Drum corps and drum lines are increasingly adding an innovative new pit instrument—the Xylosynth, a MIDI mallet controller. The Xylosynth looks like an ordinary xylophone or other mallet instrument, but when you hit the keys, it emits programmable MIDI sounds.

Created almost 15 years ago by Will Wernick of Wernick Musical Instruments, the Xylosynth features wooden keys that reflect dynamics, nuance and playing styles, as well as a pedal input that can instantly change the key or octave of the sound.

The Xylosynth is available in two-, three- and four-octave versions. It recently became a part of The Blue Devils’ System Blue line of products.

“The Xylosynth’s rugged, simple design, flawless performance and excellent customer support is key to The Blue Devils decision to endorse the Wernick System Blue Xylosynth” said David Gibbs, executive director of The Blue Devils in a press release.

In addition to The Blue Devils, corps including the Bluecoats, The Cadets, Carolina Crown and Pioneer and WGI competing groups such as Rhythm X, Riverside Community College, San Diego State University and Ayala High School currently use the Xylosynth.

“We are honored and excited,” Wernick said in a press release. “The Xylosynth has already proved itself in the WGI indoor drum line competition and is now available to those playing outside.”

For more information, visit www.wernick.net.

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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