Got any tips for good marimba rolls?

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is enjoying being back at school as much as I am! Got me a great new job allowing me more time at home with the runts and more time to write. Incase you haven't figured it out yet, no it is NOT a high school gig:)

My question...
What are some of the tricks you guys use to make a more realistic sounding marimba roll with that is not only one note? I remember Jim talking in a previous thread about using the layers in Sibelius to write out the actual strokes, anybody out there doing anything else?
There's a method book out there (the name escapes me at the moment) that has a chart of what roll base to use at a given speed and dynamic for SD buzzes, anyone have a similar formula for VDL rolls?

Thanks in advance, now get out there on that field and clean up those left hands:)
Simply put, I would just do it using whatever subdivision I would use given the dynamic, tempo, and register of the keyboard in which the roll was being played.  So I guess I would say that it's context sensitive.  I haven't actually taken the time to figure all of that out at every permutation, but I think just using your best judgment would be the best route. 

Another option would be to experiment with what mallet hardness and bar type you were using for those rolls.  As far as smoothness goes, erring on the softer side will definitely help smooth out the sound as well.
Hey Ralph,

Bryan has some great advice there.  I usually just write it out as the subdivision as well.  I choose this method because in Sib 3.1 I can change the playback and make the dynamics happen.  If I use a whole note and some tremolos I can't really tweak the dynamics (using the live playback feature).


Just do what I do- don't write rolls :)
Take the advice that Jesse and Bryan gave.  I love shortcuts but when dealing with groups of like-instruments, leave no chance of misinterpretation of releases, rhythmic base, etc.  Use the roll notation for solo work if it works for you, otherwise... 
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