Kick Ass Brass,virtual instrument software, AMG
This library is an
extended and improved version of our 5 star award-winning library with
the addition of Baritone Sax & Muted Trumpet along with an improved
Trombone. Kick-Ass Brass! is 8 part multitimbral and designed for
multitimbral arranging and live performance applications.
Kick-Ass Brass! is
supplied as a VST2 (Mac & PC), RTAS (Mac & PC) & Audio Unit
(Mac) plug-in. Requires Mac OSX 10.3.9 or later. Standalone version is
also available now for Mac & PC if you don't wish to use a VST or AU
host. Universal Binary supported for Intel Macs in AU, VST and
Standalone formats - if you require any updates mail us your license
number for download links to update.
SOUND ON SOUND (UK/US) REVIEW
"...it is possible to create some excellent results...These new instruments sound just as good as the original material, with the muted trumpet being particularly atmospheric...AMG have done an equally good job with the graphical front-end, and have combined good looks with ease of use...the plug-in worked flawlessly...The built-in effects sound good...Kick-Ass Brass is still one of the most convincing ways to create modern brass sections...Overall, this library is aptly named - the samples themselves sound great and the front end is very slick." - Sound On Sound
MacUser (UK) post the first review of Kick-Ass Brass! Despite having some bizarre technical issue that results in them only being able to achieve about 10% of typical performance it still gets a 4 star review! Full text at the foot of this page, here are a few choice quotes:
"...a superb-sounding, self-contained brass section to any VST or AU-compatible sequencer...The appropriately brass-themed interface is stylish and clean...Carefully combining the variations can result in a strikingly realistic performance and with a touch of reverb the samples really come alive...if you're in the market for top-notch modern brass sounds, they don't come much sweeter than this. The user-friendliness of Kick-Ass Brass! scores highly for us and its sound is "simply stellar" this virtual instrument fully justifies its name." 4 Mice.
A COUPLE OF REVIEWS FROM JAPAN
"I loaded a MIDI song I made before with other brass sounds, replaced it with KAB! and it made me smile. It sounded much sharper and real. Most of the brass presets in synthesizers tend to sound too soft or too flat, so it is hard to get sharp and crisp sounds like KAB!. From rock to big band jazz, I recommend this to all genre music creators. " - Yutaka Fujioka, Sound Designer
"Very dense and big-boned sounds. Every sound has a presence. Even the upper register notes of trumpet don't sound weak. And it is bright enough to give a flashy accent as expected for the brass sounds in the mix. It may not be made for classical music, but this is what I call the pop brass sounds." - Hiroshi Takayama, Keyboard Magazine
READ THE SOUND ON SOUND REVIEW OF THE ORIGINAL LIBRARY
Kick-Ass Brass! Library Review - ***** 5 Stars - Sound On Sound - "Layered together and with suitable harmonies, the resulting brass sections come over as solid and assertive, not limp and flabby as so many brass samples are when used in this context.... If you need a tight, professional brass section (but can't afford the brass!) and don't want to be restricted to using sampled phrases, Kick Ass Brass is an excellent way to achieve great-sounding results."
Full text of the MacUser Review:
"AMG's Kick-Ass Brass! started life as a widely acclaimed sample CD of modern brass sounds. Now the same library has been expanded and housed in a virtual instrument, bringing a superb-sounding, self-contained brass section to any VST or AU-compatible sequencer. At the time of writing, only the VST version was finished , and it's that which we review here , but the developer has confirmed that an Audio Unit version is imminent.
Kick-Ass Brass! features a total of six instruments: the original CD,s trumpet, trombone, alto and tenor saxophone, newly augmented by baritone sax and muted trumpet. The appropriately brass-themed interface is stylish and clean, with the main data window surrounded by a handful of additional controls: balance, volume, pan, vibrato rate, glide and EQ. These, and many other aspects of the plug-in, are MIDI controllable.
Kick-Ass Brass! is both multi-timbral and multi-output, whereby four stereo pairs will appear as mixer channels in the host software. Up to eight instruments or variations can be loaded in one instance, so either a complete four-piece horn section or the various playing styles of, say, an Alto Sax can be contained in one plug-in. Each slot can also be assigned a separate MIDI channel to better control playback.
At the head of the plug-in, you select either Instrument or Multi patches to load one of the supplied presets. Alternatively, clicking the small L (for Load) button in each slot opens a cascading list of available instruments. Changing programs generally takes a second or two , depending on complexity , but it's nothing interminable.
The instruments load pre-mapped to your MIDI keyboard and cover the instrument's natural range, so you can't fake a tuba, for instance, by dropping a trombone down a couple of octaves. However, instruments can be transposed +/-12 semitones to imbue them with a slightly different timbre.
To the right of each instrument's name is a variation slot, where the different playing styles can be selected. Kick-Ass Brass! contains such variations as Ends, Expression, Hard, Mixed Stabs, Rips + Falls, Slides, Soft, Swells, Trills and Vibrato, lending each instrument wonderful flexibility. Carefully combining the variations can result in a strikingly realistic performance and with a touch of reverb the samples really come alive. You can also save instrument and section settings, so you can easily create unique setups.
On the subject of effects, Kick-Ass Brass! does come with a number of onboard stereo 64-bit FX modules, including reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, Leslie speaker and phaser. In general they're fine, although we did notice grainy artefacts when using the flanger and phaser presets. You're more likely to use third-party effects, anyway, especially as the Kick-Ass Brass! presets cannot be edited.
The drawbacks with Kick-Ass Brass! are few, but should be noted.
Primarily, it's very demanding. Playing a four-piece brass section Multi patch on its own in Live 5, running on a dual 1Ghz G4 with 1.75Gb RAM, the CPU meter could touch 70 per cent. Adding some Kick-Ass Brass! reverb, the meter went beyond 90 per cent. There will inevitably be much audio bouncing and track freezing when using Kick-Ass Brass!, unless you've got a 2.7Ghz dual G5 stuffed to the gills with speedy RAM.
if you're in the market for top-notch modern brass sounds, they don't come much sweeter than this. The user-friendliness of Kick-Ass Brass! scores highly for us and its sound is simply stellar,this virtual instrument fully justifies its name."
NB: Regarding the reviewers comments on performance, we subsequently found out that the plugin was being run unnecessarily at 96khz. Since the library samples are all at 44.1khz this puts extra strain on the CPU without delivering significantly better sound quality. At 44.1khz sample rate, the performance of the plugin is significantly better when playing the layered multis as the reviewer was, because they trigger multiple patches simultaneously.