Is there a playing technique for xylophone to make it more muted?

This is a part-Dorico question, and part-general-orchestration question… for Xylophones, is there any kind of playing technique or type of mallets which create a more muted sound? Perhaps a softer mallet? Playing with hot rods? Felt strips woven between the bars?

And curious if there is any direction in Dorico which is a standard notation for this kind of thing.

Otherwise I can of course cheat the volume down. I’m writing a piece for a tuned percussion ensemble and everything is sounding great until the xylophone comes in and it’s just so much louder than the rest. I understand the timbral characteristics of the instruments, obviously a Xylophone will cut through much greater than a Marimba or Vibraphone based on their designs, but I’d think there should be some kind of “con sord” method if you will to tame the Xylo, so you still get that kind of tack-tack sound but just a little less extreme.

I played percussion in school growing up so you’d think I should know of this! But I guess it never came up :wink:

I would just use a “mute” playing technique for this. I guess you could set the volume of this playing technique to have a smaller range so that the louds aren’t as loud?

I would also change noteheads to x (or sim.) too, although I’m not a xylophone player and perhaps this means something else as a standard.

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