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Getting that Dulfer Sound (Sanborn Acceptable Substitute)

Squawky

Member
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38
Location
United States
Hello!

I am going to be performing Candy Dulfer's Lily Was Here in a few weeks on my alto for a talent competition, and, while I'm solid on notes, rhythms, etc., I'm still struggling to get that amazing sound that she achieves on the album.

See my sig for my alto setup. I'm running it all through a Samson Airline 77 wireless mic system through a Lexicon MX200 Effects Unit to add a bit of reverb and delay, going out into a PA and speaker. I also have an MXR 10-Band Graphic EQ Stompbox that I might consider running through, but I'm clueless as to which frequencies to boost/cut.

(As a side note, I'm using a Rico Metalite on my Tenor, which I like the sound of, and I'm wondering: would a Metalite or a Graftonite be a wise option for this gig?)

What do you guys recommend for getting as close to Candy's sound on Lily Was Here or even Sanborn's sound without going out and buying a Mark VI and a Dukoff D8 :)? Be it technique, mouthpiece, reed, EQ, verb/delay settings, anything. I just don't have hundreds of dollars to go out and spend, so try to keep that in mind, please.

Thanks a bunch!

Edit: I think I posted this in the wrong part of the forum. My sincerest apologies.
 
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Nick Wyver

noisy
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Don't even try. She's Candy Dulfer, you're you. Trying to imitate someone's sound is a serious waste of valuable practice time. It's only that which will improve your tone. Playing cuttingly loud needs plenty of work.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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First thought- Dulfer and Sanborn both sound like they play loud. To get close to that sort of tone concept you're going to have to be stick a lot of air through your sax......
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
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Location
Leeds
Play along with the record. A lot. Not necessarily the tune you're performing -- just find a chorus or so in that style that you really like and learn it and play along with it a ton. Your ears will take care of the rest.

Of course you can't help but play like yourself no matter what you do, and ultimately the goal of an artist is to express their own voice. But in the course of finding and developing that voice, we all go through a phase of emulating the artists that we enjoy the most.
 
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Squawky

Member
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38
Location
United States
First thought- Dulfer and Sanborn both sound like they play loud. To get close to that sort of tone concept you're going to have to be stick a lot of air through your sax......

I definitely understand the bit now about putting more air through the sax. It brightens up a bit when I really blow.

Consequently, I wonder if maybe I should be using a bigger tip opening. The .76 on the JDX 6 doesn't seem to want to stay open when I really blow... Maybe I'm blowing a little too hard?
 

kevgermany

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Going to a slightly harder reed will help keep it open when you blow harder. Just make sure you don't go so hard you lose the low notes. Stiffer reed is a much cheaper option, especially if you're happy with the mouthpiece apart from this.

Things have moved from small tips/hard reeds, to bigger tips and softer reeds.
 

Squawky

Member
Messages
38
Location
United States
I went searching through my box of boxes of reeds, and found a Fibracell 3, which seems to provide the extra resistance so I can blow pretty hard without closing up. It works a lot better now.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,215
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Candy uses a 0.095" Lebayle metal Studio 8, and Java Red 2's - so large tip/softer reed. I have a Lebayle Studio mpc on Tenor which is probably my brightest, most cutting mpc and does not need that much air, to be fair. A Metalite on Alto may be worth getting - I used to have an M7 which got that Vibe with Alexander Superial NY 2's (like the Vandoren V16's), as with a Jumbo Java A55, & Barkley Pop 8 mpc. The Metalite/ 2 strength V16's may be a better way to go, and be less exhausting!

Regards
Tom
 

Twopan

New Member
Messages
10
Location
Lincolnshire
Don't even try. She's Candy Dulfer, you're you. Trying to imitate someone's sound is a serious waste of valuable practice time. It's only that which will improve your tone. Playing cuttingly loud needs plenty of work.
I agree with Nick. I wasted years trying to change tone, when I could have spent that time improving the actual techniques. Someone else once said to me no matter what you play on, you still sound like you. Better and more expensive mouthpieces, once you find the right size and reed combo, can make things easier and smoother or punchier, but they won't change your fundamental physiology (if that's the right word). Just forget about it for a while and enjoy the gig. The more you play, the better YOU become, with your unique contribution to the saxophone tone sphere.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
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3,132
Location
Hampshire
To get a bright pop/funk sound I would play on one of the brighter reeds - Java, Jazz Select filed, Hemke, La Voz - and go as soft as you can. A Java 2 or 2.5 should buzz for you when given a decent amount of air. Keep your embouchure as relaxed as possible and big oral chamber. It's a good, controlled amount of air, not a Big Bad Wolf blow your house down kind of air. Don't overload the mouthpiece/tip opening.
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
269
Location
Northern California
Hello!

I am going to be performing Candy Dulfer's Lily Was Here in a few weeks on my alto for a talent competition, and, while I'm solid on notes, rhythms, etc., I'm still struggling to get that amazing sound that she achieves on the album.

...

What do you guys recommend for getting as close to Candy's sound on Lily Was Here or even Sanborn's sound without going out and buying a Mark VI and a Dukoff D8 :)? Be it technique, mouthpiece, reed, EQ, verb/delay settings, anything...
A few weeks out from a performance is NOT the time to be changing gear. There is no Chops-in-a-Box that is going to do that. Yes, you could change mouthpieces and reeds for a more buzzy setup, but if you haven’t played it sufficiently long, your sound will suck.

Refine what you have, play musically, and enjoy your performance!
 

rhysonsax

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A few weeks out from a performance is NOT the time to be changing gear. There is no Chops-in-a-Box that is going to do that. Yes, you could change mouthpieces and reeds for a more buzzy setup, but if you haven’t played it sufficiently long, your sound will suck.

Refine what you have, play musically, and enjoy your performance!

Good advice, but that gig (remember them ?) would have been in February 2013 and the OP hasn't been on this site for six years !

Rhys
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
269
Location
Northern California
Good advice, but that gig (remember them ?) would have been in February 2013 and the OP hasn't been on this site for six years !

Rhys
The advice holds for anyone looking to make a change on short notice.

Yeah, it's been a while since I've had a gig too. Our big band was usually shoulder-to-shoulder in the sax section for the stage we had at Tiny's (not just a clever name) - no way to socially distance in a place like that. And who knows how far a trumpet could project who-knows-what???

Be well,

George
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
I tried to sound like Candy Dulfer and found the only way was to wear her outfit. After much googling I got the dress, the high heels and a wig. After much practice I've got a booking. I've been invited to play at a drag meeting. I can't wait to see all the cars. :)
 

squeak

Member
Messages
244
Sanborn created a unique sound and it isn't smooth saxophone. Only Sanborn sounds like Sanborn and his sound is gritty to boot. Not of them others sound remotely like Sanborn and that's okay. After all, they are not Sanborn.
 

jbtsax

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I'm curious. Does anyone know who started that buzzy, nasal, some might say "kazoo like" saxophone sound that is characteristic of "smooth or cool jazz"? Was it Grover Washington or were there players before him?
 

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