John Coltrane – Giant Steps

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*).

Cubase on MacOS Mojave – interface input problems

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.

Recording Saxophone with Cubase LE5

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)