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Steve Weiss Mallet Workshop


Wow. I just got the new malletKat and have been playing it. I think Mario did it with this one. He's changed the feel of the instrument and put in Kurtzweil sounds. It's pretty amazing.

I was always a MalletKat fan, but thought of it as an addition to the vibes. I could go out with a band and play on only this and all would be good. The experience was incredible.

I'm thinking about recording some quick improvs to let you guys hear what you can do with this!

I'm blown away. To be honest I was never blown away before by the MalletKat. Always LOVED it and used it, but now I think I'm going to feel at one with it.

I could definitely do a gig on this and use the vibe sound. I'll try it out soon and let you guys know. I'd be nervous not having my vibes with me, but I've been playing tunes on this and having a lot of fun with it!


tedwolff Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:47

Hey Tony, I've heard that the xylosynth has a much more natural feel because is uses wood bars instead of the hard rubber that the Malletkat uses. What's your take?

Can the malletkat handle mallet dampening? I think the xylosynth can do that.

Does the malletkat come with sound samples on board, or do you have to buy some kind of sound module?

What kind of amp do you use with the malletkat?

How much is a new 3 octave malletkat?

Thanks Tony,

tonymiceli Sat, 03/31/2012 - 15:53

In reply to by tedwolff

well, here's the deal.

first i'll say that i'm happy there's more than one cat making electronic mallet instruments (emi's). we need that.

i think that they probably both serve different functions.

ok, so let me speak about the malletKat.

whatever about the feel from the past, it's been improved. and i love it.

and yes you can dampen. i posted a track with the choir sound. listen to the intro, can you hear the dampening at the end of the intro?

it comes with samples on board is VERY VERY light. and man, i put it through my new makie srm150. and it was great. i loved it. i could easily do a cocktail hour with a bass player. walkin and set up in minutes and play and have fun AND be heard. i bought the makie for simplicity. i have a couple other amps that i would use on a more serious gig.

but if the gig had a pa, then i'd def use the makie. it rocks.

this is a great instrument. in the past i felt as though it was more for percussionists more so than vibe players. this is def for vibe players now.

part of it is sound. i see tyler blanton is putting his through a nord synth. i don't know if it's a new model or an old model, but with good sounds you're set on any of them i think.

but this is simple, light and with a little more practice i KNOW i could do a whole gig with it. that was my goal and testing ground with the mallet kat from the beginning. i had trouble in the past saying that. i felt i couldn't do a whole gig. but on this i really think i can.

Tylerblanton Sat, 03/31/2012 - 16:47

In reply to by tonymiceli

Thanks for the detailed insight Tony.
I have an old beat up kat that I've been experimenting with. Its really great, but I've certainly felt like I wouldn't want to play a whole gig on it, especially not a swinging or standards gig.
I gotta try this new cat then.
Is the feel really different?

I've been using mine for more distorted sounds, not acoustic instrument patches. Having a new lighter model would be great though. The one I have is old and its a tank.

Whats the new sound chip all about?

tonymiceli Sat, 03/31/2012 - 19:44

In reply to by Tylerblanton

man, i dig this instrument. i wish you were closer, you could try it out. if you got the bread, i would get the new one before you record the cd!

mario will give a good deal for VW members. i think as much as 500 off. (i think)

tmackay Wed, 04/04/2012 - 17:33

In reply to by tonymiceli

wow ... this is very very inspiring .. im heading up to southern oregon university tommorrow to test out my hands on both the malletkat and vibes in terry longshores office ...

tony man is it serious that vw get a good deal on this beast. If tommorrow is a somewhat pain free experience. im 100 down to acquire the new malletkat .. with or without sounds. i will be using it with a bunch of vsti's thru cubase sx3 and also reason 4 samples ...

Gary Rich Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:49

Do you know if Mario has made any demo videos of the new model? I loved the demo he and David did at the vibes workshop a couple of years ago, is that on the site anywhere?

chuckempire Wed, 04/04/2012 - 14:48

Hey Tony, how do you mean they changed the feel of the instrument?

do you mean the thickness of the pads? I know there are two thicknesses available now.

Jealous about the new sounds! I want to upgrade my malletkat now!


tonymiceli Thu, 04/05/2012 - 19:01

In reply to by chuckempire

i think it's easy to upgrade huh? yeah maybe the pads are thicker? but the big thing is having good sounds right on board.

so far i'm having a ball. the manual is VERY difficult to get through, but i'm talking with mario about this now. and mario is very supportive. i think once you learn a few concepts you understand how the instrument works.

i'm playing it with a few people for fun. i did a rehearsal on it the other night and it was cool. my true love is acoustic vibes, however, for me with this new model, i feel really good playing it so far. i always dug it, but never thought i'd go out without my vibes. i think with a certain type of band i could do this now.

it's easy for mario to sell to pit players, this really makes their lives easier. for vibe players we have to be able to improvise and make music on it in a different way. so far for me, it's been cool.

Patrice Thu, 04/05/2012 - 03:33

Yes Tony .... make a demo please.
I'm very interested.

I've never saw Malletkat as a serious contestant of the acoustic vibes, but I can reconsider my opinion. To me, the midi system embedded in acoustic vibes is still not convincing. And the Malletkat didn't offer till now the huge palette of expression of a good vibraphone.
But I'm still very interested in exploring the midi way with banks and softwares throughout a Malletkat.
The two worlds ( acoustic and midi ) have their own interest. And I want to explore both of them ....

I have now this brand new Musser M48 that blows me away....
I'm OK for a great Malletkat as well ...


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