Blues horn section VST

My background is blues / classic rock, and I’ve been poking around looking for a blues horn section, i.e. trumpet / trombone / sax. I’ve seen Session Horns but it uses the Kontakt engine and these days I’m trying to keep licenses on my iLok or other such USB donble.

My needs don’t justify spending thousands of dollars, so I’m looking in the range of a few hundred bucks. Anyone have thoughts / recommendations in this area?

Aloha C,

IMHO and without spending too much $$ try ‘SampleTank 3’.

Brass/horns was one of their weak spots for many years but now with ST3;
‘Tower of Power’/‘Memphis Horns’/Maceo Parker (James Brown)/‘EW&Fire’ type horn sounds
are easily available.

There is a ‘free’ version of ST3 but I am not sure how many or which
horn samples come with that version.

No dongle involved and max you can spent is about $350.00 with cheaper upgrade/crossgrade
versions available all the way down to the free version.

Good Luck!

Mahalo, man. I’ll check it out!

…or just arrange your own horns? The free Kontakt player has a sample set of instruments and, unless I am very sadly mistaken, those 4 brass instruments should be included. I’ve had great luck arranging full horn sections and have managed to delude people here enough that they even pay me compliments from time to time. :laughing:

When I want trumpets and trombones I reach for GPO and it gets the job done. Along the lines of “roll your own,” maybe I should just find some good sax.

If your thinking goes that route then perhaps it is kinda similar to the old days.

What I mean by that is:
just by having a great sounding bone player and trumpet player and sax player does not
always translate into a great sounding ‘horn section’.

In fact it can be counter productive because something is always ‘standing out’.

It’s the ‘blend’ that makes/shapes the over all ‘colour’ and sometimes depending on the song
you might want diff colours. The ‘breathing’ the ‘attack’ the ‘fall offs’ all contribute to the over all ‘ensemble’ sound.

The band ‘Chicago’ has that ‘smooth’ (tbn based) sound while ‘Ides of March’ (Vehicle) has that ‘brassy’ trp driven sound.

As an ex bone player myself when it comes to brass/horn VSTI’s, I look for ensemble samples first.


Not only does what you say make sense, you’re speaking a musical language I understand. I wouldn’t expect a Chicago ensemble to give me the same vibe as White Trash, nor the latter to give me a punchy Earth, Wind and Fire section.

As an ex trumpet player myself, I can definitely dig it.

Took a listen to some of their demos and many of them sounded very synthy to me. You may be getting better results in the real world. If so, the marketing guys really outta step away from the keyboard and hire you. :slight_smile:

Just listened to the demos on the Mojo Horns page. Holy crap. If you guys haven’t heard them, definitely worth a listen.

Ok I’m impressed with Mojo. But at $500 they better be impressive. :mrgreen:

Well, $400 street price, but still, yeah. :slight_smile:

Also, Session Horns from NI has lots of cool phrases in different genres as well as samples
50% off today

I checked out the session horns yesterday as well. Some nice riffs and such, but ensemble stuff sounds synthy to my ear, a common problem with brass overall.

Of course, it may be that Mojo has similar issues and their demos are just clever enough to avoid showcasing them.

I too like the horns in Sampletank 3.

I have to admit though that I am slightly puzzled by why IK posted some pretty bad sounding horn samples on their web page. :open_mouth: To be honest, if it wasn’t for the great upgrade deal they originally offered for pre-ordering ST3 I probably would not have purchased it based on the sound samples they posted.

But once you get into this VST the horns have every imaginable assignable control/expression to get the “type” of sound you want.

Can’t hurt to check out the trial version. Good luck. :wink:

Regards :sunglasses:

Yeah, may have to snag the trial versions to see what they really bring to the party. See if Mojo is $400 better than $0 of ST3. Bang for the buck and all that.

That also lets me defer the purchase decision, as I just dropped some money on a Revelation tube mic, so I need to let the credit card cool down enough to regain its structural integrity. :slight_smile:

Nicely stated.

Hi folks!
I was referred to this thread by Curteye and am wondering what the latest is on this subject?
Particularly, I’m interested in the differences between the Mojo and First Call horns, both made/distributed by Big Fish Audio. In the demos, the Mojo package does sound quite a bit better, but this may be due to better programming.
Any news?
ChrisDuncan, did you purchase one of these packages in the end?


Hi, Benji.

Unfortunately, funds got redirected to another direction and I didn’t purchase any of them. Wish I could be of more help. If you do end up getting one and could post your findings here it would be great. Sooner or later this will come around in my purchasing list again. :slight_smile:

Thanks Chris,
no problem, will let folks know about my proceedings… :slight_smile:
Thanks for your quick reply!


See here: