Production Tutorial

Arranging Pop Horns Explained®

  4.7   (15)  - log in to review
9 Videos | Length: 1hr 28min 6sec
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    Introduction (3:40)


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    Unison & Octave Doubling (10:06)


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    Harmonizing in Thirds (8:44)


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    Harmonizing in Sixths (7:49)


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    Thirds & Sevenths (8:19)


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    Three Note Voicings (12:03)


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    Four Note Closed Position Voicings (12:56)


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    Drop 2 Voicings (11:07)


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    Working with Five Horns (13:22)


Do you need horn parts for your Pop songs and productions? Well Eli Krantzberg shows you just what you need to know to create killer horn section parts for both real horns or MIDI programmed horns!

In this series designed for beginner to intermediate arrangers, Eli starts with an introduction, explaining exactly what to expect from the series, and then jumps right in, covering the art of Unison and Octave Doubled horn lines.

Harmonizing in 3rds, 6ths and 7ths are then all explained and explored, enabling you to write awesome sounding horn sections with a variety of colors and sound.

Eli then gets into voicings, including 3 and 4 note voicings, followed by Drop 2 voicings, which give your horn section parts a more spread out sound, great for wrapping around other instruments.

Finishing it up, Eli explains and demonstrates how to work and write for a five piece horn section, utilizing wide open voicings, fourths, splitting the horns so they aren’t all playing together, and combining different voicings to create a professional unified arrangement.

See the individual tutorial descriptions below for more info. If you’re ready to add some horns to your Pop productions, this series is a must see. Check out “Arranging Pop Horns Explained” today and blow up your tracks!


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Andi
Submitted 2 months ago

Very simple, not a lot of explanation. Cheesy music examples.

I was pretty bored by this tutorial. First of all the musical examples are cheesy (there was actually one example I liked). All the instruments sound very static / unrealistic / "MIDI", and apart from the sound the music itself just isn't very interesting or inspiring. Obviously the author didn't invest any time in making the horns sound real / inspiring (maybe he should watch the Groove3 tutorial on "Creating Realistic MIDI Horns" ;-). The instructor shows the typical possibilities for harmonies, but doesn't explain a lot about why and when to use them. Also he doesn't explain different styles of usage like melodic fills vs. harmonic rhythm vs. pads vs. ostinato parts etc. Somehow I feel this was quickly put together after a short internet research. I wish this tutorial had a similar quality then the one on "creating realistic MIDI horns" (different instructor), which it sadly hasn't.

I am a: Musician, Producer, Audio Engineer, Cubase


RolandK
Submitted 6 months ago

Useful insights.

This is helpful information if you don't play horns but want to do some realistic programming of sampled brass libraries. It's more about voicings - assigning who plays what - than about getting a realistic performance. For the latter, I'd recommend the course, "Creating Realistic MIDI Horns"

I am a: Studio One

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EpeeDad
Submitted 1 year ago

Good stuff!

Very informative.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Producer, Audio Engineer, Sound Designer, Sound for Film/TV

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Brihaspati
Submitted 1 year ago

Well done

I liked it a lot, specially the recap in the end. Very good.

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Chris78
Submitted 1 year ago

Many great ideas!

As usual, Eli Krantzberg delivers a very informative but also very inspiring tutorial on how to use each type of horn and how to put together several horns so that they produce beautiful harmonies using various types of chord variations. Definitely recommended.

I am a: Hobbyist, Ableton Live

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BBOBBYB
Submitted 1 year ago

AAA

AAA

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Ableton Live, Cakewalk Sonar, Reason

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Bruno
Submitted 1 year ago

very interesting

always professional in his explanation and very comprensible. Good work.

I am a: Hobbyist

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JP
Submitted 1 year ago

Inspiring

very structured and concise explanation, easy to follow

I am a: Professional, Musician, Pro Tools

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Benji Jackson
Submitted 1 year ago

Been waiting for something like this for a while. It totally met and exceeded expectations.

I'm going to be watching this one a few times I think. People don't realise that programming realistic sampled horns is as much about the arrangement as it is the samples themselves, maybe even more so! Once again Eli delivers a well constructed easy to understand set of videos that Im sure is going to add to my skill set as a producer and musician. Definately recommend.

I am a: Professional, Musician, Sound for Film/TV, Reaper

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Christos
Submitted 1 year ago

Nice and easy info

Nice and easy procedure of learning. Specially for beginners in orchestration. As a professional I would expect deeper suggestions but I suppose maybe this is the first or second level. Good and decent anyway!

I am a: Professional, Musician, Producer, Audio Engineer, Sound Designer, Sound for Film/TV, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Reason

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1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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Arranging Pop Horns Explained® is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 15 .
Rated 2.5 out of 5 by from Very simple, not a lot of explanation. Cheesy music examples. I was pretty bored by this tutorial. First of all the musical examples are cheesy (there was actually one example I liked). All the instruments sound very static / unrealistic / "MIDI", and apart from the sound the music itself just isn't very interesting or inspiring. Obviously the author didn't invest any time in making the horns sound real / inspiring (maybe he should watch the Groove3 tutorial on "Creating Realistic MIDI Horns" ;-). The instructor shows the typical possibilities for harmonies, but doesn't explain a lot about why and when to use them. Also he doesn't explain different styles of usage like melodic fills vs. harmonic rhythm vs. pads vs. ostinato parts etc. Somehow I feel this was quickly put together after a short internet research. I wish this tutorial had a similar quality then the one on "creating realistic MIDI horns" (different instructor), which it sadly hasn't.
Date published: 2018-09-04
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Useful insights. This is helpful information if you don't play horns but want to do some realistic programming of sampled brass libraries. It's more about voicings - assigning who plays what - than about getting a realistic performance. For the latter, I'd recommend the course, "Creating Realistic MIDI Horns"
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Good stuff! Very informative.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Well done I liked it a lot, specially the recap in the end. Very good.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Many great ideas! As usual, Eli Krantzberg delivers a very informative but also very inspiring tutorial on how to use each type of horn and how to put together several horns so that they produce beautiful harmonies using various types of chord variations. Definitely recommended.
Date published: 2017-08-27
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from AAA AAA
Date published: 2017-08-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from very interesting always professional in his explanation and very comprensible. Good work.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Been waiting for something like this for a while. It totally met and exceeded expectations. I'm going to be watching this one a few times I think. People don't realise that programming realistic sampled horns is as much about the arrangement as it is the samples themselves, maybe even more so! Once again Eli delivers a well constructed easy to understand set of videos that Im sure is going to add to my skill set as a producer and musician. Definately recommend.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Inspiring very structured and concise explanation, easy to follow
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Nice and easy info Nice and easy procedure of learning. Specially for beginners in orchestration. As a professional I would expect deeper suggestions but I suppose maybe this is the first or second level. Good and decent anyway!
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Perfect!! This is a great explanation of arranging horns. It is presented in a clear and concise manor. I have been trying to learn some of this by experimenting and buying books on pop horns but hearing and seeing what Eli has put together here really pulls it all together. Great tutorial, Thanks!!
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great horn writing overview. Great basic horn tutorial. Good explanations of drop voicings and doubling as well as attention to instrument ranges.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Awesome! For a guitarist that doesn't know anything about horns, this pretty much explains everything that I needed to know.
Date published: 2017-08-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Helpful! Please do series about this topic (arranging/ orchestration in pop)
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 2.5 out of 5 by from Pretty simplistic, not for a seasoned pro The music examples are dated. A novice would be better served by listening and transcribing a James Brown record in order to learn horn arranging. Tower of Power is another good study tool. Of course, Blood Sweat, & Tears, as well as, Chicago should be in the listening list.
Date published: 1969-12-31
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