Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saxophone with Delay, Reverb, Octave, Distortion, Envelope Filter, etc. via JamUp Pro

I've been experimenting with some new sounds using an app, JamUp Pro (link to site, link to app on the apple store). The app has digital versions of various guitar pedals and amps, and not only does the app create some great sounds, but it's also very convenient.

Here is a quick list of pedals that I've gotten sounding pretty great with saxophone:
  • Reverb
  • Delay
  • Octave
  • Tube Distortion
  • Fuzz Distortion
  • Envelope Filter (based on a Qtron pedal, super funky)
  • Compressor
I've also been using a noise gate pedal to prevent feedback, especially when I'm using distortion and compressor. 

Before we make it any further, I think we need some proof of concept. Here are some clips showing off the pedals, sometimes in combination. These are recorded on my iphone using the default voice recorder and built in microphone, so nothing fancy, and I apologize for the clipping. However, you can hear that the effects sound pretty great.

That last one is for anyone who really wanted their saxophone to fit in a metal band. ;)

The Setup
My setup is simple and straight forward. I have an Apogee MiC that plugs straight into my iPad or iPhone. JamUp Pro runs all of these pedals on my device. Then I use an 8th inch to quarter inch converter out of my device's headphone jack to a guitar cable that runs to an amp or PA. That's it!

That means my pedal board is both ridiculously mobile and ridiculously cheap. In physical form, these pedals could cost something like $600, but the app only cost me $5, and the QTron add-on costed me another $3 (there are more pedals that came with the app that I haven't mentioned here, including various modulation pedals, an overdrive pedal, another delay pedal, another reverb pedal, a wah, a filter pedal, and a sampler). You can also buy other interesting pedals for $3 each. I still plan on getting a reverse delay pedal. The only thing that I wish they had that I haven't seen is a ring modulator. I might have to actually pay some real money and get a physical pedal for that one.

If you'd like to try out the app, you can pick up the free version, which has a limited number of pedals but is otherwise totally functional. Happy shredding.


  1. I have a "real" pedal board. I have a Eventide Missing Link which is handling my EWI and Sax inputs. And from there, when I stomp the Missing Link, the effects loop consists of a EHX NanoPOG that then goes through a Q-Tron. All this comes back into the Eventide Missing Link where I can either mix in some "real" sound and effects or goes purely effects out to a PA or Amp. I generally have a little bit of "real" sax mixed in with the effects. The performance mic I use is a Sennheiser 421 (a-la SNL in the 90s when Lenny is playing into them). It's a great mic for sax. And this mic and I have been through a lot.

    The one issue I have with Pedals and saxophone is that a lot of mics tend to pickup stuff around them. So while it's great for messing around, in a live situation its a problem. Probably going to get a Noise Gate pedal and maybe a compressor. Last gig I used the pedal board on I had issues with the effects getting applied to things it was hearing while I wasn't playing.

    While I looked at doing the iPad effects a while ago, they just sorta sound strange. Maybe that has changed. Plus the delay while doing things like octavizing was driving me nutz. Maybe I'll try iOS apps again....

    1. Eric, nice to hear about your setup and experience. As far as the delay goes, with JamUp on my iPad Air (first gen), the delay is minimal to non existent. I tried another pedal app, Bias FX, and there is enough delay with that app on my iPad to be noticeable when using the octave or pitch shifter effects. As far as the sound goes, I think they sound pretty good, but what did you make of the clips I posted?