Saxophone FX

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Saxophone FX

Post by McMij » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:43 pm

Not sure if this is the right subforum to post in, but here goes:

I've been playing soprano saxophone and obeo for a while now, and have recently joined a band. In certain environments, be for effects pedals or mixing or levels, I need to mic myself. To trial how this will work I've a bought a cheap dynamic mic, a "LD Systems D1057". I've borrowed a SM57 before, and the D1057 does the same sort of stuff, but more cheaply.

In terms of running the sax through effects pedals, what would be the best way to do this? There are several options I can see:

1) Mic ---> XLR to 1/4" converter cable ---> Pedals ---> Guitar amp or keyboard amp
2) Mic ---> Preamp ---> Pedals ---> Cabinet
3) Mic ---> Amp with fx loop

I could also purchase an expensive wireless mic (AMT Wi-5, for example) which comes with a receiver etc. then run that through effects pedals then into a guitar/keyboard amp, but that seems like a lot of money for a beginner to spend.

The main difficulty I'm having in choosing a setup is levels - mic levels are, I believe, considerably lower than guitar line levels. Does this mean that a setup like 1) wouldn't work too well because of lower levels through the pedals which may mess up something like pitch tracking in a Digitech Whammy, for example. This is then when the preamp idea 2) comes from - however would a preamp send too high levels? Would it be better to have a chain like:

Mic ---> Preamp ---> Effects ---> Combo amp/cab and head

With a preamp at the beginning to bring up the level to line level then the amp at the end to amplify, like on a guitar. Maybe a DI box too (although I'm not entirely sure how these work/what they do)

If anyone has any pros and cons of any setups mentioned above, or any new ideas, help would be very welcome thanks! Also, if anyone has any good recommendations on amps for, and general mic'ing of, acoustic instruments, that too would be welcome.


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Post by PapaLazarou » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:41 pm

Have you tried dropping a condenser mic into the bell of the sax ala Borbetomagus? Or scrounged up any interviews w John Butcher? He does a ton of on the fly processing.

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Post by e235 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:31 pm

There are a fair number of vids on youtube of people using mic'd trumpets with pedals. Should be mostly comparable. Check out Blair Yarranton to start.

The eventide mixing link and pigtronix keymaster are both preamp/loop pedals intended to allow you to feed a mic directly into a pedal chain. JHS color box is another option (but does not have phantom power for the mic).

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Post by GGW » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:48 pm

here's a series of videos where several methods are demoed:

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Post by tuttlerecall » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:11 pm

i'd second the mixing link. it gives you lots of options for gain staging and will work really well with pedals.

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Post by MindMachine » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:22 am

See if you can find any info regarding Traffic's Chris Wood. He did a lot of processing. My uncle was a roady for them and said he used a Vox Wah pedal and a Maestro W-3.
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Post by felixer » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:49 am

you def need a preamp. esp with a dynamic mic. try to get one with phantompower: you may want to upgrade to a condensor.
and don't put the mic in the bell. you only get the low notes there. the high notes come out of the holes! best is to get a good engineer. you need the extra ears ... wooodwind instr get in to your ear over the bones in your skull: impossible to judge the sound coming out of your amp!
and get a monitorbox in front of you. with a guitar-type setup you might get feedback.
don't need midi, don't need keys, just want knobs and cables (all together now ;-)

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Post by JimY » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:50 am



Post by pulse_divider » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:01 am

Check out the eventide mixing link for a preamp designed exactly for your needs

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