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Mellotron Sound Question
Old 31st August 2011
Gear Nut

Mellotron Sound Question


at the moment i'm totally obsessed with the sound of mellotron's. especially the strings, but choirs also. i love that 'haunting' feeling they can give to a song.

so i listened to a lot of music lately with really up-front use of this wonderfull instrument and tried a bit myself to 'copy' their sound. i know, i should do my own thing but it's just for fun to get the workflow of some artists.

i have the gforce m-tron pro as source at the moment and i think the samples sound really authentic.
i allready managed to get the exact sound of some radiohead tunes with choirs (exit music, like spinning plates etc.) ... but i can't come close to the strings of one of my favouirte songs: the moody blues - nights in white satin.

so my question ist, does anyone know how mike pinder did this fantastic full string parts?
i came close with the tape banks 'mkII vintage violins' and 'mkII violins'... one of them should be the famous 3violins sound.
but i don't know, something is still missing.

hope for some input, thanks.

ps: o and excuse my poor english, i'm not a native speaker and this is my first board where i have to write not in german.
Old 31st August 2011
Gear Nut

wow fantastic, thank you very much man, i googled a lot but didn't found that article.

Old 31st August 2011
Lives for gear
Bob Ross's Avatar

Three things I've always done to modern string patches to make them sound more "mellotron-esque"

- lowpass filter at ~8kHz. 'tain't no high end on a real 'tron.
- spring reverb. 'cuz that's what they did back in the day.
- wow&flutter. I've done it by passing the signal through a 3-head cassette deck.

Of course, starting with the G-Force plugin you're probably way ahead of the game.
Old 31st August 2011
Gear Nut

yeah, that's similar to what i do at the moment to the m-tron sound. tried some spring and plate reverb to soften it a little bit.

the eq is really important too for the right sound i think. i noticed that on the record of 'nights in white satin' the strings are much more mid-frequency heavy than all the m-tron string samples.

so my next step will be to run it through an amp or amp-simulation and eq here and there.
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