Clean Bandit song - YouTube

What kind of instrument resounds from the beginning of the song and it sounds like some oriental harmonica from Hawaii ?

  • BTW what you thinking of is a steel drum. They sound a bit different, since they are made of steel obviously. Kalimba and Marimbas etx... are meed from wood, so they decay a lot faster and have no metallic "diinnnnggggg" or "doooongggg" Mar 22, 2014 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


Kalimba (I referenced the Korg M1 Kalimba)

All those new Bass/Deep/Garage/UK House artist feature a lot of FM synthesis sounds. So it might be a FM recreation of the Kalimba or other Woodblock Instrument.

On the other hand, since Clean Bandit consist of a DJ/Producer + 4 String Players it might just be a real Kalimba.

Who knows how exactly they made it, but if you go for some Mallet/Woodblock Intruments like Kalimba or Marimba you will find something you like. (Btw layering Those things with a E Piano sounds amazing!)

Good Day

  • yeah... those sounds are awesome :) thanks Tobias
    – Tony
    Mar 22, 2014 at 21:39
  • btw. maybe do you know how to achieve vocal effect like this? awalczyk.vdl.pl/beeee.wav I mean that vibratto effect...almost like a lamb. :)
    – Tony
    Mar 22, 2014 at 21:54
  • 1
    Maybe if you load the vocals into Melodyne you can get something like this witch pitching and shifting formants. If the vocals are good you can use the modulation tool to increase the natural pitch vibrato, or you can use a external vibrato effect (for e.g.. load the vocal into a sampler and use the samplers vibrato). Good Day Mar 22, 2014 at 21:58
  • Thx, I will try.
    – Tony
    Mar 22, 2014 at 23:26
  • 1
    You can get the Korg M1 from the Korg Legacy Plug-In collection. Since the Korg M1 was a digital sampler/synth you get like nearly the perfect sound out of the plugin. and it is rather cheap. 30 dollar or so :D Mar 26, 2014 at 23:43

my guess is a soft mallet marimba patch on a keyboard or VI, but not a Kalimba (although Kalimbas are awesome this doesn't sound like one)

to go more ethnic but stay with wood you might try a balafon tuned chromatic.

Kalimbas are metal on wood and have a different attack and tone than what is in this song. With that said, if you listen, the producer filters or adjusts the attack of the instrument patch right before the vocals drop.

it's also clear by the way and notes that he plays off the top that it is played on a keyboard, not the real thing.

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