Scoring Mallets by HandHeldSound Review
Composers are looking for high quality and playable mallet instruments to score to picture or composing music for a Jazz or Big Band arrangement. Scoring Mallets is a collection of Marimba, Xylophone, and Vibraphone instruments.
HandHeldSound was founded in 2007 by Composer/Sound Designer Eitan Teomi. HeldSound became the hub for Eitan’s long professional involvement with sound design and music production. HeldSound combines deep sampling techniques with programming to achieve true expression and realism. HandHeldSound did send a review copy with no strings attached.
Native Instruments Full Retail Version 5.5 and up of Kontakt is required. It does not work or is compatible with the free Kontakt Player.
Scoring Mallets is one of the Scoring Libraries in the portfolio of HandHeldSound. It includes Marimba, Xylophone, and Vibraphone, recorded in a gorgeous Scoring room.
Articulations include single notes, Trills, Rolls, Glissandi, and Multi Mallet Roll options. All supported by intelligent scripting to perform closer to a human playing. The producing company went so far to record for maximum realistic performances to capture the left and right hand playing on their own. This recording method enables added realistic playback.
There is also a Polyphonic/Polyrythmic Step Sequencer that you can use. Scoring Mallets offers many velocity layers, round robins, and release samples. Overall it provides an abundance of features for seamless idiomatic writing for new scoring.
The instruments include up to 5 microphone positions – Tight, Loose, Stage, and Wides/Surround which you can mix as needed in the primary interface of the Kontakt instrument.
Custom Marimba made by ‘Marimba One’. Features 5 Octaves with Basso resonators that enhance the fundamental pitch.
This Malletech Xylophone features a robust tone and strong attack. The mallets we used extend the rich sound and offer a delicate balance between warmth and punch.
This Yamaha Vibraphone is very special. It has a straightforward sound with a lot of dynamics. There is some nonlinearity of harmonics throughout the tonal and dynamic ranges that make it sound detailed and grainy, which works well within modern orchestral contexts.
To play with the instruments is fun. I experienced lifelike tones which are putting this library into the to top 3 of mallets sounds that I have heard from a range of libraries.
User interface & Usability
Th UI looks a bit old school, maybe because of the colors and those big grey blocks used. It has all needed settings and allows you to adjust the instrument quickly as necessary.
With the included acoustic positioner you can place the instrument on a virtual scoring stage. There is an excellent Scoring Mallets User’s Manual to help you on a question about the Interface.
Rating: Five out of five stars
Scoring Mallets is an ultra-authentic and playable collection of three main mallet instruments. Scoring Mallets is a beautiful collection of Marimba, Xylophone and Vibraphone instruments. The instruments play more realistic than many of the competing products. On top, you get playable techniques that sound as if an expert mallet player were performing. Scoring Mallets is excellent for scoring to picture and can be balanced for other genres as well.