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How to get a sax tone


specracer986
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I'm doing a song with the band that has a sax solo. We don't have a sax player and I want to get something in the ballpark out of my two humbucker guitar. The song has a very clean verse and chorus. The sax sound is very bluesy. Any suggestions on what pedals / amp to use? I'll be messing with it myself, but I figured someone might have already done this. My Helix is going into a Yamaha DXR12, if that matters. Thanks.

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I'm doing a song with the band that has a sax solo. We don't have a sax player and I want to get something in the ballpark out of my two humbucker guitar. The song has a very clean verse and chorus. The sax sound is very bluesy. Any suggestions on what pedals / amp to use? I'll be messing with it myself, but I figured someone might have already done this. My Helix is going into a Yamaha DXR12, if that matters. Thanks.

 

I started a topic on this quite a while ago.  You can take a look to see the responses I received. Unfortunately nothing concrete and no preset. Maybe someone can gin something up with the synth effect.

http://line6.com/sup...-preset/?hl=sax

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Ridiculous. Nothing can imitate the complex and powerful sound of a saxophone.

 

 

Just play your guitar solo and try to do your best, or even better: call a real sax player.

Well, I did say just in the ballpark. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll work on it some more tonight. Last night I used a compressor, filter and OD, and got something that sounds like a horn being played with a hand cover. Not sure what the term for that is. Kind of weird but it works. I'll keep it till I get something better.
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Personally, I've found that people care more about the notes and melodies than about the specific tone (or even specific instrument).

 

Of course, that's when they even notice the instruments at all.... The general public seems to think of music as: Singing! Oh is there a "beat" in the background? Huh.

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As others have mentioned, phrasing is everything because the player's gotta breath! Its no different than singing. Allow natural "breathing" phrases ... with appropriate bends and vibrato. Stick to a blues scale. Study a few blues sax solos (e.g. Brecker, Sanborn, Crawford, etc). Blues guitarists already do most of this .... its part of the mojo. Harp players, too.

 

Tonally, try to match EQ to sax. Try rolling off lows at around 250 Hz, and highs at around 1 kHz. Sweep and look for "woody" mid-tones. Use a mild distortion block or amp drive to simulate the vibration of the reed. Probably use your neck pickup or, perhaps, middle. After you pull all of this off, no one will believe its a sax instead of a guitar, but you'll be a better blues guitarist then you were before.

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As others have noted, you'll be doing good to just get in the zip code - totally different physics at work between instruments.  As a keys player in one of my bands I ended up buying a specific sample library just to get a better sax sound.

 

One tip - if you need any sax "growl" in your parts, take a look at the ring modulator, assign depth to a pedal.  I use one with that library assigned to aftertouch, when I get it right it's pretty convincing. Since ring mod works from incoming pitch you have to set it pretty carefully to work in a certain range...

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I recall being able to coax some tones out of an HD500 + DT50 setup that would hint at a sax tone.  While I cannot recall the presets right at the moment, I am almost certain they were overdriven amp models.  I also remember getting this sound most convincingly in the middle of the fretboard. 

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i recorded a song once and somehow got a tone that is very much like a horn section playing sort of stab chords.. i really wish i remember how i got it .. it''s sort of a bit distorty and growly, like some 70's rolling stones thing. I think it may have been a lucky combo of the tone and chord voicing

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