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Hello - I'm a veteren jazz pianist making my way towards vibes and appreciate help.

I'd like to get feedback on artists using midi/digital instruments for vibes. I already have a physical modeling studio in my home and wondering about learning vibes using MIDI vs. the real deal since I'm and mostly playing there with occasional gigs out.

Seems like not much chat on this forum regarding Malletkat, etc. Appreciate any feedback and recommendations. Of course, love nothing more to have a new M55 touring but thinking ahead a bit on recording and also using it for other instruments via midi controller (marimba, etc). Thanks!


John Keene Wed, 12/07/2016 - 08:07

Tyler has posted several videos with his Kat-bass-drums trio and they can be found on this site. As a matter of personal taste, I tend to prefer the Kat or Xylosynth to a MIDI'd acoustic vibe for practical reasons (mobility, tuning, range of sounds). Although one can't argue that an acoustic vibe looks cooler.

campb3ll Fri, 12/25/2020 - 17:18

In reply to by John Keene

my problem with these midi controllers is two fold. the unnatural bounce from the bar and the on off pedaling. there is no way to half pedal the controller or even vibe samples in a natural way to phrase like you would on an acoustic instrument. I midi'd my yamaha yv2700g almost ten years ago using the k and k sounds midi master and although the features of the midi system are quite primitive I still prefer playing that to my Mallet station. I take my mallet station to rehearsals but I can't see using on a gig.

tonymiceli Fri, 12/25/2020 - 23:52

In reply to by campb3ll

I realized early on that was not a vibraphone. that is don't walk up to it and expect it to do what your vibraphone can do. AND don't walk up your vibraphone and expect it to do what the malletkat can do. For me it's that simple. Just like a synth is not an acoustic piano.

i have the k and k midi master as well. I sent back three of them. I'm part of the reason deiter discontinued that instrument. a few of us were having problems. I hope someone comes out with a great accoustic midi converter.

STILL it wouldn't replace the my MalletKat nor would I expect my MalletKat to replace my acoustic vibes.

For me once I thought like that, all was good. And I've talked many times to Mario from Alternate mode about this and I know he agrees.

there are some great players phrasing and pedaling with mallet controllers and they're doing really cool stuff.
For me that's that.

sounds like you just need to play your acoustic instrument. that's where your heart is! mine also, but I also love playing the MalletKaT!