Into the vibe

Travelling to the Narada, the carbonVibe

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When you are developing vibraphones on an innovative way we do, you get questions, remarks and suggestions. There was one suggestion or question I got from almost every vibe player I talked with:

Can you make a carbonfiber frame? They make bicycles from it so why not vibraphones.

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Models

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I try to listen as much as I can to vibists. I learn a lot from what's in their heads and how they see things.
Sometimes I hear this remark: 

Why do you have so many models, and why do you make so many changes all the time?

Do we have so many models? Do I make so many changes?

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Vizzion Narada

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1921,  The vibraphone comes to life.

A new instrument not seen before, with a new sound and new musical possibilities.
Players embrace the new instrument and start to express their new found identity. The instrument becomes a revolution in its first decades and finds its major use in jazz. 

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All under the hood

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When you're a vibist in an orchestra, you'll find these issues coming up frequently:

  • The composers/arrangers don't always have any notice about the ranges of a vibraphone
  • The composers/arrangers don't always realize you don' t always have the entire range of mallet instruments available
  • It mostly is pretty  difficult to match and be in tune with the flutes

 

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bar tuning

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Ofcourse the main part in a vibraphone, and as this determines for the major part the quality of the instrument, are the bars. In general, manufacturers know how to tune bars. Some tune accurate, some tune a bit less accurate. Many of the manufacturers however are using the same dimensions as their competitors, and using the same tuning scheme being tuning the fundamental and up to a certain bar, also a 1st overtone (double octave).

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ergonomics

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"Can' t you make a more lightweight vibraphone?"

This is my most heard comment from vibists. The reason is that vibists suffer from back problems. 
I have looked into this matter a lot, and came to another conclusion than what you would expect: 
 it' s not really the carrying of the weight of the instrument alone that makes your back hurt.

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More than just bars

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There is more involved

When you're hand building vibraphones, there is a lot more involved than what you' d expect. 
Nowadays, in this global market, many people think every product or part is available and bought in China. Well, it is not the case for vibraphones.

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Get us out of the utility room

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There is one thing that I see other than me, a lot of vibists also suffer from: 

The partner doesn't like to have the vibraphone full in view in the living.

It is a bulky instrument, ugly, and makes a lot of noise on the side. So ban the instrument and the player to the utility room, far out of sight.

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