|T. Blanchard w. wireless mic|
You do need to run through a mic so that the sound becomes an electronic signal. Then, you can run it through an effects box. Initially that process involved re-shaping an analog wave, but for the last couple of decades, like everything else, this has moved into the digital domain; domain being the appropriate word for the hegemony of this technology.
The effects used most often are reverb, wah-wah, fuzztone, flanging and plain old distortion-all long used and abused, by guitar and bass players. In a recent rash of tweets, I listed some early rock and pop examples, which I put at the bottom of the post for your leisurely perusal.
As a relict of the 1960's, I can tell you that many of us who played the trumpet and also had a foot in the avant-garde "classical" music camp collaborated to make odd sounds with
early synth manipulators. Moog and Buchla were the chief makers. In that context, the goal was less alteration than obliteration of the trumpet sound; the reduction of the note to a waveform that could have just as easily been produced by dropping bricks onto bedsprings with an electronic pickup(which, come to think of it, I did).
As noted, Miles was a key figure in this story. He'd been incorporating electronic instruments-keyboard, bass and guitar-since about 1967. Then, in Bitches Brew, electronic manipulation became a big player, but in post-production. Finally, in late 1970, Miles began putting his horn through a box with a pedal and ran the wah-wah down, as in this track from Live-Evil:
Interestingly, on Live at the Fillmore, recorded earlier in 1970, Miles was still playing acoustic (un-modified) trumpet. From 1971 on, he rolled with electronics.
Since that time, many trumpet players have incorporated electronics into their music. More mainstream guys tend to use it lightly-Roy Hargrove, Tim Hagans, Jeremy Pelt, Christian Scott, Dave Douglas; and more outside players, more radically-Coung Vu and Rob Mazurek.
Jon Hassell has probably been the most wide-ranging practitioner of electronics with trumpet. Sometimes New-Age-y, World-y, Tranc-y, occasionally Inside-ish, Minimalist-ish, etc. He calls his stuff "Fourth World."
The logical extension of all this is a combination synthesizer and trumpet, a little item resembling a machine gun that generates a midi-signal, needs no conversion into the digital domain and can be controlled by breath and fingers. It's a little ironic that James Morrison, a trumpet player who has mastered the "old" technology of playing the trumpet, designs and markets a digital-trumpet.
Here's Mike Metheny blowing a well-known version of such devices, the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument). Mike's a great trumpet player.
The sound is, obviously, extremely adaptable, but also somewhat de-natured. I'm not much for the Puritan work ethic, but the human struggle to play a normal trumpet-mastering breath and chops-can be heard in the sound. It gives weight and meaning to the notes.
Like mutes, electronics can be another arrow in the quiver, but will never be a replacement for natural sound.
A FEW EARLY AUDIO DISTORTION LENSES
Of all things, Marty Robbins - Don't Worry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V40lF4SQhCE&feature=share
See. Ann could do more than dance. Early fuzztone. Ann Margret-I Just Don't Understand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wujv5SN0CR4&feature=share
Always on the edge of distortion-Howlin' Wolf-Highway Man. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EglRs981VYs&feature=share
A Fuzztone pioneer. Rocket 88-Ike Turner/Jackie Brenston. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbfnh1oVTk0&feature=share
The Ventures- 2,000 lb Bee Pt 1 (1st use of a fuzz box 11/62). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gvhPb6se6E&feature=share
You know The Lads knew a good fuzzy thing when they heard it. Think for Yourself.
Zappa-Willie The Pimp. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aIRKbwATvM&feature=share