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Re: [embos] Re: whatotron

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  • Thomas Hoyt
    Well, that s just great, and I wish you well with yours. Best of luck getting it working. You have to have a tape sample for each note you want to play,
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 1, 2007
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      Well, that's just great, and I wish you well with yours.

      Best of luck getting it working.  You have to have a tape sample
      for each note you want to play, right?   I hope all the parts are
      replaceable. 

      And thanks for bothering to reply.  I'm a little fascinated.

      Tom

      On 6/30/07, john barrick <astroboy@... > wrote:

      Tom, as to touring, you're correct. The early versions of the
      mellotron were designed as home entertainment keyboards rather than
      professional or touring instruments. By the late '60s however, Streetly
      Electronics had finally caught on to how they were being used by touring
      bands and brought out the smaller (and more reliable) M400. These still
      require a lot of care on the road, but with proper handling and
      transport, they gig pretty well (sudden changes in humidity and
      temperature are the real enemies). A lot of bands that toured with them
      had a second one backstage ready to be wheeled out front at the first
      sign of trouble, and many of the problems they were notorious for were
      the result of improper (or total lack of) maintainance.

      Coolness (which is a really lame reason) aside, the only reason to use a
      mellotron is for the unique sound they make. Because of the extreme
      analog nature of the instrument, the mellotron adds an almost surreal,
      (really right) wrong feel to the sounds being played and that's
      something a sampler just doesn't do. And a sampler really doesn't do a
      mellotron well (a sample of a sampler - go figure) - people have tried
      with various mellotron tape sets, usually flutes or violins or brass,
      but the results tend to be underwhelming.

      Anyway, between 1963 and 1986 there was a grand total of only 2,500 of
      these things ever made, so I'm very happy to own one.

      john b

      Thomas Hoyt wrote:
      > Mellotrons are cool, though I hear they were quite fragile as a road
      > instrument.
      > Other than a few effects you may get from analog tape and the
      > retro-coolness
      > factor, why would one be preferable to todays samplers, which perform the
      > same basic function and a WHOLE lot more?
      >
      > I heard an interview with the Strawbs on the big-rock radio decades
      > ago and
      > they always traveled with two mellotrons in case one malfunctioned.
      >
      > Tom
      >
      >


    • irieart
      Hey, Now I had a old Jupiter 4, which was worthless as far as playing music, (few keys broken, out of tune, etc) which I think was made by Moog way back in the
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 1, 2007
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        Hey,
        Now I had a old Jupiter 4, which was worthless as far as playing
        music, (few keys broken, out of tune, etc) which I think was made by
        Moog way back in the late 70's, which I would dearly LOVE to have
        back, (lost it in storage, when funds became scarce)it made some
        really cool sounds and I'd take it over anything made today, mearly
        for the quality of sounds it made, sounds that were "fat" ambience
        and all,, anyone out therem have one of these?
        Arthur


        --- In embos@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Hoyt" <fourjayhawks@...> wrote:
        >
        > Well, that's just great, and I wish you well with yours.
        >
        > Best of luck getting it working. You have to have a tape sample
        > for each note you want to play, right? I hope all the parts are
        > replaceable.
        >
        > And thanks for bothering to reply. I'm a little fascinated.
        >
        > Tom
        >
        > On 6/30/07, john barrick <astroboy@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Tom, as to touring, you're correct. The early versions of the
        > > mellotron were designed as home entertainment keyboards rather
        than
        > > professional or touring instruments. By the late '60s however,
        Streetly
        > > Electronics had finally caught on to how they were being used by
        touring
        > > bands and brought out the smaller (and more reliable) M400. These
        still
        > > require a lot of care on the road, but with proper handling and
        > > transport, they gig pretty well (sudden changes in humidity and
        > > temperature are the real enemies). A lot of bands that toured
        with them
        > > had a second one backstage ready to be wheeled out front at the
        first
        > > sign of trouble, and many of the problems they were notorious for
        were
        > > the result of improper (or total lack of) maintainance.
        > >
        > > Coolness (which is a really lame reason) aside, the only reason
        to use a
        > > mellotron is for the unique sound they make. Because of the
        extreme
        > > analog nature of the instrument, the mellotron adds an almost
        surreal,
        > > (really right) wrong feel to the sounds being played and that's
        > > something a sampler just doesn't do. And a sampler really doesn't
        do a
        > > mellotron well (a sample of a sampler - go figure) - people have
        tried
        > > with various mellotron tape sets, usually flutes or violins or
        brass,
        > > but the results tend to be underwhelming.
        > >
        > > Anyway, between 1963 and 1986 there was a grand total of only
        2,500 of
        > > these things ever made, so I'm very happy to own one.
        > >
        > > john b
        > >
        > > Thomas Hoyt wrote:
        > > > Mellotrons are cool, though I hear they were quite fragile as a
        road
        > > > instrument.
        > > > Other than a few effects you may get from analog tape and the
        > > > retro-coolness
        > > > factor, why would one be preferable to todays samplers, which
        perform
        > > the
        > > > same basic function and a WHOLE lot more?
        > > >
        > > > I heard an interview with the Strawbs on the big-rock radio
        decades
        > > > ago and
        > > > they always traveled with two mellotrons in case one
        malfunctioned.
        > > >
        > > > Tom
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • bkelly272@rcn.com
        Don t have one, but as long as we are on mellotrons, I had a friend who built one from a kit. Wait, once I wrote that I realized that it was a theremin --
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 1, 2007
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          Don't have one, but as long as we are on mellotrons, I had a friend who built one from a kit. Wait, once I wrote that I realized that it was a theremin -- never mind!

          Bruce


          ---- Original message ----
          >Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2007 20:45:36 -0000
          >From: "irieart" <irie@...>
          >Subject: [embos] Re: whatotron
          >To: embos@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Hey,
          > Now I had a old Jupiter 4, which was worthless as
          > far as playing
          > music, (few keys broken, out of tune, etc) which I
          > think was made by
          > Moog way back in the late 70's, which I would dearly
          > LOVE to have
          > back, (lost it in storage, when funds became
          > scarce)it made some
          > really cool sounds and I'd take it over anything
          > made today, mearly
          > for the quality of sounds it made, sounds that were
          > "fat" ambience
          > and all,, anyone out therem have one of these?
          > Arthur
          >
          > --- In embos@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Hoyt"
          > <fourjayhawks@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Well, that's just great, and I wish you well with
          > yours.
          > >
          > > Best of luck getting it working. You have to have
          > a tape sample
          > > for each note you want to play, right? I hope all
          > the parts are
          > > replaceable.
          > >
          > > And thanks for bothering to reply. I'm a little
          > fascinated.
          > >
          > > Tom
          > >
          > > On 6/30/07, john barrick <astroboy@...> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Tom, as to touring, you're correct. The early
          > versions of the
          > > > mellotron were designed as home entertainment
          > keyboards rather
          > than
          > > > professional or touring instruments. By the late
          > '60s however,
          > Streetly
          > > > Electronics had finally caught on to how they
          > were being used by
          > touring
          > > > bands and brought out the smaller (and more
          > reliable) M400. These
          > still
          > > > require a lot of care on the road, but with
          > proper handling and
          > > > transport, they gig pretty well (sudden changes
          > in humidity and
          > > > temperature are the real enemies). A lot of
          > bands that toured
          > with them
          > > > had a second one backstage ready to be wheeled
          > out front at the
          > first
          > > > sign of trouble, and many of the problems they
          > were notorious for
          > were
          > > > the result of improper (or total lack of)
          > maintainance.
          > > >
          > > > Coolness (which is a really lame reason) aside,
          > the only reason
          > to use a
          > > > mellotron is for the unique sound they make.
          > Because of the
          > extreme
          > > > analog nature of the instrument, the mellotron
          > adds an almost
          > surreal,
          > > > (really right) wrong feel to the sounds being
          > played and that's
          > > > something a sampler just doesn't do. And a
          > sampler really doesn't
          > do a
          > > > mellotron well (a sample of a sampler - go
          > figure) - people have
          > tried
          > > > with various mellotron tape sets, usually flutes
          > or violins or
          > brass,
          > > > but the results tend to be underwhelming.
          > > >
          > > > Anyway, between 1963 and 1986 there was a grand
          > total of only
          > 2,500 of
          > > > these things ever made, so I'm very happy to own
          > one.
          > > >
          > > > john b
          > > >
          > > > Thomas Hoyt wrote:
          > > > > Mellotrons are cool, though I hear they were
          > quite fragile as a
          > road
          > > > > instrument.
          > > > > Other than a few effects you may get from
          > analog tape and the
          > > > > retro-coolness
          > > > > factor, why would one be preferable to todays
          > samplers, which
          > perform
          > > > the
          > > > > same basic function and a WHOLE lot more?
          > > > >
          > > > > I heard an interview with the Strawbs on the
          > big-rock radio
          > decades
          > > > > ago and
          > > > > they always traveled with two mellotrons in
          > case one
          > malfunctioned.
          > > > >
          > > > > Tom
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
          >
        • john barrick
          Tom, thanks for the well wishes. It s working much better than when I got it ( it would barely play) - now I just have a few pitch issues to resolve. I ll
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 1, 2007
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            Tom, thanks for the well wishes. It's working much better than when I
            got it ( it would barely play) - now I just have a few pitch issues to
            resolve. I'll probably have it 100% by Sept. or possibly sooner.

            Almost all parts are still available through two sources, and the
            complete mellotron tape library (around 100 different tape sets) and
            most of the Chamberlin tape library are once again available.

            Yes, there is an eight second strip of tape under each key and a
            playback head for each tape (thirty five in all). Press the key and the
            tape plays, let off the key and a spring returns the tape to its
            starting position (with a neat little Zzzzip! sound). There are three
            tracks on the tape which you select by turning an A-B-C position knob
            and you can turn it so that you land between the tracks blending A and B
            or B and C (Cello, Three Violins, and Eight Voice Choir on mine). If
            you want more than three sounds, then you can buy a second tape frame
            with a different set of tapes. It takes about two minutes to switch out
            tape frames in one of these.
            best,
            john

            Thomas Hoyt wrote:
            > Well, that's just great, and I wish you well with yours.
            >
            > Best of luck getting it working. You have to have a tape sample
            > for each note you want to play, right? I hope all the parts are
            > replaceable.
            >
            > And thanks for bothering to reply. I'm a little fascinated.
            >
            > Tom
            >
            > On 6/30/07, *john barrick* <astroboy@...
            > <mailto:astroboy@...>> wrote:
            >
            > Tom, as to touring, you're correct. The early versions of the
            > mellotron were designed as home entertainment keyboards rather than
            > professional or touring instruments. By the late '60s however,
            > Streetly
            > Electronics had finally caught on to how they were being used by
            > touring
            > bands and brought out the smaller (and more reliable) M400. These
            > still
            > require a lot of care on the road, but with proper handling and
            > transport, they gig pretty well (sudden changes in humidity and
            > temperature are the real enemies). A lot of bands that toured with
            > them
            > had a second one backstage ready to be wheeled out front at the first
            > sign of trouble, and many of the problems they were notorious for
            > were
            > the result of improper (or total lack of) maintainance.
            >
            > Coolness (which is a really lame reason) aside, the only reason to
            > use a
            > mellotron is for the unique sound they make. Because of the extreme
            > analog nature of the instrument, the mellotron adds an almost
            > surreal,
            > (really right) wrong feel to the sounds being played and that's
            > something a sampler just doesn't do. And a sampler really doesn't
            > do a
            > mellotron well (a sample of a sampler - go figure) - people have
            > tried
            > with various mellotron tape sets, usually flutes or violins or brass,
            > but the results tend to be underwhelming.
            >
            > Anyway, between 1963 and 1986 there was a grand total of only
            > 2,500 of
            > these things ever made, so I'm very happy to own one.
            >
            > john b
            >
            > Thomas Hoyt wrote:
            > > Mellotrons are cool, though I hear they were quite fragile as a
            > road
            > > instrument.
            > > Other than a few effects you may get from analog tape and the
            > > retro-coolness
            > > factor, why would one be preferable to todays samplers, which
            > perform the
            > > same basic function and a WHOLE lot more?
            > >
            > > I heard an interview with the Strawbs on the big-rock radio decades
            > > ago and
            > > they always traveled with two mellotrons in case one malfunctioned.
            > >
            > > Tom
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
          • Thomas Hoyt
            Send us some sound files when it s all working. Maybe you can plunk out a mello version of Drive Me To The Park just to keep it on topic. I still can t help
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 3, 2007
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              Send us some sound files when it's all working.  Maybe you can plunk out
              a "mello" version of Drive Me To The Park just to keep it on topic.

              I still can't help thinking of the Moody Blues, or maybe early King Crimson.

              Tom

              On 7/1/07, john barrick <astroboy@...> wrote:

              Tom, thanks for the well wishes. It's working much better than when I
              got it ( it would barely play) - now I just have a few pitch issues to
              resolve. I'll probably have it 100% by Sept. or possibly sooner.

              Almost all parts are still available through two sources, and the
              complete mellotron tape library (around 100 different tape sets) and
              most of the Chamberlin tape library are once again available.

              Yes, there is an eight second strip of tape under each key and a
              playback head for each tape (thirty five in all). Press the key and the
              tape plays, let off the key and a spring returns the tape to its
              starting position (with a neat little Zzzzip! sound). There are three
              tracks on the tape which you select by turning an A-B-C position knob
              and you can turn it so that you land between the tracks blending A and B
              or B and C (Cello, Three Violins, and Eight Voice Choir on mine). If
              you want more than three sounds, then you can buy a second tape frame
              with a different set of tapes. It takes about two minutes to switch out
              tape frames in one of these.
              best,
              john

              Thomas Hoyt wrote:
              > Well, that's just great, and I wish you well with yours.
              >
              > Best of luck getting it working. You have to have a tape sample
              > for each note you want to play, right? I hope all the parts are
              > replaceable.
              >
              > And thanks for bothering to reply. I'm a little fascinated.
              >
              > Tom
              >
              > On 6/30/07, *john barrick* <astroboy@...

              > <mailto:astroboy@...>> wrote:
              >
              > Tom, as to touring, you're correct. The early versions of the
              > mellotron were designed as home entertainment keyboards rather than
              > professional or touring instruments. By the late '60s however,
              > Streetly
              > Electronics had finally caught on to how they were being used by
              > touring
              > bands and brought out the smaller (and more reliable) M400. These
              > still
              > require a lot of care on the road, but with proper handling and
              > transport, they gig pretty well (sudden changes in humidity and
              > temperature are the real enemies). A lot of bands that toured with
              > them
              > had a second one backstage ready to be wheeled out front at the first
              > sign of trouble, and many of the problems they were notorious for
              > were
              > the result of improper (or total lack of) maintainance.
              >
              > Coolness (which is a really lame reason) aside, the only reason to
              > use a
              > mellotron is for the unique sound they make. Because of the extreme
              > analog nature of the instrument, the mellotron adds an almost
              > surreal,
              > (really right) wrong feel to the sounds being played and that's
              > something a sampler just doesn't do. And a sampler really doesn't
              > do a
              > mellotron well (a sample of a sampler - go figure) - people have
              > tried
              > with various mellotron tape sets, usually flutes or violins or brass,
              > but the results tend to be underwhelming.
              >
              > Anyway, between 1963 and 1986 there was a grand total of only
              > 2,500 of
              > these things ever made, so I'm very happy to own one.
              >
              > john b
              >
              > Thomas Hoyt wrote:
              > > Mellotrons are cool, though I hear they were quite fragile as a
              > road
              > > instrument.
              > > Other than a few effects you may get from analog tape and the
              > > retro-coolness
              > > factor, why would one be preferable to todays samplers, which
              > perform the
              > > same basic function and a WHOLE lot more?
              > >
              > > I heard an interview with the Strawbs on the big-rock radio decades
              > > ago and
              > > they always traveled with two mellotrons in case one malfunctioned.
              > >
              > > Tom
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >


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