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So I was checking out some Joe Locke videos online and realized that I don't know what makes his tone sound so different than vibes that I am used to hearing. I originally thought that it was because he uses pickups, but it's not the case, because he obviously isn't in this video. The instrument is a Musser, but maybe the bars are Vanderplas? I don't think it could be due to mallets alone. Do you guys even know the tone that I am talking about? I don't know how to describe those sorts of things with words. I am actually not a huge fan of it, although I obviously think his playing is amazing.



Marvel Thu, 06/05/2014 - 04:28

In reply to by David Friedman

So do you figure the mics above are being used at all? Is it common to have both mics and pickups at a gig?


John Keene Thu, 06/05/2014 - 08:53

In reply to by Marvel

I'm just speculating until Joe sees this and chooses to clarify. If this gig were being professionally recorded, then possibly the vibes were recorded both ways to offer a choice between pickup sound and natural sound. I can't say that I see the effectiveness of having the fans rotating so the mics pick it up, and simultaneously recording it with pickups. On the other hand, I'm sure that players experiment all the time with finding a blend between pickups and mics, so why not in this instance? The recording engineer can blend the sounds from the audience.

Steve Shapiro Fri, 06/06/2014 - 17:10

I can add some thoughts: this is when Joe was using the vanderplas pickups (he now uses Malletech). I think the sound you are responding to is the Roland JC120 amp, which has a built-in "Roland Chorus" sound. You can switch it on or off. Joe doesn't often use that, but he IS using the Roland chorus here.

This is not a good representation of Joe's sound, in my opinion. But as usual, the playing is great - that's what makes him sound unique to me!