How can I make my guitar sound like a sax?

Turi

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9,510
There's loads of songs I like that have awesome sax solos, it'd be so sick to pull them off with the guitar sounding like a sax.

I can play some of them - the outro to Bobby Jean.. the little 'solo' in Never Tear Us Apart.. on the guitar.. but I think it'd be awesome to be able to get a cool sax sound from my guitar for them.

I know it's not necessary, but it'd be awesome.

I've done some googling and eh.. haven't found anything that actually sounds anywhere near close enough yet..
 

Turi

Member
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9,510
That Tripleplay thing looks great - I saw a vid on youtube showing the sax sound and eh, sounded cool, but it didn't sound like a sax. :/

I'm not wanting to do the whole midi thing.. was hoping there was like a sax pedal or something haha.

The sax is probably too hard to emulate I suppose. Especially to make it sound real. :/
 

tobereleased

Member
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3,568
To make it sound real is tricky, and midi would be your best bet.

To get in the ballpark, high gain is your answer. I think that in the early days of mesa they were trying to get a sound that could compete with saxophone.

I have, on rare occasions, used the drive channel of my mesa and had people wondering where the saxophone was. Our ears are probably more attuned to the difference in timbre than the listeners in that instance, but perhaps some gain will get you close enough.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
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7,139
Sax is very difficult to do with synthesis/samples. I recommend you just play it on guitar, perhaps with an envelope filter?
 

7thString

Member
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1,367
learn to play notes like a sax first then worry about the tone. Listen to some rolling stones.
lots of 5-6-7 legato funky riffs. And an octave down fuzz (ie Catalinbread Perseus) will get you close to the tone. Frequency response of a sax has a strong harmonic an octave below the fundamental.
 

jpagey

Member
Messages
4,219
Listen to Robben Ford...he says the sax is his inspiration. So a dumble pedal and an adjustment to picking style to get the sound you want.
 
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Turi

Member
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9,510
Nah, I haven't got a fuzz.

So, to combine a couple of things from this thread, would an octave below and some high gain/fuzz get me somewhere in the ball park?

Probably wouldn't sound too real but eh it'd get those two 'solos' I've learnt sounding kinda cool I think.

Well, tbh, I can't play Bobby Jeans outro properly yet. Gets a bit fast for me atm.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,583
A heavy clipping fuzz does give a raspy sound like a reed. You may want to roll your guitar tone down and let the fuzz add the highs, but don't set the fuzz's tone too far to treble. Start low and adjust it up until it hits the spot.

One way to get the woodwind-like attack on the note is to use a noise gate with the threshold set just slightly too high, then pick with a brushing motion instead of a sharp plucking motion. This makes the note swell in quickly like a horn when you get it right.
 

Whereishumhum

Member
Messages
322
From my experience, a slightly gated fuzz with gain high may produce some velcro-ish, raspy tone, reminds me of sax and trumpet tones.

But first off, you need to learn to play guitar like you are playing sax, I mean, the scales, the notes & keys, the rhythms and pulses, even the improvisation. These two instruments are very different from each other, you need to do more than just the tone pursuit.

I use a Zoom UF-01 stacked with my overdrives to get somewhere around a brass instrument tone, not close, but definitely similar in some way.
 

ruger9

Member
Messages
9,694
A heavy clipping fuzz does give a raspy sound like a reed. You may want to roll your guitar tone down and let the fuzz add the highs, but don't set the fuzz's tone too far to treble. Start low and adjust it up until it hits the spot.

One way to get the woodwind-like attack on the note is to use a noise gate with the threshold set just slightly too high, then pick with a brushing motion instead of a sharp plucking motion. This makes the note swell in quickly like a horn when you get it right.
This is great advice, that sounds to me like it could work well. what a PITA tho.

I did this, made my guitar sound like a sax, on some demos 20 years ago... for life of me, I can't remember how I did it back then, but it sounded pretty damned good! (no, it wasn't with a synth guitar)

Next on EHX's list: the Saxitar pedal! If it sounded as good as the B9, it'd be HUGE.
 

ERGExplorer

Member
Messages
6,076
The pedal I go to for monophonic reed instrument emulation is the Boss SYB-5.

I spent time with it after I first got it, and wrote down settings in a notebook of the various sounds that came out of it with different settings.
 






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