The vibraphone, Vibraharp, or vibes is a metalophone on a frame with a damper bar controlled by pedal allowing control of sustain. It also has a motor which controls the opening and closing of the resonator tubes rhythmically adding a vibrato to the sustain. Many performers, like Dana Sudborough, have long used pickup systems and effects to simulate vibrato and much more. This allows not only for the vibraphone to be louder without standard mic bleed but also to change the timbre through effects and signal manipulation.
I wrote “Into the See” while I was visiting my family in Greece. As usual, I am terrible with putting a title on my compositions. A friend texted me that I should take a “dip in the see” (obviously a typo but I liked it).
The morning after Bobby Hutcherson died, I was inspired to make a tribute to one of my greatest heroes of the vibraphone. Life is so busy, I was only able to do a couple takes before running out of time. Would have liked a few more…..
Bobby Hutcherson’s “Montara” has always been a favorite of mine. Since the progression and short form are looper friendly, it was an easy choice. I set up an effect patch to simulate a moog style synth bass with the vibes by using a Roland SY-300 and an auto-wah. I also set up an effect path with distortion, pitch bend, reverb and delay to make the electric vibraphone sound like an electric guitar. The vibraphone is a Malletech Omega Vibe with the V3 Pickup system installed. There is no MIDI or conversion to MIDI used to do this.
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The new website is still in its infancy. Right now I am just porting over information (that I want to keep) from my old website. It just has basic things but I have plans to add a store for purchasing downloads, music, lessons, t-shirts and more. Additionally, I will have a blog dedicated to jazz improvisation and transcriptions. The hope is to begin to actually connect with the fans I have and provide the loyal fans with something more than watching me sweat over a vibraphone in a dingy venue surrounded by jerks.
Official Site for Vibraphone/Marimba player and Composer Dana Sudborough