How to Record a Saxophone


Invented in 1842 and closely linked with the trombones and trumpets is the saxophone, the most expressive instrument of all time. Music from the saxophone touches the soul, a profound effect on most people. Why is that? The saxophone creates sound that brings out emotion. This instrument is the sound of love.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo make a perfect recording of a saxophone depends on the great sound coming out of your horn, even with the best recording equipment and studio. Before hitting the studio, get your fundamentals right! Get a good engineer who is well experienced in working with the sax. Also take time to learn a little about the recording process, to get a masterpiece. Here are some recording techniques you may need during your studio time.

The first piece of equipment important to recording a saxophone is a microphone. It records well with a condensor mic. Condensor mics may suck on stage because of the feedback but, they offer a pick up pattern that is broader. Different from dynamic mics which are flatter and specialized to record voices, condensor microphones require a battery and you can work with them 3 feet away. Another great mic is the Nuemann U87, a standard mic specialized for sax recording. Its large diaphragm gives a warm sound. However, it is quite expensive.

The next piece of equipment that is important to the recording process is the pre-amp. It boosts your signal to the computer and recording machine giving you a hot sound. When recording, crank the input knob close to red. Gaining it all the way to red will distort your sound. Depending on your particular sound you can experiment on the amount of boost.

You may also choose to experiment with the compressor. It amplifies spit on the reed, breath and the note pads’ clicking sounds. Compression brings each note to climax. Be careful on your compression, depending on the song, make sure you don’t go overboard with the compression.

Use the equalizer to add sizzle and body to beef up your recording. Try out some high end frequency, but with a good mic you may want to go for midsas boosting and low end equalizing. This is to avoid a honky tone. Hear some reverb too and add it to your recording if you feel its vibe. To create the wah-wah effect, connect a wah-wah pedal to your mic, and move it to create the effect. Have fun experimenting during studio time.


Awesome tips on how to record a saxophone

Are you a saxophone enthusiast? Do you have an interest in woodwind instruments? Or perhaps want to know how to record a horn? Here are the awesome tips on how to recording a saxophone.

Mic to use

man playing saxophoneA microphone is necessary for any instrument recording or audio recordings.Whenever you want to record a saxophone, a clear and high-quality microphone helps in making awesome records.An example of a high quality and dynamic microphone that can be used to record a horn is the Shure SM57 or the SM58, which can also be utilized in a live setting.Note that Robbin mics have been described as the best in recording wind and brass instruments. Ribbon mics have a scoop range of between 2kHz to 4kHz.In case the vintage ribbon mic is not affordable, finding a condenser that does not overemphasize the higher mid-range works well with the saxophone too.

When using a condenser in recording a saxophone you should be very conscious of incidental noise coming out of the instrument and also too much hiss or pop.When recording any wind instruments such as the saxophone, it is important that the mic should be able to withstand the often the force of sound coming out of the bell.

Placement of the mic

There is no fundamental rule of the proximity of the instrument and the microphones, but certain factors affect efficiency during a recording.The placement will vary depending on the room, your gear and the player too.Placing your mic in a way that it gets an ample coverage of all parts of the saxophone is essential.This medium is because the saxophone produces sound from all parts of the horn.The mic should not be placed too close to the bell of the instrument as it will accentuate the lower frequencies instead of capturing the full sound of the saxophone.

It is suggested that the length of the saxophone should be almost the same as the distance between the mic and the player with the mic placed between the bell and the mouthpiece.Multiple microphones can achieve different kinds of configurations.

Room sound vs. Saxophone sound

The sound room environment is a determining factor to the final cut of an instrument recording.Recording in a more open environment will replicate the experience of hearing a live saxophone.If working in a less natural room or with more noise, having a closer mic placement is the best option.

Although there are many suggestions for mic placement, the best method is the power of experimentation.



Experimentation: The Best Way To Produce The Best Saxophone Home Recording

Are you one of those versatile musical instrument players who loves to play the saxophone? Do want to record while playing, but it isn’t possible for you to visit a recording studio? If so, you can now record saxophone in home recording.


When you record saxophone, it produces a variety of outcomes which basis on what tools and approaches did you use to create the record. Just like any kind of instrument, recording a saxophone have different ways on how to record it until you can find the best result. On the other hand, there are a lot of tips and guidelines for you to have once you wanted to have a saxophone recording at home.

Microphone to Use

When you record a saxophone, you should use a microphone with very sturdy dynamics. If you want to share your sax recording in the world, you can make use of the best microphone investment.

You make use of ribbon microphones for it is the best weapon for recording winds and brass. You must put into consideration the greatest saxophone recordings that ribbon microphones have produced. There are a lot ribbon microphones with a natural scoop of 2kHz to 4kHz range, which puts extra sax squeak and pop lives to life. It can also prevent the final mix to land.

Not everyone of us has the capacity to buy expensive high quality ribbon microphones. Purchasing a condenser can be a good move. The condensers will be the one to sense the hiss, pop or some accidental noise that comes out of the horn. These natural sounds can bring a jazz record in your music.

As you choose your microphone, you should make sure that it has high SPL. This quality should be present for it is can help your microphone withstand the unexpected force of sound that comes out of the bell. It is necessary to make sure that your microphone will be able to handle the most possible force of sound that it may encounter.

Microphone Placement

Just like your possible recording results, placing microphones varies depending on the room, the gear and of course you, the sax player. The sound produced by a saxophone came from every section of the instrument. Your microphone should be set in a way that it can get an ample coverage on all parts of the horn. Once you place the microphone too close the horn, it will only capture the lower frequency sound and not the full, robust sound of the saxophone. You may have seen some performances which puts the microphone too close to the horn, but this is not to improve the sound quality of the saxophone but it is to combat bleed with other instruments.

It is recommended to set up the microphone on the same length as the distance between the player and saxophone itself. It is also recommended to place the microphone overhead to the player facing the middle mouthpiece of the bell.

Perfect saxophone recording production at home will only be met if you can have the best microphone with the right configurations. It doesn’t really matter what action that you take, the thing that matters is how do patient are you to experiment with your recording until you produce the best saxophone home recording results.