The TronPi – A Mellotron Emulator For The Raspberry Pi Computer

The TronPi is a Mellotron emulator, based on the $35 Raspberry Pi computer.

The TronPi has the 4 classic Tron sounds: Choir, Strings, Brass and Flute. The TronPi is controlled with a standard USB/MIDI Keyboard and doesn’t have any perceptible latency.

All the audio in this video was taken straight from the Raspberry PI’s audio output, no further processing was added to the source. It’s straight out of the computer. The reverb ambience you hear on the recordings is built in the sampler and adjustable.

The computer boots in 30 seconds or so. It supports MIDI program changes and once loaded, program changes are instant, no lag.

via Marc Girard

16 thoughts on “The TronPi – A Mellotron Emulator For The Raspberry Pi Computer

  1. What a nice oasis in a hurricane of iffy apps and throwaway toys. If all you want are the Big Four, its worth buying a Pi for that use alone. Hats off for getting the sounds so right!

  2. That is truly awesome! The power of the Pi is very impressive. I wonder if it is possible to build a workstation using one? A PiLight perhaps?

  3. This is a HOAX. The ‘TronPi’ is still not available for download (author claims some BS about copyright on the samples). There no Pi board in evidence in the video. It would be nearly impossible to get this sort of zero-latency, real time playing using a Pi. The whole thing stinks.

  4. Playing Mellotron soundfonts on the Pi using the open source Fluidsynth works perfectly fine. You have to be capable of learning a few command line commands, but I’ve found ti to work perfectly for me using both a cheapo USB-MIDI cable and the Phonic Digitrack USB DAC. You need to know that stuff to use the Pi anyway. Using either the Pi’s headphone out (lo fi) or the HDMI sound would work fine as well. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

    1. No sorry Erikur. The TronPI is bullshit. It doesn’t use Fluidsynth or anything else because it doesn’t actually exist. Marc Girard’s website has also disappeared. Shenanigans.

      You just can’t get the polyphony and responsiveness shown here with the RPi that was available at the time this video was made. I’m a big fan of the Mellotron and I have done considerable research into designing a digital emulation.

      The renditions of the classics he ‘plays’ are uncannily accurate and exactly to time with the original tracks – uncannily so. His fingers are not in the right places as he ‘plays’ the pieces (unless he has the thing very strangely tuned). I can play the intro to ‘Watcher’ fluently and this doesn’t look right at all.

      I think Marc Girard is a liar.

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