SJ_Digriz wrote: JCJR wrote:
Totally accurate, and wrong at the same time
Like a lot of keyboards, it's what got done outside the box that made it great. Although I do curse it for basically inventing sampling which led to rap and hip hop. Kind of like inventing nuclear energy to power the world, only to find it was really just for flattening cities.
Oh yeah, to make a mellotron or solina sound even remotely like strings in a record demanded seriously skilled studio voodoo. Considering the state of the art in mix consoles at the time, dunno even what would have been needed to for instance drop mellotron into a muscle shoals R&B song and fool people into assuming it is an orchestra. Many rock records, for instance it is rather unapologetically mellotron in such as moody blues early music but there were many "mainstream" hit records I just assumed were real strings back then. Listen years later to realize, "Damn, thats a mellotron. How'd they do that?"
Sometimes studio miracles got performed making solina fool ya into assuming it is real strings in records. IMO that would have been even more difficult. On many rock records they didn't even try to hide what it was, such as Gary Wright. Flaunting that cheezy midrange churning sound. But for instance there were some Chicago hit records in the mid-70's I just assumed were real strings, but later on read somewhere that it was solina. Maybe cunning EQ and drowning it in high quality genuine room reverb chamber was all that was needed, dunno.
Both also needed to be played either by an arranger with understanding of the role of strings in the song, or at least played by a keyboardist reading what an arranger wrote. After decades of samplers, nowadays many keyboardists "get it". But back then a pianist might try to play mellotron like a piano and an organist might try to play it like an organ, both doomed to failure in emulating strings, flutes or choir.
I never wanted a solina but in the 1970's would have taken a mellotron in a heartbeat given sufficient money and a stable studio to park it in. Back then could justify spending money on axes for gigging but seemed impractical to carry a mellotron to gigs.
As said in the original comment, it wouldn't be worth finding space in the house to install a mellotron nowadays. As best i recall any mellotron lust was gone by 1980 or earlier.