[Dixielandjazz] octave divider

James Kashishian kash at ran.es
Fri Dec 5 11:58:26 PST 2003

I'm trying to find.....for a tenor saxophonist friend here, an octave
divider/fx box for his horn.  Does anyone know anything about where one
can find such info.  It may seem strange that I should ask such a
question, since I deal in professional audio, but my contacts are in
large format digital audio mixers, etc., not gadgets for musical

As a matter of interest:  I dabbled with electronics on my trombone in
the early '70's.  I was a bit ahead of my time, both in the talent I had
available to me then, and in musical tastes of the public.  Anyway, I
drilled a hole in my mouthpiece, inserted an electronic pickup which
connected to a King Octave divider on my belt.  This gave me 3 octaves
on the trombone, one below the actual tone played, and two above,
although you could select ALL or any of the 3.  Naturally, the trombone
sounded out of the bell as usual, so I could blend the sounds by use of
a microphone in front of the horn, and another mic in front of the huge
(read rock & roll) bank of speakers behind me.  From the octave divider,
I ran the signal to a guitar wah-wah pedal, which could be activated
into the circuit & controlled by my foot.  

So, this "monster trombone" was coupled with an electric guitar,
electric bass, and r & r drums.  We were BIG......at least in volume!!

Played a few discoteques as "California Jim"!   Didn't last too long,
but it was fun.  Did things like Watermelon Man, some Dixieland, and
ballads (with acoustic guitar) such as Georgia on My Mind (wah-wah was
nice on that) with the volume turned down.  

One funny, but dangerous, thing happened during my "electric" period:
while singing my wet nose touched my mic which was stuck into the bass
player's amp (the main speakers had blown!).  I didn't know what had
happened, as I felt nothing, but the bass man went straight up in the
air, like a basketball player leaping up, when he got the shock caused
by my contact to the mic!!  His hair was standing on end!

I'm more tame, now, in my "later years", although I tend to have my
trusty Lexicon PCM60 reverb unit sitting close by me.  I run the main
mic through that, using it as a preamp for the mic, then run the output
from the Lexicon to the main sound.  That way I can change the amount of
reverb, and the size/length of the reverb at will......plus have overall
volume control of the mic.  So, "Georgia" or "Caravan" for example gets
a bit of added reverb, etc, at the twist of a knob.  

Anyway, any info on electronic goodies available for tenor sax would be
Thanks, Jim

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