What kind of effects pedals do you use and how do you use them?

How to go about using pedals on the saxophone is a question I get asked quite frequently.

First of all you need to get an impedance matching transformer. You can get these from radio shack. What this does is it changes the signal from mic to 1/4 inch (guitar style cable).

Then, with a powered clip on mic the signal goes from your horn to the mic to the impedance transformer then to your first pedal.

Over the years i have used a variety of pedals and effects. some of my favorite are:

Boss pedals. digital delay, metal zone and the GT5 (multi fx unit)
Rocktron hush. (this is a strong gate that is used in tandem with a distortion)
jimi hendrix cry baby
line 6 pod xt (a good multi fx unit)
Digitech dhp-33 harmonizer (they dont make these anymore. Its a programable 3 voice harmonizer)
electro harmonix micro synth
mutron envelope filter

It is best to start with just a couple pedals so you can explore the full potential of each one. Try writing songs that make use of a particular effect. Also listen to guitar players. Talk to some. Find out what pedals they like. Some wont sound good on sax but some will! These guys have been using the stuff since it was developed. You can get lots of ideas from listening to people like jimi hendrix, jonny greenwood, Vernon reid, etc....

it takes a lot of tinkering and experimentation but its fun. If used subtly you can give your music an added dimension and color that will enhance the mood of your songs.

Return to FAQ