90’s Retro Trumpets is a faithful emulation of all things trumpet and all things recording from this magical time that crafted many of our childhoods. Thoroughly researched, this melody-making library resurrects the actual microphones and the forgotten trumpet techniques that gave these scores such unique color, tutti, and magnificence. Recorded at the MGM Scoring Stage at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.
It's shocking that the 90’s are now considered a long time ago. Many titans of the session playing world of this period have retired. As they are replaced by their younger colleagues, certain principles of musicality have been retired as well.
During the recording process of this library, Neumann M50 microphones as the Decca Tree, original preamps with their exact 90s settings and the favoured Lexicon 480 hardware reverb was used - delivering that authentic 90s sound! The delicate Avalon 2055 Class A discrete Stereo Hardware EQ that colors the high end in the most unique and hi-fi way imaginable contributes to that authentic sound too.
Over time, many subtle things have changed for trumpets. The combined result of these changes yielded a more powerful, weightier, and forward-sounding modern section. The 90’s sound was less brassy, more streamlined, cantabile, and quieter in general. Restoring some of these 90’s techniques was the critical second part of the recipe.
1+1+2 = 4: An A-list 4-trumpet ensemble of the early 90’s was often made of one Eb Horn (played by the principal), one C horn (played by the second chair), and two Bb horns (played by third and fourth chairs). The differing sizes of these horns projects an imperfect yet thick series of overtones into the room - incredibly tutti sounding, like the blending of a violin section.
Principal players were the alphas: The idea of a democratic section where each player contributes an equal percentage of the sound wasn’t a concept yet. The principal was the loudest on a unison, the principal was loudest on a divisi chord, the principal hair-pinned louder, the principal was atop always.
Vibrato: When playing tutti, Trumpet Ensembles do not use vibrato. Four trumpets vibrating at different speeds tend to sound more like a mariachi band and less like a classical trumpet section. When vibrato is heard within a section it is the principal carefully using his/her judgement when to vibrate.
A quieter, nobler tone: The overall volume of the brass section in soundtrack recording has increased over the years - partly due to upgraded mouthpieces, instruments, pedagogy, and partly due to the presence of highly brassy composer mockups. In the 90’s, the median forte was a quieter and richer tone.
The Performance Tab contains a visual representation of the 6 key switches, the vibrato indicator, and representation of the dynamics (mod wheel) and the attack level (velocity).
The Playability Tab allows you to mute the attack overlay and change its volume.
The attack overlay naturally increases in volume as the dynamics increase.
Auto Borrow may also be engaged to make trills sound more natural. During times of low note variation, this function borrows notes from surrounding pitches.
Dynamics Scaling: the sweet spot can be moved to accommodate a variety of keyboards and playing styles.
The Legato Feel can be adjusted for slow or fast playing styles. This control allows more or less time for the legato transitions.
The T1 and T234 buttons will mute the 1st trumpet and trumpets 2, 3, and 4 respectively.
The FX tab contains 3 basic effects: tape saturation, EQ, and reverb.
The amount of tape saturation can be adjusted by the preamp gain. We recommend levels at or below 6.0dB to prevent unwanted distortion.
The reverb contains a few great presets that were sampled from the original Lexicon 480 hardware. The default setting is the one most commonly used for film score recording from the early 90s. These are user-adjustable.
The Settings Tab allows you to extend the range of the trumpets beyond what was recorded, turn the keyswitches into latching mode, rather than momentary, and allows you to migrate the keyswitches to another part of your keyboard.
Each page allows a help screen overlay. Just press the ? question mark at the top-right.
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