Best Trumpet VST Plugins of 2020 – Complete Round-up

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Trumpet sound is one of those you’re thinking first when you imagine a sound of success or victory. And it’s not a real surprise because that instrument has been used for millennia for exactly the same purpose.

It was a part of every relevant orchestra and it remains indispensable even today.

Our Top Picks for Trumpet VST Plugins

  • Brass and reed library
  • Virtual horns ensemble
  • Era tone-defining modes
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  • 38 Articulations captured
  • 54 Solo & 32 Ensembles
  • Woodwinds patches included
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  • Orchestral brass ensemble
  • 2382 samples in 54 patches
  • 36 various rhythmic loops
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Comparison of the Best Trumpet VST Plugins

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Complete brass and reed library
  • Define how many players you want in virtual horns ensemble
  • Unique Era tone-defining modes
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  • 38 Articulations with up to 8 velocities per note
  • 54 Solo Instruments and 32 Ensembles
  • Contain woodwinds instruments, too
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  • Full orchestral brass sample-based library
  • 2,382 samples in 54 presets
  • 36 inspiring rhythmic loops for various vibes
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  • Best Trumpet VST FL Studio
  • Specially designed to emulate the vibe of the ‘60s and ‘70s
  • 15 instrument patches including several trumpets
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  • Best Muted Trumpet VST
  • Acoustical modeled brass engine
  • Riff mode sequencer with hundreds of pre-made patterns
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  • The most advanced acoustic modeled trumpet VST
  • 4 genre-oriented trumpet types
  • Incredibly small storage footprint
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  • Best Jazz Trumpet VST
  • Huge collection with over 60 instruments
  • Comprehensive collection with over 60 instruments
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Types of Trumpets

Knowing a little bit more about real trumpet instruments can help you using a Trumpet VST properly.

B♭ and C Trumpets

Those trumpets differ in pitch by a tone difference and B♭ is probably the one you imagine the first. C Trumpet has a brighter sound and is often used in American orchestral plays. Both of these trumpets are regular instruments of every orchestral ensemble.

The Flugelhorn

This German model resembles the standard trumpet, but its sound is much softer. That’s why it may be the best choice for jazz or ballad songs.

Piccolo Trumpet

These trumpets are the smallest in size and highest in pitch. They are built-in B♭ and A keys and the tubing is usually one-half of the standard trumpet and they have an additional 4th valve.

Bass Trumpet

Bass trumpet covers the register of the trombone instrument while using a treble clef notation system. The sound is one octave lower than a regular trumpet.

Pocket Trumpet

They cover the pitch of standard trumpet, but at a much more compact size and smaller bell. The design is not standardized so it may vary a lot regarding sound color. That makes them ideal for jazz music as a part of artistic expression.

Is a Trumpet VST Hard to Learn?

Playing a Trumpet VST properly requires you to first learn some basics regarding expression controlling and how to assign certain parameters to MIDI controllers. Then, you will need to approach the effect panel and learn how to doze it professionally. 

From that point, the key feature is to think like a trumpet player while composing.

Playing realistically is mostly linked to the note and articulation choices you take so it may come handy to make a deep analysis of your favorite tracks with trumpet sound or maybe even watch tutorials about real trumpet playing and especially improvising.

When Would I Use a Trumpet VST Plugin?

Here’s a quick reminder when a trumpet sound may come great:

Happy Tunes

The trumpet sound is often related to the sound of triumph and due to its bright sound character, it works the best if you would use it for songs in major keys. Think of fanfare sounds or any medieval court and you’ll get the idea.

Themes

Trumpet excels as a lead instrument. It’s very expressive and can behave almost like a human vocal using various techniques such as growling, doit, or fall-offs. Even legato notes can apply certain techniques that drastically change the overall impression such as swell or various vibratos.

Funk Music

Funk is almost like a birthplace for a modern trumpet. Whether you use it as solo or ensemble accompaniment parts it will find its spot perfectly. However, it will sound as realistic as your programming skills are at the moment.

Jazz Music

There is no way you didn’t hear about Louis Armstrong. Apart from being an incredible singer, he was an even better jazz trumpet and cornet player. His playing technique was almost clarinet-like so if you could check it out if you’re looking to develop the right mindset for trumpet improvisations.

Review of the Best Trumpet VST Plugins

It wasn’t easy to find dedicated trumpet software. However, while looking and various horns and brass libraries we have found that these plugins excel at trumpet samples:

PROS

  • 13 articulations per instrument
  • Complete brass and reed library
  • Unique Era tone-defining modes
  • Samples captured at three different miking positions
  • Define how many players you want in virtual horns ensemble

CONS

  • Might be expensive
  • Requires a lot of storage space and at least 8 GB of RAM

Features and Specifications

Mojo 2 is a complete brass and reed library containing 13 instruments. They all have up to 13 articulations and every sample is taken at 4 velocities and 3 round robins containing 100 GB of uncompressed samples in total.

All samples are captured at three miking positions so you may blend the sound from close, near, and room positions using the internal mixer. If you want to preserve RAM, you can load already produced Full Mix instead and in case you need to apply effects, there are 9 modules at your disposal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you want a truly professional sample library, Mojo 2 is your #1 pick. We especially love their Era feature, so your sound may shift from pristine clean Modern sound, saturated Retro sound of the ’60s, and all the way back to the lo-fi flavored sound of the 1920s. This way you may match your sound to any possible genre.

Ensemble creation also got our kudos as you can easily define not just how many players you will have in your virtual ensemble, but with the Humanize slider, you can also create micro-delays between players, typical to real-life situations.

PROS

  • Contain woodwinds instruments, too
  • 54 Solo Instruments and 32 Ensembles
  • 21 Convolution Reverb types with 6 FX panels
  • 38 Articulations with up to 8 velocities per note
  • The only phase synchronized orchestra library on the market

CONS

  • No custom IR loader provided
  • May provide you with more instruments than you needed

Features and Specifications

This is the first library that has phase synchronized samples which allows incredibly smooth velocity transitions from any velocity range.

All of 54 Solo Instruments and 32 Ensembles are grouped into four volumes and there are 38 Articulations included per instrument with up to 8 velocities per note and all articulations can benefit from the Speed Change feature that can adjust the speed of every articulation individually.

The effect section is made out of 6 DSP panels including a specially developed reverb containing 21 convolution impulse response files.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This library doesn’t provide you with the horns only, although there are even 13 different trumpets. The complete woodwind section is included and every instrument has the same superb quality while the sound remains specifically oriented towards funk, jazz, and big-band music.

We like how auto-vibrato works and how it matches the tempo of the DAW project. It requires minimal editing so it might be a real time-saver. The same goes for falls and shakes - instead of key-switches, these articulations can be performed using the pitch bend wheel or joystick.

And the best of all is that you can even integrate the iPhone and iPad as a remote controller.

Best for the Money:
Heavyocity FORZO Essentials

PROS

  • Can work stand-alone too
  • 2,382 samples in 54 presets
  • Full orchestral brass sample-based library
  • 36 inspiring rhythmic loops for various vibes
  • Useful Macro Knob for multi-parametric real-time control

CONS

  • May not be our first choice for typical music production
  • Doesn’t provide you with the solo instrument performance

Features and Specifications

FORZO is a full orchestral brass ensemble sample-based library made out of 26 players. It comes with 2.9 GB of storage space feeding you with 2,382 samples.

The sound is generated from 12 french horns, 4 trumpets, 8 trombones, and two tubas delivering 6 articulations - Sustain, Staccato, Cluster and Regular Crescendo, Braams, and Random Flutters.

All sounds were captured by 3 microphones and the balance between them can be either fixed in the user panel or you can use a pre-processed mix. Apart from reverb, it also provides you with the basic EQ, filter, and envelope editor.

Why it Stands Out to Us

FORZO is a modern sample library-oriented for cinematic scoring first and that’s why some really interesting studio-ready rhythmic loops come as a feature that makes this plugin unique on the market.

It will make your soundtrack move if you get stuck and you can always experiment with any theme thanks to the Cycle feature.

The macro knob is a nice addition as it can link several parameters on a single knob-turn and the effect panel appears to be quite self-sufficient even for a modern cinematic approach.

If you love what you’re hearing check out the complete version of Essentials, FORZO Modern Brass.

Best Trumpet VST FL Studio:
Big Fish Audio Vintage Horns 2

PROS

  • Other retro instruments included, too
  • Ideal for scoring noir cinematic soundtracks
  • 15 instrument patches including several trumpets
  • Unified articulation list and layout for all instruments
  • Specially designed to emulate the vibe of the ‘60s and ‘70s

CONS

  • Not very useful user manual
  • Might be a little bit too saturated for some music projects

Features and Specifications

This is a special library offering you various vintage horn instruments of the ‘60s and the ‘70s starting from a couple of trumpets, various saxophones, trombone, and flugelhorn. All instruments share the same articulation list and Kontakt key triggering layout. Sustain notes are set as default but you may pick from standard staccato or stab notes or more effect-based ones such as swell, fall-offs, doits, scoops, and flutter tongues.

Speaking about the FX section it is organized in reverb, tape saturation, and basic EQ module and it also includes standard ADSR envelope.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Trumpets from this library will get you a really pleasant retro tune. It will sound good for either “no-vibrato” playing or a more aggressive approach that excels at louder velocities. You can even have that unique Sgt. Pepper piccolo trumpet, too!

Nevertheless, all horns will match either jazz or RnB vibe and cover the complete tonal range easily and create overall that “blast from the past” effect.

But, let’s not forget about Piccolo and bass Flutes. This way you may have a full section needed for any kind of retro funk revival music project at your hands.

Best Muted Trumpet VST:
Arturia Brass 2

PROS

  • Acoustic modeled brass engine
  • Stack up to 4 instruments per preset in Live Mode
  • Manual or preset-based One Note Harmonisations
  • Riff mode sequencer with hundreds of pre-made patterns
  • Provides you with the trombone and sax instrument modeling

CONS

  • May require some careful sound designing
  • Other brass instruments may not sound so convincing

Features and Specifications

Arturia Brass is an acoustic modeled library of three brass instruments. Acoustic modeling significantly reduced loading time because it doesn’t rely on huge sample libraries to load up. If needed, it can run in stand-alone mode, too.

Riff mode provides you with the sequencer and 150 editable patterns organized by style. Those patterns can be triggered by a single note or adjust based on the chord you’re holding down.

Apart from trumpet modeling, Arturia Brass delivers some decent sax and trombone models as well. Sax covers alto and tenor ranges while trombone spans over three octaves.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Arturia Brass was a pioneer of the acoustic modeled VST instruments and it remained to sound good regarding brass sounds even from a modern-day perspective.

It may take some time to learn how to approach it, but, once you get it, the sound you create will be as good as hiring a real trumpet player. This goes especially if you have any need to compose a solo part instead of building a horn section.

Trumpet even covers the range from E3 – G6 which is a little bit over the usual trumpet range in both low and high notes.

Editor's Pick:
SWAM Trumpet

PROS

  • 4 genre-oriented trumpet types
  • Incredibly small storage footprint
  • All relevant articulations captured
  • Extended use of MIDI controller parameters
  • The most advanced acoustic modeled trumpet VST

CONS

  • Solo instrument version only
  • Realistic expression may require needs some practice

Features and Specifications

SWAM trumpet is the most advanced acoustic modeled virtual trumpet on the market that uses mathematical calculations to recreate the behavior of real trumpet instruments.

Several trumpet types are provided so you may pick classical Baroque, jazzy Louis Armstrong, or Miles Davies or eastern-flavored Balkan trumpet.

All relevant articulations are captured and can be shaped in real-time in any direction you may need including Growl, Flutter and Attack Tongue, Breath Noise, various types of Mutes, Valve, and Slide Position, just to name the most important one.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We know that storage may not be a problem like it was recently. But, having a VST instrument so good at only 75 MB and taking up 15 MB of RAM also still sounds like a story from a distant future.

The expression can be matched with the real instrument, and speaking about breath and the sound is breathtaking.

Speaking about breath, if you find a decent breath controller, you will enjoy this library even more as it will allow you to play it with the same mindset as a real trumpet player regardless of the genre you’re about to compose.

Best Jazz Trumpet VST:
Garritan Jazz Band 3

PROS

  • First jazz-oriented brass library
  • Huge collection with over 60 instruments
  • Build your ensembles from solo to full big band
  • Other jazz instruments such as piano and drums included
  • 16-channel mixer with dedicated reverb tab in the interface

CONS

  • Only reverb effects provided
  • Solo instruments may not be so convincing as ensembles

Features and Specifications

Jazz Band 3 comes with over 60 instruments including 6 different trumpets with mutes and even 16 saxophones among others. Trumpets come with dedicated articulations for falloffs, doits, and kisses assignable to the MIDI controls.

Ensemble Manager allows you to make your own jazz ensembles and big bands or use them in solo, duet, and trio mode. It also comes with a pre-configured collection of various instrumental combinations for a quick start.

Speaking of the mixing panel, it comes with a 16-channel mixer and a set of algorithmic and convolution reverbs.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like how well-balanced this software is regarding sound quality and system resources requirements. It is ideal for any kind of Broadway-like music, jazzy with glamour sparkling from those trebles coming out from the trumpet sounds.

It also requires smaller storage than the rest of the competition. And, if you may need other instruments such as piano, guitar, or drums, you won’t need to look for any other software as these sounds are specially tailored for jazz performance. While not being state of the art, they sound completely acceptable to the task they have been given.

Real Trumpet vs Trumpet VST - Comparison Overview

Both categories have their pros, so let’s try to resolve this clash a little bit:

Editing

Trumpet VST allows you to change the performance any time you want, even seconds before the last mix. Using a real player may require you to plan and decide exactly what notes you would like to hear because editing such a track will require a lot more work and it may be even impossible.

Sound

Trumpet VST may come with the pristine and incredibly expensive trumpet model, while your trumpet player will probably provide you with the more affordable model that compensates price for the sound quality.

Also, regarding sound recording, Trumpet VSTs are recorded in top-quality studios using some incredibly expensive hardware units. You may find out in a hard way that recording conditions are not set for acoustic instruments, yet.

Character

As trumpet is one of the most expressive instruments in the world, if there is a song that requires a solo part or some sort of improvisation, hiring a real trumpet player will always be a better choice. 

No matter how hard you try, remember that with Trumpet VST you’re just simulating what a real player could do straight away.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you buy, here are some concerns that you should be aware of:

Learning Curve

The trumpet is a very expressive instrument, so be ready to invest quite a lot of devoted time in learning how to utilize all the articulations it can deliver. It won’t be an easy job because you’re trying to play an instrument in a much different environment than the original hardware. If you don’t have in mind any realistic trumpet solo, you should think twice before you decide to do it here.

Computer Requirements

Most of Trumpet VST instruments are made using the sample-based approach. This means that the premium Trumpet library may come at even hundreds of gigabytes of the sampled content. Also, the premium presets may require a lot of RAM so you should include at least 8 GB and at least 7200rpm HDD or a modern SSD storage drive.

Expensive

If you want to get all of the expressions found in real instruments, you can’t go cheap with this VST instrument. Cheaper software may be excellent for pop and rock music backing tracks, but if realism is your number one priority, such libraries may lack some articulations that will be audible if you put such sound to the front.  

Conclusion

Regardless of what you’re composing and if you’re looking for a solo or ensemble sound, trumpet VST today can sound incredibly convincing. Sure, it may require some time to program it convincingly, but we guarantee you that it is possible to sound just like the real trumpet player eventually.

People Also Ask

Next, we’re going to review some of the historical and trivia aspects of the trumpet instrument and also cover your concerns regarding what additional equipment you may need to play a Trumpet VST. We’re also going to reveal the best way to perform with this type of VST instrument, too.

What’s the Difference Between a Trumpet and a Trombone?

You would be surprised how many would pick trombone for a trumpet from an image. But the difference is obvious - if it has a slide - it’s a trombone, if it has vertical valves - it’s a trumpet. 

Speaking of sound, the trombone has a much lower pitch than a trumpet and it’s the only brass instrument notated in bass clef.

What’s the Difference Between a Trumpet and a Cornet?

While they cover the same pitch range and have the same number of valves, their biggest difference lies in the shape of the bore. Cornets have a more conical bore which results in having a much warmer and softer sound compared to the up-front one trumpet produces.

When Was the First Trumpet Invented?

The first trumpets were recorded back in 1.500 BC in Egypt and Scandinavia. China even had metal trumpets from the same era.

How Big is the Largest Trumpet?

The largest playable trumpet was made in Indonesia back in 2009. It was almost 105 ft long and it could be played with the support of a compressor. Back to more realistic proportions, the largest trumpet that could be held by a human

Can I Play Trumpet VST on the MIDI Keyboard?

Yes, it is quite possible. However, additional equipment such as an expression pedal or using knobs in real-time to create a specific articulation may be required. That’s why, if you have in mind playing Trumpet VST regularly, you may consider investing in purchasing some proper MIDI breath controller.

What is a Breath Controller?

Breath Controller is a MIDI controller designed to be utilized with the woodwind and brass software instruments. It allows you to play such software in the same manner as the original acoustic instrument.