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Author Topic: Brass! True or false?  (Read 25641 times)

jaxtone

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Brass! True or false?
« on: December 30, 2005, 10:57:13 pm »
Hello!

I am a bandleader and composer of swing and r&b. Been playing for more than 35 years and can say I have been there and done that... Earlier today I was really loaded and curious about the Brass release... so I went  to my local dealer to buy the package that has been in the pipeline for a while now.

When I came into the shop the gentle clerk pressed a C3 on the keyboard to show me what Brass was capable of doing. At the same moment I turned my head around at least 180 degrees to see if a junkie on crack was standing behind me blowing on an electric kazoo. It sounded terrible and I asked the clerk if something was wrong with his computer... No this is the saxophone he said.

One hour later I came to the conclusion that the only instrument in Brass that you guys kind of succeded with is the bone. It sounds very much as a trombone since its ambience and body of the sound is still in the same tonal register as a real bone, and in a section of brass it will do good!

I understand that you guys at Arturia have been working really hard to create such a nice graphic interface and user friendly environment, but honestly I must say that these sounds are far away from how saxophones and trumpets sounds like.

Before next level in your production of Brass I would suggest you to firstly visit some big band concerts as well as jazz sessions to listen to the real thing. Then you gotta involve real jazz players, session or classical instrumentalists with ears of gold who could lead your technical development into a professional Brass instrument.  If you already have used guys like these to help you... I just can say one thing... fire them as soon as possible cause they have misleaded you all.

Unfortunally I cant use your software as it sounds now cause the risk is that my collegues will laugh their lungs out and kick me back to the -80īs world of synth sounds. However there is a big need out there for a really good Brass instrument so if you can take this critisism as a positive input and find a more convincing sound delievery I am willing to reconsider my thoughts.

Jaxtone
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Tony Ostinato

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Brass! True or false?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2006, 01:21:55 pm »
i'd bet anything this guy doesnt know what a vl70-m is and that he thought arturia brass was sample based.

you dont play it with just a keyboard , if thats what you want use sample libraries, you shouldnt have been looking at this in the first place.


now if you had a keyboard and aftertouch and mod wheel and breath control all being played professionally then maybe...

jaxtone

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Tony Ostinato
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2006, 03:34:39 pm »
Quote
i'd bet anything this guy doesnt know what a vl70-m is and that he thought arturia brass was sample based.

you dont play it with just a keyboard , if thats what you want use sample libraries, you shouldnt have been looking at this in the first place.

now if you had a keyboard and aftertouch and mod wheel and breath control all being played professionally then maybe.


I suppose I am the guy that Tony Ostinato means who knows nothing at all about vl70-m... oh stupid me... I am sorry for this mistake but I didnt know you had to know this magic code word before listening and ordering Brass!

As I see it your reply is nothing but a classic case of a technical protectionism to kill critisism and define it as stupidity simply because the technique doesnt reach the real thing out there. But hey Tony, I am not dumb, just using my old ears of gold again.

If something sounds bad guys like you Tony can dig up all excuses in the world, but the source to this bad sound will of course always sound bad until someone change the source code and re-program the softwares inner secrets till they are at least close to the real thing.

So PLEASE do not embed technical words as answers on my critisism of something that sounds crap. Even if I am a total illiterate when it comes to technical specifications, I have always lived by the device of always listening before talking.

I admit I am totally uninterested of the technical aspect of this product but must say a crappy sound will never sound better just because of a word called vl70-m is thrown out as a stone to shut up my critisism.

But hey I got an idea, I could tell my fellow musicians and the grinning audience that its a vl70-m they hear when they are about to leave a gig, stduio session or similar... and who knows they might convert into clean stupidity instead of using their ears.

And yes the demo from my local dealer was professionally performed with a keyboard with all features you could imagine.[/b]
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Armando Rojas

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Brass! True or false?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2006, 08:21:08 pm »
jaxtone,

this Tony Ostinato has been  in the forum since September and posted 6 times. I have been in since end of November and posted 10 times, all on the subject of Brass. Tony is edging dangerously toward "troll" status if you ask me, when he can only try to shut people up like this. Something constructive for a change Tony?

I like others have had no luck getting the demo to work so am very much vacillating about getting Brass. Most reports I read are very much like yours jaxtone. Perhaps Tony could do us all the favour of posting his own professionally played Brass examples on a server and providing us with a link, instead of merely typing. A chimpanzee can learn to type, Tony.

Armando.

jaxtone

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Armando Rojas
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2006, 08:47:15 pm »
Hi!

I get the point about "Trolls and Trollings"!

I really really hope that the guys at Arturia take the criticism for what it is and that it wont put them down in anger or selfdestructive thoughts.

I believe that most of us in here understand that they have worked hard to get this far, even if it wasnt enough this time. There is of course a big need for a good Brass software out there and one day soon we all want to put our hands on Arturias adjusted Brass when available.

I ordered the Gary Garritan "Jazz_BigBand" until Arturia comes up with something that keep the standard. Do you or possibly any one else know anything about its features or soundings? Might be a product that can be a good combination with Brass when Brass can reach more natural voicings!

Jack McGuinness
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Sweep

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Brass! True or false?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 02:58:27 am »
Troll or not, Tony does make a serious point, if rather aggresively.

What you described the person in the shop doing, Jaxtone, is simply pressing down a key and expecting a realistic sax sound to be pasted into the air as a result of just that.

I've sometimes used sax and other brass/wind sounds, and to make them sound `natural' it's necessary to play the keyboard and the performance controls sensitively.

On the other hand I deliberately played a sax sound unnaturally on one track and many people are surprised that it was the same patch I'd used elsewhere because it sounded totally different and very unlike a sax.

I hesitated to comment at first because I haven't played Brass and so I really don't know what it's capable of or what a musician needs to do to get good results with it. But under the circumstances I do think it's worth saying that just pressing a key as the shop assistant did very probably won't give good results, based on my other experience with synths.

It might also be added that shop monitors aren't always what they might be. I hesitated slightly about one of the synths I bought last year because of a sort of honk in the initial attack that made me pull back the attack level quite a lot. There's absolutely no trace of that problem when playing the synth through my home setup.

Didz@dron

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Brass! True or false?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2006, 10:17:43 am »
Hi jaxtone, why don't you just try the demo for yourself ? You'll then know better if Brass fits your needs and ears  :)
d(*O*)b

jaxtone

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Didxdron and Sweep
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2006, 11:51:22 am »
Quote
One hour later I came to the conclusion that the only instrument in Brass that you guys kind of succeded with is the bone. It sounds very much as a trombone since its ambience and body of the sound is still in the same tonal register as a real bone, and in a section of brass it will do good!


*** The quote above is taken from my first note and means that I did spend at least one hour in the shop while the shop assistant spent all his effort to convince me that Brass did sound good! He used ambience and velocity and modulation wheels and also have about 20 different keyboards and soundsystems available to play demos and sounds on, of course connected to a high standard computer. But still... my judgement is that this product sounds crappy and unnatural to me.***

But hey guys! Its a bad idea when you try to find thousands of external reasons to why Brass doesnt sound like the real sax or trumpet! (Including my ears and experience as a professional player for more than 35 years. Why just not admit that it isnt even close to the real thing and let Arturia solve this now before its spread internationally. I can assure you that if these corny sounds are spread around the globe and professional composers and artists will hear it... well its an understatement to say that it could be a very bad rumour about Arturias seriousity. No one of us wants that! So if you could point that gun in another direction just for a minute I would be glad, and in the long run lets say that Arturia can earn some points if they use our constructive critisim to reach a higher level in this case.

I shall not be to hard on you guys in my replies cause to me it sounds like theres a big chance it could be like this. Lets expect that some of you guys believes that Brass sounds like the real thing just cause you never have had the opportunity to experience a really close relation to a saxophone, trumpet or full brass section. When these instruments body sound and ambience once hit you, the electronic kazoo sounds from Arturias Brass wouldnt be possible as an option.

This is of course only a hypothetic thought...
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Tony Ostinato

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Brass! True or false?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2006, 12:28:37 pm »
Vl70-m is hardly a technical buzzword, it a physical modeling synth just like arturia brass, used by windsynth players everywhere.

just check it out:

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/windcontroller/messages/16437?xm=1&m=e

the problem you had with arturia brass is youve never worked with a physical modeler before (and probably wont again for some time id wager).

They arent played like regular samplers/romplers and its not unusal for someone to sound awful on it for quite some time until they learn it properly ESPECIALLY KEYBOARDISTS.

just like a real trumpet nobody is gonna wanna listen to that first day or week of you learning it. you WILL sound awful. nobody has ever picked up a trumpet and sounded great 1st time, a model will be the same way.

you wouldnt blame a real trumpet if you couldnt make it sound good on your first try, never having played one before, its clearly not the horns fault.

but after a couple months or more you start getting good and youll find it can do things no sampler can do.

but again clearly you are barking up the wrong tree, you want something that you press a key and it sounds automatically like a good trumpet note, in effect you want the sampler to do the work. Theres nothing wrong with that and thats what samplers are for, but us wind synthesists have been down that route and have exhausted all that samplers/romplers can do. WE HAVE THAT COVERED ALREADY, what we are looking for is brass that doesnt play itself, that relies on us to impart the character that no sampler can simulate.

so i wasnt insulting you when i said it wasnt for you, its clearly not. thats undeniable. its for the vl70-m fans who have been long begging for this in vst form (tho it doesnt have all the vl70-m models) and its annoying to see the samplerheads get in the way of what we fully appreciate.

i too have experience as a pro sax and trumpet and windsynth player of 40 years, played with sinatra, sam & dave, the drifters, the four tops, and many big bands and jazz bands.

the difference is i have 15 years of physical modeling experience too and have owned a vl70-m and wx5 since they came out so i know how to play modeled trumpets as well as real ones. the beauty of the vl70-m is you have to learn EVERY model on it differently, its not at all like playing a keyboard and having it play itself, you can but like arturia brass itll sound awful in the same way. you just cant sit down wityh a model AND THINK YOULL SOUND LIKE AN EXPERT.

Every gig i play i bring tenor sax, trumpet, and wx5 and vl70-m for everything else.

from your posts im guessing you play keyboards and not any real brass instruments, so for you id recommend garritan jazz, or NI bandstand, youll be able to get good results with these on the first day easily. I have jazz already and am getting bandstand.

the place where people get their nose out of joint here is they expect brass to work like those, and thats just incredibly ignorant and wrong, which is sad because arturia clearly states its a model, they make it clear its not a sampler or sample based but everyone wants it to be a sampler. they arent even close to the same thing and they shouldnt be applied to the same purposes. I can only assume that these people dont know anything about what physical modeling is and why we want a vst thats hard to sound good on right away. I do not think i assumed very wrong in this case as all your posts have confirmed.

so again, stick to garritan and the other romplers and dont rain on our private parade until youve got some modeler chops.

Tony Ostinato

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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2006, 12:53:10 pm »
I'd add that Tom Scott has also been a vl70-m player for a decade now.

obviously he can afford samplers but chooses the vl70-m.


much like many many others of us.

look it up: Yamaha VL70m

jaxtone

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Tony Ostinato
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2006, 01:49:07 pm »
Quote
http://www.arturia.com/en/default.php
This is Arturias official promotion of the software. I cant find the information anywhere were its supposed to be sold only to the inner circle members of free masonry or similar.  :lol:

1.
Quote
just like a real trumpet nobody is gonna wanna listen to that first day or week of you learning it. you WILL sound awful. nobody has ever picked up a trumpet and sounded great 1st time, a model will be the same way. You wouldnt blame a real trumpet if you couldnt make it sound good on your first try, never having played one before, its clearly not the horns fault. But after a couple months or more you start getting good and youll find it can do things no sampler can do.


Hey! I am 52 and since my time is limited I would never even think of introducing a rookie on trumpet into my band neither will I spend a lifetime on learning this Brass module not sounding like a kazoo. It would be even more bizarre.

This newly released rookie Brass Player would have earned some points if he had been better trained by Arturia first.

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... but us wind synthesists have been down that route and have exhausted all that samplers/romplers can do. WE HAVE THAT COVERED ALREADY, what we are looking for is brass that doesnt play itself, that relies on us to impart the character that no sampler can simulate.Its for the vl70-m fans who have been long begging for this in vst form (tho it doesnt have all the vl70-m models) and its annoying to see the samplerheads get in the way of what we fully appreciate


We are actually not looking for the same product... but do you really mean that Arturias products are only for you guys? It sounds like it and you say so but I wonder if Arturia really want it to be that way? Are you sure and have checked with their sale team first?

3.
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I too have experience as a pro sax and trumpet and windsynth player of 40 years, played with sinatra, sam & dave, the drifters, the four tops, and many big bands and jazz bands.


Really? Hope not old blue eyes passed away cause you tried to convince him using Brass on "Jeepers Creepers"...

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... from your posts im guessing you play keyboards"
Quote


No I am not! I am a vocalist/guitarslinger/composer/film producer/3D and Visual FX producer and writer... does this fact degrade me even more on the scale excellence in your world of fine old synthesists. Sounds like you all are in the same league as a mix between Mother Theresa and Albert Einstein.

5.
... so again, stick to garritan and the other romplers and dont rain on our private parade until youve got some modeler chops.
Quote


After your reply on my first thoughts of Arturias Brass I ordered Garritan. Its a clear fact that your inverted promotion is the worst case Arturia could ever find. In the end I do not think they can survive with you and your friends as their only customers.

Good news travels fast, but bad news travels even faster!
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Sweep

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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2006, 01:55:05 pm »
Jaxtone, yes I did notice that you mentioned spending an hour in the shop, but you didn't say very much about what you did in that hour.

For my part, I did mention that I haven't actually used Brass, so I wasn't rubbishing what you were saying, just adding a note of caution based on experience with other forms of brass synthesis.

As Tony has said in the meantime, it takes a while to play an instrument. He's absolutely right. There's an assumption many people have that you need to learn all types of instruments except synthesisers, which somehow sit there waiting to do musical things as soon as you press a key or press a button. And musicians don't always seem to be exempt from that assumption.

And yes, I do know what brass instruments sound like. I've spent enough time in jazz clubs and being brought up on people like Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders to have noticed a few things.

As far as I'm concerned the jury's still out on Brass and it will be until I've played it. You could well be right about the poor quality of the sounds. But you may also be proved wrong by someone who learns to play this thing, and until that happens judgment needs to be reserved.

Didz@dron

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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2006, 01:56:52 pm »
Imho, I don't think arturia would have released an only-kazoo simulating program  :D The prob is that nowadays, people want everything done in a snap without learning and experimenting. I remember people complaining about their not having the phat big guitar sound when I used to be a guitar player. They all seemed to forget that one's sound is not only in the gear but in one's fingers too  :roll:
d(*O*)b

jaxtone

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Sweep
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2006, 01:58:40 pm »
During that hour I listened?

J
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jaxtone

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didzdron
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2006, 02:01:01 pm »
Of course its in the fingers too! I have never and will never say anything else!

J
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