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Microphone Month

EastWest Hollywood Brass - Gold Edition (DVD) Reviews

4.5 stars based on 3 customer reviews
  • from Chile September 6, 2011Music Background:

    East West's great product

    I bought this yesterday and I can say this is an amazing library, with great sound. The legato patches are just oustanding. I think this is a beautiful library that inspires you with its organic sound. Looking forward the Damond edition and then the Hollywood Strings now.

  • from Anaheim, CA December 24, 2011Music Background:

    Hollywood quality Brass

    I have had prior experience with East West and their products like Symphonic Orchestra, Symphonic Choirs, and even Colossus and I always expect unprecedented sound quality. So when thinking about purchasing Hollywood Brass, I immediatly grew high expectations for this product, and I wasn't let down. Hollywood Brass trully met my expectations high and low, with some let downs which most are overshadowed by the positive aspects.

    This is the Gold edition of Hollywood Brass, which means that though it includes all articulations of the instruments, it has only one mic position: the main / decatree mic position. One thing I was let down with was the fact that I payed 600$ for all instruments but only one mic position. The complete Diamond Edition of Hollywood Brass is 1000$ will all 5 mic positions. 600$ is not worth only having one mic position, at the very least it should have had one more mic position. I would place this at the most 300$ for having one mic position. Though I'm not sure why East West decided to price it as 600$, and it's not worth the amount of content the content. However, the worth isn't necessarily always the most important factor in the amount, quality is.

    Hollywood Brass delivers studio recorded hollywood-worthy brass sounds. Each instrument has its own articulations (Sustained, Legato Slur, Accents, etc) and they all play very well in keeping realism in ones mind. All instrument sections sound fantastic and it's much more realistic than what Symphonic Orchestra's Brass was capable of. The Play engine is nearly flawless in that everything is easy to use once you get the hang of it, and everything you need for editing an instrument is literally one to three clicks away. My favorite sounds come from the true Legato Slurs of each instrument, especially from the 6 French Horns. Controlling the strength of the legato and even the volume of the legato is just amazingly simple and fast. Though only the main mic position is available, it's still nice to be capable of adding realistic reverb to make the loaded instrument sound like the brass is being performed in a concert hall or in a church or even in a simple studio. The design of the engine is also a nice hit, it's so fancy and pretty (much nicer than the NI Kompakt instrument engine). I would have liked it better if the Keyswitch instrument articulations were included already in it, because they would be most helpful when I don't want to open a new midi channel for each articulation (one channel for Crescendo, one for Sustained Accent, another for Trill, etc.). I am awaiting those keyswitch instruments and hope for them to come soon.

    Though I don't have Hollywood Strings to accompany Hollywood Brass, it's a good compliment to the strings of Symphonic Orchestra and I use them togethor in my orchestrations. One thing I'm not completely fond of is the Play Engine. Though I may have stated that it works flawlessly, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its issues. It is a beast when it comes to consuming RAM (roughly 600 megabytes of RAM). I still use Symphonic Orchestra's NI Kompakt Engine for that reason. Plus, the loading times are just unbearable sometimes, especially for the Legato instruments which can take up to a minute in loading. Those may sound like bad things, but after they load, it's all in your hands. You can do most anything a brass instrument or instrument section is capable of accomplishing, and that's what makes Hollywood Brass nearly reach the total worth of roughly 600$.

    Overall, Hollywood Brass has kept me near my laptop at all times asking multitudes of questions like "how could I make this sound better?" or "what if I use legato slur instead of simple sustains?" One orchestration after another will keep you on your toes, always wondering what else you can do with this powerful software. Keep in mind, that you need a pretty beefy computer to withstand the requirements Hollywood Brass needs to load at its best. It's not perfect, but it's as close to perfection as one will get with high quality software.

  • from United States December 10, 2012

    Great sound, typical EastWest downsides

    I recently purchased Hollywood Brass to fill some of the gaps left after owning Vienna Symphonic's brass. Overall I'm very glad I did. The sound is fantastic all around (except for some shaky French Horn players, but it actually adds a human touch). These brass instruments are sampled with a much wider range than the VSL counterparts and can very smoothly transition from the quietest playing to the loudest playing with ease. Well, that's the good news. The bad news is that this library has been out for a while now and the programming is still far from perfect. It feels like a beta-test rather than a product that's been out for over a year at the time of this review. Literally ONE playable runs patch is usable. There are over half a dozen total in the library. When I brought this up in the support forums it was confirmed by a moderator and moved up to the programmers as though they weren't even aware of it, which scares me because they spent so many months on programming the library and that makes it look like the patches weren't even tested before release. Just like we can hear from Hollywood Strings which has been out even longer, some of the legatos are far from smooth at certain dynamic levels, but that's easy to work around. All in all I'm very happy with the purchase because the sound is so pristine and highly dynamic. Most of the issues can be avoided or covered up, but I am grateful to have another full legato brass library so that each can compensate for the weaknesses of the other.

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