The vibraphone mallets complement existing signature marimba and xylophone mallets to allow ensembles to play with different tones throughout a performance. “These were designed to create a brighter sound on the [vibraphone] instrument,” says Chris Long, vice president of operations at Innovative Percussion. “These have a lot of weight, so they’re getting the fundamental out of the bar, but have a bright projection to them. It’s bright but not harsh. It changes the tonality of the instrument to match the series.”
The mallets feature a synthetic core and are weighted toward the handle for balance. “I don’t know that many other companies that have done a synthetic core,” Long says. “That’s something that sets this apart.”
Rennick is currently the percussion arranger for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, which won the 2018 Drum Corps International World Championship. Long says that the Vanguard organization is already using the mallets and that he expects winter percussion groups to implement the mallets this season to make certain musical passages stand out.
“It gives you another color on the vibe itself,” Long says. “Most vibe mallets are made with a hard rubber core and have a standard shape. [These mallets], with the balance being back-weighted and the synthetic core, offer players a unique color. I think … you’re really going to notice a difference.”
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