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compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:54 pm
by shaft9000
i need a small keyboard [no mini or membrane keys, 2-3 octave max] that has enough under the hood to replace a mellotron onstage, for live use only.
i have an ongoing dilemma w/ 'small VAs'; they are so damned handy to have around and miles better build-wise than most any VST controller...most of all, I want it to work as a mini "digital Mellotron". The Memotron is rather bulky and absurdly expensive for what it offers, imho (and i'm not a cheap date, if you haven't noticed): http://www.analoguehaven.com/manikin/memotron/

i love my 'microdot':
Image
for it's pechant for odd digitalia, but overall the rather 'grey-sounding' micron ain't cutting it in the mix w/ proper analogs for mellotron sounds. I've never played a mellotron longer than a few moments and never used one in a critical environment, but Mtron run through tubes to smooth the sample edges works for me sound-wise quite nicely.

currently i use a JD-990 w/vintage exp. and Mtron in the studio, and they sound fine - but for live performance, would like to avoid any solution that requires a MIDI controller or laptop (rackmount/VST = no!).

do i remember someone saying the blofeld being capable?
i have a V-Synth which would sorta work, but then i lose polyphony for any samples of other stuff if it's stuck doing Mellotron-duty.

perhaps I am chasing a delusion? ...after all, nothing blasts like the real deal. but then, i don't need total authenticity live, just to have the standard choirs/strings/flutes/brass in 8-sec one-shots(i can set EGs for that) covered. seems possible but no ready-solution exists besides the Manikin memo-job; which again is imho too damned pricey and rather large. it also seems kinda silly to 'clone' the dimensions in a digital 'board.

ideas???

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:00 pm
by Mush
The rack version of the memotron?

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:09 pm
by shaft9000
trying to avoid more than a one-unit solution for a live setup.
like i said, the JD-990 i have generally sounds plenty good - but it's a lot of extra weight for something with no keyboard; that's only doing a few different sounds.

i've also toyed w/ the idea of getting the Korg SV-1 (has a mellotron bank) and just using that live, big as it is....hmmm, perhapd the guts can be transplanted to a 2-3 octave custom 'board.

man, i wish Korg would offer the SV-1 in a 3-octave version.
that would be IT right there for me:
Image
Korg doesn't pay me for mock-ups, so i neglected to render the extra knobs and memories on the front/bottom, ARP-pro soloist-styleeeeee :keys1:

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:14 pm
by meatballfulton
The only decent tron replacements I've heard have been sample based.

Does the Korg Triton engine allow for decent tron sounds...if so maybe a MicroX (25 full keys)?

I'd suggest the Korg microSampler but it has mini keys :(

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:59 pm
by pricklyrobot
Does the 990 use the same expansion cards as the JV series? If so, you could pick up a JV-1010. It's still a rack unit, but only half of one, so it'd save you some weight/space.

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:35 am
by loungedumore
Big question is what is in your live set up ... if you have a rompler/ sampler other than the V-synth then I am sure you could get a sample bank for what ever it is .

Nord Wave has a mellotron soundbank
http://www.clavia.se/main.asp?tm=Produc ... =Nord_Wave
If you could stomach a rack the E-MU Vintage Pro had some good mellotron patches

In the maybe category :
The E-mu • PK-6 Proteus Keys had a selection from all their roms , but I am not sure how many or if any of the mellotron patches from the Vintage pro made it in ? May be worth looking in to though ?
I seem to remember an article about the White Snake ? used T1 racks for his mellotron parts so then there must be a sound set for the trinity line ?


Very Interesting , but I'm sure impractical DIY Mellotron http://www.mysterycircuits.com/melloman/melloman.html

I know you mentioned no vst's , but a super cheap netbook could probably run the Mtron standalone which you could easly control from one of your synths already in your set up with out the need for another controller

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:56 am
by rhino
Don't know if I'm understanding. I think for 'Tron sounds, you could pick up an Ensoniq EPS for 2-300$. That might give the correct 'grit' to the sound. (lol)

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:05 am
by audible
loungedumore wrote: I know you mentioned no vst's , but a super cheap netbook could probably run the Mtron standalone which you could easly control from one of your synths already in your set up with out the need for another controller
I do use live M-tron running in a V-Machine plug-in host. Not too cheap, but convenient for gigs - and tons of genuine sounds without much fuss.

I second the Vintage Pro way, too.

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:06 am
by loungedumore
audible wrote:I do use live M-tron running in a V-Machine plug-in host. Not too cheap, but convenient for gigs - and tons of genuine sounds without much fuss. I second the Vintage Pro way, too.
Breaking the rules even more . I would definitely look in to the V machine too - could replace a synth or two in your set up ? Making less is more a good thing for live - On that note the Muse Box may be an even better choice ;)

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:24 am
by rharris07
I've been wanting a very serious mellotron emulator for quite some time now as well, and the only thing I've seen online that impresses me that I just don't have the money for at the moment is a nord wave...I'm dying to have one though, and might end up trading something for it in the near future if I can't get cash together for it.

It sounds lush and has that saturated tape sound that only the mellotron strings can produce - err...well, the wave is close enough for the money!

I could be way off though - you'd be better off asking someone that owns a nord wave, but hopefully soon I'll be one of those people and could answer better...

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:37 pm
by Solderman
I just use Zero-G Nostalgia run through Fabfilter Volcano and some EQ. It needs alot of notch at the upper midrange, but sounds great once you do that.
I recorded and exported this in about 15 minutes using the above, and it demonstrates different lowpass settings of Volcano with its sweeping LFO:

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:28 pm
by Syn303
rharris07 wrote:It sounds lush and has that saturated tape sound that only the mellotron strings can produce - err...well, the wave is close enough for the money!

I could be way off though - you'd be better off asking someone that owns a nord wave, but hopefully soon I'll be one of those people and could answer better...
The Nordwave has one problem with it mellotron samples is that they are not multisamples (where each individual key of a mellotron tape frame is sampled - ranging from 23 to 35 samples per frame). Each sample on the nordwave is mapped to the entire keyboard something of which you would find familiar on (EMU's vintage keys or Roland's MVS-1) which will sound ridiculous when playing higher notes. Although Clavia boasts that it's free mellotron library contains 250mb worth of samples. I guess you could always set the keyboard range to mimic the mellotron's 35 note range of G3 to F6.

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:14 pm
by rharris07
Syn303 wrote:
rharris07 wrote:It sounds lush and has that saturated tape sound that only the mellotron strings can produce - err...well, the wave is close enough for the money!

I could be way off though - you'd be better off asking someone that owns a nord wave, but hopefully soon I'll be one of those people and could answer better...
The Nordwave has one problem with it mellotron samples is that they are not multisamples (where each individual key of a mellotron tape frame is sampled - ranging from 23 to 35 samples per frame). Each sample on the nordwave is mapped to the entire keyboard something of which you would find familiar on (EMU's vintage keys or Roland's MVS-1) which will sound ridiculous when playing higher notes. Although Clavia boasts that it's free mellotron library contains 250mb worth of samples. I guess you could always set the keyboard range to mimic the mellotron's 35 note range of G3 to F6.

You have a very good point - though I think if you're keeping within Tangerine Dream type playing of mellotron sounds you wouldn't go too high too often anyways...I tend to hear the higher frequencies in tape string sounds when you get to much higher notes, and it grates against my ears more than I'd like so I don't think I would personally play too many high notes to begin with...BUT you have a very good point others need to consider if they're playing a full range of music with the mellotron samples.




There's a sample of the mellotron nord wave samples - not the greatest audio of course, but it does show that they don't sound too awful..

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:45 am
by omvibes
If you can live with an Ipad, then maybe it would be worth checking out the Mellotronics M3000HD?

Re: compact digi-Mellotron?

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:23 pm
by V301H
Many Mellotron emulations do not sample each individual note and then loop the note rather than playback the entire nine seconds or so. If this acceptable almost any sampled Mellotron will do. For a more authentic Mellotron experience a dedicated sampler is one of the best options.
I use a Roland S760 fully-loaded with 32MB RAM and "Mike Pinder Presents Mellotron" CD ROM. The Roland has enough memory to load two banks of Mellotron sounds from CD ROM. With a 76-key controller you have enough keys to simulate the dual 35-note keyboards of a Mellotron Mark II by splitting the keyboard.
Of course, any good sampler will work, but S760's are an excellent inexpensive sampler these days and the CD ROM can often be had for $50 or so. This setup gives you nearly all of the Mellotron Mark II, 300, and 400 library plus most of the Chamberlin library with each note sampled at it's full length.