The Best Brass VST Plugins & Libraries

The Best Brass VST Plugins & Libraries

These days, when you hear the cinematic score, you almost immediately pay attention to the brass. Because brass can create a celebratory atmosphere by adding grandeur and epicness, not only that, but brass can be light and gentle, soft and mellow, and point out the delicacy of the moment. So we compiled the list of the best brass VSTs to help choose the right one.

Top 10 Best Brass VST

  1. Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass
  2. Chris Hein Orchestral Brass
  3. Vir2 MOJO 2
  4. Output Analog Brass and Winds
  5. Sample Logic Fanfare
  6. EastWest Hollywood Brass
  7. Heavyocity FORZO Modern Brass
  8. 8dio Century Brass
  9. Spitfire Symphonic Brass
  10. Impact Soundworks Bravura Scoring Brass

Brass VST Buying Guide

In order to choose the right brass and, at that matter, any virtual instrument, you need to develop your own style and understand what suits it the best. To develop yourself as a composer, you need to constantly try out new things and see what inspires you the most. When it comes to virtual brass, it all comes down to your personal preferences. There are choices from the epic and over-the-top brass ensembles to gentle and very realistic individual instruments and anything you can imagine in between. Nevertheless, there are a few common things to keep in mind.

Important features

One thing to keep in mind is the actual size of the library. So if you do not own a spacious SSD, some virtual brass instruments would be out of reach for you just because of the nature of brass sampling. Usually, each possible note is recorded individually with every articulation. And the more detailed library is, the bigger it gets.

Secondly, you have to pay attention to the articulations included. A few basic articulations will suffice if you intend to use the brass library for simple sketches or just layering textures. For more complex and nuanced orchestral compositions, you are going to need a full range of brass articulations, including, of course, legato.

And finally, you would have to choose what instruments should be included in your virtual brass library. To do that, you need to try to picture the final score in your head. If you imagine a tuba’s sound and it is not included in the library, that would be quite unfortunate. And, of course, as with every tool you have, the best brass VST should be able to inspire you.

Best Brass VST Reviews

Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass

Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass

Pros
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • Over 40,000 samples
  • More than 300 articulations
  • 55 NKIs
Cons
  • None
See price @ Native Instruments
Best features and specs

Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass is anything you would expect from a top-quality visual brass library and even more. With 8 round robins and a ridiculous amount of articulations, impressive realism could be achieved. And in terms of usability, only the sky is the limit.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass because of its intuitive and user-friendly GUI. Also, users are in awe of the depth and the detailed sound, lots of samples, and articulations. This virtual library will show its full potential in composing an orchestral piece for almost any film genre or a theater play.

What we think

Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass won our hearts with its versatility. It sounds shockingly good either in epic compositions or gentle and subtle underscoring.

Bottomline

Native Instruments Symphony Essentials Brass is a great virtual instrument if you are looking for versatility and realism. However, the size of the library might be a concern for you.

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass

Pros
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • 8 dynamic layers
Cons
  • Key switches might be a problem
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass is a mighty and versatile brass library that consists of meticulously sampled individual instruments. What is awesome about it is that you have great playability, and the library itself could fit easily in a vast amount of different compositions in many styles.

User impressions

Users like Chris Hein Orchestral Brass for its versatility, realism, smooth playability, and top-notch sound quality. Users add that this library can mix very well with other libraries if you need to spice up things a little bit. Users also speak in favor of the fantastic quality of sampled solo instruments, they can shine really bright in your composition as a lot of modulation options and vibrato control are also at your disposal.

What we think

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass is truly impressive, but we found that key switches could be a bit of a problem. It works marvelously if you have a full-range MIDI keyboard, but you would struggle with something less than 62 keys.

Bottomline

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass is a perfect choice for someone who works with different styles of orchestral compositions and needs great versatility and sound. Although before considering this library, you might think about investing in a full-range MIDI keyboard.

Vir2 MOJO 2

Vir2 MOJO 2

Pros
  • 13 deeply-sampled brass and reed instruments
  • True legato and 13 articulations per instrument
  • 3 separate mic positions
  • 4 velocity layers and 3 round robins
Cons
  • None, really
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Vir2 MOJO 2 is a Native Instruments KONTAKT library that includes 13 brass and reed instruments. Each instrument has 13 articulations and can be combined in various brass sections, depending on your preferences. There are 4 separate settings that let you change coloration and overall sound according to one of four periods from modern to 1920’s.

User impressions

Users say that Vir2 MOJO 2 is an extremely intuitive, user-friendly, and feature-packed GUI. The realism and depth of sound leave a lasting impression. This virtual library will show its full potential while used in composing vintage melodies from the 20’s to the 70’s, Drum’n’Bass, Pop, Funk, and Jazz. Also, it will add an exquisite note to the cinematic scores.

What we think

Although Vir2 MOJO 2 clearly was intended to be specifically a jazz instrument, we found it very usable in orchestral compositions.

Bottomline

Vir2 MOJO 2 is a great jazz brass library that could be used in other styles if you are willing to put some time and effort into it.

Output Analog Brass and Winds

Output Analog Brass and Winds

Pros
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • Over 500 presets
  • The powerful dual-layer sound engine
Cons
  • Might not fit well in classical orchestral compositions
See price @ Plugin Boutique / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Output Analog Brass and Winds is a mighty virtual synthesizer based on sampled instruments of very high quality. Although the synth engine is quite complicated, to say the least, it is pretty straightforward to use, and lots of presets are included to get you going.

User impressions

Users like Output Analog Brass and Winds user-friendly and very intuitive GUI. Users like this library for unique playable hybrid sounds and endless possibilities in experimenting. It will show its power while used for creating cinematic scores, and it will add some inspiration to beatmakers, electronic musicians, and experimental artists.

What we think

Because the sounds of Output Analog Brass and Winds are organic in their nature, it fits both in modern hybrid orchestral compositions and various electronic music styles.

Bottomline

Because Output Analog Brass and Winds is reasonably priced, it would be a fruitful addition to any modern media composer’s collection of tools. Its organic sound and synth engine make it suitable for a wide variety of projects in different styles.

Sample Logic Fanfare

Sample Logic Fanfare

Pros
  • Over 1200 instruments
  • Customizable interface
  • Very customizable sound
Cons
  • Might not fit well in classical orchestral compositions
  • A bit complicated GUI
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Have you ever imagined a brass ensemble with a punk rock attitude? If not, just listen to Sample Logic Fanfare, and you will get the point. Although it might lack features for a traditional virtual brass, it makes up for it with its synth engine and various effects.

User impressions

Users agree that Sample Logic Fanfare has a bit complicated GUI, and it takes longer than usual to get to know how to use it. This library offers you traditional and morphed instruments in many variations, but there is still room for improvement in how some respond. Despite the sound quality of the recordings being more than great and the number of original patches is overwhelming still, some bugs tend to come out unexpectedly.

What we think

Sample Logic Fanfare probably is not something you will use in classical orchestral composition. Simply because there are far better traditional brass libraries, but this is a truly great library if you want to flex your muscles in hybrid scoring and ambient soundscapes.

Bottomline

Sample Logic Fanfare is a great tool for any modern media composer who works with epic hybrid orchestral compositions, cinematic ambient, and has a rebellious spirit.

EastWest Hollywood Brass

EastWest Hollywood Brass

 

Pros
  • A lot of articulations
  • Wide range of instruments
Cons
  • Takes from 20 to 150 GB of disk space
  • ILOK account needed
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

EastWest Hollywood Brass might be just the right tool to achieve that very specific and distinguishable sound from classic Hollywood movies. It has a lot of articulations and all of the features that you would expect from a library of this caliber. But where it stands out the most is the sound with a lot of character that carries the spirit of classic movie soundtracks.

User impressions

Users say that EastWest Hollywood Brass has a very intuitive and user-friendly GUI. It is detailed, realistic and deep sound inspires a lot of users. This library has a good mix of solo and section patches, all of them highly playable and recorded from 5 different mic positions. Those who seek an addition to their orchestral collection would be pleased with the quality and functionality. But those who look for a tool to spice up their funky R&B songs should look elsewhere.

What we think

If EastWest Hollywood Brass had any flaws, it would be easily overshadowed by the sound’s character. It is very hard to put it in words how close it gets to Hollywood movies’ sound.

Bottomline

EastWest Hollywood Brass is an amazing virtual brass library for a very reasonable price. But be prepared to free up some space on your hard drive.

Heavyocity FORZO Modern Brass

Heavyocity FORZO Modern Brass

Pros
  • 11,475 Samples
  • 432 Tempo-Synced Loops
  • Over 100 articulations
  • Amazing sound quality
Cons
  • Relatively high-priced
  • No legato patches
See price @ Plugin Boutique / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Guys from Heavyocity are well-known for giving you much more than you genuinely expect. The same goes with theirs Heavyocity Forzo Modern Brass. By presenting you with a different loop engine and highly customizable hybrid ensemble, you are getting more than just contemporary orchestral brass with more than exceptional sound quality.

User impressions

Users like Heavyocity FORZO Modern Brass for a comprehensive set of articulations and mic positions, lots of useful presets, and top-notch sound quality. Having Macro Control & Macro Sequencer gives you a great possibility to create rhythmic shapes or sequences which allow you to be creative with sculping evolving, ever-changing soundscapes and rhythmic pulses. This library will help you composing scores no less than you might hear in Transformers, Inception or Star Wars.

What we think

Despite being a contemporary orchestral library, you may find it a bit close to impossible to use it as a big band ensemble. This library aims to be a versatile tool in composing scores for modern cinematic films, and it does its job amazingly.

Bottomline

This library will not probably satisfy composers’ needs who favor classical orchestral music and those who tend to create more jazz or funk. But those who see their best in writing scores for films and computer games – Heavyocity FORZO Modern Brass will be an essential tool in your collection.

8dio Century Brass

8dio Century Brass

Pros
  • Lots of articulations
  • Clean and cinematic sound
Cons
  • Does not work in a free KONTAKT player
  • Takes 128 GB of disk space
See price @ 8dio
Best features and specs

8dio is quite famous for its over-the-top epicness and highly processed cinematic sounds. Although 8dio Century Brass still has all of those qualities, it offers you a bit more. This library can sound very gentle and subtle if you want it to.

User impressions

Users say that 8dio Century Brass has a highly customizable, intuitive, and user-friendly GUI. The level of details, realism, and ability to perform in a truly impressive range left users quite excited. Some say that the amount of growl, heat, and boldness that can come out of it makes it a solid candidate to be used in composing modern epic or trailer music.

What we think

We never had a doubt that 8dio delivers products of higher quality. And as expected, 8dio Century Brass is simply a marvelous virtual brass that fits in a wide range of styles.

Bottomline

If you are willing to spare something like 120 GBs of hard drive space, 8dio Century Brass is a perfect choice for modern cinematic scoring.

Spitfire Symphonic Brass

Spitfire Symphonic Brass

Pros
  • Over 85,000 samples
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • Multiple dynamic layers and round robins
  • A lot of detailed and unique articulations
  • 3 mics positions
Cons
  • A bit pricey
See price @ Spitfire Audio
Best features and specs

Spitfire Audio is a household name in the world of virtual orchestral instruments. Their libraries are easily distinguishable by very subtle imperfections and strongly emphasized realism.

User impressions

Users like Spitfire Symphonic Brass for its top-notch sound quality and amazing playability.  Another plus is that it goes quite fast and easily from lyrical and soft to loud and aggressive. This library will find its way into the cinematic composers’ hearts and toolboxes aiming to create the next epic film score.

What we think

Since we actually own quite a few Spitfire Audio libraries and use them rather frequently, you kind of can guess where our allegiance is.

Bottomline

You might find Spitfire Symphonic Brass to be quite pricey, but it totally worth the investment. But the thing is, Spitfire Audio libraries work best with other Spitfire Audio libraries. So welcome to the club.

Impact Soundworks Bravura Scoring Brass

Impact Soundworks Bravura Scoring Brass

Pros
  • Works in a free KONTAKT player
  • Over 55,000 samples
  • True legato for all instruments
  • Orchestrator & Chordmaker patches
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Impact Soundworks
Best features and specs

Impact Soundworks Bravura Scoring Brass is a brass library with a clean and bright sound that consists of individual instruments and ensembles.

User impressions

Users say that this library has some more interesting and less commonly used instruments for film scoring, making this library unique. They add that this library suits best for TV work as it has “room” sound.

What we think

Sometimes, orchestral libraries need some additional EQing to sound polished and bright. It feels like Impact Soundworks Bravura Scoring Brass sounds exactly like you need it to sound straight out of the box.

Bottomline

Impact Soundworks Bravura Scoring Brass is a great tool for orchestral scoring for a reasonable price with quite a modest size.

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