Keyboard guys: how to get down with Mellotron sounds?

Messages
3,977
I have a Yamaha P70 MIDI controller and a PowerBook laptop... I don't really use them together for much right now...

I want some Mellotron sounds- is my best bet to get something like this:



An M-Audio wireless 37 key MIDI controller and M-Audio "M-Tron" Mellotron program, or would I be better off with another soft-synth and a CD of the mellotron sounds for each key? The keyboard is about $250 and the M-Tron software is about $100. This is one of the only keyboard MIDI controllers that would be ideal for the Mellotron's 35 note range that I could find available anywhere. Wireless might be pretty nifty (though I might still just plug it straight in). Might be more convenient for Sibelius work than the 88 key P70, too, with the wireless and whatnot. The knobs might be able to be assigned to switching between the mellotron sounds from the M-Tron program from the keyboard, too, which would be great...

The Memotron looks awesome, but is very expensive for a one-piece solution and I have read that it's not really still in production. I don't hold out much hope for finding a real mellotron that I could afford or afford to maintain... Thanks.
 

Sebastian

Member
Messages
282
I am not a keyboard expert, by any means, and don't geek out on keyboard gear as much as I do on guitar gear, but I've been very pleased with the M-Tron software. I think they sampled a real Mellotron for the sounds, though I may be mistaken. It would make sense--the files are huge. 4 CDs for the instruments. I think it's playing back wav files.

I didn't do a ton of research about the "best" mellotron out there. I listened to some various on-line sound samples, and the M-Tron sounded good to me, so I went with that. It's going to be on a number of songs on our new record. When it works, it works. And when it doesn't...you know right away.

You can run it in stand-alone mode, so using it with a laptop and MIDI keyboard would work live. Not sure what the good controllers are. I'm triggering it off a Roland Fantom through Pro Tools.
 

Cygnus

Member
Messages
681
I'm using a lot of mellotron sounds in my music (strings, choir, flute, cello...) and I use the M-Tron plugin with all the cd-banks. It's my favourite plugin of all the time!! It really give you THE sound.

I also have the EMU Vintage Keys rom card with some great beautiful vintage sounds but it's a cleaner sound than the original Mellotron. It can be useful sometimes.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,561
M-Tron is the key. Absolutely worth it, it recreates pretty much every sound ever on a tape bank- cheesy bossa nova rhythms and all.

if you want more sounds, Sonik Synth has a mellotron bank too, of the most famous melltron sounds- the Yes strings, intro to 'watcher of the skies', and the strawberry flutes.
 

michael dukes

Member
Messages
298
Steve,

I am a huge fan of Mellotrons, and also a huge fan of M-Tron. It's just killer, a real labor of love and cheap for all it gives you. They hunted down every existing tape set, so there's all kinds of oddball wonderful stuff in addition to the usual suspect strings, flutes and choirs. They sampled every key, too. Some sets are from the early Trons with internal speakers, some from the later models with line outs. Lots of character left intact - wobble, odd detuning, etc. Just amazing.

I simply can't imagine you not being happy with this plugin. If you want to come hear it at my place before purchasing, give me a shout.
 
Messages
3,977
I just ordered M-Tron (and some new foam inserts for my Shure E2c earphones) from Amazon. I may get a smaller dedicated controller that has a closer number of keys as a Mellotron (my P70 has 88 keys), that M-Audio wireless one looks nifty, but for now, I'll just try it out with the P70. I don't imagine the original Mellotrons had weighted keys, but it will be fun all the same in the meantime. Thanks for the replies.
 
Messages
3,977
OK, so I got M-Tron the other day. It's freaking great. The attack of some of the sounds isn't super realistic, but when you get to holding chords and using patterns/figures, especially with some sustained notes, it is awesome. My favorites so far are MkII Church, MkII Flutes, MkII Vintage Violins, MkII Vintage Orchestra and most of the solo string/ small string ensemble settings. Lots of crazy stuff (sound effects & rhythms, etc).

I am just using my P70 with it right now, I think I may get that M-Audio controller that is much closer to the range of this instrument.

A couple of questions:

-There is no way to assign presets or control them from a MIDI controller apparently, is there at least a way that I can make the window bigger on the screen if I'm going to have to use the laptop mouse to change sounds?

-I only installed the stand-alone version. I think the VST version (included) will work with Garage Band (1st edition, I'm on a Mac from 2003). If I export some of my sibelius music arrangements from sibelius as raw .mid files, can I have them played through the M-Tron VST sounds and record that? I realize there is a limited range. I can split those notes off into a separate score and record them with regular string sounds if need be, but I think some of these vintage string sounds would actually sound awesome for some arrangements over the modern computer MIDI Kontakt Player Silver that came with Sibelius. Ideas? Yes? No? I have never used a soft-synth before.
 

Sebastian

Member
Messages
282
I use the M-Tron in Pro Tools, but for Garageband, wouldn't you just install the AU (Audio Units) version? That's the Garageband plugin format. I'm not familiar with Garageband, but I'm pretty sure you can't use a VST plugin with it (not sure if it's sophisticated enough to take a VST to AU wrapper, but that's unnecessary if you use AU).

I'd check the install disk and see if there is an AU version, and if not, I bet you could download one from G-Media. Then you install it, or just drag it into the Garageband plugins folder. /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components?

I don't think you can re-size the window...Did you play with the attack/release times? I think by nature the Mellotron attack is...different.

Not sure about importing Midi files...again, not familiar enough with GB.
 

Johan15

Member
Messages
4
Sebastian, I have garageband and was wondering if I could use the M-Tron for it. I also saw free mellotron VST plugins on Tweekbench. I'm confused on what I should do.

I'm going to get a MIDI converter cable so i can use my Moog Little Phatty as a MIDI controller. Do I need to get Logic Express or a more sophisticated program before I'll ever get some mellotron sounds?
 




Trending Topics

Top