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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I started to play the tenor years ago because I liked the tone so much. Not any tenor tone, but that specific one. After a long break, I restarted playing 3 years ago, and thanks to a better cash flow and the internet I have aquired lots of reeds, mouthpieces and even horns. How simple it was in the 80ies, no money, no internet, just playing.
OK, I am sort of beyond GAS now, play longtones, scales with the metronom, no overstiff reeds, and I have a really good time with my bandmates. But still, how do I get that tone? Hard to ask someone with no words for it. Now, I found a track on Youtube which really comes close to what I am hearing inside me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WznjKEUOYz0.
My questions: is that tone spread, bright, focused, dark, centered, open? And as far as setup plays a role, would you chose a small-medium-large chamber MPC, small tip or wide tip or medium opening, high baffle or rollover or ...? Should you be asked to produce that sound, which kind of MPC would you go for, Florida, Berg Larsen, Early Babbitt, Guardala, Lawton, V16, RPC, Dukoff, Intrepid, Robusto, ...?

Thanks for your input.
 

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I don't know what to call it except its the current rage among the smooth jazz players. I call it the 'paper tone' because it seems fragile and dry like old paper. I kept waiting for that guy to get past the intro and start putting some guts into it but it never happened. What a lame record. Good intonation though. I think he was reading the whole thing.
 

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That tone sounds like it is partly electronic effects to me. If so, that will be very difficult to attain.
 

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I don't know what to call it except its the current rage among the smooth jazz players. I call it the 'paper tone' because it seems fragile and dry like old paper. I kept waiting for that guy to get past the intro and start putting some guts into it but it never happened. What a lame record. Good intonation though. I think he was reading the whole thing.
To be fair, he is playing it better than the original... and I wouldn't really say it's smooth jazz at all, at least the recording isn't. The problems come with clipping, likely a cheap mic too that can't handle the proper SPL.

I'd try a Westcoast Sax or Theo Wanne Durga, more Guardala and less link. Links are generally not in that range of brightness. You want a free blowing bright piece with a softer reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Smooth Jazz, dry old paper, oumpphh. I think he got the vibe of that song very well.
I never really came along with Link style pieces, always missing punch. I understand that I aim at a tone that in general terms is described as bright. And yes, I like free blowing setups. That probably goes back to my 80 and early 90ies acoustic imprinting with Bob Berg, Brecker, Bob Malach, Bendik, and to be honest, the sax guy from Tina Turner.
So I keep going on with my setup and eventually plan a trip to a store that offers Wannes and Guardalas (which in Germany are PMS and Thomann).
 

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Try a Jody Jazz DV Chicago.

Ciao
 

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I don't know what to call it except its the current rage among the smooth jazz players. I call it the 'paper tone' because it seems fragile and dry like old paper. I kept waiting for that guy to get past the intro and start putting some guts into it but it never happened. What a lame record. Good intonation though. I think he was reading the whole thing.
I think of that as the "Boston sound" on tenor.

The thing that I didn't realize till I started playing with some locals in the Boston area is how SOFT they play. So they are playing all this tasty stuff up in the altissimo register, but at mezzo piano max. I think that's why it can seem gutless.

Frankly my taste, when I'm not being into Lester Young or similar, falls more with the Texas Tenor sound, or alternately one of the guys with the huge soft round sound like Roland Kirk.

As to "tone in a box", it's probably an Otto Link metal MP or a copy of it, on a Selmer sax or copy of it.

OP, do consider that your own personal sound might not be that sound. For example, I have always wished I could sing basso like the guys on the old gospel recordings. But there's a minor problem: my voice is a light baritone.
 

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Boring is how I'd describe the tone and his playing. Disagree that it's a smooth jazz sound, as it doesn't even have those syrupy sweet qualities. While the original recording has some pitch issues and he overblows quite a bit, it's far from boring. Even at the peak it felt like he had zero emotions.

Edit: I think a person could make that sound on about any mouthpiece out there.
 

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Boring is how I'd describe the tone and his playing. Sounds like he was reading too. While the original recording has some pitch issues and he overblows quite a bit, it's far from boring.
I agree on most every count here. It lacks the edge that was so effective and driving in the original. Whether reading or not, the tenor sound in this thread sounds weak.
 

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Not that you'll get the same sound off his setup - but the saxplayer has his email online, so you can ask him what kind of setup he uses: [email protected]

I don't find his sound especially week - more controlled, at least most of the time. There are parts when he sounds weak with a strange vibrato (f.e. after 1.45), but in other parts he has a kind of "hold-back Garbarek thing" going on (which is a contradiction in itself, but that's how I'm hearing it). Perhaps that's the "Boston Sound" of turf3?
 

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I don't find his sound especially week - more controlled, at least most of the time. There are parts when he sounds weak with a strange vibrato (f.e. after 1.45), but in other parts he has a kind of "hold-back Garbarek thing" going on (which is a contradiction in itself, but that's how I'm hearing it). Perhaps that's the "Boston Sound" of turf3?
OK, so it is “controlled”. As in “I can play the full range of dynamics and color, but I choose not to, because I am emoting a sense of boredom.”

Yeah, that’s it.
 

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Listening to this I am thinking: "this is what? ... I am emoting a sense of boredom" . well said Dr.G but it reminds me more of a selfie- trying to sound good instead of playing the music.
 

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Edit: I think a person could make that sound on about any mouthpiece out there.
+1. Just use a weak airstream, no dynamics, and put as little air into the horn as possible to maintain a rather weak, ineffectual sound. That's pretty easy to do with any given mpc.
 

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Wowee you guys. Tough room.

The guy sounds good. At times. The question ismnot about dynamics, breath support, vibrato, intonation, or evenness. All of which are rough.

He gets a nice fat tone at times.

OP: record yourself and keep on it until you sound like that guy.

I use a Morgan Excalibur and 2.5-3.0 reeds. I like it a lot.

Best!

Dat
Sax
Man
 

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You can get that with a Link or one of the 100 Link-inspired pieces or there.
Yup. That’s a reverb saturated link tone. It’s the articulation, style, and lack of control that people aren’t liking. The tone itself is just fine.

OP: get a (decent) link/link style piece. Learn to sound good on it. (You will learn air control) Then you will have the timbral facility to play anything you want on any piece you want. It worked for me and countless others. I still play links because I prefer them....with a link style chamber I can color the tone as I wish with the air, and I have a wide sonic palate available.

Long tones and overtones with a drone will expedite the process.

Enjoy the journey!!!
 

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Wowee you guys. Tough room.
Yeah, I know. Some of us went a little overboard, me included. The tone quality wasn't terrible, just not particularly impressive and I think we were (over?) reacting to the OP using it as an example of a great sound to emulate.

I realize it's all a matter of taste. For example, I love Coltrane's tone. Others have seriously denigrated Coltrane in terms of tone quality. If they can do that, then I can say what I think about the example given at the top of this thread.
 

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At 0:34 in the video below is a close-up of the mouthpiece that he was playing 2 years after the recording you posted. Maybe it's the same one. Personally, I can't tell what brand/model it is, but I'm sure someone else here will recognize straight away. Maybe it's a Sugal of some sort???

https://youtu.be/0nN_ZiVvUoE?t=34
 
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