Category Archives: Horn Effects


I am still to work out entirely what IRèNE are about… and I can’t quite remember how I stumbled across them in this big old mess we call the Internet. But I do know I ended up on their label’s Soundcloud listening to their track Gant (below) and being rather excited.

Here’s a band, from France, made up of half saxophones (their line up is listed as drums, guitar, sax, and sax & electronics, in addition to a sound engineer), yet this track seems to deny the presence of sax entirely till a healthy 1’18” in. And when the sax does arrive, it is certainly no jazz fest. Single notes, as confident and simple as a metal guitar’s crunch… The track is a simple, 5 minute instrumental progger, as much jam-band style rock as anything jazz. Certainly no improvisation in sight, though.

As it happens, their album Nek has only just been released (October 2012) on Carton Records. And based on Gant, I promptly bought it. I wouldn’t say Gant is a typical track, but the raw simplicity of it is to be found to good effect through this album, although a little more experimental, maybe even improvised, in other parts.

Effects – where to start?

Starting off trying to get one’s head around the potential successes and pitfalls of wind instruments and effects, a sensible place to start would be YouTube… but once you get into it, there’s a limited amount of real information for a beginner.

This interview with Dengue Fever’s David Ralicke presumes a fair bit of prior knowledge of various pedals properties, doesn’t touch at all on microphones, and contains no actual audio of the sax effects he creates, but does touch upon a lot of the big pitfalls. Making it at least a realistic place to start, and could help you avoid or understand some of the common potential problems.