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Hola vibists!!

I post here a mail that I sent to Tony this morning. He propose to post it at the forum to see if Mario could answer and you others too.

I just bought a MalletKat. Now it is in Miami and a friend of mine will bring it to me next wednesday. I've never play a malletKat so, I want to ask you about mallets. The "answer" (should I say reponse?) of the mallets, ¿is the same like in a Vibraphone?.. I mean, with soft, medium and hard mallets or birch and rattan. I suposse is very different to hit a metal bar or to hit a malletKat bar.
I used to play more marimba (I had a Marimba One) and I haven't played so much vibes in the last years. Never is so late!!!... I don't have vibes mallets at the moment. I live in Panamá where is impossible to find mallets. I have to buy 1 or 2 pairs. I remember that I liked "Provibes Series of Mike Balter". I know that the choice of mallets is a very personal stuff and if depends of taste and bla, bla... but ¿what you recommneded me for MalletKat?.


mariokatman Sat, 05/09/2009 - 16:40

The feel of the malletKAT is different than the feel of a marimba or vibraphone. But,its a good feel, and it's easy to play on. Most players are comfortable with the switch after playing just a few minutes.

I liken it to playing in a show pit. When you switch from bells to vibes to chimes, you have to quickly adjust the feel, response and kinetic placement of the bars, but after awhile it becomes a natural experience.

The malletKAT doesn't really know the difference between a soft or medium stick. You can play with drumsticks, and the sound would be the same. The real issue is how it feels when you play.

I have found that rattan works much better then wood because it absorbs some of the bounce energy from the neoprene pads. Also a medium yarn mallet works the best. The bars are only 1 1/2 inches wide, so you don't want to get big heavy marimba soft mallets.

Also, you don't want to use hard mallets like xylo or bells sticks. This will only reduce the life of the sensor. You don't have to play as hard on the malletKAT as you do on an acoustic instrument.

Several years ago, at a PASIC Convention, I tried every manufacturer's mallets. The Encore mallets worked best for me. We started selling them as the KAT 102's or 103's.
I don't think we have received one return, so it is safe to say that it is a great mallet for the malletKAT.

tifoo Tue, 05/12/2009 - 02:08

In reply to by mariokatman

Hello Diana,
I have the malletkat with no sound inside for about 1 month now, and finding the correct adjustments with latency, velocity curves and dynamics are by far more important to me than the sticks (in fact every sticks I tried felt great).
I don't know if you have a malletkat with sounds, but here is my actual config :
malletkat pluged midi in to the computer to Kontakt player II using the tapspace virtual drumline percussion sounds from sibelius.It sounds good specially the marimba, glock and xylophone. Piano, harp and guitar works good too.About the vibraphone sound, I still wander how to adjust the gate of the sound (for the no pedal sound)

Enjoy your malletkat


tonymiceli Tue, 05/12/2009 - 11:02

In reply to by tifoo

i set my gate low and it works fine. i'll look for the number and get back to you. you should post for mario, he'll answer. i think also, stick a little reverb on the sound or edit it for a little trail. don't let it just cut off. that's always the problem. and the vibes don't really do that.

Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli

diarestrepo Tue, 05/12/2009 - 12:15

In reply to by tifoo

Yes, I bought a Malletkat w/sounds.
I'll try with a soft general mallets (Iñaky sebastian mallets, very good quality mallets!!) that I already have.
I'm not use to play electronic instrumnets so I suposse i'll have a lots of questions when i start to play the Malletkat. I hope you'll find out how to adjust the gate.

mariokatman Tue, 05/12/2009 - 15:35

In reply to by tifoo

If the Gate Time setting on the malletKAT does not have an effect on the sustain of the mallet sound in Kontakt, then you
have to change the ADSR in the Kontact application itself. Go the the ENVELOPE Section in Kontact and turn the RELEASE Dial to the right.

tifoo Tue, 05/12/2009 - 17:28

In reply to by mariokatman

Thanks Mario (and tony for the gate video setup)
putting the release on 0 in Kontakt works great.
I have a question : why release on 0 means no resonance...I would have thought opposite.
Same for the attack , attack at 0 is stronger than attack at 127 (?)

Anyway, do you know the virtual drumline sample library from tapspace ? I think it's a blast !

diarestrepo Tue, 05/12/2009 - 12:03

In reply to by mariokatman

Thanks a lot Mario!
Your answer was very clear and very helpful. Tomorrow, i'll play for my first time in my MalletKat!!!