When we record saxophone in our home studio we don't always start off with the best tone due to our room. We can often start with a dull sounding sax. But that doesn't mean we can't end up with something big and exciting! Follow these steps to take your sax tone to the next level...
Adding a high self at 7k or up will bring life into the instrument. This will bring more of the "airy" sound into the instrument to help the sax tone sit above the music as well as make the instrument sound a bit more exciting.
A bell boost anywhere from 2k - 4k will add a little aggression to your saxophone tone. Make sure and search around in this area to find the best spot to boost for your instrument.
Saxophones are subject to sounding boxy or muddy around the 400 -500Hz area. Make sure and search for the "muffled" tone around these frequency areas and take some of this out
If your instrument needs more "bottom" make sure to boost your low end. A tenor saxophone tends to have a nice low end around 200Hz. For an alto sax it may be a bit higher. Make sure and search around and find the area where your instrument sounds the best.
Add a high pass filter at 100Hz. Nothing below this is needed as it will clutter up your mix.
Our saxophone needs dynamic consistency if we want it to sound professional! So compression is a must. Add your favorite compressor with a medium attack and fast release. Shoot for 5-7db of gain reduction.
Saturation is what we need to take our home recorded sax to the next level. This will give our tone the warmth it needs to match up against the other music that's our there.
Plugins like... Virtual tape machines, revival, radiator... will add a lot to our sax tone. So pull up your favorite saturation plugin and have at it!
Check out this video to see exactly what should be done to mix your home recorded saxophone...
This guide will help take your mixes to the next level with your go to starting points for EQ and compression for all of your tracks. Just enter your name and e-mail and your guide will be e-mailed to you!