EastWest's Hollywood Pop Brass does exactly what it says on the tin.
A summer of releases for EastWest has reached its culmination with their latest effort, the Hollywood Pop Brass virtual instrument. This latest effort takes the engineering pedigree of Moogie Canazio (Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan) and places it squarely into the production realm of Doug Rogers and Nick Phoenix. The resulting product is a rollicking and vibrant instrument which still contains the attention to detail typical of Rogers/Phoenix productions, and is capable of rising to meet your own compositional and production goals.
The approach for Hollywood Pop Brass was to capture a small, tight and highly energetic horn section consisting of a tenor saxophone, two trumpets and a trombone. While the four‑piece ensemble is used in the main articulation folders, the pre-recorded licks instead utilise a five‑piece ensemble which adds an additional saxophone. In what is a supremely useful option, the instruments of the ensemble can be individually mixed in the mixer view. In the screen below, the sax spot mic is up with the remainder of the mics down. While there is still sometimes considerable bleed from the brass (proof that these instruments were indeed recorded as an ensemble), the ability to modify the already tight ensemble balance is beyond useful and effective.
Those familiar with EastWest instruments will feel immediately at home in the familiar folder structure. Beginning in the 'Sus' folder, we come upon a multitude of velocity-sensitive patches that can be played melodically as well as in different harmonic combinations. A 'CresLng' patch, for instance, presents a long crescendo whose dynamic range is dependent on initial velocity. Put through its paces, the preset sounded fantastic playing chords, slow melodic passages, parallel harmonies, and both diatonic and highly chromatic passages. In typical EastWest parlance, Patches...