Peter Vircks

Just Saxophones & More!

Peter Vircks on SoundBetter

I do session work on tenor, alto, bari, soprano and flute. I've recorded on over 50 albums, toured extensively, and have credits on several indie films, theater production soundtracks and television commercials in a variety of styles. Let's connect for your next project that's in need of sax solos, stacked horn parts or creative ideas.

Minneapolis based saxophonist Peter Vircks has established himself as an artist with a distinctive instrumental voice. He co-founded the celebrated electric jazz unit Moveable Feast featuring the NPG's Tommy Barbarella, leads the band Midnight Love and the Peter Vircks Quintet. For a decade he'd co-written and performed with the award winning Rhythmic Circus Productions' Off-Broadway show Feet Don't Fail Me Now in constant North American tours, national tours of the Netherlands and China, runs at the Kennedy Center, Time Square's New Victory Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and America's Got Talent. ​

Recently he's been featured with the BZ3 Organ Trio, Ethiopian bassist Yohannes Tona's Band, modern R&B group #MPLS featuring The Voice’s Jesse Larson, The Capones lead by Jeep Capone, and the Root City Band led by Alex Rossi. He's also held the woodwind chair for the show River: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, Carole King, & Carly Simon and pop tribute show Almost Paradise: 1984 Prom Night.

Farther back, he'd been in the bands of national performers including Dream Girls' Grammy winning vocalist Jennifer Holliday, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and "Funkytown" singer Cynthia Johnson, the Horn Heads, bassist Anthony Cox, Eric Kamau Gravátte's Source Code, and late Togolese legend Jimi Hope.

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Interview with Peter Vircks

  1. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  2. A: I've been a saxophonist for about 40 years. I played saxophone on a studio album 28 years ago and got hooked. I've been writing my own music and working in collaboration with others since then. I assembled my studio and started doing my own producing and engineering about 10 years ago.

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

  4. A: Want to add extra depth and dimension to a certain instrument's recorded tone? Try the M/S (Mid/Side) mic technique. I like to take a ribbon mic and a dynamic mic and place them right next to each other, very close, without touching, aimed at the source in the identical direction. Set the mono output for both tracks to be fairly even. Record the mandolin, saxophone, shruti box or whatever. Now pan each of those mono mic channels in hard opposite directions, one all the way left, the other all the way right. Choose one of the channels and flip the phase. Take a listen. It's like throwing a dash of salt on a slice of fresh garden tomato, the flavor and dimension opens up! This doesn't always translate for me in bigger mixes but usually in more spare contexts.

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

  6. A: Jazz, Funk, R&B, Soul, Ethio-Jazz, Afrobeat, House, Hip-Hop, World, Rock & Roll, Reggae,

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

  8. A: Once we connect, agree on the scope of work, time line, and pricing, then I gather as many directives in detail as possible and get to work creating and recording. I only agree to time lines that work for all parties so turn around is never late. Also, revisions are rarely necessary but always taken into consideration.

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

  10. A: Vince Mendoza, Quincy Jones, Rudy Van Gelder, Donny Hathaway, Herbie Hancock, Manfred Eichner, D'Angelo, Jacob Collier, Rob Genadek, Miles Hanson, John Fields,

  11. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  12. A: My signal path for tracking saxophones and flute starts with a Coles 4038, EV RE20 or Sennheiser 421 microphone, then a Presonus TubePre or a Cloudlifter CL-1 in-line pre. I use a Presonus Studio 1824c interface into Logic Pro X and monitor with Presonus Eris 66 MTM near field studio monitors or Direct Sound EX25 or AKG K-66 headphones. My saxophones are Selmer Mark VI tenor and baritone, Buffet S-1 soprano and Yannagisawa A880 alto. My arsenal also contains a Rhodes Mk1 Stage and Wurlitzer 206a electric pianos, a variety of auxiliary hand percussion and a flute-o-phone.

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

  14. A: I play tasteful solos, create parts and stack horns in suitable combinations.


I was the sax section writer, arranger and performer in this production

Gear Highlights
  • Coles 4038
  • Presonus Studio 1824c
  • Logic Pro X
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