Mini African Xylophone (MAX)

Mini African Xylophone (MAX)


In 2019 I was working with Stephen Barton on a nature series called Mysterious Planet for Discovery Channel. I was after some more colourful percussion sounds for a couple of cues so I decided to pick up this instrument that had been gathering dust in the corner of my studio for years and sample it. I believe it’s an African Xylophone of some sort so I’ve named it Mini African Xylophone, or MAX as an acronym.

I picked it up from a gift shop in Norfolk years ago whilst holidaying down there and I’d always thought it had a pleasantly playful tone so I ended up using it a few times across several episodes.

The normal beater hits range from C3-C5 and then there’s a handful of performed phrases from C1-G1

Hope it can be of some use to you too!


Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

Such an intimate sound, so much character

4.0 rating
August 11, 2021

I really enjoyed working with this instrument. The sound is so intimate it’s ‘tactile’: you feel you could reach out and touch the keys. You can sense the wood without it sounding wooden. It certainly added impetus and personality to the track I was working on. If you’re looking for a lead instrument that’s a little different – punchy without being overbearing; subtle without risking being swamped by other instruments – give ‘Max’ a shot. It would also make a fine instrument to accompany other more forceful ones; eminently usable and well sampled.

Chris Bell (wordsSHIFTminds)


Colourful percussion sounds from an African Xylophone

4.0 rating
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
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