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Mellotron luv for M-Tron Pro


David Emm

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After some foot-shuffling, I finally bought M-Tron Pro. A friend had a real one with just the classic string ensemble rack in place, so I had the invaluable experience of sitting at it and quickly realizing why its both loved and hated. As with a B-3 and Leslies, you're tied to the sound with an intimacy not common to every instrument. I'm finding that its essence is intact, even as software. It argues with me a bit and I have to play into the sounds with a sort of tactile second-sense. Its as if I was in front of the M400 again. Great! Its a relief to have it be so essentially pure in shape that it'll take some woodshedding to master. I'll have to "earn" its cooperation and I'll sound better for the effort.

 

The library is a great blend of lo-to-hi-fidelity, with some surprisingly clean sounds as well as the grainier tone we're more used to hearing. There are also two banks of BBC sound effects, an amusing plus. The synth-parameter amenities are outstanding, with very grab-able elements that are well thought out for getting the sound in the right sonic slot. Its a nice handful of synth-y goodness that feels as if it was designed by a real 'tron lover, half-speed option and all.

 

I've owned a fair humber of keyboards over the years and beyond that, had the privilege of time with real pipe organs, a modular Moog IIIC, CS-80 and more. Despite all of our lively debates, in the end, my samples and little 4-octave controller bring all of that back with so few compromises, its like owning a working jet pack that gets you to and from work without burning your ass off.

 

The Mellotron was the last thing I did not already have in my stack and M-Tron nails it even better than I'd expected. I've been at it for only 3 weeks, but I can heartily recommend it to anyone for whom the real thing is not a realistic idea. I'm so jazzed, I may become the next Mellotron king of Scandinavia. Its that shweet.

 

 

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

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You don't stack donuts on it. You suddenly add a PolySix, an MS-20 and a moldy ARP Odyssey you nabbed at a garage sale. Then your wife comes in, points at the 'tron and says "What, this one wasn't enough?? Why are you wearing a cape?""

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

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You don't stack donuts on it. You suddenly add a PolySix, an MS-20 and a moldy ARP Odyssey you nabbed at a garage sale. Then your wife comes in, points at the 'tron and says "What, this one wasn't enough?? Why are you wearing a cape?""
:D

 

I have IK Multimedia Sampletron. One day when I have some extra cash I'll purchase M Tron Pro. I really dig the G Force software.

:nopity:
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You don't stack donuts on it. You suddenly add a PolySix, an MS-20 and a moldy ARP Odyssey you nabbed at a garage sale. Then your wife comes in, points at the 'tron and says "What, this one wasn't enough?? Why are you wearing a cape?""

No, I would stack doughnuts on it.

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I've been using M-Tron Pro in my studio for a while.. it's awesome.. I came "this" close (see a very tiny gap between my fingers)... to buying a real Mellotron in the mid 70's but chose to buy a mini-moog in stead.. it seemed to be a better addition to my B3/122.

 

Because I have limited experience playing a real mellotron, I have no expertise on the sounds or the subtle nuances of the instrument, but I was thrilled with the sounds I could get from M-Tron Pro (heck I was thrilled by the original M-Tron). It was well worth the investment, to me.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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First, Dave, your ownership of SampleTron is plenty for the job. M-Tron allows you to sculpt out the best MELLOTRONS possible, but its not all that flexible in a synth sense. SampleTron has an added plus in adding more of that with STRETCH and a note range beyond the traditional limit. Its more of an experimenter's take on the 'tron, with the basics being a leaping-off point quite a bit. M-Tron suits me fine as the more classical form of it. I think they've halted SampleTron support, with no 64-bit upgrade mentioned, BTW.

 

Craig, almost any time playing a real Mellotron will tell the tale. Its a great wheezing bastard of a thing, heh. I get the feeling that I am more impressed by emulations than some, but I've laid hands to many of the legendary instruments and they're so close, arguments against them seem quaint. I only got to play a 'tron with the classic string ensemble rack in it, but I recall it well. M-Tron doesn't feel the same mechanically, of course, but the sound and the response of the unmodified presets are the real deal. Trust me, you're not missing out on any of the 'tronny goodness. Its a real pleasure to noodle and feel where its strengths are. Its so noisy, its taking some twitchy processing, but I'm struggling towards some big Ligeti choir action that's scary-fun.

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

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After some foot-shuffling, I finally bought M-Tron Pro. A friend had a real one with just the classic string ensemble rack in place, so I had the invaluable experience of sitting at it and quickly realizing why its both loved and hated. As with a B-3 and Leslies, you're tied to the sound with an intimacy not common to every instrument. I'm finding that its essence is intact, even as software. It argues with me a bit and I have to play into the sounds with a sort of tactile second-sense. Its as if I was in front of the M400 again. Great! Its a relief to have it be so essentially pure in shape that it'll take some woodshedding to master. I'll have to "earn" its cooperation and I'll sound better for the effort.

 

The library is a great blend of lo-to-hi-fidelity, with some surprisingly clean sounds as well as the grainier tone we're more used to hearing. There are also two banks of BBC sound effects, an amusing plus. The synth-parameter amenities are outstanding, with very grab-able elements that are well thought out for getting the sound in the right sonic slot. Its a nice handful of synth-y goodness that feels as if it was designed by a real 'tron lover, half-speed option and all.

 

I've owned a fair humber of keyboards over the years and beyond that, had the privilege of time with real pipe organs, a modular Moog IIIC, CS-80 and more. Despite all of our lively debates, in the end, my samples and little 4-octave controller bring all of that back with so few compromises, its like owning a working jet pack that gets you to and from work without burning your ass off.

 

The Mellotron was the last thing I did not already have in my stack and M-Tron nails it even better than I'd expected. I've been at it for only 3 weeks, but I can heartily recommend it to anyone for whom the real thing is not a realistic idea. I'm so jazzed, I may become the next Mellotron king of Scandinavia. Its that shweet.

 

 

Had that some time but is nowhere near an M4000d ;)

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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Had that some time but is nowhere near an M4000d ;)

 

+1.

 

The problem with most Mellotron emulators is they do not recreate the essence of the instrument. In this case, the Mellotron was an amazingly flawed instrument with performance mistakes, variable pitch issues, wow and flutter, etc. When you clean it all up to create crappy short 1 second samples (of 8 second performances), then the authenticity of the sound disappears.

 

You may think it sounds great, but authentic? I don't think so.

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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I've been using M-Tron Pro in my studio for a while.. it's awesome.. I came "this" close (see a very tiny gap between my fingers)... to buying a real Mellotron in the mid 70's but chose to buy a mini-moog in stead.. it seemed to be a better addition to my B3/122.

 

Because I have limited experience playing a real mellotron, I have no expertise on the sounds or the subtle nuances of the instrument, but I was thrilled with the sounds I could get from M-Tron Pro (heck I was thrilled by the original M-Tron). It was well worth the investment, to me.

 

Craig

 

As HammondDave says, the Mtron sounds are ok though still not with that edge that you get from the original tapes and Mellotrons own 24bit uncompressed audio.

And certainly the authentic feel Mellotron have added to the M4000D with the wood keys, variation in adjustment and range of sounds means the MTron is nowere near "the real deal".

 

Best comparison is a ROMpler versus a clone versus a real Hammnond B3 or L122. MTron is in the ROMpler category.

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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The action on the M4000D, as nice as it may be, sure doesn't look like it feels or plays like a Mellotron action.

Well it is a damn sight closer than a poxy MIDI controller me old mate! ;)

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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The action on the M4000D, as nice as it may be, sure doesn't look like it feels or plays like a Mellotron action.

 

Just curious, are you basing that on experience or just looks? I haven't tried the M4000D, but the videos I've seen looked pretty authentic. Can anyone chime in that has tried both?

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The action on the M4000D, as nice as it may be, sure doesn't look like it feels or plays like a Mellotron action.

 

Just curious, are you basing that on experience or just looks? I haven't tried the M4000D, but the videos I've seen looked pretty authentic. Can anyone chime in that has tried both?

 

I think the phrsae "sure doesn't looks like it feels" is a dead giveaway ;) He hasn't touched one.

 

I've played both and whilst of course you don't get the mechanical whirring or vibration you would from a tape based Mellotron, the action on the M4000D is similar because of the wooden keys - which is how Marcus designed it.

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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The action on the M4000D, as nice as it may be, sure doesn't look like it feels or plays like a Mellotron action.

 

Just curious, are you basing that on experience or just looks? I haven't tried the M4000D, but the videos I've seen looked pretty authentic. Can anyone chime in that has tried both?

 

I think the phrsae "sure doesn't looks like it feels" is a dead giveaway ;) He hasn't touched one.

 

Yeah, that's what I suspected based on the wording, but thought I'd at least give a chance to clarify. :)

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It's like sex. Until you feel it for yourself, you have no idea what it feels like. Hmmm. That may have come out wrong.

 

In any case, although the actions on both my Mellotrons are in excellent shape, it's not the action that you want to be authentic. It's the sound. And unless it uses the entire 8 second tape sample with all the wow and flutter and performance errors from the original musicians, it is NOT authentic.

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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And unless it uses the entire 8 second tape sample with all the wow and flutter and performance errors from the original musicians, it is NOT authentic.

 

This is so true. The only performance errors I can get using Sampletron are from me, not the origional musicians. :facepalm:

:nopity:
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I was under the impression that you'd played the real thing.

 

I have - I didn't have a tape measure handy in 1979 to measure the keys.......... ;)

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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It's like sex. Until you feel it for yourself, you have no idea what it feels like. Hmmm. That may have come out wrong.

 

In any case, although the actions on both my Mellotrons are in excellent shape, it's not the action that you want to be authentic. It's the sound. And unless it uses the entire 8 second tape sample with all the wow and flutter and performance errors from the original musicians, it is NOT authentic.

 

Did the key length make a difference? :laugh:

 

The M4000D has it all, believe me........

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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What modern Mellotron emulations have "the entire 8 second tape sample with all the wow and flutter and performance errors from the original musicians" - any?

 

(I've noticed that a lot of the ones I tried seem too pure. Yawn.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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M-Tron isn't authentic, just a godsend. I never argue against Original Feel. Been there, respect that. I could never take on a real Mellotron, so having the next nearest equivalent living inside a Mac is a space-age privilege. Better than crack, better than polyps, good for the soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

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