Nick Ellman

Saxes & Clarinet + Horn Arr.

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5 Reviews (4 Verified)
Nick Ellman on SoundBetter

Bari/Tenor/Alto Saxophones and Clarinet. Plain and simple, I play to serve the music. From touring internationally to studio sessions with world-class musicians, I'm here to arrange and record horns to add the flavor you're looking for.

Tasteful horn parts will make everything else sound better.

As a composer, producer and arranger, I'm always listening for the best ways to support, reinforce and elevate a song no matter the style or genre.

Some live performance highlights for me are playing with Sturgill Simpson on Late Night, with my horn section at the Bonnaroo Superjam, and touring internationally with my band Naughty Professor (most recently in China and across Spain).

As much as I love playing for a live audience, I thrive in my recording studio. I get a thrill from creating something that will last forever and I'm very meticulous about my contributions to a song. I can't help but put the same amount of care and attention to detail in every project I work on.

I can deliver a fat, tight and powerful saxophone section (Bari/Tenor/Alto) or a breathy, beautiful one. I'm just as comfortable playing soulful, melodic parts and solos as I am wild, shredding ones. You might want a memorable clarinet trio- it's not my secondary instrument, I actually play clarinet and sometimes prefer it.. I also have a horn section on my team to bring in more horns as needed.

After playing music for over 20 years, I've finally got the right studio gear to confidently deliver top-notch, professional quality arrangements and recordings.

Send me a message through the 'Contact' button above and let's get to work!

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.

5 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

Endorse Nick Ellman
  1. Review by earlrobbins
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    Nick was very easy to work with. He delivered a sax solo part in a very short time and just what the song called for. Good experience.

  2. Review by Conner M.
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    If you need a full horn line, single sax layers, or solos then Nick is your guy! He was fun to work with, so talented, professional and very timely. I knew he would do a good job with two of my projects, but he totally blew me out of the water and went above and beyond all my expectations!

    Go with Nick, you wont be disappointed!!!

  3. Review by Conner M.
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    If you need a full horn line, single sax layers, or solos then Nick is your guy! He was fun to work with, so talented, professional and very timely. I knew he would do a good job with two of my projects, but he totally blew me out of the water and went above and beyond all my expectations!

    Go with Nick, you wont be disappointed!!!

  4. Review by Eric M.
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    Nick brought the horn section to life for my salsa tune with his bari sax playing. He's an exceptional musician with a Tower of Power Doc Kupka bari "bite" on the short notes, powerful low-end punch, excellent dynamics, and an even, fat, bari tone. Great communication, timely turnaround, and top of the line recording setup/quality. Highly recommended!

  5. Review by John Culbreth
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    Nick is a world class woodwind specialist! Super professional, great at stacking parts and arranging for winds.

Interview with Nick Ellman

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: After upgrading my gear, the first recording session I had was for David Duchovny's new indie rock album (the actor from the X-Files). I recorded bari sax and clarinet from my home studio for him.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: Currently I'm working on my Electric Clarinet Loops album. I wrote some songs with my clarinet through a bunch of effects pedals and a loop station with a drums and bass trio.

  5. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  6. A: I am extremely professional. If I do a job for you I promise to care about it and deliver on all expectations.

  7. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  8. A: "Can you take a solo?" My answer is, "absolutely!"

  9. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  10. A: That it's easy. It's easy for me, not for you.

  11. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  12. A: I always ask to know the scope of the project and hear the song before talking about budget.

  13. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  14. A: If you want big sounding horns like Earth, Wind & Fire, doubling and sometimes tripling tracks can really fatten up a horn section.

  15. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  16. A: Mostly jazz/funk but I've worked with a number of returning clients from EDM to indie rock and R&B as well.

  17. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  18. A: Identifying the best ways to contribute to a song.

  19. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  20. A: As a horn player, I'm always listening with a producer's ear. When I write and record, I'm catering to the energy needed to support or lift.

  21. Q: What's your typical work process?

  22. A: My work process always begins by listening and getting familiar with the song while heeding any specific directions or instructions. If it's a verse/chorus type of song I usually work on the chorus first to find my role i.e. supporting the melody or carrying it. If there are creative sections, I like to record before I think too much and then go back and refine as needed.

  23. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  24. A: My home studio is a small space with a mighty sound. I have an Apollo Twin interface and my microphone of choice is a Mojave Audio MA-200 Cardioid Tube Condenser Microphone. I also have a Cascade Fat Head ribbon mic and a Shure SM7B dynamic mic for other options. Additionally, I have an array of analog effects pedals that I use on my saxophones and clarinet to get cutting lead tones and vast soundscapes/textures.

  25. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  26. A: I'm a big fan of Roy Hargrove- I especially love his soulful playing with the 'stacked horn' sound on songs like "Spanish Joint" by D'angelo. One of my favorite modern sax players is Ben Wendel for his creative compositions/improvisations, technical precision and unique effects & production. I really like Mark Dover's clarinet trio at the end of the Vulfpeck song called "Back Pocket" - I love arranging/recording on clarinet in that style.

  27. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  28. A: Usually I arranged for a horn section, record all the saxophone parts and call upon a trumpet and/or trombone as desired.

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Bari/Tenor/Alto Sax quick riff

I was the everything in this production

Terms Of Service

Up to 2 revisions (if needed)
Typically 3-day turnaround

GenresSounds Like
  • Maceo Parker
  • The Daptone Horns
  • Tower Of Power Horns
Gear Highlights
  • Universal Audio Apollo Twin
  • Mojave MA-200 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser Mic
  • Shure SM7B Cardiod Dynamic Mic
  • Cascade Fathead Ribbon Mic
  • Selmer SBA Bari Sax (Low 'A')
  • Saxgourmet Super 400 Tenor Sax
  • Selmer SBA Alto Sax
  • Buffet R13 Bb Clarinet
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  • New Mic!May 19, 2021

    I recently invested in a Mojave MA-200 microphone and WOW! I love the way it picks up the full body of all my horns. This is a large-diaphragm tube condenser mic and the tube inside takes about 10 minutes to warm up before each use... the sound capture is gorgeous. Very excited to work on new projects with this beautiful piece of gear!