Review: Century Ostinato Brass Bundle by 8Dio


The Century Ostinato Brass Bundle is an innovative sample library that captures realistic rhythmic performances simply not possible with standard midi. A great supplement to your existing brass arsenal that is built around an ultra-realistic phrase approach in an easy-to-use toolkit.

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Review: Century Ostinato Brass Bundle by 8Dio

Veteran developer 8Dio, once again takes a huge leap forward with their Century Ostinato Brass Bundle aimed at sampling true and connected short note phrases. The fantastic playability, rich sound and wonderful patterns address a lacking in an industry flooded with conventional alternatives that just don’t fit the bill. The perfect complement to any music producer’s palette in need of some realistic brass shorts that exude life and musicality.

Century Ostinato Brass Bundle sells for $196.00 from 8Dio


8Dio Ostinato Brass 4 Horns Ensemble


Since 2011, 8Dio has striven to bring deeply-sampled instruments to the music production industry which embody passion, musicality coupled with ultimate performance. This methodology has permeated through every single release to date and their recent Century Ostinato Brass Bundle is no different. Upon its conception, the library was intent on bringing true connected short note phrases to life not possible with standard sampling techniques. Building on their innovative pattern engine from their sister library, Ostinato Strings, the Brass Bundle is another unique library well worth a closer look from any music producer in need of some ultra-realistic brass patterns.
In terms of realistic orchestral sampling, the main obstacle has never been recording individual samples but instead joining these into a cohesive, musical phrase. Over the past ten years or so, many developers focused on this aspect for their ‘true’ legato sampling methods, although all of them have completely ignored the same issues that arise with traditional short articulations as well. ‘Connected shorts’ may sound like an oxymoron, however this assumption would be blatantly wrong. A quick side-by-side comparison between the two will demonstrate how important this performance feature is in achieving a realistic sound.

8Dio Ostinato Brass Articulation Browser

At just over 8.8 GB, both libraries boast a sizeable collection of content including loops. Phrases and performances. Primarily, these include 6 individual short articulations such as spiccato, marcato, duplet and triplet, which are perfect for classic brass parts as well as 5 flowing patterns, from slow to fast, to capture repetitive performances. Each brass ensemble contains 4 separate mic positions or mix options available consisting of close, decca, far/wide in addition to their main mix preset. All of which give composers the possibility to tailor the samples to their inimitable sound while also being able to fit any particular project or need. With this in mind, it is highly recommended to complete a batch re-save in Kontakt prior to loading the library in order to increase load times upon initial start-up.

As with the rest of the Century series, the sound quality of the entire library is absolutely stunning and extremely consistent across all four sections. While the ‘out-of-the-box’ timbre is quite dry, the beautiful recording hall and included mic positions give users a wealth of mixing options to fit any need not achievable with any external plugins. The added reverb also blends effortlessly with the samples while giving them a real warmth and depth of character. Undoubtedly, it is this flexibility that gives Ostinato Brass no problems fitting in a mix with any musical style in need of some gravitas or punch such as orchestral, cinematic, pop and even hip-hop, among other genres. The dynamic range is wide and spans from an intimate pianissimo to a fairly loud fortissimo. That said, it would be really fun to have an additional triple forte dynamic for some over-the-top or bombastic moments like in hybrid trailer tracks. Nevertheless, all layers feature extremely smooth crossfading which ultimately creates a seamless transition with full dynamic control and truly fluid, flexible playback. Perhaps more importantly, 8Dio was able to capture not just a sound, but an actual performance that tells a story full of emotion, expression and musicianship.

8Dio Ostinato Brass Solo Tuba

Another pleasant surprise, comes in the form of the extremely adept playability making for quite nimble performance. The short articulations are so agile and their programming would rival that of modelled instruments wherein even the fastest of melodic, rhythmic lines are no problem. As one might assume, the real gem of the library is the playable phrases that offer instant inspiration and quick results. Each pattern is well-programmed and requires the user to trigger monophonic or polyphonic lines in order to activate the playback engine. Naturally, everything relies on Kontakt’s time-machine syncing up with your host DAW and track tempo. The ‘machinegun effect’ is nowhere to be heard and the playback engine is easy-to-use for good results in seconds. Some phrase loops do tend to have a short runtime, though a simple re-triggering of the same notes should be smooth since there are no overt accented beats. While it would be nice to have an ‘overlay’ function built-in, the ability to combine multi patches manually really helps for creating more unique, accented patterns. In this sense, users are given the best of both worlds with programmed rhythms that can be changed and altered into original beats.

The included runs are a nice little extra as well which can be more or less usable depending on the context. These are great to have for moments that require some added emphasis in a particular section or moment. At faster tempos, the quick scales tend to be less musical and more akin to aleatoric effects for accenting strong hit-points or beats. Reducing to half speed, will render them unusable for the most part. Nevertheless, a appreciated add-on for a niche library that will surely get some use for specific occasions.

8Dio Ostinato Brass Effects

For users familiar with the rest of the century series, the GUI is very similar and boasts a clean and simple approach with a large and customizable keyswitch panel. Via the main page, double-clicking each empty instrument slot will pull up the articulation browser which can be assigned to any specific key for effortless changes on the fly. Additionally, the interface includes several controls over response, expression, speed, attack, release and release tails. At the bottom, you will also find the different available microphone positions, reverb and a simple set of EQs for dialing in your sound. Each of which is a helpful tool that helps composers shape everything in a timely manner. Over on the effects page, 8Dio has also throw in a few basic, but quality audio FX to further sculp your sonic world consisting of a filter, EQ, degrader, delay, transform and reverb. As with many 8Dio releases, the ‘Chaos’ function is another great feature that will randomly transform the sonic output in an instant. This is some great added value that gives the library a whole new dimension through creating drastically different output.

Generally speaking, the Century Series appears to be a fantastic, modular product line that combines quality sound, programming and content in a user-friendly package across each library. What’s more, it is exciting to see some revolutionary ideas brought forth and address a deficiency in an industry in need of constant innovation. Century Ostinato Brass in particular, is an innovative, and ultra-realistic release that ventures into uncharted territory with ‘true’ sampled shorts. The library addresses a sincere lacking in the industry by capturing short note performances in a beautiful manner that is just not available anywhere else. In retrospect, it is a bit naïve to think a wind instrument can be played with a standard midi controller which is percussive and can’t re-create a performers tonging, embouchure, etc. For fast, repetitive performances there is no other complete alternative and Ostinato Brass handles any and all phrases with ease. The difference between this next generation of sampled shorts and previous iterations is night and day making moving backwards a difficult feat.

8Dio Ostinato Brass 2 Trumpets

While the library is limited in its scope, what it does it does well and is hopefully the start of a long line of releases focused more on performance and realism. If you are a composer who finds your brass parts to be lacking some serious warmth, depth and artistic intention, this is the library for you. For those still on the fence, it is highly recommended to take a closer look at the two fantastic developer walk-through videos that offer some great examples of the library and its engine in action.


Century Ostinato Brass Bundle is a 8.82 GB download with a 4 NKI patches and contains around 16,000 individual samples. Both libraries require Native Instruments Kontakt 5.8 Full or later; it will NOT work with the free Kontakt Player.

Century Ostinato Brass Bundle sells for $196.00 from 8Dio


Demos of Century Ostinato Brass Bundle by 8Dio


Videos of Century Ostinato Brass Bundle by 8Dio

Contributor BenG reviews Century Ostinato Brass Bundle by 8Dio
“The Century Ostinato Brass Bundle is an innovative sample library that captures realistic rhythmic performances simply not possible with standard midi. A great supplement to your existing brass arsenal that is built around an ultra-realistic phrase approach in an easy-to-use toolkit.”