Tenor Saxophone

A multi-microphone sax with a roomy sound...

The story

Hey hey, it’s Hidde Pieters again!

My younger brother strikes again. I mentioned in the story of my previous submission, the LaPaz Guitar, how my younger brother wanted to learn guitar. What I didn’t mention in that story, is that the guitar would have been the umpteenth instrument he would have tried his hand at at that point. He’s played recorder, violin, xylophone, and a few others I can’t even remember. However, none of the instruments he’s tried his hands at have captivated him as long as his current instrument, the tenor saxophone. Where the other instruments held his attention for a year at most, he’s been playing saxophone for well over four years now, and even plays in the local intermediate orchestra. Having said all that, I never even thought about sampling him playing the sax.
Then, a few months ago, I had to do a project for school; me and a few classmates had to write and orchestrate a piece of balkan brass music. This composition had to include obvious distinct sections, one recorded instrument, one synthesised instrument, and one sampled instrument. Me and my team got to brainstorming who would do what, what we would record and sample, and what we would synthesise. The last part was the easiest, as we luckily had someone on board who was quite good at sound design, who also offered to synthesise a trumpet. The tricky part was figuring what to sample and what to record, as we didn’t know anyone who played brass. However, I then realised, I did know someone who played a brass woodwind: my younger brother! So me and my brother booked a few hours in one of the school’s recording studios, along with a small assortment of microphones, and got to work.

This is also my second experiment with multi-microphone recording setups, and my first voyage into mic controls. Admittedly, I used a somewhat unorthodox recording setup for this. One cardioid microphone (the Close Mic) about half a meter in front of the sax, a figure eight microphone (the Mid-Room Mic) about two meters from the sax with the sensitive side aimed towards the sax, and an omnidirectional microphone (the Far-Room Mic) behind the sax in a corner of the room. Though I don’t have a lot of experience in recording, I’ve found that I quite enjoy having a more roomy sound, hence this setup, as it both nicely captures the sax, and the room around it.

We recorded two octaves, with three velocity layers per note, and three round robins per velocity layer. We also recorded the various pads and keys of the sax, which I mapped onto the lower keys of the keyboard, free for you to add in as you please. I also have these sounds their own volume knob.

The one crux of this library, I think, is the volume disparity between velocity layers. I tried to fix that as best I could, but didn’t go too far with it for fear of disturbing the noise floor too much. Still, I don’t think it’s too big an issue.

In the end, I’m really happy with how this project turned out! I’ve got a few other sample libraries in the works which I’m slowly working on, and I want to experiment with true legato in the future as well, so this is not the last you’ll hear from me.

Cheers!
Hidde.

Reviews

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Worth A Download

    This pack sounds like a more realistic and beef'd up version of DSK Sax! I love the inclusion of the Multi-Mic setups - This gives so much more flexibility. It was also a treat to see a wide variety of key sounds included in the lower octave. Great job!

    Jake18 October 2021
  • Really nice Sax

    This is a very playable saxophone. The intonation is good, and the inclusion of the pad noises is awesome and super useful! There's definitely some unevenness in volume from sample to sample, so you have to sort of pick your way around and write around certain notes, getting to them only when you want an accent. Even so, this is a fun and high useful instrument!

    Sam Ecoff18 October 2021
  • fantastic

    I always wanted a good tenor sax sample and never found one, this one is great and thanks

    Parsa Mostaghim14 October 2021
  • Great sound!

    Overall the library sounds great! No audible sonic artifacts or sloppy sampling. It sounds very realistic, and even without legato functionality it is pretty convincing. I would definitely hope that it would be updated with legato patches in the future since that would really push this instrument from great to fantastic. Good job!

    christopher13 October 2021
  • A convincing sax!

    Very flowing playing even though it doesn't have a legato patch.

    Quetzal13 October 2021
  • Super Sax Sound!

    Superb, full-bodied sound to this sax. Considering this isn't a legato patch it's incredibly playable and flexible. It can feel ever so slightly clunky between velocity layers but a quick MIDI edit and it's easily smoothened out. I used this in a pitch for a film which I ended up getting so can't thank you enough for this! Sounds amazing with a long reverb! Definitely would encourage the true legato experiment. Great stuff!

    Max McGuire13 October 2021
  • Love it!

    Sounds really realistic and will definitely fit seamlessly into my arrangements!

    Rhodri.Music12 October 2021
  • Headless Hidde

    LOL Headless Hidde is over here creating gems.Love this one!

    Jeffrey Price12 October 2021