Mellotron

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Mellotron

Post by deadgobby » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:26 pm

OK a lot people talk about the the new or old synths. Little is talk about the heavy, but the still great Mellotron. http://www.mellotron.com/. I am surprise that it is still made. OK input DUH!!! Yet, that monster can still pack a punch. Thus getting to my next subject. Name some of songs with the Mellotron. My fav Mellotron part is King Crimson and the song The Crimson King.
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Post by 1ivingston » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:32 pm

People talk quite a bit about Mellotrons these days, but probably not on this forum since the Mellotron isn't a synthesizer.

It is indeed a cool instrument. I have the MTron sample software, and I plan to get the Trons Collection which is bigger, and has samples from various Trons, Chamberlins, Orechestrons, Optigans. Most people these days are probably using samples rather than the real thing (I even heard Tom Waits is using a computer running the Trons Collection instead of his old Chamberlin).

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Post by john909kid » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:36 pm

Loads of early Tangerine Dream used the Mellotron.. Rubycon, Ricochet, Encore, but for me my fav Mellotron album is Edgar Froese "Epsilon in Malaysian Pale"....so haunting with those flutes, strings and brass....

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Post by redchapterjubilee » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:43 pm

King Crimson and Mellotron are synonymous to me. The 1973-4 era is the one for me, with all the string washes to contrast with the prog metal. Tangerine Dream as well.

I have a lot of different Mellotron samples from varying sources. Nanotron, Tapeworm, E-Mu Vintage Keys Plus, Reason Mello-T refill... It is interesting to me that they all sound very different from one another. The VK+ has my favorite Mellotron string and flute. It is drier and more upfront than the others, more like the M400 than the earlier Mellotrons, which I think are the source of most sample sets. The Mello-T refill's horns and choir are great, and the strings have a slightly thinner, more warbly character that reminds me more of Genesis. I like blending them together.
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Post by Bitexion » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:07 pm

It's more a sampler than a synthesizer, so people don't think of it as such, and thus don't make threads about it. Every progrocker knows to appreciate the Mellotron sound. But it's more a "keyboard" than a "synth".
There is no synthesis in it at all, only tape heads and bits of tape and lots of mechanics to make it play the tape every time you restrike a key (and rewind it when you lift the key).

There is another hardware clone called Memotron. Jordan Rudess uses it live, and I experienced it on the latest Dream Theater tour. You could INSTANTLY hear he was playing mellotron sound, it's so recongnizable.

Memotron has very thorough multisamples of each key of every sound from a real mellotron. So it sounds exactly the same, since the Mellotron itself is just samples played from lots of little tapes. The sound just plays from a harddrive instead of brittle tapes.

I've played an actual Mellotron, it's the weirdest feeling keybed ever. Because you feel the "whirring" of the mechanics and the tape playing back as you hold the key. It's like a vibrator inside the keys. It tingles.

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Post by meatballfulton » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:07 pm

There's actually two new Mellotrons in production, the Mk6 made in Sweden and the new M4000 made by the resuscitated Streetly Electronics in the UK.

Both are big bucks...$7K and up.
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Post by wiss » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:25 pm

lot of Beatles tracks recorded used one....I had the great experience of playing one a few years back. nothing really special, it a collecters piece for sure. I could find a lot better gear with the $$$ to buy an orginal or replica....plus to maintain those things is a real pain the a*s.....only way to find an afforable one is thru estate sales...

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Post by madtheory » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:37 pm

The best mellotron samples are for sale on mellotron.com, they also have the Optigan CD which includes the Orchestron sounds. Kraftwerk used that instrument, not the Mellotron. The great thing about M Tron is that a lot of it is sampled from some well worn tapes, it's amazing value for money, and it includes Birotron sounds which no other library has. The vibes, sad strings and harp glissandos are very cool. I don't think anyone in the world has found a used for Sad strings, great and all as they are! :)

The VK+ samples are taken from the master tapes, not an actual Mellotron, and they're looped. They're not authentic, but they're very useful in their own right, when you want "that" sound but not sounding like it's from the sixties. They were originally recorded on a Sony PCM F1 back in 1982, for the Emulator 1 library, and Emu have been reselling this library ever since (EII, EIII, EIV, Emu X). I'm not knocking that- quite the opposite! the EIIIx library is fantastic.

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Post by nuketifromorbit » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:39 pm

Comedy option, Anti-Christ Superstar.
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Post by madtheory » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:42 pm

Bitexion wrote: I've played an actual Mellotron, it's the weirdest feeling keybed ever. Because you feel the "whirring" of the mechanics and the tape playing back as you hold the key. It's like a vibrator inside the keys. It tingles.
Cool! :)

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Post by tim gueguen » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:30 am

Sound On Sound just had a review of the new M4000.
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Post by mama. » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:47 am

i never learned for sure what songs but i know radiohead was using mellotron in OK computer era. i think its the choir sound on exit music (for a film)

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Post by suitandtieguy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:39 am

also remember Tomita used _extensive_ Mellotron layered with and/or ran through his Moog system on all of his significant albums.

also the Smashing Pumpkins lied about using one. i saw some video documentary where Corgan said "yeah we like sampled stuff into it ... it's like an analogue sampler."

thanks for posting that bit about the M4000. the MkVII wasn't enough to excite me (beyond the "holy c**p that's awesome" reaction), but something that looks like an M4000 but is really more like half a of a MkII ... _that_ is exciting.
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Post by wiss » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:54 am

suitandtieguy wrote: also the Smashing Pumpkins lied about using one. i saw some video documentary where Corgan said "yeah we like sampled stuff into it ... it's like an analogue sampler.".
I think billy was talking about thier chamberlin

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Post by suitandtieguy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:04 am

wiss wrote:I think billy was talking about thier chamberlin
well i still think they were lying about recording new sounds into it. it's not an S1000 ... you kind of had to record things and send them to Streetly/Bradmatic/etc and they'd make a tape frame for you.
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