July 18, 2023
Blog by Thomas Lack
This instrument has been teased in several videos as part of hidden gems for other libraries, so we’re delighted to announce that the 5-piece Xylophone Ensemble is ready to roll! It isn’t the most intricate of these acoustic grand ensembles, but the basic sounds are so solid that it has a permanent place in my heart (and template). Check it out for yourself - I’m sure you’ll be charmed too!
I mentioned a similar phenomenon with the Tubular Bells Ensemble, but the Xylophone Ensemble kind of “fixes” some reservations I have about solo xylophones. In a concert hall with a live band or orchestra, the xylophone is perfectly piercing, and sometimes it is really difficult to get that sound when combining samples from different rooms. Sometimes, it winds up too piercing hot no matter what, and sometimes it just sounds flat and bland. But this ensemble captures a really great balance, with distinct sounds between the soft and hard mallets.
The soft mallet is nice and dark, like a youthful and energetic marimba. The hard mallet has a strong attack, but maintains a full-bodied sound. They both work really well in different situations, and it’s been exciting to play with them in Soundpaint to see what else they can do.