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Old 05-24-2010, 10:14 AM   #1
tele52
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A movie about The Mellotron

Crank up your Moody Blues. This is a new movie about the Mellotron. One of my friends is involved in it. He's one of the Guys from the Moog Cookbook. It really looks great. I got it from Amazon, I'll post a review after I've seen it.
MELLODRAMA: The Mellotron Movie DVD, by Dianna Dilworth | Bazillion Points Books
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Crank up your Moody Blues. This is a new movie about the Mellotron. One of my friends is involved in it. He's one of the Guys from the Moog Cookbook. It really looks great. I got it from Amazon, I'll post a review after I've seen it.
MELLODRAMA: The Mellotron Movie DVD, by Dianna Dilworth | Bazillion Points Books
Very cool! The Mellotron is far and away my favorite keyboard. Wish I could afford one.

- D
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Very cool! The Mellotron is far and away my favorite keyboard. Wish I could afford one.

- D
I got a melloton VST.. good enough
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Very cool.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:36 AM   #5
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Do they even make them anymore? I thought I read that they didn't. I know there's the classic tone arguement but you can pretty much do all the orchestral stuff with a good keyboard nowadays.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:47 AM   #6
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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I got a melloton VST.. good enough
Does it have an 8-second limit on the notes, or does it just sustain as long as you hold down the keys?

Part of the trick of playing a Mellotron was working round the notes running out of sustain.

- D
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:49 AM   #7
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Part of the trick of playing a Mellotron was working round the notes running out of sustain.

- D

.....and stretched tapes. I have always been a huge Moody Blues fan. JPJ plays mellotron on a few zep tunes as well.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Does it have an 8-second limit on the notes, or does it just sustain as long as you hold down the keys?

Part of the trick of playing a Mellotron was working round the notes running out of sustain.

- D
I don't see that as a good thing.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #9
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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.....and stretched tapes. I have always been a huge Moody Blues fan. JPJ plays mellotron on a few zep tunes as well.
And the early versions of King Crimson made the thing sound absolutely scary.

- D
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:53 AM   #10
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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And the early versions of King Crimson made the thing sound absolutely scary.

- D

In the Court of the Crimson King: great stuff, yes scary too. Maybe thats why this was the cover



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Old 05-24-2010, 11:55 AM   #11
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

I never thought I would see the day that a piece or music equipment from the past (rock era) that i had never ever heard of..lol
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:56 AM   #12
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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I don't see that as a good thing.
Call me a purist, but if you don't play it within its own limitations you might as well use a string synth.

- D
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:16 PM   #13
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Thanks for the post! I first heard of the Mellotron from a Cheap Trick record and always was intrigued by it. I always said to myself that if I was ever to build a real studio ( A life long dream ) the Mellotron would have to be an essential part of it.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:48 PM   #14
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Thanks for the post! I first heard of the Mellotron from a Cheap Trick record and always was intrigued by it. I always said to myself that if I was ever to build a real studio ( A life long dream ) the Mellotron would have to be an essential part of it.
If you can find one, it's a must-have for a studio.

But they are extremely temperamental, by nature of being a mechanical box with lots of moving parts. A friend bought one back in the day intending to use it live with his band, and he found that simply moving it would shake things loose to the point where it was unplayable a good amount of the time.

The keyboard techs for Crimso and The Moodies must have gone nuts maintaining theirs on the road.

Add to that the maintenance aspect of the tape heads (alignment, de-mag, cleaning, etc.), and it becomes a little nightmare.

Having said all that - even with just the stock tape rack (strings, flutes, saxes), it's a recording monster. If you can find the extra tapes for it, the sky is the limit.

- D
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Opeth uses Mellotron sounds A LOT, but it's all digital sampling.. good enough.. the real thing was big, heavy, and always broke!
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:01 PM   #16
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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If you can find one, it's a must-have for a studio.

But they are extremely temperamental, by nature of being a mechanical box with lots of moving parts. A friend bought one back in the day intending to use it live with his band, and he found that simply moving it would shake things loose to the point where it was unplayable a good amount of the time.

The keyboard techs for Crimso and The Moodies must have gone nuts maintaining theirs on the road.

Add to that the maintenance aspect of the tape heads (alignment, de-mag, cleaning, etc.), and it becomes a little nightmare.

Having said all that - even with just the stock tape rack (strings, flutes, saxes), it's a recording monster. If you can find the extra tapes for it, the sky is the limit.

- D
So basically great as a fixed piece of equipment in a studio setting.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:24 PM   #17
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Opeth uses Mellotron sounds A LOT, but it's all digital sampling.. good enough.. the real thing was big, heavy, and always broke!
Oh, man, I heard horror stories in the day...

The metal housing that held the tape racks was cast aluminum, which was extremely brittle and prone to breakage. And Dallas Music (the manufacturer) was based in the UK with a distribution point in Jersey, and getting any replacement parts was painfully slow.

Here's a quote from John Paul Jones:

Quote:
"To walk up to the Mellotron, not knowing if it was going to be in tune or what it was going to do; you might expect violins and get trumpets instead. It was a terrifying experience!"


- D
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #18
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

I love the mellotron, such a great sound, and instant Beatles, I might try and get our keyboard player to try a vst one
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:42 PM   #19
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

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Call me a purist, but if you don't play it within its own limitations you might as well use a string synth.

- D
Purist!

I was just saying that being limited isn't so always so great. Imagine if the great bands that used it didn't have to put so much time into the upkeep for it and the music they could have created with unlimited note lengths. Everything happens for a reason I guess.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:39 PM   #20
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Here is a guy who made a DIY mellotron from walkman tapes!

Melloman: the DIY Walkman cassette Mellotron -- Engadget

http://mysterycircuits.com/melloman/melloman.html
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:49 PM   #21
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Here's a taste, my friend Brian collects and repairs them. He's all over the movie and did a Mellotron demo at the movie premiere. He also wrote this incredibly detailed book about the Beatles equipment.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:53 PM   #22
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

This is the book he wrote, the guy's a genius. We go back to the "Black Market Music" a guitar shop in LA in the nineties.
Recording The Beatles
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:06 PM   #23
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

I just finished watching the movie, it's wonderful. There are two competing machines, history, intrigue, and loads of interesting people. I got mine from Amazon, once I start lending it to friends, I'm sure it will be gone for awhile.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:16 PM   #24
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

they may have been hard to maintain on the road, but damn do they sound good

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Old 05-30-2010, 07:32 PM   #25
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Just a quick note about how these things worked, for those who are interested...

The tape racks that produced the sounds were lengths of half-inch magnetic tape that each had three instruments recorded on them. In order to switch from one instrument sound to another, there was a switch that actually moved the entire rack of tapes inside the machine so that a different 'slice' of the tape would line up over the playback heads.

It was possible to 'cheat' the switch and play back two instruments at once, but the sound of both would suffer because you wouldn't be playing back the full with of tape for either instrument.

- D
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:50 AM   #26
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Re: A movie about The Mellotron

Strawberry Fields
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