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Mellotron M4000D vs Mtron Pro
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Spectral Climax
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11th November 2010
Old 11th November 2010
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Mellotron M4000D vs Mtron Pro

Why would someone buy a Mellotron M4000D instead of Mtron Pro? Do I miss something? Mtron Pro sounds remarkably great...
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11th November 2010
Old 11th November 2010
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latency
Spectral Climax
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11th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wefandango View Post
latency
!! I believe that the original Mellotron had much more latency compared to the Mtron...
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11th November 2010
Old 11th November 2010
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For some people an instrument is about more than just the sound. I'd rather have a self-contained, standalone instrument than software + PC/Host + dongle + audio interface + controller + cables.
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Spectral Climax
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11th November 2010
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Originally Posted by 100th Monkey View Post
For some people an instrument is about more than just the sound. I'd rather have a self-contained, standalone instrument than software + PC/Host + dongle + audio interface + controller + cables.

This is fair...but really, would you pay almost $2K for this, instead of an almost excellent software at a ridiculous price? I would prefer to buy a Nord Wave at that price if I wanted Mellotron sounds inside a hardware.
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11th November 2010
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imho Mtron Pro is very good.
the samples can be a bit of a dog to work into a dense mix at times, and there's some upper-midrange/lower-high frequency junk it spits out that I always have to EQ away, and the filters are very meh... still it is one of the best values in VSTs because of the sheer amount of tape banks and because the presumably better-sounding alternatives are much more expensive.
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11th November 2010
Old 11th November 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectral Climax View Post
This is fair...but really, would you pay almost $2K for this, instead of an almost excellent software at a ridiculous price? I would prefer to buy a Nord Wave at that price if I wanted Mellotron sounds inside a hardware.
It really depends on what I was after. If I wanted something that gave me the closest approximation to the feel of a real Mellotron then the M4000D, and to a lesser extent the Memotron, is the only way to go.
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12th November 2010
Old 12th November 2010
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I find Sampletron has a bit more mojo and seems more flexible than the M-Tron Pro...it is more expensive, but in my opinion, justifiably so.
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28th November 2010
Old 28th November 2010
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Real Deal

There is also the aspect of how the real deal makes you play because of its "klunkiness" and limited keyboard range. The thing actually pushes back at your fingers when you press a key down due to the tapehead hitting the tape !!! It makes you feel like your playing some wild contraption (which it is !) and changes your attitude... which can change the notes you select to play, your timing, etc.

Some people shy away from it because of these traits, others can't get enough of it.

Markus Resch, the guy who owns the Mellotron name and is still making the real deal, has incorporated the strange "in-between settings" with his digital version in order to capture some of the traits of the real ones. Plus, I think he owns all of the original Mellotron tapes to pull his samples from.

The 4000D has a short keyboard which can change a players note selection a bit. For live playing, the 4000D is it's own entity (some touring acts and their techs really prefer this) as opposed to a program running on an OS.

The M4000D Digital Mellotron

Here's a great film about the whole thing [I think it even has modern players taking the the tops off and reaching in and bending notes !!!]

Mellotron : The Mellotron Documentary. A Film by Dianna Dillworth
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1st January 2011
Old 1st January 2011
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I've now owned the M-Tron software, the Memotron from Manikin and just took delivery on the Markus Resch MELLOTRON 4000D.

THERE IS NO COMPARISON! I am not an audiophile whatsoever, but there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in the quality of the samples in the Mellotron 4000D. 24-bit sampling was the way to go. It's probably as close to having real tape in the machine as possible. It's made out of wood...it's a beautiful machine. The feel of the keys, as well, is pretty stunning.

Look, it's an expensive machine. I sold off my Memotron to buy the 4000D (an even swap, I might add). Markus has outdone himself.

Yes...the MTron is good, as is the Memotron. But all I can say is, I WILL NEVER SELL the 4000D. It is stellar. End story.
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1st January 2011
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well now

Quote:
Originally Posted by glechowski View Post
I've now owned the M-Tron software, the Memotron from Manikin and just took delivery on the Markus Resch MELLOTRON 4000D.

THERE IS NO COMPARISON! I am not an audiophile whatsoever, but there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in the quality of the samples in the Mellotron 4000D. 24-bit sampling was the way to go. It's probably as close to having real tape in the machine as possible. It's made out of wood...it's a beautiful machine. The feel of the keys, as well, is pretty stunning.

Look, it's an expensive machine. I sold off my Memotron to buy the 4000D (an even swap, I might add). Markus has outdone himself.

Yes...the MTron is good, as is the Memotron. But all I can say is, I WILL NEVER SELL the 4000D. It is stellar. End story.
Glad to read this.
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31st August 2012
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Any further word on the 4000D? Are they still being made and available to buy? If so, where? There's not much info on the net.
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1st September 2012
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No one? I'm jonesing for this thing.
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3rd September 2012
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I answered my own question, or rather Markus did. They're still being made as one-offs - $2,999. 5 week wait. It's tough to justify that kind of cash when I already have M-tron.
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3rd September 2012
Old 3rd September 2012
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Originally Posted by elambo View Post
It's tough to justify that kind of cash when I already have M-tron.
Make sure to get the Streetly Tapes expansion, these really take M-Tron Pro to the next level (can't wait for Volume 2).
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3rd September 2012
Old 3rd September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imissthewar View Post
I find Sampletron has a bit more mojo and seems more flexible than the M-Tron Pro...it is more expensive, but in my opinion, justifiably so.
I totally agree!

I use 95% hardware... Since I don't have real Mellotrons, Chamberlins & Optigans, I checked few years ago IK Multimedia SampleTron & I must say that the sound is BEAUTIFUL & RICH! Lush, warm, juicy. So I bought it. Though the GUI & MIDI controlling is kinda too basic - I highly recommended it.

SampleTron

Hmm.. a month ago it was on sale for just $29.99!!! Now it's back to $299.99.
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3rd September 2012
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I'd prefer to sit comfortably with M-Tron but after hearing the 4000D it's a challenge. I'm hearing things in the 4000 that software just doesn't have. A coworker used a 4000D in session recently and he said that's it's a big step forward, and he knows M-Tron very well.

The Streetly Tapes are interesting. Downloading now.
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4th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Arkadin View Post
Make sure to get the Streetly Tapes expansion, these really take M-Tron Pro to the next level (can't wait for Volume 2).
I think this is the key. Compare M-Tron Pro with the Streetly Tapes to an M4000D and then tell me if there is a serious enough difference to warrant the price. I have a buddy that has an M4000D on order that should be arriving soon and he already has M-Tron Pro. He also had a Memotron but sent it back upon learning about the M4000D (from me....I am very bad I guess ;-)
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6th September 2012
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Many of the sounds from the Streetly Tapes are an improvement over the stock sounds but they're still a distant cry from the 4000D. I was able to hear raw tracks from a sessions which used the D and compared it to M-Tron. The basic vibe is there but the 4000D had much more life, detail and presence.

The trouble I see is this: many of these samples are so good that they're trying too hard to be realistic and not from effected. Not retro. A Mellotron is cool because it has its own sound, but when it tries to be pristine and accurate it comes off as bad sampling. While many sounds aren't victims of this, others are. Strings, some horns, accordion, etc. Others are so unique that they're entirely useful.

So, in a sense, M-Tron has an advantage in this way. It has imperfections and noise and scratches whereas the 4000D was almost entirely void of hiss or oddities. For me, it doesn't warrant the $3,000 price tag. It looks amazing but that only goes so far.
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13th September 2012
Old 13th September 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spybar View Post
I totally agree!

I use 95% hardware... Since I don't have real Mellotrons, Chamberlins & Optigans, I checked few years ago IK Multimedia SampleTron & I must say that the sound is BEAUTIFUL & RICH! Lush, warm, juicy. So I bought it. Though the GUI & MIDI controlling is kinda too basic - I highly recommended it.

SampleTron

Hmm.. a month ago it was on sale for just $29.99!!! Now it's back to $299.99.
And now: SampleTron new price: $99.99
SampleTron
#21
10th November 2012
Old 10th November 2012
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Mellotron M4000D

As an owner of a 70's Chamberlin, M-400, an M-400MkVII, the M-4000D and the all the software, here's my spin.

First it's very difficult to get any software to operate reliably "Live" on a stage. And if it shuts down or your computer locks during a performance its a sad event. (Been there; too many times) That alone justifies the price for some (like me).

Also, there is no comparision to the sound bewtween the software and the M-4000D. The Mellotron Archives, the souce of the M-4000 has ALL of the orginal MASTER tapes from Mellotron. The first generation tapes from the original sessions. The software guys depended on actual Mellotrons to make samples of, and if you know Mellotron's that can be problematic depending on their age and condition of both the tape transports and the tapes of the machine being sampled. Also they are samples, and the quality of sampling depends very heavily on the quality of the engineering.

For me the sound quality is essential. Firstly, I'm an engineer. But I play too. My keyboard rig uses hi fidelity playback gear, SSL mixing (X-Rack, Panda), Crown, EAW, etc. It's a Pink Floyd tribute band running a "quad" system using an Avid/Digidesign Digital live console. With this level of sound, you can readily hear the difference. (BTW we do play some old Genesis once in a while ergo the Tron). I do run software (on a reliable Linux machine), but mostly it's for sequencing (I only have two hands and two feet) and automated mixing, and midi program changes, as well as CV control for the analog stuff I have (Moog/Dotcom Hybrid Modular, EMS Synthi A, etc.). Not for sound sources. None of my keyboards, except the M-4000D are digital, virtual or modeling types. All analog, but with digital control. It makes a difference.

Remember ... your ability to hear a difference is very dependent on the gear you are listening to it on. A Roland keyboard amp just isn't gonna give anywhere near the resolution one needs to hear a difference. Same goes for a Mackie mixer and a pair NS-10's, or most of crap being sold cheap to musicians these days. This junk just smears everything into one giant bad sounding mess anyway. It all (no matter how good the sources are) ends up sounding the same ... bad. And don't kid yourself, not everyone listens to music on an Ipod or phone with MP3. Many people actually have good home audio, so don't discount your fans.

So anyway ...

In some repects, the Mellotron M-4000D sounds better than my 70's vintage Mellotron M400 which is in pristine condition, and has all the upgrades. The old Mellotron tape heads create like a mask over the sound if you know what I mean. And hell ... It weighs next to nothing compared to the M400. I had another nice M400 which I used to travel with in a huge roadcase, but first I went to software for onstage (big mistake), and now I have the M-4000D.

Oh, and by the way, the oddities and the hiss are part of what makes a Tron a Tron. An M400 doesn't always play a note same way each time you hit a key. The tape wobbles a bit, or doesn't align properly, or doesn't return to the beginning fully, which gives it part of its character. And this is something a real Tron player uses. Kinda like using the side of a pick on a guitar to get a harmonic squeal. It's an instrument, which should have some human input. Which is the one thing the M4000D doesn't do well. It's a bit to perfect in that sense. However, it "feels" remarkably like a real Tron.

But here's the bottom line. You are paying for an instrument. An instrument has human influence. Now ... if your a Pohducer (yes that's the spelling I meant to use) running midi tracks it doesn't matter what junk sound source you use. You're not using instruments, you're using sounds. You are not "playing" anything. But those of us who play, have a tactile influence on our music, and also play live a stand-alone board that does what the M4000D does is worth the price. Most of the "you can get same sounds in software so why spend money" crowd probably don't actually nor have ever bought or played a real instrument, like say a piano or a real Hammond. A software is just a sound source; an inhuman sound. An instrument is played and influenced by a human, and conversely the instrument also imparts an influence on the player with some tactile and aural feedback, affecting the performance. It's an instrument, not simply a sound. Plain and simple. What's that worth? I guess it depends on whether you are a musican or not.

In conclusion, while the software is OK, the M-4000D is a quantum leap in terms of sounding like a real Tron. It's why I also have a MiniMoog XL AND an original MiniMoog D. The software doesn't come close and is unreliable, especially for musicians who actually play, and play live. :-)

JRL
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29th January 2013
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seems theres a slightly cheaper "mini" version coming this year... smaller case he knocks off 900 bucks.. that makes me suspect the original 4000D was overpriced to begin with i suppose..

mini M4000D (retail $2100 instead of $3000)






regardless of that, if i had crapload of money, id get the mini.. its beautiful and i love dedicated machines..
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#23
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
seems theres a slightly cheaper "mini" version coming this year... smaller case he knocks off 900 bucks.. that makes me suspect the original 4000D was overpriced to begin with i suppose..


regardless of that, if i had crapload of money, id get the mini.. its beautiful and i love dedicated machines..
I don't think it makes the 4000D overpriced. The 4000D has a wooden frame and keys and the mini doesn't. So they had to make some cutbacks.

Is that really going to be the actual price for the mini? I've been curious about this.
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29th January 2013
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I played the 4000D at NAMM. It sounds beautiful. The more expensive version also has keys that are sensitive to push and vibrato with your fingers. Hard to explain but it was a nice option. If I had really good cash flow I'd buy one for sure.

Big City Music will have one in their room soon. That's what I was told anyway.
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Hi,
is the M4000D so much better than the Manikin Memotron? I have been listening to the Memotron sound samples, and to me it sounds extremely good. Also, the rack version is <1000 Euros, which is very competitive.
Anyone knowing both well?

best regards
Massimo
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5th April 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hi,
is the M4000D so much better than the Manikin Memotron? I have been listening to the Memotron sound samples, and to me it sounds extremely good. Also, the rack version is <1000 Euros, which is very competitive.
Anyone knowing both well?

best regards
Massimo
this is pertinent to my interests, as the new shipment is arriving at BCM in a few days, while there is also a Memotron i can snag for about 1700
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5th April 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectral Climax View Post
This is fair...but really, would you pay almost $2K for this, instead of an almost excellent software at a ridiculous price? I would prefer to buy a Nord Wave at that price if I wanted Mellotron sounds inside a hardware.
EEEEEK! That Nord Wave has horrible mellotron sounds.

Spectral, I cant believe with all your experience you asked a hardware vs software question.
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5th April 2014
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EEEEEK! That Nord Wave has horrible mellotron sounds.

Spectral, I cant believe with all your experience you asked a hardware vs software question.
Probably because the hardware is still a playback engine?

I can understand wanting the immediacy of hardware, in this case if you use a lot of mellotron in your performances. But this is a well-crafted sample playback device, not analog. Beautiful and I'd love to own it, but I figure that it's a fairly niche market.
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5th April 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo View Post
Hi,
is the M4000D so much better than the Manikin Memotron? I have been listening to the Memotron sound samples, and to me it sounds extremely good. Also, the rack version is <1000 Euros, which is very competitive.
Anyone knowing both well?

best regards
Massimo
I had a real Mellotron M400 that had been fully serviced and had 6 tape frames with it.

Ended up selling it and got the Memotron rack. I really like the sound of the Memotron and don't miss the hassles of the M400. If I was making Mellotron-only tunes, then I might opt for a real original just to keep the sound 100% authentic, but in the mix of a typical track, the Memotron works wonders.

Using the mod wheel to transition between (and blend) sounds on tracks A, B, and C is a simple but cool feature.
#30
6th April 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosium View Post
Probably because the hardware is still a playback engine?

I can understand wanting the immediacy of hardware, in this case if you use a lot of mellotron in your performances. But this is a well-crafted sample playback device, not analog. Beautiful and I'd love to own it, but I figure that it's a fairly niche market.
Ive heard valid reasons for both sides of the argument, only the individual can judge for themselves.

I just dont get why people with experience still ask.
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