11 Best Brass VST Plugins: From Trumpets to Trombones (2024)

Last updated: 

The allure of the brass section in a musical arrangement cannot be overstated. Its rich tonal range, encompassing both powerful fanfares and tender solos, can infuse your tracks with a sense of grandeur, intensity, or delicate nuance. However, replicating these unique sounds with digital accuracy and authenticity can be quite challenging. That’s where brass VST plugins come in, offering digital emulations of various brass instruments with a level of quality and realism that’s astonishing.

Whether you’re looking to craft a thrilling trumpet solo, a bold trombone backing, or a sumptuous saxophone melody, there’s a brass VST plugin for you. From orchestral compositions to jazz, pop, and beyond, these plugins cater to a wide range of genres, offering an array of presets, articulations, and customizable settings.

In this guide, we’re going to explore the top 15 best brass VST plugins of 2024. We’ll delve into their unique features, benefits, and how they can help you capture that perfect brass tone in your next project. Whether you’re a seasoned producer or just starting your journey into digital music production, this guide is packed with valuable insights that can help you make the right choice. So, let’s take a closer look at these remarkable tools and discover what they can bring to your musical palette.

Our Top Picks
  • EWQL - Hollywood Brass
  • VSL - Synchron Brass
  • Musical Sampling - Adventure Brass
  • Best Service - Chris Hein Orchestral Brass
  • Output - Analog Brass and Winds
  • Heavyocity - FORZO Modern Brass
  • Vir2 - MOJO 2
  • Garritan - Jazz & Big Band 3
  • Big Fish - Vintage Horns 2
  • Musical Sampling - Trailer Brass
  • Arturia - Brass 2.0

Orchestral Brass VST Plugins:

Best Brass VST Plugins: EWQL - Hollywood Brass
(Image Credit: EWQL)

EWQL Hollywood Brass

Experience the Cinematic Brass Sounds of Hollywood

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Orchestral Brass Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • High-quality recordings of professional brass players.
  • Comprehensive control over dynamics and articulations.
  • Delivers the larger-than-life sound associated with Hollywood productions.
  • Compatible with EastWest’s Play engine, providing a consistent user experience.

Overview:

EWQL Hollywood Brass offers a taste of cinematic grandeur right inside your DAW. Known for its larger-than-life sound, Hollywood Brass delivers a broad spectrum of meticulously recorded, professional-grade brass sounds. Whether you’re looking to create a grand orchestral performance, a jazzy ensemble, or simply add a brass layer to your mix, this plugin has you covered.

Recorded in EastWest’s very own Hollywood-based studios, the plugin captures the robust and emotive performance of professional brass players. From the powerful and majestic sound of the trumpets, horns, and trombones to the rich, warm tones of the tuba and bass trombone, every detail is meticulously captured.

Further enhancing its versatility, Hollywood Brass provides comprehensive control over dynamics and articulations. You can make your brass sections growl, soar, or sizzle at your command. It’s compatible with EastWest’s Play engine, ensuring a consistent user experience across EastWest’s product range.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re in need of that Hollywood sound or simply looking for a high-quality brass plugin, EWQL Hollywood Brass is a top-notch choice. The sound quality is exceptional, the interface intuitive, and the control comprehensive. Give it a try and let your compositions soar with the rich, luxurious sound of Hollywood Brass.

Best Brass VST Plugins: VSL - Synchron Brass
(Image Credit: VSL)

VSL Synchron Brass

Comprehensive Orchestral Brass Solution

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Sampled Orchestral Brass Library
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • A complete orchestral brass solution.
  • Includes 12 brass instruments recorded in Synchron Stage Vienna
  • Features the Synchron Player for real-time sonic manipulation.
  • Time-stretching and pitch-shifting options available.

Overview:

Vienna Symphonic Library’s Synchron Brass is a comprehensive orchestral brass solution that has been expertly recorded in the revered Synchron Stage Vienna. This massive plugin comprises 12 brass instruments, including trumpets, trombones, horns, and tuba, each providing a distinct sound to meet a wide array of musical requirements.

The Synchron Brass not only impresses with the quantity but also with the quality of its sounds. Each instrument has been meticulously captured in multiple articulations, providing a rich and nuanced performance. The Synchron Player, which comes with the library, allows for real-time sonic manipulation, giving composers even more control over their sound.

The plugin also features time-stretching and pitch-shifting options, providing the ability to shape and manipulate the performances to suit any composition. With its extensive brass offerings and high-quality recordings, Synchron Brass is a fantastic addition to any composer’s toolkit.

Final Thoughts:

VSL Synchron Brass stands out as a complete and high-quality orchestral brass solution. With its comprehensive library of brass instruments, recorded with the utmost attention to detail, it offers a level of authenticity and flexibility that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re scoring a grand cinematic scene or adding some brass flair to a pop production, Synchron Brass is up to the task.

Best Brass VST Plugins: Musical Sampling - Adventure Brass
(Image Credit: Musical Sampling)

Musical Sampling Adventure Brass

Capture the Epic Sound of Cinematic Brass

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Cinematic Brass Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Focuses on the epic, cinematic sound.
  • Designed for easy playability.
  • "Adventure" patches for achieving quick results.
  • Powerful short and long articulations.

Overview:

For those seeking the epic, cinematic sound of brass, Musical Sampling Adventure Brass may be just what you need. It brings the intensity and drama of the silver screen right to your music production setup, allowing you to infuse your compositions with the excitement and energy of cinematic brass.

Musical Sampling Adventure Brass was designed with a focus on playability. This makes it possible for you to achieve great-sounding results quickly and efficiently. The plugin also offers “Adventure” patches, which are designed to enable you to create epic brass sounds with minimal effort.

The plugin offers both short and long articulations, each providing a different quality of sound. The short articulations give you punchy, powerful sounds, while the long articulations provide you with a sweeping, dramatic sound.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re looking to create epic, cinematic brass sounds in your music, Musical Sampling Adventure Brass is worth considering. Its playability, powerful articulations, and “Adventure” patches make it an effective tool for achieving great results in your music. Capture the drama and energy of the silver screen with Musical Sampling Adventure Brass.

Best Brass VST Plugins: Best Service - Chris Hein Orchestral Brass
(Image Credit: Best Service)

Best Service Chris Hein Orchestral Brass

Delivering Groundbreaking Brass Sounds for Trailers

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Sampled Orchestral Brass Library
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Highly detailed and expressive brass samples.
  • Includes 9,000 samples across 5 GB of data.
  • Comprehensive articulation options for realistic performances.
  • Built-in reverb module for added spatial depth.

Overview:

When it comes to detailed and expressive brass samples, Chris Hein Orchestral Brass from Best Service stands out from the crowd. This plugin features 9,000 samples spread across 5 GB of data, offering an expansive range of sonic possibilities for composers and producers alike.

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass includes instruments such as trumpets, trombones, and horns, all recorded with meticulous attention to detail. The plugin provides an extensive list of articulations for each instrument, including sustains, marcatos, staccatos, and legatos, enabling composers to create ultra-realistic performances.

A standout feature of this library is the built-in reverb module, which offers a variety of room simulations to add spatial depth to your tracks. With its comprehensive library and detailed recordings, Chris Hein Orchestral Brass delivers a truly authentic orchestral brass experience.

Final Thoughts:

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass is an exceptional plugin that offers an impressive range of orchestral brass sounds. Its vast collection of samples and extensive articulation options make it a go-to tool for achieving realistic, expressive brass performances. Its built-in reverb module and user-friendly interface further elevate its appeal, making it a fantastic addition to any music production toolkit.

Hybrid/Modern Brass:

Best Brass VST Plugins: Output - Analog Brass and Winds
(Image Credit: Output)

Output Analog Brass and Winds

Emulate Authentic Brass and Wind Instruments With a Twist of Analog Synthesis

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Hybrid Brass and Wind Synthesizer
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Offers a unique blend of traditional brass and wind sounds with edgy, modern synthesis.
  • Features a robust engine with over 500 unique presets to choose from.
  • Provides advanced control with dual-layer architecture.
  • Features common and unique articulations including sustains, staccato, and creative rhythmic patterns.

Overview:

Output is well-known for their innovative and distinct approach to plugin design, and Analog Brass and Winds is no exception. This unique plugin offers a blend of authentic brass and wind instrument sounds, coupled with the edge of modern synthesis. It’s designed to break from the tradition and redefine how these instruments can be used in a mix.

From intense, soaring leads to deep, rumbling undertones, Analog Brass and Winds provides an array of textures to explore. With over 500 presets, there’s a lot of scope for creativity and experimentation. The dual-layer architecture adds further depth, allowing you to mix and match different sounds to create something truly unique. Additionally, the plugin provides common and unique articulations, from traditional sustains and staccato to creative rhythmic patterns.

Final Thoughts:

Output Analog Brass and Winds truly stands out as a hybrid brass and wind synthesizer. It’s not just a simple emulation of these instruments, but an opportunity to push their sounds into new territories. If you’re a producer looking for a tool that can add a unique sonic character to your mixes, this plugin is a worthy contender. Try it out and experience the power of Analog Brass and Winds.

Best Brass VST Plugins: Heavyocity - FORZO Modern Brass
(Image Credit: Heavyocity)

Heavyocity FORZO: Modern Brass

Step into the Future of Brass Virtual Instruments

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Modern Brass Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Hybridizes traditional brass sounds with modern synthesis.
  • Offers a versatile array of articulations and tone control options.
  • Features an extensive collection of pre-designed loops and phrases.
  • Includes three brass sections: traditional, full ensemble, and atmospheric.

Overview:

Heavyocity FORZO: Modern Brass takes brass virtual instruments into the future. This plugin seamlessly hybridizes traditional brass sounds with modern synthesis, resulting in a unique sound that’s versatile and capable of fitting into a variety of music styles.

FORZO doesn’t just provide you with a collection of high-quality brass sounds. It also offers a wide array of articulations and tone control options, giving you complete control over your sound. You can choose between mutes, staccatos, swells, crescendos, and much more, enabling you to match your brass sounds perfectly to your music.

But perhaps the most impressive feature of FORZO is its extensive collection of pre-designed loops and phrases. These save you time and provide instant inspiration, helping to kick-start your creativity whenever you need it. Furthermore, FORZO divides its library into three brass sections: traditional, full ensemble, and atmospheric. This division allows you to quickly find the sounds you need for your music.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re looking for a brass plugin that’s not only high quality but also innovative and versatile, Heavyocity FORZO: Modern Brass is a superb choice. Its modern synthesis, variety of articulations, and inspiring loops and phrases make it a joy to work with. With FORZO, you can bring the future of brass to your productions today.

Jazz, Big Band, and Vintage Brass:

Best Brass VST Plugins: Vir2 - MOJO 2
(Image Credit: Vir2)

Vir2 MOJO 2

Unleash the Vibrant Energy of a Live Horn Section in Your Production

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Horn Section Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Features 13 deeply sampled brass and reed instruments.
  • Offers multiple articulations and production techniques.
  • Includes new and improved interface with a streamlined workflow.
  • Provides a versatile and comprehensive library of real horn sounds.

Overview:

With Vir2 MOJO 2: Horn Section, you get the vibrant energy and soul of a live horn section at your fingertips. This plugin offers 13 deeply sampled brass and reed instruments, including trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and more, providing a rich palette of sounds to elevate your music production.

MOJO 2 stands out with its multiple articulations and production techniques. Whether you’re looking for the subtlety of smooth legato or the punch of staccato, this plugin delivers. Plus, its new and improved interface promises a streamlined workflow. This means less time tweaking and more time creating.

The real standout feature of MOJO 2 is its comprehensive library of real horn sounds. Whether you’re composing jazz, funk, pop, or any genre that benefits from the distinctive sound of a horn section, this plugin offers versatility and depth that can bring your music to life.

Final Thoughts:

The Vir2 MOJO 2: Horn Section is a remarkable tool for adding authentic brass and reed sounds to your production. The breadth and quality of its sound library, combined with its intuitive interface, make it a highly valuable addition to any composer’s digital toolkit. Experience the power of a real horn section with MOJO 2.

Best Brass VST Plugins: Garritan - Jazz & Big Band 3
(Image Credit: Garritan)

Garritan Jazz & Big Band 3

Bring Your Tracks to Life with Authentic Jazz and Big Band Sounds

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Jazz and Big Band Brass Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Dedicated to jazz and big band sounds.
  • Offers a wide variety of instruments for a complete band setup.
  • Features exceptional realism with various articulations.
  • Includes a high-quality reverb to enhance your sound.

Overview:

Garritan Jazz & Big Band 3 is a brass virtual instrument that specializes in authentic jazz and big band sounds. It brings you an extensive collection of individual instruments you’d typically find in a big band, making it possible to create a complete band setup within your DAW.

The key to the impressive sound of Garritan Jazz & Big Band 3 is its exceptional realism. The plugin provides a wide range of articulations that help bring your music to life. From the growling of a bluesy baritone sax to the piercing attack of a tight trumpets section, the sounds are amazingly realistic.

In addition, Garritan Jazz & Big Band 3 also includes a high-quality reverb. This feature can add a spatial dimension to your sound, making it even more lifelike and impressive.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re producing music that requires authentic jazz and big band brass sounds, Garritan Jazz & Big Band 3 is an excellent plugin to consider. Its dedicated focus on these genres, combined with its realism and useful reverb feature, makes it a very effective tool for jazz and big band producers. Bring your tracks to life with the sounds of Garritan Jazz & Big Band 3.

Best Brss VST Plugins: Big Fish - Vintage Horns 2
(Image Credit: Big Fish)

Big Fish Vintage Horns 2

Capture the Essence of Classic Horn Sections

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Sampled Vintage Horns Library
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Offers the sounds of vintage horn sections.
  • Detailed sampling of nine different instruments.
  • Expressive, soulful, and authentic vintage tones.
  • Intuitive interface for easy manipulation of sounds.

Overview:

For those looking to capture the soulful sounds of classic horn sections, Big Fish Vintage Horns 2 is an excellent choice. This plugin meticulously samples nine different instruments to deliver a library that exudes authenticity and expressiveness.

Big Fish Vintage Horns 2 goes beyond simply providing dry samples; it captures the essence and soul of these vintage instruments. The result is a collection of tones that are deeply expressive, resonating with the rich, warm character of classic soul, jazz, and funk music.

The plugin’s interface is straightforward and intuitive, allowing you to easily manipulate the sounds to fit your mix. Whether you’re a producer looking for that classic Motown sound or a composer working on a retro-themed score, Vintage Horns 2 provides a goldmine of vintage horn tones to explore.

Final Thoughts:

Big Fish Vintage Horns 2 provides an authentic vintage horn experience that’s hard to beat. Its meticulously sampled library, combined with a user-friendly interface, makes it an ideal choice for producers and composers looking to inject their music with the warmth and character of classic horn sections. The level of expressiveness and authenticity on offer here truly sets it apart. If you’re seeking vintage horn sounds, this plugin is an essential addition to your setup.

Cinematic/Trailer Brass:

Best Brass VST Plugins: Musical Sampling - Trailer Brass
(Image Credit: Musical Sampling)

Musical Sampling Trailer Brass

Delivering Groundbreaking Brass Sounds for Trailers

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Trailer Brass Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Designed specifically for creating trailer music.
  • Comprehensive range of brass instruments and ensembles.
  • Ability to create both aggressive and subtle musical elements.
  • Unique "cluster" articulations for producing distinctive sounds.

Overview:

Musical Sampling Trailer Brass is another high-quality plugin in the Musical Sampling series, and this one is specifically designed for creating trailer music. Whether you’re creating aggressive, heart-pounding trailer tracks or looking for a subtler, softer brass sound, Trailer Brass has you covered.

This plugin offers a comprehensive range of brass instruments and ensembles, providing a wealth of options to choose from. This versatility allows for greater creative freedom, enabling you to find the perfect brass sound for your music.

One of the standout features of Trailer Brass is its unique “cluster” articulations. These produce distinctive, dramatic sounds that can make your trailer music stand out.

Final Thoughts:

Musical Sampling Trailer Brass is a powerful tool for creating trailer music. Its comprehensive range of brass sounds and unique “cluster” articulations make it capable of producing distinctive, impactful music. Whether you’re creating an aggressive trailer track or something more subtle, Trailer Brass can deliver the brass sounds you need.

General Brass Emulation:

Best Brass VST Plugins: Arturia - Brass 2.0
(Image Credit: Arturia)

Arturia Brass 2.0

Digital Reproduction of Traditional Brass Instruments

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Physical Modelling Brass Plugin
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Uses physical modelling technology for authentic sound.
  • Offers 3 instruments: trumpet, saxophone, and trombone.
  • Provides real-time control of the instrument's mechanics.
  • Fully configurable mutes, microphones, and reverbs.

Overview:

Arturia Brass 2.0 is a physically modelled brass plugin that offers an authentic and rich sounding representation of traditional brass instruments. The plugin allows users to recreate a brass section in their DAW with three instruments: a trumpet, saxophone, and trombone.

The standout feature of Arturia Brass 2.0 is its use of physical modelling technology. This results in an extraordinarily realistic sound that gives you the ability to control in real-time the various aspects of a trumpet’s, saxophone’s, or trombone’s mechanics.

The plugin also comes with fully configurable mutes, microphones, and reverbs to provide you with a variety of sound options. This level of flexibility means that you can create a brass section that fits your musical needs perfectly.

Final Thoughts:

Arturia Brass 2.0 provides a remarkably realistic brass sound, thanks to its physical modelling technology. The ability to control the mechanics of the instruments in real-time allows for a highly authentic and tailored experience. This plugin is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to incorporate high-quality brass sounds into their music.

FAQ Buying Guide: Best Brass VST Plugins

Navigating the world of VST plugins can be overwhelming, especially when you’re in search of the perfect brass sound. Whether you’re crafting a soulful jazz piece or a grand orchestral composition, having the right brass tones is crucial. This FAQ guide is designed to shed light on the essential aspects of brass VST plugins, helping you make informed decisions and elevate your musical projects. Dive in and discover the answers to the most common questions about brass VSTs.


  • What are brass VST plugins?

    Brass VST plugins are digital tools that simulate the sounds of brass instruments like trumpets, trombones, tubas, and French horns. They can reproduce the timbre, dynamics, and articulations of real brass instruments.

  • Why should I consider using a brass VST plugin?

    Brass VST plugins offer flexibility for composers and producers who might not have access to live brass players. They’re cost-effective, don’t require miking or recording equipment, and can be played in real-time using a MIDI controller.

  • What features should I look for in a brass VST?

    Realism: Check for high-quality sampling, multiple articulations, and true legato.

    Range: A good brass plugin should cover the full range of brass instruments.

    Dynamics: Ensure the plugin can capture the soft nuances as well as the powerful blasts of brass instruments.

    Customization: Look for plugins that allow tweaking of tone, reverb, attack, release, and other parameters.

  • Solo Instruments vs. Ensemble: What's the Difference?

    Solo Instruments: Designed to emulate a single brass player, offering intimacy and detailed expressiveness.

    Ensembles: Feature sections of players, great for achieving a full, broad sound typical of orchestral or big band settings.

  • Should I Opt for a Synthesized or Sample-Based Brass Plugin?

    Sample-Based: These rely on recordings of actual brass instruments, resulting in realistic and dynamic sounds.

    Synthesized: Use algorithms to emulate brass sounds. They might lack some realism but can offer unique timbres and are often less resource-intensive.

  • What Differentiates the Timbre of Brass Instruments in VSTs?

    Material Emulation: Brass instruments, whether made of gold, silver, or other metals, have distinct tonal qualities. High-quality VSTs capture these nuances.

    Mute Varieties: Look for plugins that include the diverse sounds from different mutes like straight, cup, or harmon.

  • How Crucial are Brass-Specific Articulations in a VST?

    Articulation Variety: Brass players use specific techniques like rips, falls, and flutter tonguing. Ensure the plugin offers these unique articulations.

  • How Do Brass Ensemble Sizes Impact the Sound?

    Chamber vs. Symphony: A chamber ensemble provides a more intimate sound, while symphonic brass sections offer a grander, fuller tone.

  • How Do I Get That Authentic Breath Sound in Brass VSTs?

    Breath Noise Control: Some VSTs offer control over the sound of players taking a breath, enhancing realism.

    Breath Controller Compatibility: Plugins that can be paired with breath controllers ensure a more dynamic and realistic performance.

  • How Do Mutes Impact the Sound in Brass Plugins?

    Mute Emulation: Brass players use mutes to change the instrument’s timbre. High-quality VSTs should offer multiple mute options and their corresponding tonal shifts.

  • What Role Do Valves and Slides Play in Brass VST Sound?

    Valve Noise: The sound of valve clicks can add authenticity. Some plugins provide an option to include or exclude this.

    Slide Movement: For trombones and certain other brass instruments, the slide movement is crucial. Ensure the plugin offers this feature for added realism.

  • How Important is Vibrato Control for Brass Instruments?

    Natural Vibrato: Brass players often employ vibrato by changing lip tension. Ensure the VST has an adjustable vibrato feature for that human touch.

  • How Do I Ensure Authentic Brass Crescendos and Swells?

    Dynamic Range Control: Look for VSTs that allow for smooth dynamic transitions, vital for realistic crescendos and diminuendos in brass performances.

  • Are There Any Brass VSTs Specializing in Historic or Ethnic Brass Sounds?

    Period Instruments: If you’re into baroque or renaissance music, see if the plugin offers period-correct instruments like sackbuts or cornetts.

    World Brass: For those exploring world music, it’s a boon if the VST includes ethnic brass instruments or styles.

More articles like this:

Related Buyer's Guides