This is a quick demo of Ellatron – an iOS virtual Mellotron – being controlled via MIDI.
Here at the details:
A small group of people will remember our first MIDI video about 10 months ago that needed a jailbroken iPhone. Well here is the real thing.
Filmed by iPod Touch, here are a few of the features of the Ella MIDI implementation – 3 voices at once (upper, lower and pads), all can be played concurrently if you have enough hands or somebody else around/on stage who can hit the pads. Programmable keyboard split for upper and lower, programmable chord pads if your keyboard supports it (and the Axiom 49 has 8 of them – mighty useful). Ella can be seen responding to controllers on the keyboard with on-screen information keeping you up to date, and controllers are used to change voices, volume, pitch, tone, reverb parameters, and level/pan for each of the upper, lower and pad instruments.
Ellatron and the Lite Trons now all feature the same rich reverb unit first seen in M3000, and the MIDI Ellatron is going to hit the shops with a handful of the real Tron voices from M3000, albeit with the usual limitations – shorter loop times, major third sampling intervals etc. Mellotron purists, or indeed anyone who wants a real Tron will still want the M3000, but people who just want a handful of Tron sounds for occasionally spicing up a song will love the new Ella.
Plus the MIDI implementation is ultra-responsive, despite this being a debug build and having a dozen printfs per played note – printfs going over WiFi to the Mac, because you can’t really printf with an attached dock accessory…
A bit more work to do on the user interface to de-stupid it (e.g. “What is” … “This For?” on the left!), an upgrade to the saved/restored preferences file, and we will be ready to roll out for testing. If all goes well we should be good to go by early December.
Another great film by Martin Gustafsson. This is from the sessions at Roth Händle with swedish band Anima Morte.
A major advantage of using tape strips, as opposed to tape loops or cassettes is that the Mellotron can reproduce the attack and decay of the instruments recorded on the tape.
A consequence of the eight second limit on the duration of each note is that if one wants to play chords that last longer than eight seconds, one must release different notes in sequence in a process that has been compared to a spider crawling across the keyboard.
The earlier MKI and MKII models contained two side-by-side keyboards: The right keyboard accessed 18 “lead/instrument” sounds such as strings, flutes, and brass; The left keyboard played pre-recorded musical rhythm tracks in various styles.
The tape banks for the later, lighter-weight M400 models contain only three selectable sounds including (typically) strings, cello, and an eight-voice choir. The sound on each individual tape piece was recorded at the pitch of the key to which it was assigned. To make up for the fewer sounds available, the M400 tapes came in a removable frame that allowed for relatively quick changes to new racks of sounds.
The Moody Blues’ Mike Pinder talking about and playing the Mellotron at the documentary double feature for Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie and On The Threshold of a Dream in Los Angeles, 2010
Sonic Reality CEO Dave Kerzner talks about IK Multimedia SampleTron and the adventures of recording the real deal instruments – including the Smellotron.
SampleTron is a new virtual instrument from IK Multimedia and Sonic Reality that combines the authentic recreation of “Tron” sounds such as Mellotrons, Chamberlins, and Optigans with the powerful SampleTank engine to take those nostalgic sounds into the new millenium. No other product allows you to manipulate, process and stretch such gritty, emotional and quirky lofi sounds like SampleTron. It’s a virtual instrument made for many styles from hip hop to electronic to classic rock and offers some of the most unique musically useful tones you can imagine. From the nostalgic sounds used by The Beatles, Moody Blues, Genesis, Yes and other rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s to the modern production of artists like Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins and Beck to new sonic creations now possible only with SampleTron, the sounds in this package are diverse, powerful and inspiring!
Streetly Electronics, designers and manufacturers of the original mellotron and Omenie, creators of Ellatron for iPhone and iPad, are delighted to announce their first joint development, Mellotronics M3000 HD.
The M3000 is a truly remarkable digital musical instrument for iPhone OS. The M3000 features 13 voices sampled from Streetly Electronics’ production tapes. These are the same tapes that featured on Strawberry Fields Forever, Nights in White Satin, Watcher of the Skies, Odessey and Oracle and hundreds more timeless, classic records.
All 35 notes of each tape set are sampled, and all the character of the classic mellotron sound has been retained. All 35 keys are on-screen and available at once, so anything that can be played on a mellotron can be played on the M3000. In fact the M3000 is even more flexible than a true mellotron because it includes Ellatron’s 12 programmable chord pads. The M3000 also supports 4 in-memory voices at one time, with independent keyboard and chordpad voices. The inclusion of a rich, spacious onboard reverb unit allows the M3000 to be used as a recording or performance instrument with no outboard effects chain.
Martin Smith of Streetly Electronics, says “I was amazed to hear our classic sounds coming out of the iPad. This is the truest, most playable digital mellotron for iPhone OS, and it has to be heard to be believed.”
Free Windows Music Software: Artifake_Labs has introduced a free software synthesizer, RedTron_MKV, that emulates the Mellotron MKV (essentially a double M400), one of the rarest Mellotrons ever made.
- Realistic user interface.
- Six sound types : 3 Violins, 8-Voice Choir, Flute, Brass, String Section, Cello.
- “Loop” and “Non-Loop” modes : as the original “Mellotron”, each sound is eight seconds long but you can switch to “Loop Mode” and allows the samples to loop continuously.
- Layer possibilities & independent parameters for layer A & B:
- Volume, Tone, Reverb, Delay, Pan, Octave, Note & Attack parameters.
- Delay effect (Amount, Time, Feedback & Pan parameters).
- Reverb effect (Mix, Width, Size & Damp parameters).
- Pitch control
- Can be used as Soundfont Player to mix any .sf2 file with “Tron sounds” or to extend the sound palette.
If you like noise, and you know how to use it for music, the synthesizer MelloFAN exactly what you need. With this synthesizer you can perform music on an ordinary household fan.
- Adjustable «melodiousness»;
- Adjustable frequency and amount of rotation;
- LP filter.
“Ellatron version 1.2 is now submitted to the App Store, and the big introductions with this version are -
* Chord Mode – 8 programmable chords
* Fat keys – much improved playability when in chord mode via the single-octave keyboard
* Save/restore of settings and modes
Big improvements on every release, 22 voices, and groovy 1960s goodness – Ellatron remains the one must-own synth for the iPhone.”
GMedia releases its new virtual instrument : the M-Tron Pro. Building on the legacy of the original M-Tron, the M-Tron Pro software delivers hundreds of additional sounds, providing instant access to the distinctive tones popularized by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, The Moody Blues, Radiohead and other luminaries.
- 200+ total tape banks (sample sets), including :
. 19 tape banks from M-Tron virtual instrument, re-mastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios.
. Over 40 looped tape banks.
. Over 3.5GB of samples total.
- 700+ patches including many created by world-class recording artists and programmers.
- Up to 35 notes, each individually sampled.
- Dual layer and split keyboard operation.
- Programmable MIDI CC response via MIDI Learn.
- Controllable via MIDI controllers such as the M-Audio Axiom and Oxygen models.
- 29 parameters per layer including synth parameters :
. Low-pass, band-pass and high-pass resonant filter section.
. Tape reverse.
. Tape half speed.
- Supports standalone, RTAS and VST on Windows XP/SP2, Vista 32, Vista 64.
- Supports standalone, RTAS, AU and VST on OSX 10.4.x, OSX 10.5.x.
The M-Tron Pro virtual instrument is a remarkable emulation of the classic Mellotron — the unique tape playback keyboard made famous by such luminaries as The Beatles, Yes, Led Zeppelin and The Moody Blues.
The 3.5GB sound library features over 200 tape banks (sample sets) including those from the M-Tron, 19 of which have been remastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios resulting in a warmth of tone surpassing the originals.
M-Tron Pro also delivers 45 brand-new tape banks and over 700 patches, many created by world-class recording artists and programmers. Utilise the patches or open the lid to access G:sampler’s easy editing controls for layers, splits, reverse, halfspeed and much more. It can be used in standalone mode (Mac/PC) or as a plug-in for most popular host applications.
The exhibition MAGICAL SOUND MACHINES relates the (hi)stories of sound generators, sound recorders and sound transmitters. The extensive presentation will kiss awake ariston, mellotron, rhythmicon and many other, partly forgotten sound machines from their hundred-year sleep so that young and old, the general public and experts alike can experience and enjoy them on an interactive discovery tour.
MAGICAL SOUND MACHINES is an exhibition against oblivion. By means of the objects displayed the IMA Institute of Media Archaeology traces an exemplary history of our media age, with special attention being paid to technical as well as musical and artistic developments. The exhibited objects enchant with their (hi)stories, design and the visions connected to them and their inventors and users.