Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / sound

User ID: 9356783
Feb 10th 8:36 AM
Since I got into sax playing relatively recent it's not easy to tell the difference between the alto and tenor recordings. Many of my favorite players play both so you can clearly see what a challenge this presents for my ears. Please help me with this. It's easy to identify Candy's distinctive alto but others who play both saxes sometimes fool my ears. Secondly, the texture and quality of the sound I hear on their recordings is not present when I record my sound. Is it their recording equipment that gives them a prettier sound. Note, I'm not refering to their phrasing or advanced licks etc.
Peter Kossits
User ID: 8952923
Feb 10th 10:28 AM
How are you recording yourself? If you're only going directly into a cassette deck you're not going to get the "pretty" sound you hear on modern studio recordings. You might fool around with mic placement a bit to see if it makes a difference - like play into a wall and put the mic between the wall and yourself. A little touch of reverb , artificial or natural, will go a long way to getting more of a studio sound.

If you only started playing and you're looking for tunes to transcribe on an alto, I would just pick out the highest and lowest note of the song and see if it falls into the range of your instrument. Tenors will often go lower than is playable on an alto so that's the biggest and most obvious give-away. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it too much - I'm working on a playalong book/CD right now where the original tunes were played by the composer on a tenor and I can match his sound pretty well on an alto (he was careful not to go out of the alto's range when he composed the tunes).