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GForce M-Tron

Dolphin id:
28767
Product SKU:
9910-40684-00

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The M-Tron is modelled on the legendary British instrument, the Mellotron ®. This instrument was manufactured in various guises between 1963 and 1986 and was used by artists including The Beatles, The Moody Blues' Mike Pinder, Black Sabbath, Rick Wakeman and Genesis' Tony Banks. The instrument faded into semi-obscurity during the 80's and early 90's, but due, in part, to its evocative and unique nostalgic sound, it was rediscovered and used by artists including Oasis, Radiohead, Kasabian and countless others.

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The M-Tron is modelled on the legendary British instrument, the Mellotron ®. This instrument was manufactured in various guises between 1963 and 1986 and was used by artists including The Beatles, The Moody Blues' Mike Pinder, Black Sabbath, Rick Wakeman and Genesis' Tony Banks. The instrument faded into semi-obscurity during the 80's and early 90's, but due, in part, to its evocative and unique nostalgic sound, it was rediscovered and used by artists including Oasis, Radiohead, Kasabian and countless others.

The principle of the Mellotron was simple - take a 36 note keyboard and have a piece of tape for each note containing real recordings of real players. In this way it was arguably the World's first sampler, with recordings varying from single notes (as in the Flutes sound used on the legendary Strawberry Fields Forever) or entire musical motifs (as in The Beatles' Bungalow Bill). Each sound lasted a maximum of eight seconds before they had to release the note, allowing the tape to rewind. This forced the player to adopt a different technique (often referred to as 'a spider crawling up the keys') and, in turn, this allowed the music to truly breathe.

However, while the sound was undoubtedly magnificent, because of the huge array of moving parts, the instrument's reliability was questionable and the price was expensive. Rick Wakeman regularly recounts a story of becoming so fed up with the unreliability of the instrument, he unceremoniously burned his at the end of a Yes tour.

Purchasing an original M400 now would cost several thousand dollars and would probably only come with the default three sounds, Cello, Flutes and Violins. The M-Tron, on the other hand, costs a fraction of this price and now comes with over 2Gb of sounds that don't require the instrument to be dismantled in order to hear them.

The M-Tron captures all of the character of the original instrument by sampling every note of every key and adhering to the eight second limit of each note. This way, not only do the resultant sounds ebb and flow, all the inherent and nostalgic magic of each sound is closely observed - minor imperfections and all.

Inside Info

Tron-meister Rick Wakeman tells us that during the recording of David Bowie's Space Oddity "The more notes you played, the more strain it put on the motor which then slowed down and changed the pitch of the notes accordingly. Ultimately, to keep the thing in tune during the session, I played chords with the right-hand while tweaking the pitch-knob with the left."

Awards

Since its release the M-Tron has won numerous awards including Future Music Platinum Award, Computer Music Smart Buy Award and Mac Format Must-Have Award and is now available as a boxed product from M-Audio or GForce.

Full Tape bank list

15 Choir, Accordion Chords, Accordion Bass + Violins & Brass, ARP Country, ARP Fuzz, ARP Trombone, Augmented 8 Choir, Bass Accordion, Bassoon, Bassoon & Flute, Birotron Choir, Birotron Organ, Birotron Strings, Birotron Woodwind, Boys Choir, Brass 1, Brass 2, Brass B Revised, Cello, Cello & Strings, Chamberlin Harp 1, Chamberlin Harp 2, Chamberlin Voice, Choir 1, Choir 2, Choir 3, Choir Chords, Church Organ & Choir, Clarinet, Classical Choir, Combined Brass, Double Bass, EFX 2, English Accordion, Flutes, French Horn, Genesis Split, Guitar, Halfspeed Tron, Hammond C3 Slow Leslie, M300 Solo Violins, M300 Strings 1, M300 Violins, Mandolins, Mixed Brass, Megatron, Megatron Organ, Megatron Strings, Male Female Choir, Mixed Choir, MkII Flute, MkII Church Organ, MkII Guitar, MkII Piano, MkII Tenor Sax, MkII Trombone, MkII Violins, MkII Organ No2, MkII Vintage Violins, MkII Violin Orchestra, Moog Bass + Bells, Muted Brass, Oboes, Orchestra, Orchestra & Moog, Pipe Organ, Rhythm 1, Rhythm 2, Rhythm 3, Rhythm 4, Rhythm 5, Rhythm 6, Rhythm 7, Roxy EFX, Sad Strings, Saxophone, Second Flute, Solo Viola, Sound FX 1, Split Choir, St Peters Choir Ah, St Peters Choir Oo, Strings 1, Strings 2, Strings 3, Strings & Choir, String Section, Synth Brass, Synth Trumpet, Tripled 8 Choir, Trombones & Trumpets, Vibes, Viola & Cello, Violins 1, VP330 Choir, VP330 Ensemble, VP330 Males, VP Rhythm 1, VP Rhythm 2, VP Swell, Wine Glass, Woodwind, Yes Strings.

Essential Listening

  • The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever (Flutes)
  • The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin (Violins)
  • Genesis - Dance on a Volcano
  • Los Endos & Entangled (Choirs) & Watcher Of the Skies (Brass and Bass Accordion Mix)
  • Yes - Heart of the Sunrise & And You And I (Strings)
  • Radiohead - Exit Music (Choirs)
  • Putte - Jubel Buben (M-Tron Flutes, Harp Glissandos & Cello)
  • King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King & Starless (Three Violins)
  • Kasabian - ID (M-Tron Choirs)

Selected Quotes

Robert Bell - (The Blue Nile) : "I thought I'd let you know that the folks down at the blue nile laboratories think that M-TRON is a winner..........a total delight..............."

Paul White - Sound On Sound Magazine : "If you're into retro sounds the M-Tron is a must"

Mac Format : "Classic Mellotron sounds from the sixties and seventies without the price, bulk or technical problems."

Rick Wakeman : "Totally authentic. I use it in the studio and live."

Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) : "I just wrote a new National Anthem for Europe that was presented in Brussels at the weekend and I used M-Tron to create the voices on the main theme - very regal and worked fantastically. Thanks again to you for giving me this great software."

Putte : "The fact that I prefer to listen to organic music instead of electronic music brings me close to the M-Tron. I love its sound and wonderful warmth."

Fraser T Smith (Craig David, Plan B) : "I use the M-Tron to massive effect. I love it, it?s amazing. The majority of the stuff I do I end up degrading the sounds. I?m constantly trying to make new stuff sound like old records and the MTron gives you that."

This plugin is available in the following standards

Formats

  • Stand-alone or host use-VST 2.0
  • (PC/MasOS9/MacOSX), AU (MacOSX)

    System Requirements
  • Windows
    • Intel Pentium II 300MHz with 96MB RAM
    • Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, and XP
    • VST 2.0 or RTAS compatible host application for plug-in operation
  • Macintosh
    • PowerMac G3 with 128MB RAM
    • OS X
    • VST 2.0, RTAS, or Audio Unit compatible host application for plug-in operation
    • VST 2.0 - Windows : For use with all VST-compatible host (Cubase, Ableton Live, EnergyXT, Tracktion...)
    • AudioUnits - Mac OS X : For use on Logic Audio, Ableton Live, Digital Performer and any AU-compatible host

Core features

  • Over 2GB of sounds (over 100 tapebanks) recorded from real Mellotron, Birotron, Novatron & Chamberlin instruments including strings, choirs, flutes, accordions, mandolins, oboes, brass, vibes, rhythms and many more ultra-rare sounds.
  • Volume, tone, and pitch controls
  • Attack and release envelope
Image: GForce M-Tron

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