Sonivox' Orchestral Companion Brass vs Model Brass by Xtant Audio

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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278 posts since 19 Jul, 2013 from Chile

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 10:03 pm

Which one could produce more varied and convincing results for solo and ensembles creation? All opinions, reviews, welcomed.

Sonivox' Orchestral Companion Brass
"80+ patches of orchestral brass ensembles, and also an array of smaller brass sub-groups. In addition, a selection of solo instruments including solo trumpets, trombones, bass trombones, French horns, and tuba. Double and flutter tonguing, sustained and staccato notes, plus instrument mutes, swells, sforzando, and marcato voicing. Diverse articulations, dynamics, and muted instruments. 16 patches with full articulation switching using MIDI keys. 24-bit, dual velocity patches provide expressive textures. 5 GB of data content" US$25


Model Brass by Xtant Audio
"The 2.6 GB collection contains almost 10000 24bit samples across 15 solo instrument sample sets, with the same interface which allows to easily customize key switches and controller assignments, set microphone levels or purge sample groups, and sit the instruments in templates and virtual environments. The library features fully playable glides/portamento and legato" US$18

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278 posts since 19 Jul, 2013 from Chile

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:33 am

I see that there is not much interest or hurry in this subject, or if it were, people is busy this Monday.
With a few hours only for one of the offers to end, I'll probably choose one based in the samples quality, rather than comparing algorithms, but I am far from sure.

Here is what i could read from them so far:
Sonivox says the Boston Pops Orchestra members performed those samples and it has double the weight in GBs, both contenders being at 24 bit, but I cannot find a frame rate number for any of them! Let alone no data compression method is either specified. Why sample frame rates are not published in VIs is beyond me!
Plus it has less instruments (Solo Trumpet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, French Horn, and Tuba) in which divide those 5 GBs.

On Xtant Audio Model Brass side, from the page description it seems that the possibilities of the interface are more and better thought out, which could be relevant at putting together various kinds of ensembles (which is the way I intend to use it), trying the unconventional as well...
There is a grid for instrument positioning. Several continuous controllers:
.Dynamics: Controls the volume and timbre of the instrument.
.Vib Depth: Sets the intensity of vibrato.
.Vib Rate: Controls the speed of the vibrato; the higher the CC value the faster the vibrato.
.Glide: This acts as an on/off switch and by default is assigned to the sustain pedal (CC64) – see the performance section below for more details.
.Buzz: Adds some high frequency buzz to the instrument, giving it a more “brassy” sound.
.Flutter: Controls a fluttering effect that can be used subtly to create a natural flutter sound or at higher intensities as a special effect.
.Growl: Controls the amount of growl sound in the instrument.
.WahWah: Only available for instruments that have a plunger, harmon, or harmon + stem mute. Used to control the classic jazzy wah-wah sound.
And a varied selection of mutes (Straight, Pixie, Practice, Cup, Bucket, Plunger, Harmon, Harmon+Stem, Brass Stop, Mic-a-Mute) workable in grid form as well.

///I am torn between two lovers of whom I know different things.
Also found out that there are several other instruments in this category, some recently released (that cost around US$100) and other longstanding that could be had on various offers as well, but those potential candidates didn't looked the part, as I could see.

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278 posts since 19 Jul, 2013 from Chile

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:11 am

Went out of the usual GenX search channels (forum, KVR, GS and search engines like uncle google and bing) and into the millennial way of searching, namely; youtube and found a quite important piece of advise for starting out with Brass Libraries:

His idea of preferring single instruments to make ensembles and particularly chords, together with using several libraries looked (sounded!) quite useful, despite the fact he is talking about much bigger/better libraries than the ones being considered here. Enlightening.

*EDIT: Did a fast sale check and found that there are respected Brass libraries in the $100-150 price bracket, that is CineBrass, Hollywood Brass Gold and Platinum, and Berlin goes for $399(50%) and Spitfire assume is similarly priced.
So, there is a good chance that If I like what I achieve with one of the lower ones I am considering, could improve results later by blending libraries (or migrate entirely) to a better BRASS level not so out of reach :)

23613 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from gonesville

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:20 pm

the idea of using solo instruments to create an ensemble misses really basic facts about what goes on in an ensemble on multiple levels. The differences you have to fake which are natural in_ensembles made of humans, and the acoustical behaviors once air molecules are excited.
There's one guy who has done it well, which takes knowledge not everybody has going for them, and it had to be tons of lifting to get there. I don't think it was Mr Michelmore (who I don't take real seriously frankly, although he is quite jolly, isn't he).

No, you'll see solo instruments and ensembles as separate products for good reason.
Anyway, the Sonivox is entry-level, quality overall gon' reflect in the price.

The other one I don't know. I can say this, 'vibrato depth and rate' are strictly from LFO after the fact, and generally is not very convincing; some do it better than others, and some samples are better suited to that kind of treatment (incl MIDI pitch bend) than others.
#Adds some high frequency buzz to the instrument, giving it a more “brassy” sound.
#Flutter: Controls a fluttering effect
this is some fake bi'ness here, this isn't going to be a terrifically convincing sound, advertising that kind of thing, after-the-fact sonic manipulations (FX). *Controls* don't apply to the performance recording in situ; we buy the sound inhering in the samples, preferably several different kinds of vibrato (light, expressive, molto, progressive...).
And actual fluttertonguing, ideally with a cresc flutter articulation as well as. "A fluttering effect" kills any confidence I could have for that, it sounds like someone that doesn't know orchestration writing copy for them.

The Cine and even the EWQL are going to be better value in the long view. Berlin is what's happening out of that selection, and 50% ends soon, like midnite tonite iirc.

But you can put together something much better than your two above inexpensively.
Orchestrat Tools' Jeff Russo (Picard, Discovery, Fargo) Modus has trumpet ens, horns ens, low brass ens for 27 euro each. It's the section 'as is', but it sounds fantastic and is designed to make quick work out of the thing. That's not a sale prices, that's what they go for.
VSL has those kind of sections in the Big Bang Orchestra line, quite a bit more control (incl a full-featured mixer) for 95 euro each.
Synchron Brass down to 530 euro for the full (like 10 extra mics including surround, high, and high surround), thru November (tomorrow).
Basic goes for. 435 euro during the sale, this will be commensurate with the Berlin Holkenborg thing basically.

Of the above I have all three of those Modus (MODI!) and 3 of the 4 BBO entries (incl a low brass clusters lib.), and no regrets. :)

10 posts since 18 Mar, 2006

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:27 pm

I have all the Sonivox stuff, and they randomly crash Logic, so I never use them. If you are a Logic Pro user, steer clear of Sonivox.

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