GForce Software has followed its M-Tron plug-in model of the Mellotron, UK-based company has released the M-Tron MkII, calling it ‘a celebration and realisation of an instrument based on the insanely rare and highly coveted original mother of all ’trons’.

GForce M-Tron MkII‘After the success of the world’s first ’Tron plug-in and our subsequent long-term relationship with the original manufacturer, Streetly Electronics, we decided to develop 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,’ the company says.

Conceived as a home entertainment console, the 1963 MkI/MkII was a dual-manual, tape-based instrument where the left-hand manual’s 35 notes replayed a combination of 18 Rhythms and Accompaniments (66 on the GForce M-Tron MkII and the right-hand manual (also 35 notes) replayed 18 lead sounds (66 on M-Tron MkII). Defying the manufacturer’s intention, artists including The Beatles, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Genesis and The Rolling Stones used it on tracks such as ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘The Court of the Crimson King’, ‘Watcher of the Skies’, ‘Nights In White Satin’ and ‘2000 Light Years From Home’.

The sounds for the GForce M-Tron MkII are taken from the MkI, MkII and Chamberlin Tape Archive curated by Martin Smith who prepared the recordings for the project. With these tapes undergoing extensive tape restoration and tempo remapping, the M-Tron MkII sits both microphone and DI recorded versions of the lead tapes side-by-side with combinations of rhythms and accompaniments, the latter of which can be synchronised to host tempo and transposed to fit individual compositions.

M-Tron MkII features a Dual Rhythm Mode, allowing two Rhythms and Accompaniments from the Chamberlin and MkI & II to be layered to create a fusion of hybrid rhythms and motifs. In live performance, GForce recommens an 88-note keyboard for ‘the authentic MkII experience’. Alternatively, two smaller keyboards can be used, with each assigned to a different Midi channel.

‘M-Tron MkII is completely indispensable for TV and film composers wanting instant access to nostalgic rhythms and accompaniments recorded in the 1950s and ’60s, firstly by the Laurence Welk Orchestra for the Chamberlin in the US, and later by the Eric Robinson Orchestra for Mellys in the UK,’ the company says. ‘These immediately transport the listener back to days gone by and can be used for the basis of a track or shoehorned into existing compositions.

‘Regardless of whether you use the rhythms and accompaniments or choose to focus on the leads, the MkII is guaranteed to inject instant vintage feel into any modern, or period based composition.’


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