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#505418 - 04/09/22 03:59 PM Acoustic instrument emulation
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
We recently discussed SAX emulation on a keyboard and Diki suggested that the quality of acoustic instrument voices on an (MOTL/TOTL) arranger keyboard were better than on an equal quality synth or workstation. I tend to agree (and for the same reasons he gave). But where an arranger comes in second, IMO, is on piano and other percussive sounds (vibes, etc.) produced by dedicated keyboards such as the SV1/2, and Crummar SEVEN, ETC. Here is a quicky example of 'vibes' on my Crummar SEVEN. I think they are very realistic, despite my probably not playing the way a real vibes player would play....but you get the idea. Tune is an oldie (what else smile ) called 'I could write a book'.

https://app.box.com/s/4558crvutc2xnplt51wku3aco8olusfr

What do you think? Realistic or not? (trust me, you won't hurt my feelings smile smile ).

chas
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#505420 - 04/10/22 01:57 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5386
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Chas, that was sweet. Organ and vibes were great. While I am not in a position to specifically compare, I don't know how it could sound more realistic. As an aside, your piece reminds me of how less is better, sometimes. Thanks for sharing.

Bernie
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#505425 - 04/10/22 10:21 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
travlin'easy Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15334
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Sounds almost as good as my S-950. smile

Keep em comin', Chas,

Gary cool
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#505427 - 04/10/22 11:35 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
montunoman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 3071
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Sound great Chas. Nice swingin’ phrases and ornamentations on the vibes. But to my ears the vibes sound unnatural mainly because they have too much attack like they’re be played with really hard mallets . Lionel Hampton played with hard mallets, but most of those who followed him like Mil Jackson, Bobby Hutchinson, and Gary Burton favored a soft to medium mallet. Perhaps you have an option to get a different mallet sound from the vibes on your keyboard? Experiment and see, and of course listen to the great vibraphonists!

Paul ( former vibraphone and marimba owner)


Edited by montunoman (04/10/22 11:37 AM)
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#505428 - 04/10/22 01:43 PM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Thanks Gary. I figured only you ol' codgers would know that song. Sadly, I haven't learned a new song since WWII smile. Plus, I play them all from memory (which is slipping fast) smile.

Paul, thank you so much. That's EXACTLY the feedback I wanted since I tend to use vibes quite frequently as a solo instrument since I got my beloved SEVEN. It's a great alternative if you're a lousy pianist (like me). Yes, the SEVEN does have some edit parameters and I will definitely try softening the sound. BTW, the soulful Milt Jackson ("Bags") has always been my favorite vibes player. Also like Vic Feldman (who absolutely does have a softer sound). Didn't know you played vibes but I'm not surprised. So does Russ. In fact, there are a surprising number of competent alt-instrument players on this forum, which is good for the 'music' side of the forum. Thanks again for the feedback. I think it's good to critique our instruments. You never know when you'll get a tip that may immensely improve one of it's voices.

chas
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#505433 - 04/10/22 08:43 PM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
I’d say roll a bit of highs off the vibes, might be all it takes. One thing to bear in mind when playing older music in older styles… the recording technology of the day couldn’t capture anywhere near as much high end as modern digital recording can. You want to sound more like Lionel Hampton, start rolling off above 10kHz for a more vintage ‘vibe’!
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#505435 - 04/10/22 10:05 PM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Thanks Diki. Although I love the factory sound, I did think it was just a tad 'harsh' (or maybe 'BELL-ish'). I'll try taking off a little of the highs but not to emulate Lionel Hampton. Except for Midnight Sun (my favorite Vibe tune), I'm not a huge fan and tend to favor the more 'modern' small-group players. When I hear Lionel Hampton I think 'Swing'; when I hear Milt Jackson I think Jazz (at it's soulful best). Just a matter of personal taste, they're both musical legends, perhaps Lionel Hampton the bigger legend.

Funny thing, when I was young I always wished there was a conventional keyboard (piano) that sounded like a Vibraphone. Who knew that one day they'd be commonplace.

chas
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#505442 - 04/11/22 06:50 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
montunoman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 3071
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Originally Posted By cgiles


Paul, thank you so much. That's EXACTLY the feedback I wanted since I tend to use vibes quite frequently as a solo instrument since I got my beloved SEVEN. It's a great alternative if you're a lousy pianist (like me). Yes, the SEVEN does have some edit parameters and I will definitely try softening the sound. BTW, the soulful Milt Jackson ("Bags") has always been my favorite vibes player. Also like Vic Feldman (who absolutely does have a softer sound). Didn't know you played vibes but I'm not surprised. So does Russ. In fact, there are a surprising number of competent alt-instrument players on this forum, which is good for the 'music' side of the forum. Thanks again for the feedback. I think it's good to critique our instruments. You never know when you'll get a tip that may immensely improve one of it's voices.

chas


I'm glad you took my critique in a positive way, and again it's just my opinion. There's probably lots of vibes players that prefer the harder Lionel Hampton sound, which is cool too.

I felt like you were trying to get a small jazz combo, which most vibraphonist favor a soft mallet.

All keyboard percussion ( vibes, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel) use different types of mallets. Your vibe sounds a bit too much like a glockenspiel- which uses poly plastic, brass or aluminum mallet heads as opposed the the yarn/wool of a vibe mallet.

Also the speed of the fan of the vibraphone has huge effect on the sound.

Lionel Hampton kept the fan on the fastest setting. Milton Jackson kept the fan on very slow. This along with the softer yarn mallet with a big head, gave him the warm sound that fit the MJQ so well.

So besides mallet choice consider fan sped/tremolo sound as well.

Again, I really enjoyed your recording, I don't mean to "nitpick" but those are some accepts that came to mind as I listened.



Edited by montunoman (04/11/22 06:50 AM)
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It not the keyboard, it's the keyboardist.

www.youtube.com/channel/UCV94i--V-A8kZShmGTKyDOw

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#505444 - 04/11/22 09:18 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Thanks Paul. I'm now also starting to wonder how much the WAY I play (dynamics - velocity, etc.) affects the tonal quality. I'm thinking of maybe trying to change the dynamics of my playing to be less 'piano-like' (attack) when trying to emulate vibes. Again, thanks for the feedback. If you want to know something about an instrument, ask the guy that plays one. Interesting note on the Crumar SEVEN; when in 'vibe' or 'clav' mode. it only plays notes in the range of the original instrument. This, of course, keeps you from playing outside the range of the simulated instrument, which would be a dead giveaway that you were playing a clone smile.

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505445 - 04/11/22 10:25 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 5206
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Instruments these days allow adjustment of the keyboard dynamics to suit your playing style, so may be worthwhile sorting this before altering it for each individual sound.

Bill
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