Michael Emenau / MNO

Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone

13 Reviews (10 Verified)
Michael Emenau / MNO on SoundBetter

I have recorded on 200+ albums of all genres from hip-hop to pop, from folk/roots to straight ahead jazz. What I can give you is the real sound of these instruments respectful of your genre.

I can professionally record whatever your mallet needs may be. This can work in different ways.

Sometimes, producers send me tracks with little info and say... "fill in the spaces" , "make a backing melody on the bridge", "solo at the end" etc... with these I will make 3 passes, send to the producer who will pick out what he/she likes and I will re-track using their comments.

Sometimes I's sent a lead sheet with chords and melody lines and i play around with their description.

Ans sometimes (more within classical/film scoring world) I receive full scores with my parts written out to preform record.

All that to say, I can work with what you got. I have extensive experience playing in non-jazz forms so no need to worry with me playing too much (unless you want that) and always try to carve out a space around what the vocalist is doing with the goal of enhancing your track not showcasing my playing.

I got great mics, pre-amps and instruments.

I can work from stereo mixes although it is nice if there are separate vocal stems in case I need to transcribe exactly what the singer is doing.

And of course there are a million producers out there.... but I also compose, produce, mix, all that good stuff:)

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.


AllMusic verified credits for MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • Digital Orgasm
  • Lords of Acid
  • Lords of Acid
  • G.T.O.
  • Channel X
  • Lords of Acid
  • Lords of Acid
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • Michael Emenau
  • MNO
  • MNO
  • MNO

13 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

Endorse Michael Emenau / MNO
  1. Review by Darren T.

    Enjoyed working with Michael. He understood the vision and delivered. Kept his timeline too which is always a biggie for me!

  2. Review by Børge Sildnes

    It was a pleasure to work with Michael. He added some nice vibraphone parts to one of my songs. It was played and recorded like a professional and the communication was fast and precise. I can definitely recommend asking Michael if you need some vibraphone on your music.

  3. Review by E. A.
    by E. A.

    Amazing player; played both vibes and marimba for our record and everything was perfect; highest recommendation. Thank you.

  4. Review by Seppl
    by Seppl

    Another great collaboration with Michael!

  5. Review by Seppl
    by Seppl

    Michael is Incredibly talented and extremely professional. He over-delivered to my needs, giving me a lot of extra ideas and content to work with on my song(s). Will definitely work with him again.

  6. Review by Jean R.

    I'm delighted to have met Michael here. He's a very experimented and talented artist. Although I asked him to play a tricky part, he did the job perfectly. His albums are also a piece of exciting and imaginary music that everyone should take an ear. Five stars!!

  7. Review by Laura S.

    Michael performs beautifully with the vibraphone. He is artful, enthusiastic and professional.

  8. Review by Kevin P.

    Michael did incredible work on my track and really made it great!

  9. Review by Nik Karlin

    Michael recorded some really special felt pianos for me based on a very specific midi part. He then had some great additional ideas that really brought the song to life.

    Great tones and musicianship also.

    Very much recommended!

  10. Review by Harald O.

    I had a very specific request for a vibraphone recording and Michael immediately caught what I was going for. Michael is professional and easy to communicate with. A pleasure to work with!

  11. Review by Doug Cox
    by Doug Cox

    I had Michael play some vibe tracks for me on a project I am producing remotely and was very happy with the outcome as well as his communication skills. I will be calling him again for sure!

  12. Review by Quincy Griffin
    by Quincy Griffin

    I am a composer and Producer who primarily works in film. I have hired Michael several times over the years as a session Vibraphonist and recently as a remote session Vibraphonist. He always sounds great and is able to come up with very tasteful lines and solos! There's nothing like the sound of real vibes. His recording quality out of his studio is excellent as well. I don't believe I even had to eq the last tracks he sent me... Maybe a little compression. He's an amazing resource.

  13. Review by Bob Duskis
    by Bob Duskis

    “I have worked with Michael on a variety of different projects, dating back to 2003. His playing, composing, producing and recording skills are top notch and he has always been a consummate professional"

    - Bob Duskis - Six Degrees Records

Interview with Michael Emenau / MNO

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I would say my band SUSSEX, which I co-lead with the great Canadian singer Rob Lutes. We were recently nominated for by the Canadian Folk Music Awards as band of the year. In this project I really get to push the vibraphone way outside the boundaries of what this instrument usually does and have been able to introduce so many fans to how super cool the vibes are.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: Today, I am recording vibraphone for a classical pianist who has written a duo track (piano/vibes) for a film score. I also released a new LOFI track under my name "MNO" two days ago called "One Step to Midnight" and have started composing for a new album of Roots/Americana music with my band "SUSSEX"

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: Not at this point, I have just joined myself.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Digital (I know I'm supposed to say analog.... sorry) but the reality is that it all gets squashed down to digital anyway and the convenience of digital where I'm recording for artists all around the world makes sense. Plus tape is expensive but It is cool on 1 shot full band direct to 2 inch stereo though.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: To bring their music to a higher level.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I get to do music.... It's quite a good situation for me, as I like music.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: Q: How long will it take? A: A couple of days, unless I'm on tour....

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: That I should have played flute instead.... because of the size of the instruments. it's a joke I hear all the time.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: What are you goals for this song, and what do you see my purpose for being in the recording as well as some Technical stuff (file types, stems, DAW software)

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: I'm OK if you don't know what you exactly want, but be able to express on an emotional level where you want your music to go.

  21. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  22. A: piano, marimba, laptop, midi keyboard, and very very comfortable headphone.

  23. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  24. A: I have been a professional musician for 30+ years now. I started getting paid gigs in high school and never stopped. I never planned to be a professional musician, I just am

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: I do like a solid groove when I play but am lately getting into a more fluid, looser and lyrical style of playing

  27. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  28. A: I'm not to particular really, I just prefer that the artist be willing to go on a ride. Generally speaking, any artist that wants vibes/marimba on their recording is already thinking a bit outside the box so we tend to get along just fine

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: 90% of a good recording is what happens before the microphones are even set up. Know what you want to play, prepare, practice and be ready to deliver.

  31. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  32. A: It varies greatly, currently I am focused on neo-classical music, last year was mostly lofi Hip-Hop, but will soon begin recording a full album of instrumental America/Bluegrass music. I would like to say I wouk on "good" music.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: My ears

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: The ability to highlight what has already been recorded and to add where the overall sound is lacking.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: listen, listen, transcribe, sing along, record,listen, edit, send to client, receive feedback and if necessary, re-record

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: Very simple, I have a large quiet studio at home with 10 foot ceilings. I have 2 Neumans TLM 103's and 2 AKG 451's. Usually the Neumans for a more vintage sound (lofi, jazz, film music) and the AKG for precise (funk, electronica) I have a Universal Audio Duet which I use with their vintage EQ's compressors etc..... Sounds great.

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: Bjork, Nils Frahm, Keith Jarrett, Bille Eilish/Finneas, Photek, Aphex Twins, Olafur Arnalds

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: What I usually do is record backing vibraphone and marimba for vocal based albums. Roots, Americana, some Hip-Hop and singer-songwritter are the most common genres.


Terms Of Service

Please contact me for turn around time, revisions etc... generally speaking I'm fast (2 days) and am considerate of your revision needs. Afterall if you like the results, your gonna hire me again.

GenresSounds Like
  • Roy Ayers Ubiquity
  • Brian Eno
  • Norah Jones
Gear Highlights
  • 2 Neuman TLM 103
  • 2 AKG 451's
  • Universal Audio Duet Audi interface. Musser and Deagan vibraphones
  • Musser 4.2 octave marimba. Lots of percussion as well
More Photos
More Samples
SoundBetter Deal

generall I offer a 3 for 2 service (3 tracks for the price of 2)