GForce Software has announced the release of M-Tron MkII which they describe as "a celebration of the original mother of all 'trons".
Here's what they say:
To us, a truly iconic instrument is defined by both its creators and the cultural landscape of an era and we're as fascinated by the stories behind many instruments as the instruments themselves. This is why we are thrilled to announce the GForce M-Tron MkII, a celebration and realisation of an instrument based on the insanely rare and highly coveted original mother of all 'trons, the Mellotron MkI/MkII.
After the success of the world's first 'Tron plug-in (M-Tron), and our subsequent long term relationship with the original UK manufacturers Streetly Electronics, we decided to develop a plug-in based on the holy grail of 'trons, the MkII - an instrument that changed the face of music forever despite being manufactured in very limited quantities. The M-Tron MkII is designed to complement GForce Software's M-Tron Pro.
Originally conceived as the ultimate Home Entertainment Console, the UK made 1963 MkI/MkII was a dual manual tape based instrument where the left manual's 35 notes replayed a combination of 18 Rhythms and Accompaniments (66 on the GForce M-Tron MkII *) and the right manual (also 35 notes) replayed 18 lead sounds (66 on M-Tron MkII *).
King Hussein of Jordan, Princess Margaret & L Ron Hubbard bought into the MkII's Home Entertainment concept. But in much the same way as a younger generation reshaped music using Roland TB-303's & TR-909's in fresh and imaginative ways, so too did The Beatles, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Genesis, The Rolling Stones, who catapulted its magnificently grainy tones into the public consciousness via Strawberry Fields Forever, The Court Of The Crimson King, Watcher of the Skies, Nights In White Satin and 2000 Light Years From Home.
All the sounds on the GForce M-Tron MkII are sourced from the MKI, MKII and Chamberlin Tape Archive curated by Martin Smith who prepared the recordings for this project. With these tapes undergoing extensive, but sympathetic tape restoration and tempo remapping, on M-Tron MkII both microphone and DI'd recorded versions of the lead tapes now sit side-by-side with combinations of rhythms and accompaniments, the latter of which can be synchronised to your host tempo and transposed to fit into your own compositions.
What's more, M-Tron MkII features a Dual Rhythm Mode where you can layer two Rhythms and Accompaniments from the Chamberlin and Melly MkI & II to create a fusion of hybrid rhythms and motifs.
We've also taken care not to iron out the character of the original tapes so the contrast between US and UK recordings is a joy to behold... warts and all.
In live playing situations, ideally we recommend an 88 note keyboard for the authentic MkII experience. Alternatively, you can use two smaller keyboards with each assigned to a different MIDI channel.
M-Tron MkII is completely indispensable for TV and Film Composers wanting instant access to nostalgic rhythms and accompaniments recorded in the 1950s & 60s, firstly by the Laurence Welk Orchestra for the Chamberlin in the USA, and later by the Eric Robinson Orchestra for Melly's in the UK. These immediately transport the listener back to days gone by and can be used for the basis of a track or shoehorned into existing compositions.
Regardless of whether you use the rhythms and accompaniments or choose to focus on the leads, the MkII is guaranteed to inject instant vintage feel into any modern, or period based composition.
* Some sounds appeared on both the MkI and MkII.
M-Tron MkII – key features:
- Rhythms, Accompaniments & Lead sounds from the 1960's dual-manual Chamberlin & Mellotron MkI & MkII.
- 132 tape-banks, several of which have never been previously released.
- Over 4500 individual samples curated from The Streetly Archives.
- Over 150 Patches.
- Rhythm / Accompaniment & Lead mode, plus Dual Rhythm / Accompaniment mode.
- Parallel Trigger option for Rhythms, Accompaniments or both.
- Rhythm & Accompaniment Host Sync, Transposition, Tape Half Speed, Tape 2s-Rewind Time, Tape Reverse and Pan.
- Individual key edit control (tape start, detune, tape pan, key click), & key edit presets save and recall.
- Chord Finder visual-aid for playing matched Rhythms and Accompaniments.
Intro Price: $279.99 (Reg. $349.99).