Gforce Software M-Tron MKII features the super rare tape banks of the dual manual Chamberlin Musicmaster & Mellotron MkI/MkII in a plugin
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical musical instrument developed in Birmingham in 1963. An instrument that is the great-grandfather of today’s samplers. Instead of digital samples, it generates its sound using analog samples record on audio tape. Not only the special architecture makes the devices legendary today, but also the sounds that could be found on these tapes.
Gforce Software, Dave Spiers’ software company, specializes in bringing these tools into the digital world. With the M-Tron Pro, they have a fantastic instrument in their portfolio where you get the Mellotron experience in an easy-to-use plugin. The journey continues today with the M-Tron MKII, a software tribute of the dual manual Chamberlin Musicmaster & Mellotron MkI/MkII.
Gforce Software M-Tron MKII
The M-Tron MKII is not a successor of the original M-Tron Pro from Gforce Software. It’s a new virtual instrument that is part of the M-Tron family. It is based on the insanely rare and highly coveted original mother of all ‘trons, the Mellotron® MkI/MkII. And the people behind this project are experts, if not the best in this field:
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. This is a staggering product.” Martin Smith, Streetly Electronic
All the sounds on the GForce M-Tron MkII are sourced from the MKI, MKII and Chamberlin Tape Archive curated by Martin Smith who prepared the recordings for this project. According to the developers, capturing the sounds was very extensive and time-consuming:
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.
The result is impressive: over 4500 individual samples, 150+ patches, 132 tape-banks… captured in detail from the Chamberlin & Mellotron MkI & MkII. Like the original hardware units (MK1 and Mk2), the M-Tron MkII is based on the dual manual concept with two keyboards. The left plays the tapes of rhythms and accompaniments while the right keyboard plays lead sounds.
M-Tron MkII also 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. This functionality takes inspiration from the original MKII where you could move the tapes with a button press. Plus, you get delay and reverb (modern or spring) effects.
Gforce Software recommends using an 88 key MIDI keyboard to experience the original way and charm of the instrument. Alternatively, you can use two small keyboards with two different MIDI channels.
A very special plugin with a lot of vintage vibes. It’s impressive how much attention to detail has been invested here. The M-Tron MkII sounds fantastic at first glance. For fans of Mellotron fans, this plugin could be a must-buy. It’s a bit pricey but the work the developers have put into the project, it’s understandable that’s not a 29€ product.
Gforce Software M-Tron MKII is available now for an introductory price of £199,99 (reg. £249,99) ex VAT. It runs as a VST, VST3, AU and AAX plugin on macOS (Intel + M1) and Windows.
More information here: Gforce Software