With the growing popularity of virtual studio technology or VSTs, recording different instruments have been more accessible than ever. The only problem is how to choose the right sound for your tracks. Having so many choices can be overwhelming, which is why I wanted to point you in the right direction.
By narrowing down your choices, deciding which virtual instrument fits your sound design should be much easier for you.
In this article, we will look at different saxophone VSTs, and decide which one's the best by comparing their features and weighing their pros and cons.
If you’re in a hurry, let me go ahead and spoil the surprise.
The best saxophone VST is included in the Native Instruments Komplete 11 Select Software Suite.
This VST pack features some of the most incredible saxophone VSTs. They are sampled very meticulously to capture every dynamic, nuance, and articulation possible. To save some space on your hard drive and money in your pocket, you can opt to download only the instruments you will need.
Aside from the best of the best, I will also give an in-depth review for the other notable mentions such as:
- The Second-Best Saxophone VST: Garritan Jazz and Big Band 3
- Good Value: Kick Ass Brass
- Realistic: Garritan Concert and Marching Band 2
- Versatile: Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2
Why Trust Me?
As a music producer myself, I understand how challenging it is to decide whether to buy a product or not. And some customer reviews are not always real.
- I select VSTs and studio equipment based on factors that matter to consumers.
In this case, I carefully selected the best saxophone VSTs based on specifications such as sound quality, user-friendliness, and budget.
- I base my choices on real experiences.
The basis of my product reviews come from real experiences. I would never compromise my reviews by accepting money and solicitation from software developers.
- I genuinely want to help.
My goal is to help consumers decide on what products to buy. I buy the products myself and base my opinions on my overall experience. Sometimes, I even ask what my other producer friends think about a product, may it be a piece of studio equipment or VST.
- We would like to hear from you.
I am always open to comments and suggestions in case I missed anything in my product reviews. I would love to hear from you guys, so don’t forget to message me if you find the information in the article inaccurate or not up to your standards – I love critique.
Before purchasing a VST, make sure you determine which of these aspects best suits your tastes and needs. Among many other things, you want a VST with excellent tone quality. Here are a few essential elements for you to look at before buying a saxophone VST:
- Sound Quality – The overall sound quality is one of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a VST. You will come across some free VSTs that offer excellent sound quality, but if you are going to pay for one, make sure the sound quality will suit your recording needs. It is challenging to find an excellent sounding saxophone VST because this instrument can be challenging to emulate. Most VST developers will offer demo versions of their software so you can try them for a while before deciding to buy it or not. I recommend that you try demos before buying a sax VST or any other kind of plugin for that matter.
- Budget – The second important aspect to consider when buying a VST is your budget. How much can you spend on something such as a saxophone VST? Some VSTs are included as part of a sound pack. In most cases, you will have to purchase the entire sound pack to get the one sound you want. An entire library of sounds can be expensive, but a good thing some developers give you the option to buy only one sound or virtual instrument.
- User Friendliness – Some VSTs are more user-friendly than others. Make sure you get one that is easy to navigate so that you can maximize its full potential. The items I included on the list are relatively easy to use. If you are new to installing and navigating through software instrument technology, some downloadable content will consist of a text that will guide you through the installation process. A good VST will also have a tutorial mode to help you get up to speed.
- Compatibility Requirements – Make sure that the computer you are using can handle the system requirements for the VST you are planning on buying. Make sure it is compatible with your operating system, hard drive space, processor, and RAM upon purchasing. Being able to meet these technical requirements will ensure that the software will run smoothly.
- How much you Need the Product – This factor will depend on you. Before buying a VST, ask yourself how frequently do you think you will be using it? Will you be using it for only one song? Appropriate your budget on the frequency of usage to make sure you get a good value for what you are about to buy. Buying a VST with multiple instruments could also be a better choice if the price suits your budget.
#1 Native Instruments Komplete 11 Suite
The Native Instruments Komplete 11 Select Software Suite has some of the best plugins available for music producers. It is jam-packed with some of the best sounding synths and instruments, such as the best saxophone VST on the list.
If you buy the ultimate version, you can install the plugins that you need, rather than installing the whole pack to save you money and hard drive space. One of the best perks of buying this software is that you can transfer the license to a different computer.
You do not have to purchase the pack again if you plan on replacing your computer, and you can also install it on multiple computers at once.
- Allows you to transfer the license for each plugin
- Easy installation with installation guide
- You can install plugins individually depending on your needs
- You can install the full version of the Kontakt 5 DAW included in this VST pack
- It is a little pricey
- It received some complaints about components that don’t work
- It requires a lot of hard drive space to install the full pack
Final Thoughts: This Plugin has it all. It may be a little pricier than the other choices, but almost every instrument in this VST pack is worth the money. This VST exceeds all expectations, genuinely deserving the top spot.
#2 Garritan Jazz and Big Band
This next VST is filled with a collection of high-quality big band jazz virtual instruments. The instruments included in this VST pack is not only suitable for jazz; it is an excellent addition to any modern music producer's instrument collection.
It has more than 75 good-sounding jazz instruments with six collections of some of the best saxophone plugins. The sax sounds range from soprano to the large subcontrabass saxophones.
With this VST pack, you can create warm sax solos, brass ensembles, and anything in between. If you find any problems with the software, the friendly customer service team from Garritan is always happy to help.
- An extensive collection of saxophone instruments
- Excellent customer service
- Quick installation
- Some instruments do not sound quite as good as the others
- Some errors occur when you open too many plugins
- Minimal user-friendly options
Final Thoughts: This VST has a massive collection of saxophones and other jazz music instruments. Aside from that, the customer service responds quickly to any of your queries. It truly deserves the second-best spot on the list.
#3 Kick Ass Brass
The Kick Ass Brass VST software focuses on authenticity. The horn library that is composed of multiple saxophones is sampled from real instruments. It also includes other horn instruments such as trombones, trumpets, etc.
It also features expressive staccatos, semitones, and slides that sound excellent for creating classical to modern music. What gives this VST more value is that you can use it as stand-alone software or as a plugin for your preferred DAW.
- The samples can be used in most music genres
- It takes minimal disk space
- It is very affordable
- Recommended for beginner music producers
- Customers complain about licensing issues
- I don’t recommend this plugin for advanced music producers
- Limited features
Final Thoughts: After checking out the sound collection of this VST, you can easily tell that talented musicians and producers recorded it. However, the features may be a little basic for more advanced music producers.
#4 Garritan Concert and Marching Band 2
This VST features a wide selection of marching band instruments, including multiple saxophones ranging from soprano to bass. It also includes a rare sarrusophone instrument that looks and sounds like a saxophone.
With the use of the Marching Band 2’s instrument collection, you can build your own marching band, and add little embellishments to your tracks.
- Easy to control intuitive user interface
- High-quality saxophones
- Very affordable software
- It seems to have licensing issues
- Ideal for beginners and not advanced music producers
- Instruments included are not very useful for creating pop music
Final Thoughts: This VST pack deserves mention because of the wide selection of marching band instruments for a meager price. The saxophone instruments in this plugin pack are somewhat suitable for creating high-quality tracks.
#5 Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2
The last VST on the list is the Omnisphere 2 by Spectrasonics. It may not focus so much on brass and horn instruments like the others, but it does have 12,000 sounds.
The massive instrument library includes some of the best saxophone VSTs that are sampled from high-quality organic instruments. You can add layers such as synths to make your saxophone tracks modern for genres such as EDM, and other electronic music genres.
- Massive library of high-quality instruments
- You can modify the sounds of your imported samples
- The functionality of this VST can be difficult to navigate
- Some patches sound very identical
- Takes up ample hard drive space
Final Thoughts: Omnisphere 2 has tons of fantastic sax sounds. One of the best features of this VST is that you can modify your sounds and save your own user presets. It may be high priced, but the vast sound library and features are worth every penny.
Right now, you may still have some questions, so I did my best to answer all of them. Let's take a look.
What equipment do you need to record virtual instruments?
Make sure you have a computer with suitable specifications to handle all the data-heavy software you will be running. In most cases, you will need a DAW because some VSTs are not stand-alone software. You will need different software to run and use a VST plugin.
You can record VSTs with the use of your DAW’s MIDI editor or piano roll. However, if you want to record the MIDI tracks, you can buy a controller to hit the notes in real-time. You can also record them directly into your computer as MIDI tracks.
Note: Make sure your computer has a substantial soundcard so you can monitor your tracks with headphones or studio monitors. An audio interface is a suitable soundcard that has both inputs and outputs so that you can record vocals and guitar through one of the audio interface's inputs.
Why do you need a saxophone VST?
Before VSTs were a thing, recording instruments such as a saxophone was very challenging. You would need a studio with acoustic treatment and expensive mics. You would also need to buy or rent the instruments you want on your track.
Here are some of the benefits of having virtual studio technology.
You can record numerous instruments anywhere. With virtual studio technology, you can record any instrument anywhere as long as you have a laptop. Nowadays, you can produce high-quality tracks with the processor of your smartphone. With high-quality VSTs, some listeners can't even tell if a track is from a virtual or real instrument.
It all comes down to how talented the producer is, and the sound quality of the VST the producer uses. A talented music producer can imitate how an instrument like a sax is played with the use of a MIDI controller or MIDI editor. It makes it impossible to tell if it was recorded with the real thing or not.
You can get excellent sound quality. By purchasing a quality VST, you can get the highest-quality sounds without going through the trouble of recording them yourself. Some of the best VSTs are sampled from real instruments. They are recorded in world-class studios by very talented musicians, sound engineers, and producers.
It is the reason why some VSTs are pricier than others. Developers worked so hard to bring you high-quality audio to produce fantastic tracks. Some developers really came through and did amazing jobs with the plugins they created.
You do not have to carry bulky instruments around. Another advantage of using VSTs is that you don't have to carry bulky instruments such as a saxophone. Instead of carrying one heavy instrument, you can carry thousands of instruments stored on your computer. VSTs are not just for recording.
You can also perform using plugins with the use of a MIDI controller. Now, you don't have to worry about carrying heavy instruments, especially if you are on the road.
You can save a lot of money. Musical instruments are expensive. You can spend thousands of dollars, and it still won't be enough. In virtual studio technology, you can get a smorgasbord of instruments for a fraction of a price. You can use the money you save on other equipment in your studio instead.
You do not have to learn how to play the instruments or hire musicians to add them on your tracks. Learning to play an instrument such as a saxophone could take months or years to get good at it. With virtual studio technology, you wouldn't need to spend hours learning new instruments.
All you need to do is use your basic piano knowledge and emulate the dynamics of each instrument using a MIDI keyboard. You can also program the notes on the MIDI editor of your DAW. You can play almost any instrument instantly with the use of VST plugins.
Getting a quality saxophone VST can save you time, effort, and money. VSTs, in general, can have a lot of benefits. There may be some purists who choose to go with using real instruments instead of MIDI, and there is nothing wrong with that.
But for home music producers like us, VSTs are the next best thing. All we need to do on our part is to maximize the use of the technology to create amazing music!
Last update on 2021-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API