This is a recording of an old vibraphone I’ve had in my house for a long time. There aren’t any actual vibraphonists around, but it’s nice to keep it set up so people can play a few notes when they walk by. It’s a smaller instrument made in the late 1950’s (or so I’ve been told), and it has a creaky, not-quite-professional quality sound. It has a lot of character i think.
The recording was captured with a pair of Josephson small diaphragm condensers in a stereo configuration. The instrument includes knobs for the depth and speed of the vibrato (in real life the motor on this thing hasn’t worked for years..), a control for the sustain level, a filter control, and a knob to adjust the instrument’s distance from the listener. This is achieved by adjusting the stereo image and the very subtle use of convolution reverb.
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An unforgettably spooky instrument
Nothing moves me quite like the sound of a vibraphone. But this one doesn’t only have one sound, it can go almost anywhere from a soft wash to an almost steel drum-like metallic attack. Any instrument that comes with a ‘Darkness’ dial gets my vote and one that adds ‘Distance’ gets an electoral college vote as well. The convolution reverb is gentle but effective. I particularly love the speed and depth of the vibrato. I wanted to create something that evoked the mood and atmosphere of a busker playing in the echoey tunnels of an underground train station and Jen-Co Vibes gave me just what I was after. Thank you, Richard.