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Mellotron M4000D vs Mtron Pro
Old 30th March 2017 | Show parent
  #121
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpsiegel ➡️
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 ;-)
hi, sorry to resurrect this old thread again.

How is your friend finding the M4000D? And what do you think about the M4000D?

I am thinking of buying one, but I am still not 100%. At the moment there is no way for me to test drive it first. I haven't used the M-tron Pro software version yet, but the idea of having a dedicated instrument at the most high quality standards speaks to me. Maybe I should give the M Tron Pro a go.

The price however of the Mellotron 4000D is still a bit high however.
Old 3rd April 2017 | Show parent
  #122
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kpsiegel's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk ➡️
hi, sorry to resurrect this old thread again.

How is your friend finding the M4000D? And what do you think about the M4000D?

I am thinking of buying one, but I am still not 100%. At the moment there is no way for me to test drive it first. I haven't used the M-tron Pro software version yet, but the idea of having a dedicated instrument at the most high quality standards speaks to me. Maybe I should give the M Tron Pro a go.

The price however of the Mellotron 4000D is still a bit high however.
I don't know enough to give an educated opinion on the M4000D having not played one. I don't know what my friend has been doing lately with his.
Old 13th March 2020 | Show parent
  #123
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlaudio ➡️
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
I know this is an old thread, but I just came across this post, and it really struck me as funny and quite ironic.

Here's this whole talk about "real instruments" vs. "just sounds or samples," and in the "real instruments" corner is what's basically the first sampler!

I can only imagine the same discussion happening in the 60s after the Mellotron first came out. "You're not playing a stringed instrument! You're just pressing a little key, and a tape inside the machine is playing the sound of strings. Give me a break!"

Just too funny.

So let me get this straight:

You playing a real Mellotron, which was, itself, imitating other acoustic instruments with tape is cool.

However, someone playing a keyboard with digital samples (either inside it or via MIDI and a sound module) emulating the Mellotron (which was emulating acoustic instruments) is not cool?

However (again), you playing a digital Mellotron keyboard that's emulating a real Mellotron (which was emulating acoustic instruments) with digital samples is cool again?

Old 14th March 2020
  #124
Gear Guru
 
elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Yes, yeah did catch something funny there. I hadn't thought of that angle but you're absolutely right.

On the other hand, we've been sampling the sound of samplers, or rather keyboards that use samples, for quite awhile.
Old 14th March 2020 | Show parent
  #125
Lives for gear
 
drockfresh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Say what you will the M4000D is everywhere

It’s in the Taylor Swift movie tracking studio and Coldplay just flashed a picture with one. Wilco - so many touring acts. Always see them next to Rhodes or B3s or wurlys.
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