Through the years, I’ve collected a fair number of vintage saxophones. I like the sound of the sax, and I like the intricacy of the engineering. It’s also fascinating how the sound of the sax has evolved over the years, and playing saxes that were made in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s feels like getting a window into times gone by in a very special way.
John Coltrane on tenor sax, with his signature song ‘Giant Steps’. Coltrane played a Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone, one of the most iconic of saxophones for most of his career. In his earlier days he used a Selmer Balanced Action (SBA). His favourite mouthpiece seems to have been an Otto Link Tonemaster (5*).
One of the few live video recording of Charlie Parker: Hot House Live (Bebop). Charlie played a King Super 20, probably with his white Brilhart Tonalin Streamline mouthpiece.
Having recently upgraded to Cubase AI 10 I have been pulling my hair out since I could not get any input to register. Long story short, after trying out different port mappings and swapping in a different interface, I finally found that this behaviour is caused by the microphone security settings. If you run into this problem, make sure that Cubase is allowed to access the microphone, since without it you will get no input from an interface at all.
To check, go to ‘Preferences’ – ‘Microphone’ – ensure that Cubase has a tick in front of it.
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Here’s a beautiful, satin gold plated Holton alto, serial 188xx (1925, see this Holton Serial Chart). Eb above serial number, L.P. below. Floral design engraving. Opposing bell keys, and has the extra keys the Holton’s are known for (C-vent), and has … Continue reading
Here’s a few hints that may be useful to get a good sound when rcording a saxophone. I’ve been using Cubase for a long lime now, starting with LE4 and recently moving on to LE5. I use a very simple but excellent USB DAC interface, the Jam by Apogee, directly into my Macbook Pro, using a Sure SM58 microphone through a basic mixer, the Behringer Eurorack MXB1002. The microphone could do with an upgrade alright, but for my purposes the results are fine. I use inserts in Cubase to get the sound just right:
- VSTDynamics (Guitar Compressor or Brass Section settings should get you started)
- PingPongDelay (Smooth Jazz)
- Roomworks SE (Vintage Plate Reverb)
- DaTube Warm Tube
- MAutoPitch (Any one of the stereo settings)