Mini African Xylophone (MAX)

Colourful percussion sounds from an African Xylophone

The story

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!

Reviews for Mini African Xylophone (MAX)

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

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

  • Simple but great sounding.

    This instrument is very simply programmed, but brilliantly recorded nonetheless. Whilst I'm not a fan of the additional glissandos programmed to the low keys, the main Xylophone itself has a lovely round sound that isn't harsh like some libraries can be. This gives it a very Mark Mothersbaugh sort of flavour. Send this library through some FX and it sounds even better! Nice one Max!

    R.Treves18 October 2021
  • Muted sounding xylophone

    This xylophone is different from ones we more regularly hear because they are not bells that have distinct resonance, rather they are wooden which creates a more muted plucky sound. I would tend to go for the metallic option but this could be perfect in certain situations. The sound is simple, well balenced and clear. Well done

    septemberwalk03 November 2021
  • Fun, Ethnic-sounding Xylo!

    This xylophone is mellow sounding, useful, and highly playable. Its pleasant tone makes it work in a wide variety of situations.

    Sam Ecoff19 October 2021
  • A nice simple Xylophone

    Simple doesn't necessarily mean bad. In this case it means actually very good! You get to have access to a very barebones, yet very well sampled Xylophone with a smooth and kind character. Its small sized range doesn't hold it back, and the sound is very dry, which means it takes any extra effects in a very good way. Don't expect it to turn heads, as this is not its intention. It's just another great tool in your arsenal.

    Alex Raptakis30 October 2021
  • Clean recording but could do with more features

    This is very cleanly recorded and has a great tone, much different to the western xylophone. To improve, I would see if you can loop the FX you have included, increase the range of the instrument by stretching samples, and add some UI elements e.g. a delay would be really nice!

    Angus Roberts-Carey11 October 2021