Puremagnetik has introduced Microtron Tape 1, a sound library featuring the Brass, 8-Voice Choir and String Section sounds of the Mellotron M400.
Tape 1 – Customized for Ableton Live, Kontakt and Logic
Microtron™ Tape 1 contains an expertly recorded Brass, 8 Voice Choir and String Section library. All of the original imperfections, vintage analog quality and performance nuances of the Mellotron M400 have been immaculately captured through a Neumann U47 Microphone and Reeves Custom 50 Amplifier.
The Ableton Live version contains 3 individual multisampled instruments and a full “tape” instrument that has similar sound blending functionality as found on the original M400. Microtron™ Tape 1 for Live also comes packed with 50 professionally performed Live Clips complete with Macro and effects integration.
Microtron™ Tape 1 for Kontakt includes all 3 multisampled instruments complete with effects and a custom KSP user interface. Logic and Kontakt versions both include a collection of 50 professionally performed Apple Loops in SIAL format.
Throughout the 1970s, the Mellotron had a major impact on rock music, particularly the 35 note (G-F) model M400.
The M400 version was released in 1970 and sold over 1800 units, becoming a trademark sound of the era’s progressive bands. Among the early Mellotron owners were Princess Margaret, Peter Sellers, King Hussein of Jordan and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Mellotrons were normally pre-loaded with string instrument and orchestral sounds, although the model 400’s tape bank could be removed with relative ease by the owner and loaded with banks containing different sounds including percussion loops, sound effects, or synthesizer-generated sounds, to generate polyphonic electronically generated sounds in the days before polyphonic synthesizers. Beneath every key is a disengaged tape head and roller. Depressed key engages tape head and roller.
The unique sound of the Mellotron is produced by a combination of characteristics: Among these are tape replay artifacts such as wow and flutter, the result being that each time a note is played, it is slightly different from the previous time it was played (a bit like a conventional instrument). The notes also interact with each other so that chords or even just pairs of notes have an extremely powerful sound.
Another factor in the strangely haunting quality of the Mellotron’s most frequently-heard sounds is that the individual notes were recorded in isolation. For a musician accustomed to playing in an orchestral setting, this was unusual, and meant that he/she had nothing against which to intonate. Thus, the temperament of the Mellotron is always somewhat questionable when it is used in the context of other instruments. Perhaps for this reason, and perhaps also to allow easy transposition of the instrument’s limited range, the pitch control is placed closest to the keyboard on the M400 model.