GForce announce the M-Tron MkII software instrument, 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 their original ‘Tron plug-in (M-Tron), and their subsequent long term relationship with the original UK manufacturers Streetly Electronics, GForce have developed 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.
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 *).
Note: * Some sounds appeared on both the MkI and MkII.
Famous users included King Hussein of Jordan, Princess Margaret and L Ron Hubbard, who bought into the MkII’s home entertainment concept. But in much the same way as a younger generation reshaped music using Roland TB-303s & TR-909s in fresh and imaginative ways, so too did The Beatles, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Genesis, The Rolling Stones, all of whom catapulted its magnificently grainy tones into the public consciousness.
All the sounds on the GForce M-Tron MkII are sourced from the MKI, MKII and Chamberlin Tape Archive curated by Martin Smith of Streetly Electronics, 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. GForce have also taken care not to iron out the character of the original tapes so the contrast between US and UK recordings has been captured, warts and all.
In live playing situations, GForce 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.
Martin Smith of Streetly Electronics comments: "Having restored and serviced countless 'trons over the past 30 years and edited up the masters for use in this software, I am secretly thrilled at the way it looks and sounds. I know what one of these machines should sound like... intimately.”
M-Tron MkII – key features
- Rhythms, Accompaniments & Lead sounds from the 1960s dual-manual Chamberlin, Mellotron MkI and 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.
- Use one 88-note keyboard or two separate smaller keyboards to control each manual.
- Reverb (modern or spring) and Delay effects.
- Unlooped tape-banks for an authentic MkII playing experience.
- Available for MacOS and Windows
£299.99 / $349.99