Vibraphone (a.k.a. vibraharp) is nowadays quite rare instrument - quite few people can actually name it. I admit I am a vibraphone enthusiast: I love to play and practise it and love to listen its players. I have three vibraphones at home. My wife saids it's too much. Here's my story how did I end up to this strange situation.
Not everybody knows that I have a history as a percussion player before I moved to play and teach piano and keyboards. On 90’s when I also studied in conservatory I owned an acoustic Musser vibraphone. On my 20s when I started my career as a gigging keyboard player I sold it which I have regretted every now and then. My ”Season 2” as a vibraphone player started on 2015 when I bought Musser again, after 15 years of complete silence with that rare and unique instrument.
|80's Musser M75 (bought 2015)|
1980’s Musser M75 is big and heavy vintage instrument with warm sound which is considered to be better than same brands current models. There are so few vibraphone players and instruments in Finland that I like to see this purchase as a once-in-a-lifetime investment, at least in my country.
Gigging and recording in mind on 2018 I went to buy my second vibraphone: brand new Malletech Omega with red bars. With new innovations on frame (light weighted, very adjustable and portable), tunable resonators and pedal it was nicely modern compared to M75. I like to say that if Musser M75 is Jaguar then Malletech Omega is Tesla.
|Malletech Omega in my cellar studio (bought 2018)|
Ok, let’s face it... Even modern Malletech Omega is big and heavy and can be pain to carry on gigs. At least if I compare it to my Nord Stage which I carry in my soft bag. So gig needs to be a REAL vibraphone gig to justify all this effort of putting it to pieces at home, putting these pieces together at gig and same backwards. Then again, let’s face it... There aren’t that many vibraphone gigs, at least on my level of playing. This being a reality I went to buy my third vibraphone or should I say electronic MIDI mallet controller to be more precise: Wernick Xylosynth with custom colored "Nordish" red wooden bars. With Xylosynth idea was to have a portable solution for many gigs on which I could use vibraphone as an extra flawor alongside my Nord and Elektron. It was also a nice comeback to my favorite soft synth Pianoteq (from French company Modartt) which also emulates nicely not only vibraphone but also marimba, xylophone, hand pan, steel pan etc.
|Wernick Xylosynth (bought 2020) with other electronic instruments|
Xylosynth is relatively new in my electronic arsenal and yet I am still testing and developing its use with Mac-Nord-Elektron setup. It looks very promising and inspiring but there are also obstacles on the way. So time will tell how does it go... So please wait for part 2 of this story! 😏
Until then please check my newest recordings with Malletech Omega (first 8 songs on this playlist):