Into the vibe

Sunday, 25 June 2017 08:42

Travelling to Narada

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Did you check out the new Narada? It's  something special, right? 

As with many cases in life, getting to the Narada meant going through lots of steps. The first path was paved over 12 years ago.

Around 2005 or so I received questions from vibists, asking if it was possible to make an easier to transport lightweight vibraphone. So I searched for my thinking cap and started designing and experimenting.
I decided, I needed to make something like the old Deagan electravibe , but without the disadvantages and the problems that instrument came with. The new instrument had to have normal graduated width bars, had to sound great, and had to be a plug-and-play instrument. 

I started building the keybed with aluminium rails, apparently strong yet lightweight, and I already knew how to deal with pickups, so nothing was in the way to create that instrument. It was also about that time that I started to experiment with blue colored bars (something which others now recently start to do), which would give the instrument a nice and modern appearance. There was some pressure on my shoulders, as I wanted to have a first pre-production model ready for the upcoming PASIC convention, and see what the people think about this new instrument.

For some weird reason, with conventions and fairs it is always the case that a new product is finished only 5 minutes before the fair or convention starts. And this was also the case with the eVibe. 
I remember well that my plane was booked to departure to Indianapolis in the morning at 11.00 or so , and I finished the instrument at 4 o'clock that morning. Not enough time to test it, so packed it up fast and solid enough for the bagage handlers at the airports, and after a short sleep of a few hours I went off to the airport, with a vibraphone on my back and a lot of extra tools with me (just in case, you never know ;-) ). 
Luckily Amsterdam Airport is easy, and it was no problem getting the instrument checked in. Arriving in the US, and boarding into the connecting plane, I was happy to have a seat near the window where I could also see the loading of the bagage. Oooohh, how I wished I'd  never had that seat on that position !!!!!  I could see the bagage handlers throwing with my precious new instrument, which hopefully still would work at the convention.

Arriving in Indianapolis all looked ok with the instrument, but that was just at first sight. Setting it up, it appeared it didn't completely survive the brute force of the bagage handlers, and I spent almost an entire day repairing the vibe behind the curtains in the exhibit hall. Luckily the instrument survived the rest of the convention, but I learned a lot from it, specially how not to make a vibraphone, but also that the blue bars were a good choice (and turned out to be a chick magnet, excuse my language).

Back home in the Netherlands, I decided to stop using the aluminium rails and go for something else. I found the perfect lightweight sandwich material, and completely changed the eVibe in an instrument that could travel without problems. The new model opened a lot of possibilities, and the sales of it were really nice. We have had that model in production for some 4-5 years,

untill the next step arrived .........

Stay tuned.

Read 1834 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 January 2018 11:57