How to play brass section on a keyboard

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How to play brass section on a keyboard

Postby Overhill » Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:45 pm

Hi everybody :-)

I play keyboard in a band that perform some song that needs a good brass section for have the correct groove, like "Don't let me be misunderstood" or "YMCA"...
My problem isn't the sound, 'cause my Roland FA76 have good trumpet sound, but the "how" to play: which notes? in which intervals?
Is better to split keyboard and use trumpet on high and saxofone on left?
Or use a double layer, making "normal" chord?

Actual I use the last I've said, but somebody have a good way to do this? :D

Bye!
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Re: How to play brass section on a keyboard

Postby muchan » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:46 pm

I can't tell the details here, but typical arrangement use "drop2 voicing" for the section.
Checking the "drop2 voicing" in Google will give you an idea what it is.
On Keyboard, it would be played with two hands as "block chord", so a little hard
to play trumpet section and saxophone sections with each hand. :)
You have choices, like:
1) play only trumpet section, with 2 hands
2) play only two or three top voices for sections with each hand
3) program all in midi...
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Re: How to play brass section on a keyboard

Postby Overhill » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:18 pm

Uh, Muchan, tanks a lot!!!

It's just the solution!

Now I've to learn a lot of new arguments, but tanks for your Hint :)
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Re: How to play brass section on a keyboard

Postby Lech123 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:00 am

If you're keen, there are some subtle things you can do to the tuning if your software/hardware supports it. Fingered brass (trumpets, euphonium, tuba, French horn etc) use non-equal temperament with perfect harmonics between certain notes. So (after transposing a score in Concert C to Bb) the ascending notes for a trumpet:
middle C, G, C, E, G, A#/Bbb, C... are all perfect harmonics, hence the jazzy Bb (about 1631.5Hz), giving you harmonies that you can't usually get on a keyboard with piano tuning.
That combination can be repeated for a couple of semitones down from that:
B, F#, B, Eb, F#, X, B
Bb, F, Bb, D, F, X, Bb
A, E, A, C#, E, X, A

From there you can sort of play it by ear and adjust a few notes if they don't sound quite right. And even use a soft-synth to add a tiny amount of random pitch variation.

Edit: sorry, I missed the bit about the problem not being the sound, but you're welcome to try those things out anyway and see if it inspires something. I used to play a bit of trumpet so I'm very fussy about keyboard brass sound.
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Re: How to play brass section on a keyboard

Postby Retro Banana » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:50 am

Sound on Sound's article on realistic MIDI sequencing could be a bit useful if you don't mind not playing your brass part live.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_articles/feb97/realmidi.html
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