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About dfahrner

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  1. I think that standard MIDI (serial, 31250 bps) is OK for melodic percussion instruments like mallets / keyboards, particularly for players (like me) who don't play like Gary Burton / Oscar Peterson, but more like Milt Jackson / John Lewis...for other kinds of percussion, I can see that even delays measured in milliseconds might be a problem...7 bits, 128 levels, is probably enough resolution for volume (the ear's perception of volume is less than that) but maybe not for some other parameters... df
  2. The Buchla Marimba Lumina is long gone (as is Don himself, now)...it was product by Nearfield Systems (in Los Angeles) for just a year or two; Nearfield was the company that had developed the technology used to measure mallet velocity and position (originally, for earth satellite docking purposes!)....I had a Lumina about 15 years ago, and never really got into it because it required a whole new playing technique: the playing surface and the mallets were very different from standard mallet instruments, the mallets were huge foam things that never felt right...but you could do some amazing stuff, like sliding along the "bar" after playing a note to send a MIDI CC, play a different MIDI channel with each mallet, use the speed at which you lifted the mallet off the "bar" as another CC, etc....I sold mine to get the Xylosynth, a lot more limited MIDI-wise but a lot more like a "real" mallet instrument... df
  3. Another mallet controller that has been around for awhile is the Wernick Xylosynth - see http://www.wernick.net/ ...I've been using one for the past 12 years or so without any problems, with a variety of synths, as an easy-to-transport / loud-enough-to-play-with-electric-instruments vibraphone...my early XS has limited MIDI capability, but external MIDI processors (MIDI Solutions EPP, MIDICpu, etc.) take care of that...one of the reasons I went with the XS is that the bars are hardwood and can be used with conventional (soft) mallets, and play just like standard mallet percussion instruments...Matt Jordan at Pearl tells me that the malletSTATION can be used with any kind of mallet, too; that and it's more extensive MIDI capability and controls (including mallet dampening, yes!) make it pretty attractive - I've got one on pre-order... df