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Experimenting with Effects

buckg

Member
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53
Locality
North Carolina, USA
I've been playing with using traditional guitar effects with sax.

Wah-wah just doesn't seem to work well. The phase shifter sounds ok. I think the problem with making these sound convincing is that you still hear too much of the "straight" tone from the sax.

Chorus, delay, and pitch shifting work very well.

Has anyone else done any experimenting? If so, what kind of results have you gotten?
 

Jamesmac

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1,872
I play the EWI when i feel like experimenting with sounds, and try to make the best possible Sax and Clarinet sound with a sax and Clarinet.
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
I feel the saxophone sounds best when it sounds like a saxophone. That's not to say that effects aren't relevant but straying too far away from the root, sounds a bit wierd and other instruments do the effects stuff better. I'm all for anything to enhance the sound or make it individual but you can't beat the saxophone for expression and feeling and that can easily get lost in the mix It's fun to experiment though. I'm quite a novice at recording. I like a little compression and reverb but that's about it. I had a play with delay and a flanger and a chorus pedal but didn't find anything useful. Having said that my heart is into old standards at the moment so that may explain it. I used to be into Dub and have some early Aswad with some very nice effects on the brass section. I suppose if I start playing modern dance again it might be different. Have a look for "A new chapter of dub" on you tube.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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Listen "A Head with Wings" by Morphine- its got Wah Wah baritone on it which sounds great.
I'm going through a tinkering with effects phase at the mo... by the way- a top tip- never put effects on to your main signal. What I do is split the line from my mic and put effects on one channel while leaving the other one clean- that way you always have a 'proper' sax sound as well as the weirded up one..... Another good one if you can split your signal is use a graphic pedal to knock out certian frequencies; with Mudlow I used to have a baritone 'drone solo' with a huge amount of reverb but it was only applied to the lower frequencies of the horn, which sounded well- huge & rumbly, in a good way.....
Harmonzers, delays, reverbs, chorus etc all keep me amused. The other one I've once used was running through a cheap guitar amp to give a chainsaw sort of attack... good for a one off crazy solo...
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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I think the problem with making these sound convincing is that you still hear too much of the "straight" tone from the sax.

[...]

Has anyone else done any experimenting? If so, what kind of results have you gotten?

In post production everything can work.
Live, you really need a loud situation to be able to use most of the effects.
I used effects that "add" something tho the clean sound. Mostly delays and harmonizers.
Harmonizers can be out of tune and late (like may bass players).
 

Jamesmac

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1,872
Sorry about that link. It was a great example of the use of the long delay by Jimmy Hamilton.
But Soundcloud have deleted it. despite the file having been imported into my DAW then exported.
 

altissimo

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3,349
Locality
leicester
just a few random thoughts...
there've been a few sax players who experimented with looping and delay pedals - Terry Riley was probably the first with his tape loop system in the late 60's - http://youtu.be/FRwPPIoAgqY
here's someone using a modern loop pedal to build up parts - http://youtu.be/CKdlbkky8qs

and here's a bloke demoing some sax with fx pedals - http://youtu.be/5lLdzp9Nhzg

there are more experimental musicians doing stuff with computer processing, if I can find it, I'll dig out the recording I did a few years ago with a PhD electronic music graduate, meanwhile here's some sax and computer stuff - http://youtu.be/OFcuTy5PFiM
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Tape loop? That's just rminded me I have an old tape loop echo machine on top of the wardrobe. I must dig it out and see if it still works.

Ed Alleyne Johnson busks violin with digital delay. I've always thought something like that could be done with a saxophone.

http://youtu.be/umQX3ZeTTGM

Check out some of his live videos
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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brighton by the sea
Tape loop? That's just rminded me I have an old tape loop echo machine on top of the wardrobe. I must dig it out and see if it still works.
The old Wem or Watkins Copy Cat tape echo units are quite collectable these days.....
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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Locality
brighton by the sea
Tape loop? That's just rminded me I have an old tape loop echo machine on top of the wardrobe. I must dig it out and see if it still works.
The old Wem or Watkins Copy Cat tape echo units are quite collectable these days.....
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Really? I'm off to dig it out. Have I got that old that my new gear is collectable? lol
 

buckg

Member
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Locality
North Carolina, USA
Another good one if you can split your signal is use a graphic pedal to knock out certian frequencies...

Great idea. That might fix the nasty feedback squeal I got at the high end of the flange envelope.
 
Messages
177
Locality
Cumbria, UK
I've got an LP of Sonny Stitt on a Varitone. This was a device that could split the note like an octivizer guitar effect.

I've played around a bit with a Zoom effect pedal thing that has numerous effects. It's hard to tell the effect when you're playing as you hear the sound from the sax. Some effects can be fun but others just sound weird.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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London
I've got an LP of Sonny Stitt on a Varitone. This was a device that could split the note like an octivizer guitar effect.

Was that the Selmer option implying holes in the neck and fixed wiring?
 

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