Into the vibe

vBeam me up Scotty

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Some know that from origin I am a Hammond organ player. And with Hammond comes Leslie, the rotor amplifier, where the sound is thrown into the room thru a rotating drum or horn. 

To get a more dramatic effect, you switch constantly between a slow and fast rotating horn, where the (de-)accelleration is what is giving you the thrills.

The "leslie"-effect is very close to the vibrato effect of the vibraphone. 

So when I started building vibraphones, I searched for a way to get this effect built in. And having a programmable motor system, I was able to do this. 



When you're playing an organ, you're sitting on a bench, and always having a body part available to press a button or hit a lever. Playing a vibraphone, you don't often have this luxury, so when I made the LW-model 15 or so years ago, I took an idea from a commercial keyboard, where they had a sensor available that allowed you to control various functions by waving your hands in the air.

It didn't take that long to develop it for the LW-motor, and called it the vBeam. At first only the start/stop function and slow/fast were available, but soon I realised there is more possible.
I added speed control, where you could vary speed by placing a hand or a mallet or any object somewhere above the sensor. After that, also fan angle control was added, where you change the angle of the fans with the sensor, so you could create various more natural effects.


The new generation vibraphone motor

With the new generation vibraphone motor, emphasis at first had to be in finding ways to control depth of the vibrato. As you may know, this new motor system (new, but actually already in use for 3 years now) is completely different from other vibraphone motors, where in our case the fans don't rotate anymore, but swivle. Ergo, with this new generation motor, we had to leave out the vBeam, as it would interfear heavily with the internal motor software.

..... till now .......

Finally I took the opportunity to add the vBeam to the new generation motor, so it is back on our instruments again.
The vBeam offers 4 functions:

  • start/stop vibrato
  • change speed
  • control angle of the fans
  • toggle slow/fast of the motor 


Combined with the amazing depth controlled motor system, you will have abilities not seen on any other vibraphone, and you will add another dimension to your sound.

Stay tuned.

Read 2152 times Last modified on Sunday, 31 December 2017 10:40