chemical beats
18 June 2010
chemical beats review

Quantum Leap Brass
Page 1/3
Produced by East/West
chemical beats
Akai 1000, 5000  
& Gigasampler



Quantum Leap Brass is a major release 6 CD set (5 CD's in Akai 5000 or Gigasampler format) from East/West. Aiming to be "the definitive collection of multisampled brass instruments and sections".

We're reviewing the Akai 1000 version, the other formats are essentially the same though on a CD less. The promotional material states that "Nick Phoenix and his team of recording engineers and programmers have spent the better part of a year creating this long sort after brass collection which is the ultimate solution for Orchestral, Pop, Jazz, Big Band, Rock, Mariachi, Latin, R&B & Hip Hop productions. Quantum Leap Brass is a no compromise, purist collection for sampling connoisseurs with an emphasis on expression and dynamics. The brass instruments were chromatically recorded through RCA 44 ribbons, Neumann M 49 condensers, Neve and Manley preamps and Apogee Rossetta 24 bit converters in Los Angeles best recording studios. The programmers then selected the best samples to program the library. What really separates Quantum Leap Brass from other brass libraries is the quality of the attacks and the absence of loops."

The sheer volume of material presented plus the asking price $695 (though Soundsonline currently retail the set at $625) had us in much anticipation to get the sounds in the sampler. There isn't really a great number of "brass" sample CD's around and this is the first that we have looked at here at Sounduser.

The CD has been produced by Nick Phoenix, who has also produced Quantum Leap Guitar and Bass. There is no credits listed for the other musicians involved, just a general thanks to all the "incredible players". There is a note at the end of the credits that made me smile "Hire live musicians when you can", as we will see this is exactly the sort of release that make this more unlikely !

As mentioned above this is an expensive release, all but $700 which will probably translate to around £500 in Europe, so certainly not a casual purchase. Compared against normal full priced sample CD's on a per CD basis then it doesn't compare too badly, especially bearing in mind that you get about 3Gb of high quality data. Then again compared to a session fee for a brass section then it may well appear excelletnt value.

Quantum Leap Brass Inlay Card

The documentation is very good, you get a nice 16 page booklet where you get a complete listing of all the patches, in all three formats, which are laid out slightly differently. The Gigasampler version contains a descriptive name and short description, while the Akai versions just list out the various patches by disc, partition and volume. Additionally there is a page of introduction and some extra notes about using each of the particular formats.

A sign of the times is that the license agreement specifically excludes posting of files over the internet. Additionally each copy is automatically licensed to the purchaser and each has a "Digital Watermark" embedded in the files, no doubt making a lot easier to track down the origin of any pirate copies that might be produced.

On to the sounds...

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