Vintage Horns Refill

Need some fresh sounds? Want to show off your sound design skills? Here's the place!
Posts: 1
Joined: 19 Jul 2020

Post 19 Jul 2020

I am new to this forum after previously using Logic ProX and it’s studio horns. I am a new Reason user.

I purchased the Vintage Horns refill with some trepidation as I feared it would be harder work to with than a rack extension, but of course there is no RE version and the VST version is twice as expensive.

The samples are OK sounding, some better than others. The softer sounding instruments such as the flutes and Flugel horns are best in my opinion.

There is nothing on the web about the refill version of Vintage Horns so here are my initial thoughts:

It takes a great deal work to get it sounding realistic.

You have to load each instrument patch into the sampler. As the articulations are different patches you need to load each one separately. Each instrument has 5 articulations so that means 5 instances of the sampler module to access all possible sounds for each instrument. There are 9 instruments so that could be a lot of tracks if you want a big horn section with all articulations. The vst version will use keyswitching for articulations but not available in the refill except for some combinator patches that use a key switch for long and short notes. The pdf documentation specifies C#0 as the key switch but it is actually C#1 that makes the articulation change from long to short notes.

In order to get realistic horn riffs you need to adjust the velocity for every note you write. The brass sounds are much better at low velocities as are the saxes.

The raw samples can sound harsh so adjusting the attack in the sampler is essential. It is also worth using automation on the fader to create natural swells of volume. If you wish to create natural sounding riffs it is also worth using the pitch wheel to shape the start of notes or use grace notes with a slightly higher velocity.

The samples are quiet but using the pulveriser helps. The patches come with reverb but this can be turned off if you wish to add a different reverb. The type of reverb makes a huge difference to the sounds.

So, it is really hard work and even short passages of only 2 or 3 instruments can take ages to write. Still the refill can sound good but to get a full range of solo instruments you would need to buy the vst Vintage Horns 2 as well which would be a significant investment. This refill is best for horn section riffs, stabs and chordal backing tracks and if written with care will sound reasonably realistic.

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Post 19 Jul 2020

If you know what patches you want, you could set up a combinator with 3-4 NN-XT.
Set note range for each, so they don't overlap. Use the free Tonicmint player to adjust the octave for 3 of the NN-XTs, and then play your notes on one track using 4 note lanes.

Probably the most user-friendly to do it.
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