Review: Scoring Mallets from Handheld Sound


Scoring Mallets is an expressive and flexible set of great sounding instruments. With so many useful tools crafted into the engine, it’s ideal for small ensembles and also made it’s way into my orchestral template.

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Review Scoring Mallets from Handheld Sound

Originally posted March 23, 2016
Scoring Mallets sells for $199.99 (USD) from Handheld Sound



I have to admit, I cracked open Scoring Mallets with some high hopes as I was a huge fan of Handheld Sound‘s FlyingHand Percussion instruments ability to perform fresh and intimate takes  . . . and I was not disappointed.

Handheld Sound has taken their their time to craft a great set of instruments with Scoring Mallets. Some of the stand out features are: dry samples with stage placement engine (Acoustic Positioner™), easy keyswitches for scripts that activate common playing techniques and of course a great sample base with a beautiful tone throughout all 3 mallet instruments.

HandHeldSound’s new Acoustic Positioner™

HandHeldSound’s new Acoustic Positioner™

I tend to use Marimba, Xylophone, and Vibraphone for accents and textures in my orchestral music so the real test for me was how these instruments would perform for more bare, intimate music (ala-Newman). The samples are clean and consistant and the tones range from warm to punchy.

The interface is easy to navigate through, but if I would have like to have seen a warmer design as about half of the interface is a little dull with so much flat grey texture.

From the selection of mallet instruments recorded for source samples to the scripts created to mimic common playing styles, Scoring Mallets quality and playability take this mallet library a step above ones I was previously using and that is why I have added these mallets to my orchestral template.



5 microphone controls Tight, Center, Loose, Stage, and Wides/Surround.


Scoring Mallets is a Kontakt instrument that features 3 instrument patches: Marimba, Xylophone, and Vibraphone. It does require the full retail version of Kontakt version 5.5 or higher and sells for $199 from Handheld Sound.

Scoring Mallets downloads as a little over 15GB containing 38,000+ samples. Each of the instruments has 5 microphone controls Tight, Center, Loose, Stage, and Wides/Surround.

The instruments have been scripted with numerous intuitive playing techniques including trills, rolls, glissandi, and a 4-Mallet playing techniques.

All the instruments contain a “PATTERN” tab with a built in step sequencer which allow the user to design patterns and trigger them in realtime with up to 4-note polyphony and control over timing, tempo, and dynamics.


All three instruments include HandHeldSound’s new Acoustic Positioner™ which allow you to place the instrument anywhere on the stage. Unlike other “stage tools” that rely on convolution/ panning, the Acoustic Positioner™  uses “dynamic phase / time relationships, calibrated to replicate an authentic and smooth spatial positioning with minimal CPU usage.”

Scoring Mallets sells for $199.99 (USD) from Handheld Sound


Official Demos of Scoring Mallet

Official Demos of Scoring Mallet