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Real horns vs synth horns!?!?!

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,367
Locality
Sweden
After not been playing an regular basis for more than a year I was asked to join a 6-piece band. I said yes and started to play again. It's going to be Rock and Blues music. At the first rehearsal we played two new songs (new to me). "Sledgehammer" and "Ooh - I like it". I got the horn parts (just two saxes) to both songs. I had heard both songs but never played them before. I just heard some "horns" ....... Sledgehammer is a flat synth song even if the info says that Waynne Jackson (trumpet player, Stax, The Mar-Keys, Memphis Horns .....) and Mark Rivera (flute and saxes, Billy Joel ...) played on the recording. On live performances on YT clips I have not found a clip with real horns. We played "Slegdehammer" in concert Eb. The other song ,"Ooh I like It", is more punchy a fun to play. A song we played in concert C. According to the charts the tenorsax part I played should play a "bari" lick like : low A - low B- B3 - A2(3) - B3. Back home I transposed it to baritone (A) and played : E1 - F#1 - F#3 - E2 - F#2. It was better. So it's going to be tenor and bari instead of two tenors. Sounds better. But my baritone is just to low Bb and with a low A extension I will miss the low B. A horn is horn. A synth is a synth. And I was justgoing to play what was written, don't listen so much just play as it is written. Not easy.

The songs.
Real horns on the original "Sledgehammer" recording.
View: https://youtu.be/KkiqTmwEQ-U


Real horns?
View: https://youtu.be/1UWEkFVOmGI
 

mizmar

Member
Messages
869
Locality
Trondheim, Norway
I had the pleasure of seeing your countryman, Jens Comén, in a small performance last night.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,376
Locality
St. Mary's
The Creeps - I couldn't tell. Sounded like synth but it was quite common to mix real horns in with synth horns. Bit of a waste of money in some cases - if you have real horns you want them to sound real.

I sometimes mixed synth in with real to make them sound "bigger" It can work but so can keeping them real.

I also remember one session where the producer triple tracked the horns. It sounded much less like real horns than the one take - but maybe that was what he wanted.
 
Last edited:

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,898
Locality
brighton by the sea
I couldn't tell - it was quite common to mix real horns in with synth horns.
Isn't it fairly standard practice to disguise synth parts by using a real instrument for the top line? I know its a known tricky with string sections- cello and violas via the keyboard and a real violin stuck on top. It does a pretty good job of tricking the human ear into thinking the whole thing is 'real'
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,376
Locality
St. Mary's
Isn't it fairly standard practice to disguise synth parts by using a real instrument for the top line? I know its a known tricky with string sections- cello and violas via the keyboard and a real violin stuck on top. It does a pretty good job of tricking the human ear into thinking the whole thing is 'real'
Yes indeed, I've done it with strings and can work very well.
 

John Setchell

Member
Messages
223
Locality
Norfolk UK
After not been playing an regular basis for more than a year I was asked to join a 6-piece band. I said yes and started to play again. It's going to be Rock and Blues music. At the first rehearsal we played two new songs (new to me). "Sledgehammer" and "Ooh - I like it". I got the horn parts (just two saxes) to both songs. I had heard both songs but never played them before. I just heard some "horns" ....... Sledgehammer is a flat synth song even if the info says that Waynne Jackson (trumpet player, Stax, The Mar-Keys, Memphis Horns .....) and Mark Rivera (flute and saxes, Billy Joel ...) played on the recording. On live performances on YT clips I have not found a clip with real horns. We played "Slegdehammer" in concert Eb. The other song ,"Ooh I like It", is more punchy a fun to play. A song we played in concert C. According to the charts the tenorsax part I played should play a "bari" lick like : low A - low B- B3 - A2(3) - B3. Back home I transposed it to baritone (A) and played : E1 - F#1 - F#3 - E2 - F#2. It was better. So it's going to be tenor and bari instead of two tenors. Sounds better. But my baritone is just to low Bb and with a low A extension I will miss the low B. A horn is horn. A synth is a synth. And I was justgoing to play what was written, don't listen so much just play as it is written. Not easy.

The songs.
Real horns on the original "Sledgehammer" recording.
View: https://youtu.be/KkiqTmwEQ-U


Real horns?
View: https://youtu.be/1UWEkFVOmGI
Sledgehammer is one of the best Pop songs. - Close behind Addicted To Love.
Not really my Thing but excellent of its genre.

Synths: Somehow you can just FEEL what they are. The choice of notes isn’t natural to say a bass or wind instrument (and that includes Hammond pedal board)
 

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