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Thread: How do you make an electric sax?

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    Default How do you make an electric sax?

    If you look at this video you will see that the saxophonist is getting this electric guitar sound out of his sax. How does he do it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBvf_7qG03A

    If you know how to do it, please explain in lame mans terms. Explain in small steps. Thanks

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member SaxPlayer1004's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Contact pickups placed on the body of the sax which are connected to various effects pedals. Pretty simple, but rather pointless. The cost of that equipment would come out to something similar to an EWI unless you have the parts already.

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    Forum Contributor 2008 nateberly's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    He pretty much miked the sax (possibly contact pickups) and ran it through guitar effects. Pretty basic, he could have just used effects on Garage Band or any other recording software. If you like this sound, check out A.K.A.C.O.D. The bari player (Dana Colley from Morphine) does something similar, but a little more elaborate. He mics the mouthpiece and the bell and runs it through an effects pedal board.
    Last edited by nateberly; 02-27-2009 at 12:47 AM. Reason: add contact pickups
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    Distinguished SOTW Member NissanVintageSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    I've often wondered the same thing. Could come handy (though expensive) during some jams around here (saxes at jams here are rare).
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    well, there are several ways to do this, this used to be a very good one in the olden days
    http://www.saxophone.org/varitone.html
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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by SaxPlayer1004 View Post
    Contact pickups placed on the body of the sax which are connected to various effects pedals. Pretty simple, but rather pointless. The cost of that equipment would come out to something similar to an EWI unless you have the parts already.
    Not pointless at all. You can do stuff with a setup like this that would not sound as good with an EWI, it being digital and all.

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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bari player View Post
    If you look at this video you will see that the saxophonist is getting this electric guitar sound out of his sax. How does he do it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBvf_7qG03A
    I dig this dude's saxophone setup.

    I'm not quite sure what method he is using, though it looks like he's hooked up to his PC. You can do the same thing by hooking a standard dynamic mic up to a guitar pedal, though you really have to be careful with your gain and EQ settings. Guitar pedals with microphones = tons of feedback. My Vocal-300 has a similar "grunge" effect, which is basically an "overdrive" effect. With a little tweaking, I'm pretty sure that my pedal can get the same sound. I'll have to experiment a little later in the day.

    The guy from Galactic uses a ton of guitar effects in his playing. "Sigh", and the guys name has slipped my mind. He actually does use guitar pedals, but I'm betting that he has a compressor limiter or feedback eliminator somewhere in his rig. Jeff Coffin, and Paul McCandless use a lot of effects as well. There are a lot of guys who use these effects nowadays, but I have never seen anyone gigging around with the old varitone system. I'm not really sure what the benefit of the varitone was.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    There are a lot of guys who use these effects nowadays, but I have never seen anyone gigging around with the old varitone system. I'm not really sure what the benefit of the varitone was.
    I use my King Ampliphonic on most gigs, along with a lot of other gear.
    Examples on my site.

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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by warp x View Post
    I use my King Ampliphonic on most gigs, along with a lot of other gear.
    Examples on my site.
    Dang, I'm on dialup here. Well, from what I can hear in between buffering, you guys sound really cool.

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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Just looking at the vid, it's obvious that he has something stuck down the bell of the horn with cables coming out, so I assume he has some sort of mic or pickup down there. Then he picks up a remote and clicks on it to get the guitar sound. If I was going to do it this way, I'd run a mic into my laptop and use Garageband or any audio/synth app to select a distorted guitar patch. You could also do this with a distortion pedal or preamp or any number of hardware or software things. Then I'd set up a remote to turn the patch/app/pedal/device on and off.

    I just read the comments for the vid. He says "i made it myself. it involves microphones, an audio synthesizor, some studio magic." Then he says "it's tricky to do, it depends on the position of the microphone relative to the position of the speakers. in some videos (such as this) the music is coming from the headphones and I sync it up after the recording."

    "That's a karaoke track that I found on LimeWire. I use Garageband to edit much of my tracks that aren't 100% "live" (like this one)."

    "It's electric because the sound frequencies have passed through a synthesizer to alter the sound. The sound is then passed through an external amplifier and projected out. Finally, I use sound editing software to separate the sound frequencies and remove the non-electric sound coming from the bell of the horn."

    "What you do is pass the sound through a microphone connected to a synthesizer. That's what you do. How you do that is up to you, I personally am keeping my electronics a secret for the time."
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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by warp x View Post
    I use my King Ampliphonic on most gigs, along with a lot of other gear.
    Examples on my site.
    Dang, I'm on dialup here. Well, from what I can hear in between buffering, you guys sound really cool.
    Cheers

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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by warp x View Post
    [
    Not pointless at all. You can do stuff with a setup like this that would not sound as good with an EWI, it being digital and all.
    I agree. To my ears those EWI things always sound awful (that's a challenge to someone who wants to post a link to some good EWI stuff ). I think a sax with an effects pedal (or whatever) has tons more going for it.
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    Forum Contributor 2011, Distinguished SOTW member, and SOTW Bean Burrito spartacus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    There is an interesting history here by Jason Dumars (miss him) on the Varitone.
    http://www.saxophone.org/varitone.html

    Sonny Stitt played with one for awhile and played duets with himself in different octaves, alto and tenor. I see ads every so often for them but you have to have the Selmer neck and pickup.
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bari player View Post
    If you look at this video you will see that the saxophonist is getting this electric guitar sound out of his sax. How does he do it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBvf_7qG03A
    I dig this dude's saxophone setup.

    I'm not quite sure what method he is using, though it looks like he's hooked up to his PC. You can do the same thing by hooking a standard dynamic mic up to a guitar pedal, though you really have to be careful with your gain and EQ settings. Guitar pedals with microphones = tons of feedback. My Vocal-300 has a similar "grunge" effect, which is basically an "overdrive" effect. With a little tweaking, I'm pretty sure that my pedal can get the same sound. I'll have to experiment a little later in the day.

    The guy from Galactic uses a ton of guitar effects in his playing. "Sigh", and the guys name has slipped my mind. He actually does use guitar pedals, but I'm betting that he has a compressor limiter or feedback eliminator somewhere in his rig. Jeff Coffin, and Paul McCandless use a lot of effects as well. There are a lot of guys who use these effects nowadays, but I have never seen anyone gigging around with the old varitone system. I'm not really sure what the benefit of the varitone was.

    Is Praful the guy you were trying to remember?
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrvinson45 View Post
    Is Praful the guy you were trying to remember?
    Actually, I think that it's Ben Ellman. I could be wrong though.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member shmuelyosef's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    I want a saxophone with a whammy bar
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  17. #17

    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    I have Guitar Rig 3 on my PC and i have done that with my mic, useless but fun to mess with.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How do you make an electric sax?

    Hello saxophone brothers and sisters.Do you know,which is the fundamental gear for having electric effects on sax? I am in an post-rock band,and i am tryin' to help them with some stuff they want.What should i buy,first of all.Do i need an amplifier and a microphone? After that i need a pedal,for the electronic effects?

    Thanks in advance.

    Billy Greece

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