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Herald Brass

Breath controlled physical model brass synthesizer

(60 Votes)
2.1 (Updated 7 years ago)
February 16, 2012
Reaktor 5 or lower


Herald Brass is a synthesizer that mimics a trumpet, trombone, or French horn. In place of an oscillator it contains a waveguide brass physical model.

It requires a wind or breath controller. I'm currently using a TEC breath controller, available at It plugs right into my computer's USB port. It's very nice.

The sample rate must be 44.1 kHz.

Version 2 adds snaps for Trombones, French horns, mellower trumpets, and a trumpet with a straight mute. Future updates may add more mutes.

Features include:

* Screeches and falls, via the Embouchure knob.
* Adjustable lip slides from note to note, via the Stiffness knob.
* Adjustable tonguing, via the Buzz Amount and Buzz Duration knobs.
* Adjustable valve and slide speed, via the Finger Time knob.
* Trumpet (embouchure & air pressure) or trombone (pitch) style vibrato.
* Flutter tonguing.
* Piccolo trumpet range (up to F6) on all trumpet snaps.

The physical model needs air pressure to operate. By default, Herald Brass listens on MIDI CC #2 (the breath controller) for air pressure. But other CC’s can be selected instead.

This is an upgrade to the brass instruments in Silverwood. I think its tone is better, and it uses fewer CPU cycles.

I want to thank Sandy Small for creating the custom knobs and buttons.

The physical model itself is based on the Brass model in the Synthesis Toolkit, created by Drs. Perry Cook and Gary Scavone.


Dee Lanee
8 months ago
I am so impressed by this instrument: It's my introduction to physical models, but I'm hooked! As an up and coming composer and former trumpet player, I can't thank you enough and am very pleased with the playability and sound.
Chet Singer
2 years ago
Hello Stephen, thanks for posting that. I loved it! It brightens my day when people find these instruments useful.
Stephen Barnard
2 years ago
Eternal thanks to Chet for the incredible stuff you have given us all. I am not sure how to contact you are if you check this message board, but in case you do, I thought you might find this interesting (it features Herald brass):
Christian Renz
3 years ago
Thank you so much for your great ensembles, Chet! I find they work very well with using guitars/basses. Instead of using a breath controller, I feed your instruments with an envelope signal (as well as the pitch detected by a pitch detector module, of course). Sounds great! Only one regret: I'd love to run 3-4 instances in order to play an ensemble live. Unfortunately, my CPU cannot take it...
Michael Shor
4 years ago
I totally love this instrument. It's one of my favorites to play with the EWI, because it is so expressive.
Greg Szymoniak
4 years ago
What is the lowest version of Reaktor to use this ensemble? I'm stuck on 5.5. Are there earlier versions of Herald? Thank you! Love your work!
Lars Bo Hermansen
5 years ago
Once again a great ensemble made with care and thought. Sadly i do not have a breath control. Have to use modwheel. The sound need a little bit, but maybe the breath control does the trick. Your demo is amazing. Thanks a lot.
hell woooda
6 years ago
"no audio comes out" - chances are CC2 value is 0 in your midi.
Henrik Jacobsen
7 years ago
Hi, somehow it doesn't play a sound when I load it in Reatkor. I send midi to it, but no audio comes out. can you help me? and the V2 gives an error in reaktor 5.6.1 Would be great to have help there Chet!
Jonah Sprout
7 years ago
Yes! Thanks.
Mikko Renko
7 years ago
Dieter Zobel
7 years ago
much thanks
Chet Singer
7 years ago
It's monophonic because it's meant to behave as a solo horn. For example, when slurring from one note to another the ensemble models such things as the finger speed when the valves are moved up or down, and the changes in lip vibration frequency.
Jedinhopy Xelon
7 years ago
Why is this instrument monophonic?
7 years ago
Just a short note for others who might not read the notes - select the MW on Lungs for the Mod Wheel if you don't have a breath controller. Or some other CC, as Chet notes.
7 years ago
It's always a good day when I find a new tool from Chet.
Felix Petrescu
7 years ago
Thank you !:) i hope Serenade will be updated soon :) your models are so good for experiment and exploration.
7 years ago
Thank you Chet