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#505418 - 04/09/22 03:59 PM Acoustic instrument emulation
cgiles Online   content
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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
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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
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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
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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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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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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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#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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#505445 - 04/11/22 10:25 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
abacus Offline
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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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#505446 - 04/11/22 10:56 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
montunoman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 3071
Loc: Dallas, Texas


Check out how Milt Jackson uses dynamics and accents within his phrases.
Observe his mallets, how high and low the strokes are. Some strokes he lets the mallet rebound off the bars, while other strokes he "digs in" to mute the tone. Also vibes players sort ride up and down on the dampening/sustain pedal. It's hard to get all these subtitles to capture all these small details on the keyboard, but remember vibes are a keyboard instrument that are played with mallets instead of fingers!
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#505451 - 04/11/22 02:37 PM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
To give a wider choice of sounds and more control over the way the sound evolves as the vibraphone is hit harder or repeatedly or with different mallets, perhaps give Moddart’s Pianoteq modeled vibraphone software a checkout…

https://www.modartt.com/vibes

Samples don’t quite get it right, as the crossover points usually jump out unless there’s a bunch of layers.

You might also try a technique where you split the keyboard, but have the vibes on both sides with the lower half transposed up into the same range as the right hand. You can now do some RH/LH things that are the essence of vibes playing without your fingers tripping over each other.
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#505453 - 04/11/22 03:19 PM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: montunoman]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Paul, that was beautiful. I still can't believe how vibes players do what they do. It seems like doing it with mallets is like saying "I'm going to make this as difficult as possible" smile smile. I just don't see how they get all those little nuances by hitting something with a mallet. Jeez, that must be one difficult instrument to master.

chas


Edited by cgiles (04/11/22 03:21 PM)
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#505454 - 04/11/22 03:29 PM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: Diki]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally Posted By Diki
To give a wider choice of sounds and more control over the way the sound evolves as the vibraphone is hit harder or repeatedly or with different mallets, perhaps give Moddart’s Pianoteq modeled vibraphone software a checkout…

https://www.modartt.com/vibes

Samples don’t quite get it right, as the crossover points usually jump out unless there’s a bunch of layers.

You might also try a technique where you split the keyboard, but have the vibes on both sides with the lower half transposed up into the same range as the right hand. You can now do some RH/LH things that are the essence of vibes playing without your fingers tripping over each other.


To me, the samples were beautiful, especially when demo'ed by an expert player. I especially liked the first two samples although they are somewhat different. The problem with the SEVEN is that I can only have 4 'vibes' presets, so if I want a different vibes sound for different songs, I'm limited to four. But, the whole idea of getting a dedicated instrument was to NOT use samples. I guess I'll have to keep working on customizing my vibes sound(s).

chas
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#505459 - 04/12/22 07:02 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, that was beautiful. I still can't believe how vibes players do what they do. It seems like doing it with mallets is like saying "I'm going to make this as difficult as possible" smile smile. I just don't see how they get all those little nuances by hitting something with a mallet. Jeez, that must be one difficult instrument to master.

chas


I know, it blows my mind too, even more so when vibraphonist like Gary Burton start using four mallets. Two is hard enough!
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#505460 - 04/12/22 07:08 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: cgiles]
montunoman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 3071
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Here's a YouTuber that has transcribed lots of Milt's solo. It's interesting to note that he play on a midi instrument. Sounds good to me- what do you think?

Anyways it made me think that many keyboard swear that do emulate wind instruments you need one of those breath gizmos.

Maybe having actually mallets in your hands the secret : )



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It not the keyboard, it's the keyboardist.

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

https://www.facebook.com/elgrupocache

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#505463 - 04/12/22 10:45 AM Re: Acoustic instrument emulation [Re: montunoman]
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7194
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Chas, that was a favorite tune I actually played nightly on vibes at the Holiday Inn west in Lexington from 1970 to 1972. My long-time partner, who was struggling with arthritis, played B-3, but gradually transitioned to left-handed bass and chords (no lead lines) kept up the bottom. Drum sounds were via a terrible MiltiVox machine. I had vibes, Wurlitzer piano, jazz, tele, nylon string, tenor banjo, lap steel (had to play Sleepwalk, you know) and mandolin.

So thankful I actually had chance to play vibes with a great partner.
Just sold the vibes along with over 100 other instruments (so far) this year. Funds will go to a charity you know about in New Orleans.

Goes without saying that this post, like others of yours, was one of my favorites, especially considering I used to play it on vibes, switching to jazz guitar for a turn or two; then finishing with vibes.

Your version, as usual, was TASTY!


Russ

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