working with sax players or horns in bands

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Dave Shoop, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

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    For those of you who work with or have worked with sax players or horns in bands what have been your experiences ? This seems to be a very difficult and unique situation even more insurmountable than a vocalist. Do the guys or gals you work with bring there own (amplifier/mixer/effect) set up so they can control the sound they send to the sound companies ? Do they just show up with a wireless and run into the snake? Are they constantly unhappy with how the sound companies deal with their sound out front ?

    What do most professional or semi professional sax players do when playing gigs ?
     
  2. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I've never heard of a horn player bringing amplification

    They expect a mic and a nod when it is time for them to solo.
     
  3. partytrain

    partytrain Member

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    All of the horn players I work with bring their own mic/stand/cables to go into the system.
     
  4. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

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    None you've worked with has ever had a problem with the tone or effects coming out of the fronts ? Have you done shows with them where sound companies are involved ? I can understand how a sax player would have interest in how his horn is being presented to the audience. Is the guy I work with the exception and all of the other players just roll with what ever the sound man gives them ? We went 5 seasons with a band provided sound man and it was nothing but fighting at every show between him and the sax player. This year we are going to just use the sound company sound engineer. This doesn't seem to be the solution either. Trying to see if others have any similar experiences with horn players being unhappy or is it just my situation. Gasman seems to have had no issues from his experiences, they just show up and play. Anyone else ?

    This is the sax being used as a huge part of the band sound. A lead instrument and critical to the show.
     
  5. gigs

    gigs Member

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    Played 3 years in a band with horn and sax player. I was the only guitarist. All blues. I really enjoyed playing the horn section. The sax used some kind of clip on mic right into the snake. The trumpet used a mic on a stand. They could hear themselves fine, didn't need to crank themselves up in their own monitors. They were fun to hang out with, didn't complain much. The singer would point out who's to solo next, just had to keep an eye on him, he would always change it up (good thing). Sound guy just watched the singer to see who to boost next. Need a sound guy who runs sound the whole show, adjusts during each song for solos and balance and has good ears. Only problem with that was while you were soloing, had to kinda look at him to see if he wanted to give you another loop or someone else was next. Got tired of all blues, all the time. Too many guitar solos in a night, I got sick of hearing myself play yet another blues solo.
     
  6. gmann

    gmann Member

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    Pretty much this. Been gigging with a sax and trumpet player for most of this yr. Both professional and easy to get along with.
     
  7. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The only sax player I've worked with in a typical band setting had a small wireless mic rig to the PA.

    Since alto sax was my first instrument before I picked up bass, we had a total blast trading riffs.
     
  8. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    wireless into the board is what I've seen most.
     
  9. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Relies on house mic or brings their own. No big hassle regarding effects or tone.
     
  10. tjontheroad

    tjontheroad Supporting Member

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    When I play sax live, I'm mostly concerned about good monitoring and having a quality mic. Being able hear myself over everything is all I care about. If there's a sound guy, I'll ask for some light reverb and no more.
     
  11. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    I played with a horn band for a couple years. The biggest issue with these horn guys was that, since they had charts, they never felt the seed to practice and therefore sounded sloppy as hell. Plus, if anything deviated at all from their chart, they got all f'd up - I don't think they ever actually listened to the rest of the band, they just looked at the paper. And then there was all the waiting around while they thumbed through their book looking for the next song.

    As for the sound situation, some had their own pics, others would use what we had, this group had their own PA and a (d-bag) soundguy.

    Needless to say, I don't miss that situation at all.
     
  12. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    That is what was so cool about jamming with the sax player I mentioned above.
    We had never met, never played together, but you wouldn't know it.
    Total free form on your toes jam set with Jeff Baxter & Friends.
     
  13. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    My main band features a 10 piece horn section consisting of 4 trumpets, 4 saxes, and 2 trombones. They have never brought an amp to a rehearsal or a gig. Generally we use sectional mic'ing with separate mics for the featured soloist. Typically there's enough firepower coming off the front of the stage to take care of FOH. Amping a horn section sounds guitar-headed to me.
     
  14. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Two things I found when working with a horn section; first, why is it that so many horn players have terrible timing? Have they never met a metronome? Nothing is as fun as hearing a Tower Of Power horn line played totally out of time.

    Another thing; nobody holds onto a gig as hard as a trumpet or trombone player. They are tenacious.
     
  15. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    I must be lucky. IME it's typically the guitar players who seem to have never met a metronome.
     
  16. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    Exactly what I'm bummed about with the guys I play with. They all have other gigs, other paying work, and this band is the "only if I don't have anything else to do" band. So they are sloppy, and they absolutely refuse to memorize anything. Everybody (except me and the lead singer) stares at music stands, they miss endings and stops, and about half way thru the gig they are out of tune with each other.

    I will not last much longer in that scenario.
     
  17. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Pretty much for me too. I still work with a sax player I hired in '86, plus a couple of others from time to time. They all come equipped and ready to play, and there are never any complaints about the sound of the PA mix.
     
  18. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    This...the sax players bring clip on mics, brass use stands when necessary. Typically the sound man will only turn on trumpet mics for solos, they're loud enough to stand up to a rock band.
     
  19. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    A band I recently started playing with just lost a sax player...at least
    I think he's leaving.
    Three letters made him a holy terror at gigs...EWI.
    Every time I saw them, he was the loudest guy in the band...and could never/ever
    stop playing. He thought his "signature sound" was creative and essential to the sound of the band.
    Well, IMO, he was essentially wrong. He has some of that Diva thing, and was/is a child to deal with.
    Hence, my entrance.
    He has talent, but as a Diva...he can't take feedback or be any kind of interactive team player.
    Any musician like that is a detraction and a distraction.
    Who cares about chops when you are Godzilla and the band is Tokyo?

    Good example to learn from, however.

    My .02,

    S.
    j
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
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  20. TBoneDeluxe

    TBoneDeluxe Member

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    Oh my Lord, yes! This is what I ran into also. NEVER learned the songs... ALWAYS used charts. No jamming could possibly take place with those guys. Hated it!
     

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