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Re: distortion, overdrive,fuzz,crunch,special sauce, secret goo

For the second time today I have to chime in with Rainer ;-))  One
example is the saxophone. Just the other week I lurked at a sax forum
and learned about mouth pieces and boy are those jazz saxists anal
about moth pieces! But they are right in every word. I've always been
looking for a sax sound that is big, wide and still soft (not that I
dislike a screaming tone, like Gato Garbieri, it just never felt
apliable to the music I make), my sax playing rather following the
tone attitude established by Ben Webster. Since not having any source
for better knowledge I have just been buying loads of sax mouth
pieces, starting in 1977, re-customized them with metal tools, ruined
many on the way, and tried them with all kind of reeds and done the
math to learn what creates tone on sax. Over the years I have came to
settle with a metal Otto Link nine star. Now, Otto Link is only one
out of fiver or six good brands on the market and the width of the
tone chamber and the opening between the metal and the bamboo slice is
available in 18 different variations, starting from number one, then
follows one star (just a little wider opening), two, two star, three,
three star etc etc. So the nine star, my favorite, actually has the
widest opening and the biggest tone chamber. I've had problems playing
written music with bands on that mouth pieces because it just eats
air. That makes it better suited for playing more improvised music
where you can sort of change the melodies to throw in some extra
spaces between the notes to inhale. Despite these issues I do
sincerely love this mouth piece because it gives such an extraordinary
"breathy" sound. My sax is also the ultimate axe for warm and clean
tone, since it is a silver Conn from 1929 - meaning it was built in
some thick sort of metal. What really caught my attention last week,
on this saxist forum, was that I got to learn that Ben Webster did
play an Otto Link metal nine, almost the same gadget I've ended up
with from simply picking one by ear and taste. I think this proves
that "gear" is essential for "tone" also in sax playing.

And I recently learned that it also is for flute playing, from talking
to a flute service tech guy at a trade show back in October. He said
that the crown (the plug at the end of the tube where no air is let
out) is crucial for both sound and the playability of the flute. My
reason for talking to this guy is that I want him to build me a new
crown with a hole for sticking in a mic in order to amplifying the
sound that lives inside the flute (that otherwise never get heard by
anyone). That should be possible, but since the crown's influence on
tone is so critical and delicate he warned me that the result can not
safely be predicted (meaning I should not re-do my old crown but
rather buy a new one for the mic modding). I can't afford that yet,
but it's on the list for the grand future always waiting around the
corner. ;-)

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)

>> Electric Guitar is the only instrument where "tone" is generally held 
>to come from "gear".
>> For all other instruments "tone" is referred to as an ability of the 

On Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 6:14 PM, Rainer Straschill
<moinsound@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Sorry Andy, but I believe you're wrong about that. It is
> well-understood among pianists that e.g. a Bösendorfer sounds