Puremagnetik has released Microtron XL - a bundle of three tapes from Puremagnetik's popular Microtron series. All of the original performance nuances of the Mellotron M400 have been captured through a Neumann U47 Microphone and Reeves Custom 50 Amplifier.
Microtron XL integrates seamlessly into Ableton Live 8, Kontakt 3/4 and Logic 8/9. It comes packed with a palette of 9 instruments and over 1 Gigabyte of multisample content.
The Ableton Live version contains 9 individual multisampled instruments and a full "tape" instrument that has similar sound blending functionality as found on the original M400. Microtron XL also includes over 150 professionally performed phrases complete with Macro and effects integration.
Microtron XL for Kontakt includes all 9 multisampled instruments complete with effects and a custom KSP user interface. Logic and Kontakt versions both come with a collection of over 150 professionally performed Apple Loops in SIAL format.
Microtron XL includes the following instruments as programmed from the original tapes:
- MK II Flute - Undoubtedly the sound that defines Mellotron, the MKII flute instantly conjures images of 1967 Abbey Road. Not only the most famous Mellotron sound, but perhaps the eeriest, the MKII flute's dubious pitching has been in question throughout the decades. The change in timbre (they say two flutes were used) and odd intonation only adds to the haunting and mesmerizing character of this timeless sound.
- Octave Recorders - The Octave Recorder is a newer sound composed of soprano, alto and tenor recorders. Playing fast staccato chords on this one can make it sound a bit like a harmonium. It has a solid woody tone with breathy articulations and is definitely a contender to fill up the mix with some organic elements.
- Cello - Renown for its melancholy timbre and described by some as "wheezing and groaning" the Cello sound was originally recorded in the 1960s. A double bassist was used for the lower registers. Apparently the original session cellist did not wish to detune his cello for fear of damaging the instrument. Nonetheless, the Microtron Cello recording is undoubtedly a unique character in the tape library.
- Clarinet - The original Mk1 Clarinet that was discontinued but re-introduced for Puremagnetik's Microtron series. Warm and woody, the Microtron clarinet has an authentic sound that captures a vintage flavor all its own. The Microtron clarinet patch is programmed an octave higher for quick harmonic layering with other Microtron sounds.
- French Horn - Big and brassy, the Microtron French Horn is a uniquely expressive addition to the Microtron collection.
- Glenn Miller - Glenn Miller disappeared from the radar in 1944, but now he has returned for one last swingin' arrangement in your DAW. Glenn Miller inspires hours of fun and creativity with layered brass sounds, warped, flanged and mangled in the classic Mellotron tape style.
- Brass - The recorded combined output of two saxophones, two trumpets and a trombone, this is a powerful and punchy sound much beloved of King Crimson, Rick Wakeman, The Moody Blues and even John Lennon who thoughtfully recorded most of a demo of 'Strawberry Fields Forever' using the black Mellotron Mk II he kept on his half landing. Never fails to impress. Never fails to scare small children either.
- 8 Voice Choir - Certainly one of the major 'classic' Mellotron sounds, and perhaps the most arresting, this recording of four females and four males was first used in the early 1970s with the advent of the M400 and was widely used by rock groups who found that the sound of a Mellotron was a bit better than the sound of their chronic off-key harmonising.
- String Section - A combination of violins, viola and cello, these multisampled strings are pre-arranged to sound huge. Layer them together in chords or clusters for some outlandish string effects.
Microtron XL costs $29. It requires Ableton Live 8.2.1+, Kontakt 3.5+ or Logic 8+.