Big Fish Audio | Remix Magazine Jason Scott Alexander | First Call Horns Product Review
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First Call Horns | Remix Magazine

Reviewer: Jason Scott Alexander Back to First Call Horns product details

Big Fish Audio First Call Horns Modern Brass Virtual Instrument

Too timid to drop a prefab sax line into your trippy original jazz tracks? Muted-trumpet synth presets too lame for your downtempo masterpiece? Big Fish Audio has been working hard to fill this void for quite a while now, and the attention to quality and time invested is clearly evident in First Call Horns. Furnished on DVD, the 1.5GB library of exquisitely captured and programmed 24-bit horn multisamples is the first to tackle the niche market of contemporary-sounding brass. Powered by a customized and slimmed-down Native Instruments Kontakt host engine that’s available for Windows and Mac stand-alone as well as in VST, DXi, RTAS and AU formats, every conceivable brass horn is present in both solo and section varieties. Included are lead and piccolo trumpets; soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax; trombone; flugelhorn; and french horn. The trumpets and trombones come in both open and muted (plunger, cup, bucket and harmon) variations, and plenty of articulations have been recorded for each instrument throughout the library, including legato, vibrato, mello, staccato, various swell lengths, bends, lip trills, stabds, flutter glisando and more. A special key-switch program can be used to call up each of these during a sequence, and a large number of riffs and improvisational sections are also provided as separate programs. Although literature on disc claims the modulation wheel is intended to act as a reverse volume control-simulating swells and breath pressure-adjusting the mod simply modulated pitch as normal. Working with the articulations proved no more cumbersome than any other key-switching exercise, though programming convincing brass lines up there with violin and acoustic guitar. Still, the end results smoked anything I had previously done, and the in-your-face clarity of both the solo and section trumpets and saxes, especially, should prove advantageous to you trip-hop and chill-music producers out there.

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