Microtron captures the saturated orchestral sounds of the Mellotron – the tape-replay instrument made famous by the Beatles, Genesis and other bands.
A ‘60s forerunner to samplers, the original Mellotron M400 worked by playing back magnetic tape recordings of various orchestral instruments. It’s a process that brought with it some distinctive quirks and an unreal-yet-organic character.
Microtron features nine individual multi-sampled instruments. Brass, string, voice and wind instruments are included, plus three full ‘tape’ instruments that let you blend between instrument recordings in the same way as the M400 version.
The instruments are presented in playable Macro-mapped Instrument Racks, along with a collection of more than 150 MIDI clips.
- MK II Flute – the flute is the most recognizable of Mellotron’s sounds. It’s also perhaps the eeriest and most mesmeric, thanks to its dubious pitching, quirky intonation and changing timbres.
- String Section – A combination of violins, viola and cello – layer these multisampled strings together in chords or clusters for some outlandish string effects.
- Brass – Layered trumpets, saxes and a trombone are combined into a seriously beefy sound – as used by King Crimson, Rick Wakeman, The Moody Blues and John Lennon.
- Cello – Renowned for its melancholy timbre, the Cello has a unique character – described by some as “wheezing and groaning”. The Cello sound was originally recorded with a double bassist used for the lower registers.
- Clarinet – Warm and woody in timbre, the Microtron clarinet patch is programmed an octave higher for harmonic layering with other Microtron sounds.
- Glenn Miller – Inspired by the big-band swing sounds of Glenn Miller, these layered brass sounds come warped, flanged and mangled in the classic Mellotron tape style.
- Octave Recorders – Composed of soprano, alto and tenor recorders, this instrument has a solid woody tone with breathy articulations. Playing fast staccato chords will result in a sounds reminiscent of a harmonium.
- French Horn – Big and bluesy-sounding, the French Horn gets its charm from a combination of brassy grit and the Mellotron’s analog tape nuances.
- 8 Voice Choir – This recording of four females and four males was first used in the early ‘70s, then widely adopted by rock groups in the decades that followed.
Pricing and Availability
Microtron is available now for US $39.