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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
This is not a trick question, there is no cheap Chinese alto snuck in there to fool you.

This is an extract of a track and there are two pre 1960 altos. It may be obvious when you hear the track where the saxes change from one to the other.

I'm asking this out of interest (as I said not a trick question) I like them both, but there are different qualities. I wonder whether there is an obvious favourite.

I'm asking because I will use one or the other on the final track and am interested to get some (hopefully) consumer feedback. I know some of you have bought my CDs, this track is going to be on the next one if only I can decide which horn to use. Decisions, decisions.

I won't keep you in suspenders, the names of the instruments will be revealed in a couple of days, honest.

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/sotw.html (Track = "Which Alto")

EDIT: as requested I've added a no reverb version (NR)

There will be a prize (Book & CD & sheet music) for a correct guess, ie what are the two saxes. Hint: both pre 1960, one is American and one is European.

UPDATE:

The answer to the "which alto" question is located in the video linked in post #70 of this thread.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Discussion Starter #3
Re: HELP! Which alto?

The second one, it's less trumpet-y.
Stop me if I'm being too technical.
That's very interesting. Thanks.
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

I too like the second one better. That said, both sound like you...and to the listener in the audience it would be difficult to hear the difference if the horns weren't played right next to each other. So which ever one feels better to you is the one that I'd cut the track with.
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

I understand your quandry as both sound great in their own right - but I have to agree with the others and go with the second one. Do you have to choose? I found it to be interesting hearing the 2 horns played back to back - just sayin'.
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

I like the first one because the tone is broader and the second one is closer to the generic modern alto sound which we have come to expect. Of course they both sound great but the first is more interesting to my ears.
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

Yeah. I agree with Stretch. The first one is more lyrical, rounder, sweeter, fatter. More like a singing horn. Second one has more edge & reediness; and also sounds nice, but I agree it's the more generic sounding one, and it lacks the low overtones of the first.


(Watch... just watch.....Pete has pulled a fast one on all of us...and it's really the same horn with different mouthpieces.....)
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

"generic alto sound" describes what I thought of the qualities of the first sax. The second sax engaged my brain cells more with the richness (more harmonics?) of the tone.
 

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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Re: HELP! Which alto?

The 2nd one is more stereotypical of a modern saxophone sound. This may be what appeals to the masses because they identify easier with it and it doesn't challenge their paradigm.

That being said, the 1st one I enjoyed more because it wasn't like a typical type sound. Kinda retro Hodges meets Desmond. It also sounded like pitch was more flexible on the 1st horn and it lost a bit of focus now and again.

I would like to listen to this again with no reverb.

Charlie
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Discussion Starter #11
Re: HELP! Which alto?

I like the first one because the tone is broader and the second one is closer to the generic modern alto sound which we have come to expect.
Yeah. I agree with Stretch. The first one is more lyrical, rounder, sweeter, fatter. More like a singing horn. Second one has more edge & reediness; and also sounds nice, but I agree it's the more generic sounding one, and it lacks the low overtones of the first.
This is obviously the consensus. I originally really liked the fatness. This was originally going to be the take, then just out of interest I tried the other horn


(Watch... just watch.....Pete has pulled a fast one on all of us...and it's really the same horn with different mouthpieces.....)
No, I promise. It's two very different vintage saxophones, played with the same RPC mouthpiece, same reed.

I will reveal soon.

I think given the comments about the second being a more modern sound though, you will all be surprised.

The 2nd one is more stereotypical of a modern saxophone sound. This may be what appeals to the masses because they identify easier with it and it doesn't challenge their paradigm.
That's very interesting. As I said, I think people are going to be very surprised.

I haven't decided which horn to use on this track. I like the idea of one that sounds less of the typical sound, and the first one is definitely a warmer sound.

Do you have to choose?
Good point, I could keep it like that, two different horns alternating choruses. Why not?

So which ever one feels better to you is the one that I'd cut the track with.
This is one of those situations where it's difficult to make production decisions when you are so close to the project, so all the opinions here are very gratefully received.


I would like to listen to this again with no reverb.
Your wish is my command!

I've added a no reverb version.

I had the reverb on there to make it sound more realistic, ie the as close as possible to the way it will be on the final mix. All you are hearing now on the recording is the room ambience.
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

second one....... wins hands down....... the first one is round and smooth but has a muffled quality to its sound that the second one doesn't have and although a different mouthpiece /reed would probably take care of giving back some edge to the first one while retaining roundness, as they are, I prefer the second.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Re: HELP! Which alto?

Aha, so vintage European better than vintage US ! :)
well, apparently I like stereotypes (also monotypes :bluewink: ), if the second is a vintage European so be it!
Of course I am curious to know which.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Discussion Starter #15
Re: HELP! Which alto?

well, apparently I like stereotypes (also monotypes :bluewink: ), if the second is a vintage European so be it!
Of course I am curious to know which.
Well, it might even be Italian ;)
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

Sorry, I wasn't listening that carefully, can someone say the approx timing of the change from one sax to the other, please?

EDIT:Realised there isn't a clock. The start of the tune has a more spread, flexible Hodges type sound. Being absolutely honest I'd have to say I listened twice, fairly carefully second time, and if you hadn't said different i think i would have thought that was all the same sax with some parts played with more inflection and a more relaxed embouchure. Tuning sounds different in different bits.
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

Sorry, I wasn't listening that carefully, can someone say the approx timing of the change from one sax to the other, please?
this is mean .........you want to test the testers :bluewink:
there are 2 changes but the first one is at 30 sec. approx
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

this is mean you want to test the testers :bluewink:
there are 2 changes but the first one is at 30 sec. approx
Hmmmm . . . as a beginner, listening on a computer, I don't know if I can trust my ears, but for what it's worth I think I heard each sax twice in this track (more or less equally divided up). The whole thing is so beautifully played, but for the mood of the piece, I preferred the first alto sound—breathy, soft, open, seductive!
 

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Re: HELP! Which alto?

I prefer the first. No technical reason - just prefer the sound. Warmer? Broader? Thanks for posting them and I enjoyed listening to both.
 
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