Marimba vs. Xylophone vs. Vibraphone vs. Glockenspiel (Idiophone Comparison) Musser M500 M75 Jenco

today I am here in Studio B at Milan

recording studios and I wanted to show

you guys the array of musical intruments

that we have here that fall into the

family of idiophones now idiophones are

a group of musical instruments whose

sound is produced by bars of various

materials sometimes metal sometimes wood

and in some cases I've heard of

idiophones being made of glass and stuff

like that but we don't have anything

crazy like that we have a glockenspiel a

marimba a vibraphone and a xylophone and

I wanted to talk to you about the

various differences between these

instruments and why they are all rather

similar but also very different now

before I get around to talking about

that I wanted to thank muster very very

much for sending this really awesome

banner this kind of came in the mail the

other day as kind of a house a

housewarming gift for starting up Milan

recording studios and it's a really

awesome banner I love the way it looks

it's just really awesome and as you can

see down here it says legendary mallet

percussion which is very very true

Mustard's makes the world's greatest

marimba and vibraphone and I love the

m500 so much it's so much fun to play it

has such a warm rich full sound it's

absolutely incredible so at the end of

this video when I get around to talking

about the marimba I will I will play a

little bit on it and let you hear how

wonderful it actually sounds but first I

wanted to start off with the smallest

member of the idiophone family that we

have here at milan recording studios now

this is a glockenspiel now glockenspiels

can come in a few different sizes and

shapes sometimes they come in a lyre

shaped little not a case but like a lyre

shaped frame and then those ones are

usually used in marching bands and I

believe they hold them I think like this

or maybe like this or some way and then

they can actually there's a little frame

that hooks onto the body and then you

can play it when you're walking down the

street and those are use in marching

bands this one here is not used in

marching bands and it's a very very

simple design it's got wood on the back

and on the back it says simply Japan so

I have no idea of a make or manufacture

of it but I do know it was made in Japan

and I do know it has a very very nice

sound to it the mallets that come with

this one are simple and they have a

little they have two ends one of them is

a softer rubber and one of them is a

harder rubber compound now glockenspiel

can also be used with plastic mallets

and sometimes I think even metal mallets

I have seen some that have plastic and

metal mouth

and the plastic mallets have a really

really bright sound that by itself is

honestly very annoying to listen to

because it's incredibly loud and the

xylophone I mean sorry the glockenspiel

has a very very high pitch to it

and so you can imagine with a harder

melt than this it would be really really

loud but the reason that you'd use

plastic mallets on a instrument like

this is if you're in a marching band and

you've got all kinds of brass

instruments which are really loud the

glockenspiel would really need to be hit

very hard with very hard mallets to make

it be able to be heard I'm gonna play a

little bit on this glockenspiel for you

as well just some few chords and stuff


and you can actually hear that there is

a difference between the soft side and

the hard side and then the hard side is

like this so you definitely hear that

there is a difference and I really like

the sound of the softer side to be

honest with you now on the very top end

of this enjoyment you would want to use

the harder side mallets but I was

already on the soft side so that's why

he's playing them now this is a two

octave instrument it goes from a up to

this a and then up to this as well so it

is simply a to occupant and it is very

small and the main difference between a

glockenspiel and an instrument such as

say a xylophone is the fact that this

uses metal bars as you can see here and

as I said when you flip it over you can

see that the bars are indeed made of

metal and an interesting little detail I

wanted to touch on is the fact that the

maker of this glockenspiel actually kind

of scraped away at the bottom of the

bars to fine tune the pitch and to make

it very make the pitch very precise and

I imagine that's why they did it

muster does this on their instrument and

this manufacturer did it on this little

xylophone as well I mean this little

glockenspiel as well and as you can see

that is what was done there so now I

just mentioned the xylophone there by

mistake but now let's go take a look at

the xylophone which in many ways is very

similar to the glockenspiel and in fact

many people confuse them I used the

wrong term there but many people

actually can

use the xylophone with the glockenspiel

for a number of different reasons a they

are very very similar indeed but also

I've heard that many children's toys

which are in fact glockenspiels because

they have metal bars were marketed as

xylophones back in the day and probably

until today so that is another reason

why there's extra lot of confusion

between the glockenspiel and the

xylophone so now let's go check out in

the xylophone so this little instrument

right here is a xylophone and this was

made by Jenko there is a Jenko logo

right up here and I've actually already

done a video on it where I played this

instrument along with one of my loops I

was working on and today I wanted to

include it with the rest of these

instruments to show you why it is

different now as you can see here we do

not have metal bars in fact we have wood

bars these are rosewood bars and they

have a very very nice sound to them

indeed and but you can probably tell

them that the sound does not resonate

very long when I hit the bars the lowest

notes have a little bit of sustain to

them but in fact the notes do not

resonate very long and that is what

separates the xylophone

apart from instruments such as the

marimba because they both have wooden

keys but the lack of sustain and the

very small range of the xylophone is one

reason that sets it apart from the

rememba the other reason that a

xylophone is different from a rumba is

the way it's plagued typically

xylophones are played with only two

mallets like I have here sometimes

people will use four but typically a

xylophone czar only played with two and

also typically people use very hard

mallets such as plastic and sometimes

even metal which I don't advise because

you can dent the you can dent the bars

which is not very good but sometimes

people will use metal but typically

plastic mallets or you sometimes wooden

ones as well

now the reason similar to the

glockenspiel why harder mallets are used

on an instrument like this is because it

would be part of an orchestra and again

you'd have brass in terms you'd have

string instruments you'd have a piano in

there and the xylophone would have to

cut through all of that and be able to

be heard so that's why you'd use really

really hard mallets these are the

hardest yarn mallets that I have and

maybe sometime I'll pick up some plastic

ones or something but the wooden or

plastic mallets have a really bright

sound kind of the glockenspiel and by

itself it's not the greatest thing to

listen to so yarn mallets like this are

very very pleasing

another thing that makes these Iliff on

a lot different from an instrument such

as the marimba while there are different

sizes of both cell phones and marimbas

generally xylophone are much smaller

than marimbas this engine right here

weighs 35 pounds the marimba back there

weighs 350 so this particular marimba

tways 10 times the amount of this

particular xylophone which i think is

kind of funny another thing that's kind

of interesting about this particular

xylophone is that in fact it can fold up

and on my side here there's actually a

little carrying handle so you can fold

up the legs pick it up by the handle and

just walk around with it and one thing

one other thing that separates the

xylophone from the Rumba is generally

and some xylophone will have resonator

tubes but on this particular instrument

and on many xylophones there are no

resonating tubes underneath as you can

see the bars simply just are there and

there are no resonating tubes to help

make the instrument louder now again

some cell phones will have resonator

tubes but since the range is so much

it's it's much higher pitched then most

of the marimba is the resin herbs would

be very short very much like the

resonator tubes on the high end of the

room but will be so that is one way to

tell the difference between is ala phone

and marimba the these elephant will be

very very small and will also be very

high pitched it will not have all of the

low base notes that a marimba has so I

think that's about everything before the

xylophone hopefully you enjoyed that and

now let's talk about the instrument that

is right here which again is similar but

also different

now this instrument that I am standing

in front of is a vibraphone and there's

a few things that make the vibraphone

different from any of the arrangements

we have talked about now similarly to

the glockenspiel the vibraphone does

have metal bars as you can see they're

gold colored and also when I hit them

you will definitely hear that they are

definitely metal


they have an incredible amount of

sustain and they have a really really

beautiful sound I'm using somewhat hard

mallets here these are the muster m9

Mouse and they have a very bright sound

exactly up here in the treble

I honestly preferred the sound of these

mallets over here with the vibraphone

but I just wanted to use these to give

you an idea that if you use different

hardness mallets like again with the

glockenspiel devastated that too if you

use different hardness mallets you can

get a different sound so again this as

compared to let me put these away as

compared to this it's much softer it's

much more delicate as much more gentle

and has a really really beautiful sound

now again you'd want to use the harder

mounts for the treble and the softer

mallets for the bass end of the

instrument such as maybe this


something kind of like that but it's

that it just is a quick demonstration of

the sound and also the way the different

our hardness mallets can give you a

different sound now like I said there's

a few different things that make the the

vibraphone different from any of the

other engines we've talked about and one

of those differences is the fact that

this has a pedal as I mentioned to you

earlier this intrument has an incredible

amount of sustain and if I just let that

go it would probably last for a minute

or two minutes before it finally died

down and stopped making sounds if there

were no dampers you literally couldn't

play this instrument at all so that is

why there is a damper on viber phones as

you can see there is a really really

huge it's like an oversized piano pedal

it's absolutely massive and it's a lot

of fun to step on and then it controls

this very simple bar here that runs

along underneath the bars and simply as

a piece of felt that then when you when

you let go of the pedal it rises up and

as you can see it even moves the bars to

prevent them from bringing out so if you

hit the instrument when the damper is up


it's a really fun percussive sound and

it's very very interesting that it can

be used also in music as well and of

course you can push the damper down have

the bar go away and then you can really

use that really warm full beautiful

resonant sound one thing that really

sets the vibraphone apart from other

instruments in this family is the

pulsator discs that can be found inside

of the resonator tubes as you can see

here underneath all of the bars you can

see a little disc that is rotating

underneath and basically what's that

what that's doing is opening and closing

the resonator tube and therefore

increasing and decreasing the amount of

amplification that the bars have so if I

switch that off and just play a chord

like I was earlier

you can hear the sound is very even now

if I switch that off I mean if I turn on

the pulse fader discs and play that same

F major chord here that isn't that

awesome the sound pulsates and it has a

vibrato and that is where the term

vibraphone comes from not only do the

bars vibrate to give you the sound but

you also have vibrato with the pulsator

discs to give you a sound to give you

the vibrato sound now what's really cool

is over here there's actually an

adjustment there's a power switch as

well as a speed adjustment and so you

can really make those things go spinning

quickly and it's absolutely funny how

fast they can go and then you can do

something kind of cool where you can

like you can have them spinning at the

fastest speed and then just gently dial

it down and it has a really cool sound

to it as well


that's out I really need


and of course you can have the pulsator

disks spinning very very slowly as well


just like that and so it really gives a

much different sound to the vibraphone

and it makes it sound really awesome and

it's one of my favorite features about

the vibraphone is the pulsator discs

that give it that awesome vibrato sound

so finally I'm going to talk about the

instrument that you all have probably

been waiting for this is the m500 Casa

Grande marimba made by muster and it

truly is a legendary mallet percussion

instrument it's an absolutely phenomenal

instrument it's a total beast I love how

it plays it's so wonderful it has a

wonderful warm gentle thick resonant

bass and then there the rest of the

instrument the entire regiment really

just sings even all the way up into the

very highest treble notes for their very

very lowest bass notes the entire thing

is absolutely wonderful now since we're

doing a comparison between all these

industries I thought I'd talk about some

of the things that make this different

from the engines we've talked about and

also a couple of the things that make

this muster instrument unique to some of

the other brands out there that I know

of one of the things that makes this

much of intrument unique is the J tubes

that you can see if you look down at the

resonator tubes you can see that there

are they all of them aren't straight

some of them actually curve around and

that's because the resonator tube is

matched to the pitch of the bar and some

of these pitches are so low that the bar

I mean the resonator tube would have to

be really long so to make it really long

they loop it around and makes that J

shape and that's why they're called the

J tubes there's another other

interesting thing on the J tubes and

some of the other resonator tubes as

well and that is the little tuning cap

that you'll see on the end there as you

can see there is a cap you can see on

those resonator tubes as well and you

can see there's a little cap and what

you can do is you can actually turn this

and you can turn it all the way around

and what you can do with that is you can

actually very finely adjust the length

of the resonator tube and that can

amplify and D amplify the resonator in

the bar so if you have a bar that

doesn't have very much sustain and it

happens to have one of these caps on it

you can actually turn that a bit and

then you can actually bring out the tone

of that bar or make it a little less

prompt prominent if it's has too much to

stay in and it sounds a way to boo me

for the

you're in what I think that's really

nice feature I kind of wish all of them

had that but the reason that they all

him down is because the I assumed the

caps are sometimes on the inside of the

resonator tube and then you wouldn't be

able to touch the cap because the little

cap that actually determines the length

of the tube is kind of inside there I

think that's why there's not a resonator

to bottom and also because a lot of the

higher end because they're so small and

they're so short they don't have a whole

lot of sustain if I find in these hard

mounts up here and I place him with the

treble notes that very very highest

notes do not have a lot of sustain

simply because of how small their but

you'll see that a lot of the rest of the

instrument has a lot of sustain now it's

kind of funny is to me that the the the

marimba this particular one actually

goes up a little bit higher than the

xylophone does the xylophone ends at

this F and this instrument actually goes

up a little bit higher than that which

is kind of funny but again the

difference between the xylophone and the

marimba is because the xylophone doesn't

have all of this the xylophone I think

starts at this note and I think it does

yeah I think it starts at this one and

then goes up to this F but the bars are

so much smaller than on here it's a much

more compact instrument but this

instrument has all of these notes down

here now something else that makes the

muster instrument a bit more unique than

many of the other instrument on the

market is the width of these bars and I

want to demonstrate just a little bit

how wide these bars truly are I'm going

to set those down there now if I take

these two mallets and I play a fifth

down here in the base between C and G as

you can see that as a fifth and if I

take that same spread and I go all the

way back up to the treble here and

starting on C now I am playing an octave

so that is how that's how big these bass

bars are compared to the treble bars

that this same stretch is an octave in

the treble and a fifth down here and you

can hear that the bass in this instant

is absolutely wonderful and I love it

and I'll play some chords on it and it

give you a bit of a better demonstration

but the reason this instrument has such

awesome bass is because of the width of

these bars they can really resonate and

they really have

beautiful sound many of the many of

musters other competitors do not make

wide bars down here and the reason that

they don't is because you do have to

compensate for the width of the bars

down here compared to the somewhat more

narrowness of them as they go up the

instrument you do kind of have to

compensate for that but I'm not finding

it to be all that much of a challenge

especially if you start off with an

internment like this and you just you

start learning how to play it on an

estimate like this I don't find it to be

that hard of a challenge but I believe

that's why the many of the other

companies do not do that but honestly

the must remember just has such a

phenomenal bass sound down here it's

absolutely wonderful and it's one of my

favorite things about this instrument so

as I said I'll give you a little bit of

a sound demonstration of this instrument

as well I will play some more chords up

in this region of the internet I'll also

go down a little bit into the bass as

well and hopefully you enjoyed just a

little impromptu performance on the

muster m500 rumba to give you an idea of

what this awesome instrument sounds like




I absolutely love the sound of these

bass I said that like four times by now

but I just love the sound of these bass

parts so much they're absolutely






the internment just really swells and it

really resonates and it's really really

awesome now I'm quite familiar with the

piano and so therefore I have an

understanding of how this intrument

works but I'm still working on the

technique and as I get better at it I'm

gonna be learning more and more

complicated pieces and it might be kind

of fun to see what different but music

written for the piano or state written

for the organ might sound like put plate

on the marimba and if I get good enough

to be able to play the remember that

well I might do videos like that in the

future so if that sounds kind of

interesting you might want to think

about subscribing and if you do that

thank you very much and you also might

want to check out my channel because

I've got videos specifically on the

marimba and specifically on the

vibraphone talking again about the

details of the instruments and what

makes them different so if you want to

just see a video about the vibram you

could do that or also if you want to see

videos about pianos and organs and all

kinds of other cool keyboard instruments

you might go check out my channel and

check that out

so if you do that I'll see in the next

video and goodbye