Vibraphone (PED) Pedaling


I am having issues with getting my vibraphones to play with pedal up and pedal down. How do I go about assigning this? I've tried using the typical piano symbols (Leo., *) but they don't work. Would it be easier to use the MW vibes? If not then how do I do it with the PED vibes?


I'm using Finale 2011 with VDL 2.5.2
If you're using pedal markings in the score, the ";PED"; vibes are a decent way to go. They may still be a little unpredictable in a notation program like Finale since it might extend held note values past the point of a ";pedal up"; notation, in which case, the notation isn't going to do you any good.

Using the MW vibes, you can always activate ";pedal up"; attacks by entering a mod-wheel (midi controller #1) value between 66-127.

By default, PED vibes are set to pedal ";up"; (dry) and MW vibes are set to pedal ";down"; (ringing).

My hunch is that your questions may pertain more to something like attacking a ringing vibraphone, then letting the pedal up to stop the sustained sound of the bars. This is best done using the PED vibes where the attack of the note is short in duration, but because the pedal (midi controller #64) is depressed, the bars continue to ring - just like a real vibraphone.

The problem with programs like Finale or Sibelius is that usually when you're writing a part like this (i.e. a half note into two quarter notes), the rhythmic value (half note) will keep that note activated for its full duration. Think of it as a sustained note like what a trumpet would play. So if your ";pedal up"; notation occurs even slightly before the note value has ended, the pedal command will have no effect because the note event is still occurring.

In cases like this, really all we want is the initial attack to be a short event, accompanied by a pedal command which would give us the control to determine exactly where the sustain of this attack would end. This is most easily accomplished in a sequencer program like Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer, etc.

If you're not working in a sequencer environment like that, you'd need to see if there's a way to have your notation program adjust the ";release"; event of the note in question to occur earlier - essentially lessening the duration of the note, so that your written pedal markings will be more effective. I'm a Sibelius user, and this can be done using the ";Live Duration"; setting in the inspector area. I'm sure Finale's MIDI tool probably has some similar functionality but it's probably best to check the documentation or see if someone with more Finale know-how has experience with lessening note durations.

That was a little long-winded, but controlling vibe pedaling can really add some awesome realism to your playback. I hope this is helpful!
Thank you for your reply, Jim! You are always very helpful!

I do have one more question regarding the marimbas. I am using a RoseW Hard marimba. Just recently it keeps switching to playing with birch handles. I know this has something to do with the MW, I just don't know how to change and set the MW.
You're right. There's a mod-wheel message being sent somehow. It may depend on if you're using a template from The Write Score. They may have some text items that will instigate a MW message (check their documentation about which text expressions execute which commands). You can always enter manual mod-wheel messages using Finale's MIDI tool. You can read more about that in the Finale manual.

Also check to be sure that some other staff isn't set to the same channel as your marimba that may be unsuspectingly sending a MIDI command.
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