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How do I beef up a sax track?

Discussion in 'Brass' started by forsooth, May 17, 2004.

  1. forsooth

    forsooth Guest

    Hi folks. I need to fatten up a sax track. I'm working in Digital Performer and using Waves Renaissance plug-ins.

    Any suggestions how I can beef this up?
    It's a blues number and I need some help on this one.
    What are your suggestions on EQing the sax part to fattten it up?

    The sax player is unavailable to re-do the track so I have to work with what I have in the can.

    Any advice is welcome. Thanks in advance for your help.


    forsooth :D
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Are you shooting for a dry sound? You might find more meat via the Renverb plug in, using a short decay so it sounds essentially dry in the mix (or longer, if wet's OK). I'm guessing you'll be able to add more lows and low mids that way, especially since you can EQ in there, and reverb occupies lower frequency ranges anyway. It'll be hard to add lows to the original track if they're not there in any amount to begin with. Compression can help boost lows as well.
  3. forsooth

    forsooth Guest

    Hi jonyoung! Thanks. At the moment I have some verb on the drums but the rest of the tracks are dry. I'll try the verb first on the sax track and it that doesn't work I'll have a go with some compression on it.

    I prefer to avoid using too many verbs on tracks because I'm a firm believer in "less is more". He is a good player and I don't want to color the sound too much.

    thanks for the suggestions, I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.


    forsooth :D
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean. I'm a fan of minimal meddling myself, and too much reverb has ruined many a mix. I have the Renaissance bundle myself, what a joy to be able to EQ an effect without having to eat up a channel on a console (I hope I'm not confusing it with a Lexicon reverb that came with Sonar, which is what I use, and has EQ built in. Been doing a lot of tracking on a stand alone hard disk 24 track lately, haven't looked at the plug ins in several weeks!). I'm thinking you can use a very short tail on the decay, so it sounds dry. I guess you could assign the verb its own channel in mix mode to have better control, blend it with the original track. Did you track the sax in a live room? That's really the best way to get the best out of the instrument. I've used thin plywood over carpet at other home studios before and gotten good results, but a big, live room is the secret weapon. Good luck with it, keep me posted.
  5. forsooth

    forsooth Guest

    Hey jon, The sax was tracked in my home studio with nice wood floor which really gives a nice ambience to the drums tracks on some other tracks we have done.
    No acoustic treatments whatever to the room except for loads of well stocked bookshelves..........!

    Tracked drums this last weekend and 7 people turned up who were not supposed to be there........their bodies in the room killed the drum sound! Will re-do the drums tonight.

    I'll try the reverb tonight and let you know how it goes.


    forsooth :D
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    hey forsooth- kick the people out of the room!
    if you didn't have the books, though, they could have been your acoustic treatment! :mrgreen:
  7. forsooth

    forsooth Guest

    Hey maintiger! I prefer the books to people!
    This is a freebie for a church group and they tend to turn up with a bunch of the congregation I think!

    It's amazing how much they soak up. In future I'll need to specify a weight limit............only waifs allowed in!


    forsooth :D
  8. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Why don't you try playing the track through a speaker and re-recording it with a pair of mics? Then you can get a true stereo effect, experimenting with the mic placement for the tone you're after. You can run a speaker and a pair of mics into a bathroom or closet or anywhere you want. If your rig is portable you can do this in a big empty room or church.

    In the old days we did this in a stairwell and an elevator shaft at the original Hit Factory. Now THAT was reverb!
  9. forsooth

    forsooth Guest

    Thanks Steve! I put a Waves Renaissance verb on it and that did the trick. Sounds better now.

    On the stairwell trick.......... yes that's great! The best reverb we ever got was on a guitar in the tiled bathroom with the amp and a KSM32 on it in the tub! No plugin could even come near the effect.

    Less is more. The only problem is you need a 75 year old house! Works for me. I really should have put the sax guy in the bathroom to start with! I could not have been thinking straight on that one. I'll stick a post it note on my forehead to remind me for the next time!

    Thanks for your help guys.


    forsooth :D
  10. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Your welcome. I don't know why I often forget these re-recording tricks myself. Especially since reamping electric guitars in order to re-record them is something I do all the time. I just forget to use it for other instruments.
  11. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    Give Vintage Warmer a try... even if you're not in the market for another plugin, try the demo.

    While no plugin is an end-all-be-all, this plugin is really good. I have used now for some time... and while never having tried it on SAX, I would think it is an excellent match.

  12. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Love that re-recording from a speaker, poor man's live chamber! A room mic while tracking can add some beef too. Glad the 'verb trick worked

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