“Epic” Low Horns

Recent years have shown a tendency in film music to write more often for brass in their very low register. Especially horns are often requested to play in their lowest octave.

While excellent players in great numbers (speaking of at least 6 Horns) can make this register sound quite epic, regular “classical” horn sections struggle quite a bit with it. This register is not very carrying and hard to control on the horn. Especially in comparison with the trombones at the same pitch, the horn section is usually much weaker. Dedicated “Low Horn” players might use a special mouthpiece that makes the low register more controllable but at the cost of making the highest register less controllable and punchy. So while they will have a better projection at the bottom end of their range, the delivery of high “epic” horn lines gets considerably more problematic for them.

Trying to replicate the epic/sampled low horn sound with a (traditional) real orchestra is something that you shouldn’t expect to be too successful under normal circumstances. So plan in to give support to these notes with other instruments (most likely Trombones) or samples. 

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