, if it had filled your expectations with better soundings etc...

J
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