Malletech 'Love' vibe
Hi All- Sorry if this is a tired subject around here; I haven't been by in awhile. Just got a snail-mail percussion catalog and noticed the Malletech 'Love' Vibraphone is finally being shipped. Anyone besides Gavin and Ed Smith interacted with this thing? Here are some thoughts from reading the brochure and watching Ed play it:
Certainly I'm intrigued by the vibrato system, but I don't think I'd be thrilled to give up the ability to set the motor at a higher speed and just let it run; yes, it'd be cool to be able to apply vibrato to individual notes and chords, but is it worth it? If there was a way to do both, say, to sit fans a little lower in Malletech resonators but keep the covering plates on top, that'd be terrific.
I can tell a lot of work went into this, and the Ed Smith video on youTube begins to show what it's capable of. But I can't help but feel like this is denying the hammond B3/Wurlitzer and Rhodes Electric piano/guitar effects side of the vibraphone. Our instrument fits into (and is actually one of the forerunners of) a proud tradition of instruments used for contemporary music that have analog, even mechanical effects on board. This Malletech might be a step up for folks who think of their vibraphones like pianos or cellos and have removed their motors altogether, but I'd miss the ability to throw my motor on and create a disorienting, pulsing save of sound with it. (I suppose I could keep in mind that it's not eliminating my existing vibraphones, but the point is, were I to take this on a gig, I couldn't also have a vibraphone with a motor.)
What I'd love is if someone sold a kit to adapt Mussers the way Matt Moran has; running a cord from the motor into a volume pedal that allows one to control the speed of the motor (from off to FAST) with the left foot, a la Hammond organ, but with even more control. (I suppose I could ask Matt how he did it, but being that he pioneered the idea, it only seems right that I have to do some work to copy it.)
what do you all think?