The M4000D Mini Digital Mellotron

This video, keyboardmag1, takes a look at the new M4000D Mini Digital Mellotron keyboard. 

The M4000D MINI Mellotron was developed to meet the needs of keyboardists who want a small, light digital Mellotron. The Mini is also designed to fit perfectly on top of the regular M4000D to make a dual-manual Mellotron.

Features:

  • High-quality semi-weighted Fatar piano style keyboard with velocity sensitivity. No aftertouch.
  • Lightweight sheet metal cabinet, fits perfectly on the M4000D, total weight only 21 pounds (9.5 kg).
  • Same output signals as the M4000D, but only unbalanced 1/4″ connectors.
  • The weight is 9.5 kg instead of 17.5 kg for the regular M4000D.
  • Dimensions: 807x329x76 mm

For more information, see the Mellotron site.

30 thoughts on “The M4000D Mini Digital Mellotron

    1. This probably sounds more accurate than M-Tron, because this version employs 24-bit resolution, whereas M-Tron surely applies some compression to get so much into a 3.5 gb library. OTOH, I’ve played a real ‘tron and both do justice to the real thing. M-Tron Pro has 500 sounds in it, most more usable than you’d think. There are a few warts in the library, but its the broadest and most logical solution for mortals. I’ve played it for a year and have nothing but praise for its accuracy and ease of use.

      Keep in mind that the M4000D Mini is a niche boutique instrument for pros and studios, plus those brave few who want it in tank form. It doesn’t seem all that overpriced if you’re ‘tron-centric enough, since it comes from a serious source. If you go for a software solution, M-Tron has the larger and more traditional library, where SampleTron leans towards letting you really trick the sound out with some added synth-type parameters. Its all a matter of degree. Anyone who doesn’t have $5k for a real Mellotron, raise your hand. Me neither! 😀

      1. are you talking about sampletron from sample tank?
        from what I’ve heard of that one it wasn’t that great, maybe I need to give it another listen?

        1. Yeah. SampleTron is IK Multimedia’s offering. Its not always as easy to audition things in as much depth as you’d like, but still important. IKM’s instruments have proven to be good and stable, but also more bread-&-butter, with less of the out-there patches some synth types want. IMO, if you want the means to massage & personalize a basic ‘tron sound with more synth parameters, IKM does that well. If you want the fuller library- especially if you’d also like some Optigan and Orchestron options- then M-Tron is the better choice. I just love the unique sound, with an ear towards Tom Waits’ comment about the Chamberlin: “Its a beautiful instrument that dies a little every time you play it.” That’s the #1 plus with any soft-‘tron: no tape snarls (even one stops you dead), no tape-head alignment issues and no 200-pound beast the roadies want to drop ON you for all of the obvious reasons.

    1. I disagree. Its only a “joke” if you are Mellotron-mad and can’t afford one. There are also multiple cheap-to-free software sources if you just want the Big Three sounds. It helps a lot if you’ve scrimped and sweated for a more upscale instrument, to subsequently play with the big boys a little more. I finally landed a pro workstation that really upped my game, part of that being the lesson of when to go for the top item and how to buy budget things with a more informed ear. I’ve had that same GAS and made many MIDI mistakes, but that central, high-end instrument taught me how to build a working platform and integrate modules & etc. That don’t come in a box from Roland! Also, last I heard, it was no sin to have the bucks for several decent instruments, as long as you don’t just use them for cat pedestals.

      Its not like I don’t understand. I still plan to buy the XKey 37, because the 25-noter is such a winner for me, but I gulped when I saw that the 37 is $200, double the first one’s price. Then I laughed. With this much musical power casually at hand, bitching over it is like being handed the keys to the Batmobile and then asking if it comes in RED.

  1. seems to come with only 100 sounds, and another 100 sounds on an expansion card sold separately, correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the M-Tron Pro software come with much more than 100 sounds?

  2. Looks cool. With it, I’m not sure how it’s better than truly wonderful & rich SampleTron by IK Multimedia (I use it for years – inspiring samples/sounds!)

  3. I’ve heard all of the mellotron apps on the iPad, haven’t heard any that are as good as this, but M-Tron pro might be an entirely different story.

  4. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Who asked for this…I mean really, WHO????????
    And for this price, this is so limited, get the plugin and a controller.

    OMG, they aren’t gonna sell many of these.

  5. Wow, not cheap but damn, it sounds really good. The expansion sounds are great too. And backlit steel needs to become the new black. That’s hot.

  6. I would start mention, that I like this ”white smooth design”

    Wait, a digital Mellotron isn’t that just another word for “Rompler”?

    You cannot argue about “analog sound” as this “digital Mellotron” isn’t based on tapes.

    Seen on features has Mellotron not followed upon time. For far under 2.000 eu is it possible to get a rompler or sampler, which can do much more than this unit.

    1. It is odd all this, what is a digital mellotron? Like you say, it is a rompler, a multi-sample sample bank. The reason why the Mellotron died was because it was a bit rubbish at what it did. And don’t get me wrong, I love the Mellotron, but it was a clumsy solution than was deeply fragile, especially compared to a new world of digital sampling – as much as I love the Mellotron I’d need to be a wealthy loon to consider owning an original as an instrument. When I could really get a great multi-sample library for peanuts, or any quality sounds, a half decent sampler, and knock myself out with overdrive, tape sim, distortion, etc – to have a Mellotron they couldn’t make nor people afford. If the question ever was, ‘does it sound like an original Mellotron?’ Then the answer is, ‘no, it is digital, it therefore sounds so much better!

  7. I played the non-mini version a few years at Musicmesse and although M-Tron gets you 99% there, there’s something immediate about this keyboard version that makes you want to play it. It’s beautifully made and definitely sold as a premium instrument. Loads of cheaper alternatives if you just want the sounds though.

    1. Precisely, the Mellotron can be called the world’s first and perhaps only analog sampler. It’s a dream of mine to create a modern analog sampler. It tends to get complicated. Phrases like “steampunk” keep cropping up.

    2. Its not mere marketing when its spearheaded by a man who is also a central preservation hub for any Mellotron masters and included some totally new ‘tron user/fan sounds in the expansion card. I suspect part of that price is used to keep the archives in good shape. Its not just a bedroom project in a box. Also note that a new, REAL Mellotron runs $5-6k. A $2k digital version or a $140 software version looks reeeeeal good after you’ve struggled to swap out a tape frame in a dusty M400. Its not the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon, so yeah, I love me some digital. 😛

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