Review Chris Hein Orchestral Brass Compact


Big things can indeed come in small(er) packages! With same features & engine as its big brother, Orchestral Brass Compact delivers stunning sound and expressive punch at a much lower price point.

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Review Chris Hein Orchestral Brass Compact

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass Compact is available for $169.00 from Best Service


Orchestral Brass Compact is the “little brother” of Chris Hein Orchestral Brass Complete and the cousin of Orchestral Winds Compact, which SLR Host Don Bodin has already reviewed earlier this year. The library comes with 12 instruments in total. 3 French Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones and an Ensemble version of each instrument. All of the instruments have been recorded “dry” to allow for more obvious freedom in mixing and incorporation in existing tracks.

One really key feature is that all of the samples have been phase-aligned to allow for the most realistic sound at up to 8 dynamic levels. This makes the transitions very clear and avoids the drops or interruptions experienced in some libraries.

Upon sitting down and working with the library it became immediately clear that this brass has a life-like punch that I have not heard in many other libraries, particularly those at the same price point.

The interface organization and layout is essentially the same as Hein Winds Compact.



At the risk of being a bit redundant, I would point out as SLR Host Don in his review of Winds Compact, that the Note Head is scripted into the engine, thus allowing you the ability to add an accent note on top of any articulation to create a hyper-realistic playing experience with a virtual instrument.


The other notable features are the Body IR and the Room IR. The Body IR provides the ability to create some real additional character in the depth and resonance of the instrument, especially paired with the significant options available for Room IR. Room IR offers about 2 dozen different spaces to mix with. The IRs are excellent and add a real flavor to the horns, but as a rule, I prefer to mix using various external plugins and route all of my instruments into the same room.


In addition to all of the individual instruments, each instrument has its own ensemble section which sounds wonderful as well.  Given that this is the Compact version, you get 5 of the 13 articulations, 3 Note Heads versus 6 and a number of the engine functions (see the full list in the link to the product page) in the full version. Other than those limitations, you get a great sounding brass section at a really remarkable price point. 

In all honesty, there isn’t much that’s not to like about Orchestral Brass Compact – especially if you don’t need all of the articulations of the full version. It is an authentic sound that stands on its own as part of an ensemble or as solo instruments.



Chris Hein Orchestral Compact Brass includes 12 instruments: 3 French Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones and an Ensemble version of each instrument. The library size is 7 GB and supports both the free and full versions of Kontakt 5.5 or higher.

Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows I am a stickler for details on authenticity and microphone and recording techniques. The library was recorded “dry” using Neumann mics with members of the WDR Symphony Orchestra. As mentioned earlier, the samples are phase aligned and contain 5 articulations: Sustained, Expressive, and 3 shorts. Each offers different options to control the 8 dynamic layers: Keyboard Velocity, X-Fade through Expression, a combination of Velocity and X-Fade and editable Auto Fade.


Layer Control

Instruments can be switches from True Legato to Polyphonic play using the same control area. As I covered earlier, there are 3 Head Notes allowed in the Head Note Designer that allow you to shape the Attack and Release of the samples.

Two types of Vibrato are available on the main instrument panel which allow for switching between Manual-LFO and Auto-Vibrato.


Like its sibling Winds Compact, it also contains an ensemble feature that will emulate up to 5 performers and also contains a Transient Designer.

Chris Hein Orchestral Brass Compact is available for $169.00 from Best Service

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