If you want to upsize your sonic repertoire, look at combining an electric and an acoustic percussive set-up to have the best of both worlds. It will open up a world of possibilities, inspiration will flourish and your creativity will progress ten-fold. Contributed by Adam Manning The clip below shows how to combine both acoustic and digital instruments in a percussive performance. Specifically, the use of a vibraphone (acoustic) and the Roland HandSonic HPD-20 (digital). Amalgamating instruments that some regard as polar opposites, isn’t only inspiring because artistic boundaries are thrown out the window, but the resulting sound is fuller, more interesting and surprisingly cohesive. Take a look at the footage and you’ll see that all simultaneous percussive gestures (electro and acoustic) are quite simplistic. Interestingly, while still simple, you can see how this opens up a wide range of sonic possibilities. The HandSonic produces a non-percussive, flute sound, and the left hand brings in a melodic accompaniment on the vibraphone. Combining the Roland HandSonic with the vibraphone definitely provides more interesting tonal options than simply playing a vibraphone alone. Furthermore, if you were to use the HandSonic as a controller (connected to a computer) the sonic possibilities would be endless. Perhaps you’re worried about portability, but due to the HandSonic’s size, it could easily be incorporated into most modern performance setups – even non-percussive. I urge composers, experimentalists, young musicians, please think outside the square and further your art with a combined approach – particularly if you’re in the business of making people listen. Acoustic die hards – embrace the digital age and improve your sonic vocabulary by adding a digital percussion instrument into your setup today. You CAN combine the best of both worlds for a cohesive, creative performance.
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- Image: Mike Flippo / 123RF