Recording Horns... by which we really mean brass and woodwinds!
I have plenty of chances to hone my recording chops for guitars, keyboards, and vocals. “Horn” (brass and woodwind instrument) sessions come up far less often, and that’s a shame. There is something very satisfying about capturing the harmonically rich and resonant sound of these instruments.
Horns can be incredibly expressive; on driving uptempo tunes, they can take the sound over the top, and on ballads they can tear your heart out. With a little care to the particulars of the various instruments and attention to the feel of the tune, recording horns is fairly straightforward—it’s really not that difficult to get a very satisfying recording.
Once the player and instrument are on the mark, mic selection and placement are the two most critical factors for a good recording. I’m going to show you some techniques that have worked for me over the years.