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What's the difference between Birth of the Trumpet and the trumpets in Atomic Big Band!?

A lot of customers and people curious about our instruments ask: What is the difference between, for example, Birth of the Trumpet and the trumpets from Atomic Big Band!? The assumption might be that they are the same sets of samples packaged differently. That is not case. The differences are many, but I’ll try to briefly touch on all of them.



To put it succintly, they are totally different samples/recordings. The solo instruments, like Birth of the Trumpet, Tenor Colossus and Eminent Trombone, are different recordings from the ones used in Atomic Big Band!. The most obvious difference is the performers used to play the samples. For the solo instruments, players were chosen based on their sound in a smaller horn section type of situation. The sound of these are often darker, cooler and more nuanced. For ABB!, players with a bigger, more fiery “wide open” sound were used. The best example would be the lead trumpet from ABB! is a true “lead” trumpet player. The range is totally different, the ABB! lead player going up to a high concert G (4 ledger lines above the treble clef), but the Birth of the Trumpet goes up to a very comfy Bb above the staff.


The dynamics are an obvious big difference as well. While the solo instruments (BOTT, TC, ET and perhaps other solo instruments to be released in the future) have a wider dynamic range, from the quietest pianissimo to full-bodied forte, they don’t reach the dynamic heights of the ABB! horns, which max out at a true blasting fortissimo. There are a few reasons for this. First, there is a real difference between a small horn section “forte” and a “big band forte.” There is a raucous quality that big band horns get to that just is frankly inappropriate in smaller horn section settings. There's a practical side of it as well, as our New Standard sampling sessions are long and intense as it is, but to get the performers to be able to play that loud for that long, meant that getting down to the quietest dynamics in for ABB! just became an impossibility. So rather than skimp on that true fortissimo big band sound, we decided it best to keep the dynamic range a bit narrower. So it’s range is more like mezzo-forte to fortissimo.


There are also a few things that were new when we came out with Atomic Big Band! that aren’t present in the earlier BOTT, TC and ET libraries. So although all libraries going forward have these features, they are missing from those first 3 solo libraries. The crescendos and hairpins, timed swells that are amazing for creating large harmonic textures were added to ABB!. Also, tape samples was a new idea for us when we did the Atomic recordings. This is a very cool set of samples that was bounced to tape and back, and it gives a beautifully dark and slightly compressed representation of the recordings.


It’s worth noting how the libraries are similar as well as they are gracefully suiting for using together in your demos. The articulation layouts are the same, which the exception of the crescendo and hairpin samples mentioned above, the

so you can seamlessly audition different instruments to play your parts without having to change anything. The brass have all the mutes in all our libraries, so again they play very nicely together. Smart Delay works identically across all our libraries so the workflow is identical across the board. Because the solo instruments have a wider dynamic range and get down to the quiet side of things, but still make it up to a respectable forte, a nice option is to use Atomic Big Band! for all the ensemble/tutti sections and then use Tenor Colossus, for example for all the exposed solos. I hope that clears it up as it is a question we do get quite a bit. They are different but complimentary.


-Trey

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2 Comments


Mike G
Mike G
May 24, 2023

Thank you for all the clear info provided in this post.

What about using the first 3 solo libraries for ppp-pp-p-mp ensemble passages and Atomic ! for mf-f-ff & beyond ? Is it possible to get smooth, seamless results, or will tracks sound as if 2 very different ensembles were used ?

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straightaheadsamples
Jun 12, 2023
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They won't necessarily be seamless. It would definitely work. The solo instruments are different players than the Atomic Big Band players, so they certainly have a different sound. I use the solo instruments like Tenor Colossus, for example, as a more dynamic lead player, or a soloist that gives all that dynamic range and then ABB! backs them up with that ensemble sound. It works really well.

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