What instrument(s) are used here?


I can't figure out what instrument(s) are playing in these two parts of a track from Company of Heroes 2:

  1. https://youtu.be/_KSs73RISh0?t=5s
  2. https://youtu.be/_KSs73RISh0?t=2m58s

I'm thinking about the foreground theme that starts playing at these two points. My guess would be clarinet, oboe, or clarinet and oboe playing together. I really like this track and would love to know the answer. Thanks!

Tomasz P. Szynalski

Posted 2017-11-26T16:56:54.763

Reputation: 31



They're actually both trumpet!

The first one is just played a bit more on the quiet side, so sometimes it can sound a bit like a woodwind.


Posted 2017-11-26T16:56:54.763

Reputation: 1 951

Thank you, @Richard! I thought it sounded a bit brassy, but an oboe can sound like that too, to my novice ears. I tried to combine oboe and clarinet in GarageBand and I thought it sounded a lot like what's in that track. Is there anything in particular I should listen for to tell these from a trumpet? – Tomasz P. Szynalski – 2017-11-27T08:43:22.373

The trumpet [sample in this case] has more 'spit' at the start, when the lips first start to vibrate. You can't 'spit' start either a clarinet or oboe, because of the reeds. You can a flute [though you wouldn't confuse a flute, of course] – Tetsujin – 2017-11-27T10:43:52.907

@Tetsujin Thanks, I'll keep that tip in mind, though I can't say I hear any irregularities -- the onsets of all notes seem really smooth to me. – Tomasz P. Szynalski – 2017-11-27T16:52:18.580

1Quick test... put your lips together, then start to blow [you don't need to make any attempt to vibrate] The initial sound is always going to be a 'P' sound, however faint. If you have a reed between your lips, you can't make the 'P'. It's not a perfect analogy, but it will do as a quick explanation. – Tetsujin – 2017-11-27T16:59:04.887

@Tetsujin Good explanation! So you actually play the trumpet with closed lips. Who knew? I think this video shows the technique: https://youtu.be/cYPxs7RDe48?t=1m37s I still can't hear any P's in the samples, but maybe I'll get there in time.

– Tomasz P. Szynalski – 2017-11-27T19:06:27.273