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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
if anyone is familiar with Les Claypool's sax player, skerik, you know that he makes some nutty squeal sounds. I know part of this is in electronic effects, but i know he uses some kind of technique. I think multiphonics maybe. for an example listen to 'one better' off 'of whales and woe'. How does he do it?
 

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I haven't heard the sound you are referring to specifically, but if it's like the sounds that Skerik usually makes, he's probably using overtones. James Carter does a similar thing on "La Derniere Bergere (The Last Shepherdess)" on his album Chasin' the Gypsy, if you want to hear it without any effects.
 

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I heard Skerik with Coalition of the Willing about 6 months ago. It was great.

I heard him mostly using altissimo with screaming/humming/singing, which is a technique that I haven't really gotten yet. But it is a fairly common technique now. Players who come immediately to mind would be Brecker and Coltrane.

He used multiphonics, i.e. more than one note at once. I believe there are alternate fingerings for octave multiphonics.

He was also obviously playing overtones as well.

Like dirty said, depending on the band, Skerik tends to play with electronics.

I would GUESS that he uses something like this setup when he plays with a band like Coalition of the Willing.

-volume pedal
-distortion
-envelope filter
-compressor(s)
-harmony / octave (like a Boss Super Shifter)
-fuzz box
-delay

That was shamelessly stolen from some SOTW post where a person listed their electronics rig. I don't know Skerik's exact setup.

If you want to get that screaming sound, pickup the Brecker transcription book, _The Michael Brecker Collection_, which has a good set of altissimo fingerings to F4, plus a number of fingerings for multiphonics. The altissimo fingerings in that book are very good, as they are in tune for tenor and also seem to work well for vocalization and/or split tones. I am in the process of relearning my altissimo fingerings, because the ones in that book seem pretty nice.

Here is a really good altissimo chart (and free too).

http://www.wfg.woodwind.org/sax/

For overtones, just practice out of the classic Sigurd Rascher book. Then practice playing songs just using overtone fingerings.

Once you have worked the overtones a lot and have about an additional octave in fingered altissimo, then you can work on adding the extended techniques like the multiphonics, sung notes, etc. Firstly, you really need to shed the overtones and altissimo, as this is the foundation.

Skerik is really good live. If you can ever check him out with Coalition of the Willing or Garage A Trois, do it. He has great control over altissimo and really screams up there. I also like how he plays coloristically and blends with the whole band. This is somewhat atypical of rock/fusion saxophone players these days, and it is nice to hear someone do it so well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jeremysaxman said:
I heard Skerik with Coalition of the Willing about 6 months ago. It was great.

I heard him mostly using altissimo with screaming/humming/singing, which is a technique that I haven't really gotten yet. But it is a fairly common technique now. Players who come immediately to mind would be Brecker and Coltrane.

He used multiphonics, i.e. more than one note at once. I believe there are alternate fingerings for octave multiphonics.

He was also obviously playing overtones as well.

Like dirty said, depending on the band, Skerik tends to play with electronics.

I would GUESS that he uses something like this setup when he plays with a band like Coalition of the Willing.

-volume pedal
-distortion
-envelope filter
-compressor(s)
-harmony / octave (like a Boss Super Shifter)
-fuzz box
-delay

That was shamelessly stolen from some SOTW post where a person listed their electronics rig. I don't know Skerik's exact setup.

If you want to get that screaming sound, pickup the Brecker transcription book, _The Michael Brecker Collection_, which has a good set of altissimo fingerings to F4, plus a number of fingerings for multiphonics. The altissimo fingerings in that book are very good, as they are in tune for tenor.

Here is a really good altissimo chart (and free too).

http://www.wfg.woodwind.org/sax/

For overtones, just practice out of the classic Sigurd Rascher book.

Once you have worked the overtones a lot and have about an additional octave in fingered altissimo, then you can work on adding the extended techniques like the multiphonics, sung notes, etc. Firstly, you really need to shed the overtones and altissimo, as this is the foundation.

Skerik is really good live. If you can ever check him out with Coalition of the Willing or Garage A Trois, do it. He has great control over altissimo and really screams up there. I also like how he plays coloristically and blends with the whole band. This is somewhat atypical of rock/fusion saxophone players these days, and it is nice to hear someone do it so well.
Thank you very much. I saw him with Fancy Band (les claypools's newest touring group), and am going again next month.
 

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You should also experiment with taking in more mouthpiece and also overblowing. You can get crazy effects this way, though it is hard to control. John Zorn is really great at this and also Anthony Braxton. I haven't watched Skerik up close but he probably is varying the amount of mouthpiece that he takes in. Overblowing and taking in more mouthpiece will give you crazy highs/split-tones/overtones. Then add in some effects, like distortion, reverb, etc. That's how Skerik probably does some his insane trippy sound effects.
 

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skerik setup

An old thread about Skerik.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/archive/index.php/t-2327.html

His setup is listed there as ...

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Selmer SA80II, Sugal, Oleg lig

EV N/DYM 468 mic
API 512C mic pre
API560 EQ
Sansamp distortion unit modified to have clean bypass channel
Lexicon LXP5 with analog controls
TC Helicon Volice Prism harmonizing machine

a sealed half stack cabinet based ona Marshall Stack with 4 12 inch speakers.
 
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