Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was curious as to what set up would help me achieve my ideal sound. I listen to David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Kirk Whalum, Richard Elliot, and Gerald Albright. I am looking for a smooth jazz sound on both alto and tenor sax. I just need to know what direction I need to go in to get the sound I want. I am positive it has to do with my set up. Can anyone recommend any mouthpieces/reeds/ligatures that are predominantly used in smooth jazz? Maybe a few ideas to help me improve my sound?

My current set up:
Alto:
Buescher Big B 1949-1950
Meyer HR 6m
Vandoren ZZ 3 and Java 2.5
Rovner Light Ligature

Tenor:
Conn Chu 1926
Ottolink HR 7*
Rico Jazz Select Medium Soft
Rovner Dark Ligature
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
You have officially picked the least "smooth jazz" setups I can possibly imagine. Vintage horns, low baffle mouthpieces. Then the Rovner dark lig just clinches it.

For that pop/smooth jazz sound, think about mouthpieces with higher baffle profiles. If you don't know what a baffle is, go search for Theo Wanne's Mouthpiece University and read all the material there. So mouthpiece like Dukoffs, Guardalas, RPCs, Saxscape Downtown, some of Wanne's models . . . the list goes on and on. But something with some baffle will help you a lot, as a starting point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your advice.
Everyone I know wants the vintage sound. I study classical sax with a Rascher guy who loves Buescher horns. I don't think the jazz instructor at my university even recognizes smooth jazz. He is a big bop player and into HR mouthpieces galore (bergs and morgans). I don't like the otto link metals or berg larson metals.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,096 Posts
For that smooth jazz sound you start with any set up you want, then get a producer who knows how to use a chorus, delay, compressor, eq, reverb, and auto-tune.


:)










PS. you will also need a drum machine....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
you have officially picked the least "smooth jazz" setups i can possibly imagine. Vintage horns, low baffle mouthpieces. Then the rovner dark lig just clinches it.
lol!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I was simply asking for advice.
On the flip side of all the opinionated rudeness, I am trying to get my hands on a rico metalite M7 or M9. I hear they are a bright, punch piece for a steal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
I think you got some good advice here, with the usual banter on the side.
Sadly Fader is not too far off for quite a couple of smooth jazz artists ...

I think Candy Dulfer got some information about her setup on her website for first hand hardware info.
But in the end the sound is coming from you, regardless what equipment you're playing on.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,240 Posts
You have officially picked the least "smooth jazz" setups I can possibly imagine. Vintage horns, low baffle mouthpieces. Then the Rovner dark lig just clinches it.
i would be surprised to learn that many of the serious smooth jazz players were using setups like what you are currently using. The gear you listed sounds like the stuff that appeals to me. But if you work with what you have you can still get a decent smooth jazz sound, it takes practice. The heavy cats you listed would all sound very good on your gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I wasn't saying that the advice I got was bad. I appreciate it. I just don't like to feel ridiculed. All of the artists that I listed are great a what they do. I'm not wanting to be like Kenny G here. Cut me some slack, ya know? I'm a newbie at all the tech and gear talk.
Thanks. I'm just in search of my sound. I am looking for gear to help me find what works for me. I have been on the meyer for almost 2 years and I am not getting the results I want. As for the otto link, it has a great husky sound. I like that, but I want more edge. I listen to a ton of classic rock n roll, funk, and r and b. I'm trying to broaden my knowledge on jazz sax so that I can get the sound I want.
Thanks for all the info, guys. :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
5,165 Posts
You should go to Theo Wanne's site and look under "Player Set-Ups" then start to Buy and Try until something works. Although I wouldn't necessary describe the players you listed as Smooth Jazz many have elements of that sound in their playing. I personally can't stand High Baffle pieces and metal messes with my teeth. I play Link Tone Edge pieces but also play in rock bands that require Lenny Pickett style solos. Equipment is extremely personal but Beechler Diamond, Berg Metals, and If you have money Guardala pieces are a good starting point. One of my favorite smooth style artist Mark Russo plays a good old Meyer 6 and can play serious altissimo. Good Luck.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,096 Posts
I was simply asking for advice.
On the flip side of all the opinionated rudeness, I am trying to get my hands on a rico metalite M7 or M9. I hear they are a bright, punch piece for a steal.
I missed the rudeness but I rarely go looking for trouble. (It finds me often enough as it is)..personally I was only being partly flippant. I run a recording studio where I have recorded quite a few "smooth jazz" tracks. I play some smooth jazz too - some of it even on a sax and I'm a fair player. The sound I think you're looking for is only partly a result of the sax. Pretty much ANY decent tone with proper breath support will work. The addition of effects and processing really are a big part of a recoded saxophonists sound. Especially in contemporary genres. Smoothing out the sax for this type of recording is a huge factor. A bright, harsh, or shrill tone, can easily be modified with EQ. Compression is simply a leveling tool which almost defines smooth. Reverb - You can't track smooth jazz without it. The other tools are frequently just as important. There are a lot of skilled players on these boards - Some of them can be a bit abrasive. Some of us are real, "Jokers". Don't let the delivery get in the way of the message....

Peace
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,118 Posts
As for the otto link, it has a great husky sound. I like that, but I want more edge. I listen to a ton of classic rock n roll, funk, and r and b. I'm trying to broaden my knowledge on jazz sax so that I can get the sound I want.
I thought you were asking about 'smooth jazz' (as opposed to jazz, old-school R&R, funk), and I'm not trying to be rude (though it's easy to be misinterpreted, so I'll make that clear if possible), but you're asking about a pretty wide sound spectrum, even based on the players you listed. I'd say your horns are just fine. The mpc is where you can make a difference, along with your playing style, obviously. A high baffle will add edge, so if that's what you want then try a mpc with more baffle. Just understand that it's a trade off. You can lose that husky sound and warmth of a Link or other low baffle mpc. One way to balance it out is a moderate baffle and larger tip (like some Bergs & RPCs).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,118 Posts
Seems that many of the 'smooth jazz' tenor players use/used Guardalas. Order a MBII from WWBW and send it back if you don't like it. At least you'll find out if higher baffle pieces work for you...
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top