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Mellotron in a small package?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by elros, Nov 8, 2005.


  1. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Hi all,

    I am wondering if there's anything available that can give me the Mellotron sounds (basically strings, flute and choir) in a small and convenient box, MIDI controllable.

    The situation is that I will soon (Real Soon Now) get my Benavente bass with a GK output, and a Roland GR-20 bass-MIDI pedal thing, and I'd like to be able to do Mellotron sounds while I'm at it. The GR-20 has some decent strings patches in it, but nothing like the Mellotron. I know there are samplers, and that Mellotron.com has a sample CD with lots of good sounds on it; but I have only seen samplers that are big rack mounted complicated looking things. And I know there are software plug-ins for computers, but I'd rather not have to depend on a computer for my sounds, it's too complicated. I want to be able to just turn it on and choose the sound.
    So I am hoping that somewhere there's a simple-tp-use, small-ish desktop unit that I can put on my pedal board next to the GR-20. It should be simple. And not too expensive. Oh, I guess it could be one of those 1/2 or 1/4 rack boxes, that could work.

    Is there? :help:
     
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Yeah, all I can think of is the sample CD, but you know about that...
     
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
  4. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    The Mighty M-Tron.

    There's also the Cheese Factory -- check at KVR.
     
  5. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    I can't think of any Mellotron-in-a-box (other than the old E-mu Vintage Keys module which had some Mellotron sounds). A couple companies now make a rackable module than can load VST instruments (like the M-Tron, which is what I use for 'tron sounds) to be played via MIDI controllers, but they're somewhat expensive (as they are essentially customized PC's in a rackmount box.)

    It may be worth looking for that old E-mu module, but I don't know how rare they are these days nor do I really know how authentic the Mellotron sounds in it are.
     
  6. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Oops. I didn't read carefully. So, buy the iMac that is over in accessories for $250, M-Tron, and go to town. A little clumsy to transport, for sure, but you can check your email at the gig.

    (I just bought a Muse Receptor. I sold a ton of gear to pay for it. So far, it is awesome. I expect I'll discover the downside in a few weeks.)
     
  7. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I'm trying to make up for being cavalier.

    How about something like an Akai S20? You might be able to make it work.
     
  8. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    +1 on the emu vintage keys!!

    I played the mellotron in a vintage style studio once, and the engineer was impressed "ya know, normally I hate anything digital, but that thing sounds really authentic".
     
  9. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    thanks for the suggestions, all.

    But I haven't found anything yet that is quite it.
    I want something as simple as the Alesis NanoSynth module or similar - you get the idea - that does decent Mellotron sounds.....

    It seems that all desktop samplers are actually phrase samplers, designed for DJ use; either that, or huge complicated (and expensive) workstations, such as the Akai MPC series.
    And apart from that, the samplers are either in keyboard format or full rack units. Can't fit that on my pedal board....
    Also, a computer (even a Mac!) is too big and, IMO, too unreliable and too complicated, to have on my pedal board.
    It must be simple and easy, like that Alesis box.

    The e-mu Vintage Keys module seems promising, though. I'll have to look into that. Perhaps one can be found used.
     
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Any sampler will work if it alllows mapping individual samples to MIDI note numbers.

    Many DJ samplers will in fact allow this, but you need to check the manuals carefully before buying. I've used the Zoom ST-224 loop sampler (I paid $100 used) to play back Mellotron samples.

    Of course you'll still need to buy the samples...there are much cheaper sources than the $200 CD-ROM if you don't need EVERY tape loop Mellotron ever offered.
     
  11. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Good point. I suppose many of these groove-DJ oriented products will do this. It'd make sense, if they are designed to sample single phrases and if you can trigger those with MIDI.

    Yes - the above mentioned http://www.vintagekeyboardsounds.com/ has a $20 CD with three more popular Mellotron sample sets.

    This is good. Thanks, brianrost.
     
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That's the exact CD I bought to use with the Zoom...the first one had strings, cello and choir. A second one he just came out with has cello (again?), mixed brass and flute.
     
  13. You can also get Tapeworm through KVR.

    Um, Tapeworm in this case is a free Mellotron emulator. You would of course need a VST host and a computer, and the desire to haul it onstage. But maybe it's an option.
     
  14. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Check this out: I'm sitting here, playing my new Benavente fretless 6 with the GK pickup, through the Roland GR-20 guitar synth pedal thing.
    And it actually has some mellotron sounds in it!!!! Who'd have thunk it!
    There is one in the Wind bank, #24 "playback flute" - it's much like the Mellotron flutes heard on some Genesis recordings.
    Then there are two in the Strings/Orch. bank: #23 "playback strings 1" and #24 "playback strings 2" (duh) and they both sound much like how I remember the Mellotron strings to sound on various Genesis records.... fabulous! I've stored those at the first three positions in the User bank, for easy access. Alas that there is no good Mellotron Choir sounds, at least none that I've found yet.

    The next priority is to see if I can emulate a decent Moog Taurus like sound. :)