Saxophone tips?

I’m trying to get a fairly natural feeling saxophone out of Auxy. I’m pretty ready to give up on anything out of the ‘Hipster Horns’ menu.

I’m going for something you might here in classic Bowie or a modern psych band like Pond or Alaskalaska. Something baritone and skronky.

Any thoughts are welcome.

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Sax is a challenging sound to recreate well and make usable expressive, even for expensive sample packs aimed at studio quality DAWs.

I’ve found I can get something a bit more convincing out of that Auxy pack by wetting them up with some subtle delay and a quite generous use of reverb to help thicken things up a bit.

Additionally, octave layering helps build some warmth and weight, especially for non-chords, but also on chords.

Also, layering the sax types can help, balancing the relative levels to tweak the feel.

Using those options on shorter stabs can give you something quite combing — or at least something which helps mask the quality of the samples used in the library.

HTH :+1:


Thank you for the rundown. I will be googling “octave layering” to make sure I understand. If you have time to expand on that part at all, I’d appreciate it.

My guess is that you mean I should have duplicates of the instrument layered at different octaves (maybe like a high-mid-low) and space them out in such a way to make more depth and fill more space? Kinda like the ol’ Brian May guitar-stacking technique?

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Exactly :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m quite picky, so I wouldn’t use them if I wasn’t happy with how they sound in a piece.
Here are some examples of how I’ve used it that I’m happy with in my Black Node output.

Some of them are stacked instances of one sax instrument, while others are blends of different variants of the sax instrument within Auxy, to add texture.

I should point out that sitting it well in the mix is key. I’ve never had it out there on its own, solo, so it’s likely that the cheapness of the samples is kinda masked a bit bc other things are going on at the same time. Still, I feel it ends up feeling convincing enough. (Real sax players might disagree :wink: )

They’ve been good enough to be a regular go-to across my various output under different names and styles, and to use them as one of the main ‘band’ instruments within my Black Node material. :+1:

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These examples make it very clear what you’re saying about “shorter stabs.”

It is a way different approach compared to what I’ve been doing, so this gives me a lot to think about. I’ve definitely been trying to use it like a standalone solo instrument.

Thanks a ton. Awesome music too. So open and unpredictable.