Supporting   special needs music

Beginner Quality Sound - What Affects it the Most?

TripleB

Member
Messages
32
What part of the saxophone (other than the player) do you feel affects the quality of sound you get the most?

Reed? Ligature? Mouthpiece? Neck? Body?

I see expensive saxophones, expensive reeds, expensive mouthpieces, etc. Just makes me wonder what really makes the most improvement to the quality of sound you get.

TripleB
 

Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
Messages
3,756
Locality
Manchester,England
Mouthpiece. Doesn't have to be expensive just a good one(good rails and facing etc)

Looks like we can have a sax trio now then..:sax::sax::sax:

Chris..
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,902
Combination of many things, mouthpiece and neck especially but also the pads and resonators will make a difference, for example you can get smooth metal and plastic as well as star shaped resonators, all should produce a bit different sound. Pads, most pads are made of various types of leather/hide, the Jim Schmidt ones on the other hand are impregnated with gold so in theory rather than absorb sound should reflect it to a degree and should therefore produce more overall volume.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,977
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Everything affects the sound by varying degrees.

Once your embouchure is developed the balance between mouthpiece and reed will free things up and let you explore tonal and harmonic colours and be the major influence on your sound.

Different saxophones will offer subtle tonal and harmonic nuances and an expensive ones should be better built and so offer effortless technical capabilities.

All this is personal. If an instrument doesn't fit your hands it's useless no matter what the make,though they can be adapted.

And the search for that mouthpiece and reed combination is like the search for the holy grail. I think we are all using the best one at the moment but are always on the lookout for something better, which may or may not exist.

I'm just getting over the flu and playing again after a layoff of about a week. A couple of hours on alto and my tone was coming back. A couple of days on tenor and it's like the horn on a model T ford. Honk. So much for technology if the biology fails.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
9,058
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I used to put this formula on the chalk board in all my beginning band classes.


AIR + EMBOUCHURE + SETUP = GOOD TONE

The key is in its simplicity. "Setup" means a quality mouthpiece with a reed that matches the tip opening and lay. The auxiliary component is the "concept of sound" which helps to define and identify when a "good tone" is achieved. If any one of the three parts of the formula is lacking it is not possible to produce the desired result. An accomplished player with a good setup can sound great on just about any saxophone that is in good working order. A good player playing on a bad reed and mouthpiece doesn't sound much better than a beginner on the same setup.
All the fuss about ligatures, necks, finishes, resonators, key heights, etc. is way overblown in my opinion, since any perceived effect upon the tone quality is miniscule compared to the three factors in the formula above.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Messages
3,292
MP but hey its the player ALL the time.Every note is golden,work at every note when blowing.Use them muscles,body,lungs,mouth and a good pair of ears is a huge thing here.Theres no point having a great mp,reed sax combo if your not putting in great study,playing on your horn.Sax = sound so work at it even a few notes can break hearts in the good way or worse if they sound bad.
 

ssyleung

Member
Messages
75
Locality
Hong Kong
Hi all,
After playing with my alto sax for 2 years with everyday practice, I have learned to play many play-along pop songs. Now I come to the point that I found the sound quality seems confined / restricted, not opened up compare to other Youtube performers online. It seems like the sound is coming from an enclosed box. Just wanna know what are the causes and suggestions to improve it. I have tried many different embouchure positions on the reed. Playing with loud voice and gentle sound; to no avail. It get even worse after the recording. Thanks.

I still remember a lot of helping hands here 2 years ago when I started playing.

YAS62
4C/5C
Légère 2.0/2.25
 

ssyleung

Member
Messages
75
Locality
Hong Kong
wow thanks for the immediate reply. You have given me hope fro my ability, So you mean after my recordings I need to do something to the sound track to open up the sound?
 

greenstripe

Member
Messages
281
Locality
UK
As above, What are you recording your sound with, are you using a decent microphone - not a phone or webcam?
 

ssyleung

Member
Messages
75
Locality
Hong Kong
I love this place, because there are so many good people here to help and in a split second fashion. I don't have a professional mic but a BOYA BY-MM1
 

Attachments

  • IMG_7151.jpeg
    IMG_7151.jpeg
    158.6 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_7152.jpeg
    IMG_7152.jpeg
    170.2 KB · Views: 6

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,977
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
You need a decent mic.
Decent softtware.
A good saxophone.
A good mouthpiece.
A good reed.
Lot and lots of practice. ;)
 

MikeMorrell

Netherlands
Café Supporter
Messages
1,721
Locality
Breda
As a bog amateur, I would say ' it depends on where you are, what you play and what would help you develop'. I once read somewhere that sax 'sound qualityis for 80 - 85% determined by the player. In other words, a good sax player can get a pretty good sound out of a cheap sax and less than ideal mpc. Conversely 'gear'' won't necessarily help a sax player develop a better sound.

Within the 15-20% 'sound quality'' determined by gear, a (better) mpc accounts for about 10%. Most of the remaining 5-10% is determined by the 'body' and a very small percentage determined by the lig.

I once traded my very playable but slightly 'thin metal' sax in for one that had 'thicker' metal. Did it make a great difference in sound quality? I don't really know. I just feel more comfortable playing a sax that seems to 'resonate' more. I've upgraded mpc's every couple of years to adjust to my increasing 'lung/airstream' capacity and to get closer to the sound that I want to be able to produce

So +1 for mpc.
 
Last edited:

mizmar

Senior Member
Messages
1,695
Locality
Trondheim, Norway
You don't say, but do you do stuff like overtones? I still remember, after getting to grips with those, feeling I was doing better over the whole range.
It's one of many things, of course
 

LostCircuits

Member
Messages
795
Locality
Black Forest
Some of it certainly is the player but especially when you compare yourself to some "other YouTubers" you can get frustrated very easily because they sound so great. But a major portion of that "pleasant" tone/sound is post-processing, electronic enhancement. Even a little bit of reverb can make all the difference.
So don't blame yourself when it really is the "digital enhancements" that make "them" sound so "great"

Some of them go completely overboard, like this young fella. He's got about 7 seconds of reverb and sustain added to his recording and be assured, the recording wasn't done on that wintery ruin, definitely not with the gloves he's wearing and if you look careful you can even see that he only holds his sax and doesn't move his fingers:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3j9NgOAz98


Bottom line, don't try to look like him, don't try to sound like him, it won't happen :rolleyes::rolleyes::optimistic::optimistic:
 

Popular Discussions

Top Bottom