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Spitfire Audio Studio Brass Pro Review

Spitfire Studio Brass Review and Demo

Today we’ll review Spitfire Audio’s incredible new Studio Brass Pro package. This brass collection is one of the most lifelike, usable brass vsts I’ve used. You can clearly hear how all the articulations of a wide range of brass instruments, played through a range of microphones, can sound so present.

Spitfire Studio Brass Playability

But what I love about this VST is not just how good it sounds – it’s how playable it is. Once you start using it, you’ll see how the instruments are setup in a way to be played naturally. If you just use your ears, they’ll tell you which ranges to play them in, which articulation would sound best, and how to control their dynamics. It’s a very organic process, and helps you feel really connected to the process of writing brass.

What’s Included

Spitfire Studio Brass Pro is loaded full of instruments and articulations that can take you anywhere from mellow, moving slow lines to powerful action orchestras. And because it was recorded in a relatively dead-sounding studio, it plays well with other virtual instruments or reverbs.

And each sound was recorded by 6 different microphones, from close to ambient, allowing you to dial in your perfect tone, easily.

The following instruments are part of the pack:

  • Horn Solo 1
  • Horn Solo 2
  • Horns a4
  • Piccolo Trumpet
  • Trumpet Solo 1
  • Trumpet Solo 2
  • Trumpets a2
  • Bass Trumpet
  • Tenor Trombone Solo
  • Tenor Trombones a2
  • Bass Trombone Solo
  • Bass Trombones a2
  • Contrabass Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Contrabass Tuba
  • Cimbasso
  • Euphonium

Before I continue my review of Spitfire’s Studio Brass Pro, though, I should caution you that this is an orchestral brass library! If you’re looking for a pop or rock brass library, you’re going to be really disappointed.

Does Spitfire Studio Brass Sound Good?

Yea, it sounds real good. Really really good. Often with virtual horns, I find that most of the samples sound a bit fake and cheesy, and libraries really lend themselves to only a few usable bits that need to be blended into the background.

But Spitfire’s Studio Brass sounds alive and moving throughout almost its entire range. There are certainly a few notes (usually on the higher end) scatter through that just don’t pass the smell test. But I’d nonetheless challenge you to not be able to use this to create a great sounding score.

Just listen to these demos I put together!

Interface

Spitfire Audio’s Studio Brass Pro uses the typical Spitfire Audio interface common to most of their plugins. It’s fast, clean, and easy. Yet generally powerful enough to get the job done. I really enjoy the fact that I don’t have to learn a new interface with each new Spitfire product.

My only real gripe (and I’ve said this before), is with the ostinatum. I don’t think it works that well, and it loses its pattern when you change patches. You’re better off using your DAW’s sequencer instead.

Spitfire Studio Bras Pro Review – In Conclusion

If you’re looking for orchestral brass, I think you’ll be really pleased with this. It’s good enough that I feel like my search for a brass pack is over. It sounds great, is fun to use, and includes all the sounds I need. I’d highly recommend it.

Note: this review is based on a free review copy I received from Spitfire.

Fab Filter Pro-Q3 Review

Fab Filter Pro-Q 3 Review

I’ve tried a lot of EQs in my life. Each one promising some incredible vintage model the promised to make my life better. To be honest, none of them really have done much for me – until the Fab Filter Pro-Q 3.

And that’s not hype (you can watch my Fab Filter Pro-Q 3 review and see I’m not lying – I’ve got a terrible poker face).

You see, the Pro-Q 3 doesn’t emulate any legendary device, it doesn’t do saturation, it doesn’t have any magic fairy dust. It just lets you make smart, well-informed mixing decisions.

Unlike other plugins, it presents you with tons of extra information that allows you to be a better mixer. And when you use EQ better, you don’t need any fairy dust.

It’s also loaded with amazing features like mid-side processing, dynamic EQ, and a spiffy visualizer. I did a whole post here on how powerful mixing with the Pro-Q 3 can be. Plus there’s a ton of curve shapes, from filters to shelves. And with adjustable slopes to help you target those hard to reach frequencies.

The best way to use it, in my opinion, is to put a Fab Filter on every channel and do all of your subtractive EQ in it. Then, if you want that vintage saturated fairy dust sound, insert your other additive EQs after the Pro-Q 3. I found this gives me great results and really doesn’t slow down my workflow significantly.

It can also be great on the master buss thanks to the Pro-Q 3’s surgical curves and excellent analytical tools. Just be sure that any edits you do to the master buss are subtle and limited to a couple dB or less.

If you want to check it out for yourself you can download a free 30-day demo here. This Fab Filter Pro-Q 3 review is based on a free review copy.

Mixing with the Fab Filter Pro-Q3

Mixing Tips With Fab Filter Pro-Q 3

Fab Filter's new Pro-Q 3 EQ is an incredibly powerful piece of engineering (you can check out my full review here). 

In this post, I want to share with you how you can use some of the incredible features in the Pro-Q 3 to take your mixing skills to the next level. You see, the Pro-Q 3 provides a host of tools to educate you as a mixer and start making smarter, more informed choices. 

For example, if you have Pro-Q 3s in multiple channels, you can compare them to see where the frequency overlaps and gets muddy. For example, you could quickly see what frequency range your bass and kick drum are conflicting, then decide which you'd like to cut. 

The Pro-Q3 also provides the ability to solo the frequency range you're working with so you can really hear what 3k on a guitar sounds like. I couldn't believe how different some EQ moves were from my expectations. On top of this, the Pro-Q 3 has a robust graphic interface displaying the waveforms.

The Pro-Q3 is also great for helping your mixing education because it's an all-in-one EQ tool. You can make EQ adjustments to in regular mode, or mid/side mode, or even to just one side. Having quick access to all these different modes means you can experiment with more advanced quickly, without having to reach for a different plugin. Similarly, the Pro-Q3 can act as a dynamic EQ, ducking frequencies out of the way.

You can download a free 30-day demo of the product here. Also, this article is based on a review copy.

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