Does anyone have expierence with the xylosynth?

i just get this link from a friend...i wonder if someone of this comunity has it and can tell something about it? looks interesting to me...dimitri maybe another i love you object?


just my 2 cents, and i hope other opinions go up here. it seems like it's a good keyboard, but it doesn't dampen notes. that's a drag since we play the vibes. the mallet kat does a good job of that. i think the mallet kat is much more sophisticated also. layering, splitting the keyboard, etc. however is this geared more towards marimba players??

i'm a mallet kat fan so i'll say that, and i've never played the xylosynth. so hopefully someone who has one will weigh in and hopefully you can compare the two and make an informed decision.

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

Actually, you can dampen but it is not as easy or intuitive as on the malletKAT. I could never do it right on the Xylosynth (never spent enough time working on it) but Matthew Beechold (long-time xylosynth player) does it quite deftly.

Same with me. Have it since 3 years, never used the dampening, but never missed it.
For me it´s not a vibraphone, it´s a completely different instrument. I only use it with electronic synthesizer sounds and some organ and Fender Rhodes simulations from Nord sound modules. Especially the not-so-dynamical organ and synthesizer sounds work great. Fender Rhodes is difficult, because it has a natural distortion if you hit harder, and that´s very hard to control if you play on wooden bars instead of a keyboard :)

For dynamical differences I use a volume pedal - the built-in midi dynamics from 1-128 have nothing to do with the natural dynamics of a vibraphone.

I tried the dampening on malletkat only once - and it didn´t feel good for me. Maybe it takes just time to get the feel.

Here is an example of my xylosynth with a band: (from 6.00 until 7.30)

Will Wernick (owner of Xylosynth) is a good friend of mine and has, on occasion, left a Xylosynth at my house. I haven't had one for long periods of time but I have tinkered with it quite a bit. Do you have any specific questions I might answer?

If you check out James Walker's website and mallet review database you will find some excellent discussions about it. Also, Will Wernick is super friendly and is probably eager to answer any questions you might have. I suggest you could ask him questions directly as well.

Overall, (IMHO) all controllers have their advantages and caveats. In short, since they don't produce musical sound, you have to learn to make musical "gestures" at them which are then interpreted by a sound generating device/computer. That being said, the xylosynth has a more realistic "marimba-ish" feel and I like the easy access note length and sensitivity knobs right on the front of the instrument. Normally you have to program these types of parameters into the controller for each new sound you use. These knobs make it easier to quicky adapt your "gestures" to new sounds. Also, again IMHO, the xylosynth looks nicer and the 4-octave version folds in half and comes with a flight case.

Of course the malleKAT has very deep programming features and, depending on the model, built in sounds.

Then there is the hard to get Marimba Lumina........

I am looking forward to proper MIDI on acoustic mallet instruments.

I guess it all depends on what you are trying to do.....

Hope this helps

we should be will on the site to answer questions!

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

I'll send him an email about it....

yes , and i really like it - dana sums it all quite nicely, it's very different from the kat, you need to play both to understand how they feel. the dampening is the only thing i wish it was better at

as dana says, the "gesture" with these things is part of the game

the sophistication and velocity layers of the sample you are triggering has a lot to do with how well any midi controller works, the more velocity layers the better

hope that helps

I've played the Xylosynth on various occasions, although I'm not an expert on electronic keyboards. During a tour of England I traveled a bit with Will Wernick and demonstrated the Xylosynth at several workshops. Here's a Youtube link of me demonstrating the xylosynth at a workshop in Leads, England.

The sound I'm using is a pretty basic marimba sound; not the very best sound quality. I'd love to get into more sound possibilities, but really haven't had the time up till now. I really like the way the Xylosynth feels in comparison to the Mallet Cat. It's great playing on real wooden bars.

thanks for all the infos.yes, i saw some video of you playing it.i´m not sure but i also think for me it would be still the malletkat. specially the damping thing is one of the main reasons.the teacher of the friend who gave me the link had a malletkat but didn´t like the feeling of the pads and switched to the xylosynth and was very satisfied with it.i think it depends on what you need.i would say the most easy solution would be: buy the vanderplas e-vibe,the malletkat and the xylosynth....hope to win the jackpot soon...

Can't believe I wrote "Leads" instead of "Leeds".....England!