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Online Guide Orchestral percussion
Vibraphone

 

The vibraphone, also known as vibes, is a popular member of the percussion family. While vibraphones are most commonly used in jazz
GroupThe combination of a number of audio channels in hardware or software so that they may be controlled together.
groups
(combos and big bands) we’ll include them in our discussion of mallet percussion instruments since they are sometimes included in band and symphonic works.

Vibraphon Schülermodell

Vibraphones produce a soft, round tone that can
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
sustain
for far longer than a xylophone or marimba. They use aluminium bars that resonate for longer than the wooden or synthetic bars found on those other instruments. The vibraphone’s upper bars (accidentals) do not overlap the lower natural bars. Student vibraphones often have bars of identical widths; professional vibraphones have bars of graduated widths, with wider bars for lower notes. These instruments are capable of producing richer tones than student models. Vibraphonists who are accustomed to the richer tones of professional models never want to go back to a student model. For this reason, a serious student might consider a professional model if their budget allows. After all, it’s always cheaper to buy only once.

Vibraphon Solistenmodell

The vibraphone’s bars can be made with a matte or shiny finish. Shiny surfaces can look impressive, but under stage lighting, they can reflect light back into the performer’s eyes. For this reason, matte bars may be preferred.


Vibrato

Vibraphones also have disks in their resonating tubes that rotate at varying speeds, opening and closing the
ResonatorA type of guitar designed before electric guitars in the quest for more volume. In addition to two main soundholes, a number of metal cones are placed underneath the strings in the main body of the guitar to help further amplify the sound. Popular with slide players for its cutting tone, and famously featured on the cover of Dire Straits 'Brothers in Arms' album.
resonators
, resulting in what most vibraphonists term vibrato. Actually, vibrato is a variation in pitch, so this effect should be called
Tremolo1) An effect caused by periodic fluctuations in the volume of a note or chord, produced naturally by some singers but more commonly encountered as a guitar effect. 2) A common synonym for the guitar vibrato arm (whammy bar), in almost universal use even though it is technically incorrect: vibrato is the correct term as the arm produces variations in pitch, not volume.
tremolo
, meaning variations is
Volume1) In audio and music, the loudness or amplitude of a signal. 2) In computing, a fixed amount of storage space, addressed as a single entity ('C:', 'D:' etc). A physical drive may contain more than one volume, but a single volume may also span more than one drive!
volume
. A small electric motor controls the rotation of the disks and the speed of the rotation can be selected. Some less expensive vibraphones have specific speeds set in steps. More professional units may have stepless motors that allow subtler variations though either type can work well. In the past twenty years or so more advanced computer controlled servomotors allow even greater control of the rotation of the disks.

The vibraphone has a pedal that
ReleaseThe final stage of an envelope, that in synthesizers determines how long a sound will continue to play after the key has been released. In a compressor, release is the parameter that defines how long compression will continue once the input signal has fallen back below the threshold level.
releases
a dampening
BarA fundamental unit of musical form consisting of a number of beats, usually 4 or 3, as defined by the time signature.
bar
(usually covered with felt or similar material) that otherwise will
DampTo reduce vibrations - in music this usually refers to the technique of reducing an instrument's vibrations and overtones by touching it in some way, to shorten the length of the note and deaden the timbre of the sound. For example, a percussionist may place the palm of his hand on the skin of a kettle drum, or a guitarist might use the wrist of his plectrum hand to rest against the strings. Also used to describe the effects of acoustic treatment.
dampen
the instrument’s
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
sustain
. Like a piano’
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
sustain
pedal, pressing the pedal allows the bars to
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
sustain
freely and releasing it dampens the bars. Some gel-filled
DamperA felt pad that is part of the key/hammer mechanism of an acoustic piano, used to stop the string from vibrating once it is struck and automatically dropping into place once the player releases the key. This type of mechanism is also employed by electric pianos such as the Fender Rhodes.
damper
Pad1) An attenuation switch found on many microphones and mixing desks, allowing a signal to be attenuated by one or more fixed amounts, such as -10 or -20dB. 2) A soft, sustained sound used in arranging or sequencing as an unobtrusive harmonic backdrop. This may be a synth sound or a natural sound, typically strings.
pads
are available that can simplify instrument maintenance.


Mallets

Mallets

Fortunately, the vibraphone may be played with marimba mallets. Some manufacturers offer specific models for the vibraphone with slightly shorter handles. Many players use marimba mallets on the vibraphone, but like the marimba, never use metal or plastic mallets on a vibraphone or you will dent and damage the bars. Also, harder mallets may not work as well on the vibraphone since they produce less
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
sustain
and a harder, sharper sound. Like other mallets, the handles tend to be made from rattan, birch or fibreglass. Vibraphonists tend to play with either two or four mallets at a time depending on their personal playing style and the requirements of the piece.

 

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Contents:

[Contents] [Xylophone] [Marimba] [Vibraphone] [Glockenspiel] [Tubular Bells] [Kettle Drums/Timpani] [Concert Bass Drum] [Repair and Maintenance] [Conclusion & Feedback]