DSK Brass Plug-in

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†††† Click here to see the screen shot. DSK Brass has 23 waveforms, 2 layers (you can use two different horns at one time), octave select and micro tuner. In addition, it as delay and flanger effects and features assignable automation capability. Its strong suit is the brass ensembles and while it doesnít really do a live trumpet justice right out of the box, a little vibrato and reverb can go a long way to producing a realistic performance.


†††† Each layer has attack, decay, sustain and release controls for wave shaping well as flanging and delay effects. There is a spread slider for each layer which determines how much of the stereo spectrum the individual layer occupy. Mixing the 2 layers is accomplished by individual level faders ( IMHO, I think a simple mix knob would do a better job).


†††† Separate octave controls allow you to select and octave or 1/2 octave up or down. The 1/2 octave selection puzzles meóIím not sure what adding a 4th above or below would accomplish. It would be cooler if you could add a third or fifth or even a sixth. The micro-tune knob rounds out the layer specific controls.


†††† Global controls include toggles for retrigger and mono mode, a 12 position bend range selector, portamento time (useful for trombone and trumpet slides), a slider labeled DSK (you have to mess around with it to get an idea of what it does) and a master level slider. Thereís also a keyboard at the very bottom that you can use to input notes in order to preview sounds.


††††† Here are some examples of the sounds DSK Brass can produce


†††† ††††††† 1) Two Trumpetsóone micro-tuned slightly

†††††††††††† 2) Brass and more BrassóA brass ensemble with a brass orchestra

†††††††††††† 3) Two muted Trumpetsóone hand muted, one cup muted††

†††††††††††† 4) Two Much Saxóa alto and tenor sax

†††††††††††† 5) Trumpet and French HornóI love this one. Itís hard to top the richness of a French Horn



†††† You really canít beat it for the price and itís quite usable for sections. Itís going to work just fine for the project Iím currently working on but for a real trumpet sound, Iím going to have learn how to play (unlikely), hire someone to play (again, unlikely) or pony up some dinero for a convincing trumpet plug-in (probably a sample playback plug-in)


†††† Let me know if there is something in particular youíd like me to review. Iím always looking for ideas.

††††† I didnít do a plug-in review last month but the one I found for this one is quite remarkable considering the price. The current project Iím working on is going to have a trumpet play the melody/lead line while a horn section plays harmonies in a rhythmic fashion much like a Tower of Power section.


†††† Fortunately, this plug-in can handle it allófrom horn sections to muted trumpets to French horns and saxophones (not really a brass instrument) to any thing in between.