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I'm playing in an 8 piece horn band right now where we had the alto sax doing bari parts on some pieces by using a pitch shifting device like the ones mentioned in the title. Well, we lost our alto and I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with one or both of these effects and which might be more suitable for what we are trying to do here. I know the Digitech has a lot more stuff than we really need for what we are doing but it can be had for less than the TC Helicon.

You can get the Digitech for as little as $80 and the D1 starts around $100. Any thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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I have the Digitech 300. It works quite reasonably well shifting an octave down. It doesn't sound like a legit bari (or bass saxophone, since I used it with a tenor) but it won't matter that much in a 8 piece horn band. It's quite funny to blow a low Bb with this kind of setup :)

It works much worse with parallel fifths: it quickly becomes too metallic.

In my opinion the Digitech has a lot of stuff, but only the octave shifter and some reverbs are worth to use with a saxophone, unless you want some over-the-top sounds.
Thinking about it I think I will sell it :)
 

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When I went to the NAMM show a couple of years ago I tried those units with the only available sound source: my voice.
I liked the sound of the TC better.
Cleaner and more musical.
Maybe things have changed in the last two years.
It looked cooler too.
The Digitech had a Casio vibe.
 

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Sadly I have tried both units and don't much care for either with a sax. I still have the Digi as well as a lesser unit from TC - The digi stuff (at least mine) was a bit noisy. The adaptive EQ on the TC units were lacking for me - they are definitely tailored for voice. Might be OK for studio use but you don't really need a harmonizer in the studio. All that being said - I'd go with the Digi if I had to make a choice. It seems more robust to me. Both will have artifacts at extreme ranges, but so do all the software and /or sampler choices. And those kinds of things are always fun to mess around with anyway. Good luck!

PS. The units I have are both older models so take all of the above as less than current opinions. I used my Digitech Vocalist for several months with a band to quasi-imitate a horn section and it worked as advertised. I still use a TC Helicon vocal processor as FX for my sax when playing live rock and pop, but I don't much like it... The Vocalist still gets used on the rare occasion I get an acoustic guitar and voice gig, but it's been almost a year since I've done that...
 

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Hey Fader, could you expand a bit on your comment about using the Digitech 300 for the 'quasi-imitation' of a horn section? I'm curious about what effect you would have used and what king of other horns you got it to sound like. Could it also be used this way with a trumpet? Thanks.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa, tenor: Medusa, bari: B-901, sop: sc-990
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…The adaptive EQ on the TC units were lacking for me - they are definitely tailored for voice.…
So, it is not possible to turn off the adaptive EQ? I've been wondering about using a harmonizer like the Eventide Pitch factor. Any experience with those?
 

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Hey Fader, could you expand a bit on your comment about using the Digitech 300 for the 'quasi-imitation' of a horn section? I'm curious about what effect you would have used and what king of other horns you got it to sound like. Could it also be used this way with a trumpet? Thanks.
I probably should have said, "Sax Section", instead... they are both ok harmonizers, but can't really be used to change the tone of a sax to make it sound like a trumpet. I suppose with a wind controller and a couple of sound modules you could approximate a section, but that's a whole different approach...
 

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So, it is not possible to turn off the adaptive EQ? I've been wondering about using a harmonizer like the Eventide Pitch factor. Any experience with those?
I haven't used or even demo'd the Eventide stuff. It looks good on paper though, but agaun there's no EQ on the Pitch Factor. With the TC stuff - Off, On, and one other variation are possible to shape the EQ, but it's still tailored to the human voice. The best bet is to add a dedicated EQ to your signal chain, but then you'd be hauling around yet another piece of gear. It would be nice to have a rack with all kinds of goodies to shape tone, but not as nice as walking on and being ready to sound check in 5 minutes...and casing your sax and getting out with one trip to the car is a big deal to me too...

I might feel differently if I were using FX and pitch shifting as a large part of what I do, but even if I had all the goodies imaginable, I wouldn't use them much. Give me a tad bit of reverb and I'm happy. Some times even that's too much. Especially in a good (or big) room...
 

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Hi Fader, sorry but that was actually what I meant. What setting do you use to make a sax sound like more than one sax? Can it be used to sound like there is a tenor and alto? Tenor, alto and bari? etc... Is it only two or can you get more than two simultaneous sax sounds from the unit? I was wondering if the same effect would work with a tpt - make it sound like more than one with a harmony but mostly interested in how to 'fatten' up the sax so it might sound like there are two or three on a line. Would appreciate it if you can clarify that in terms of what patch and do you tweak any of the settings to get this? As I understand this unit it can do 5th's [I think] but is that enough to have a 'fake' two horn section? Hope I'm making sense here. Thanks
 

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I believe both units have both Chorus and Delay available as FX. A short delay and some chorus will approximate stacked horns playing the same note. The harmonizer function will also obviously give the impression of more than one sax...Pitch the harmony low enough and it will sound like a Bari (mostly), and higher harmonies will automatically sound more alto(ish)
 
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