Monday, June 2, 2008
I've always had a thing for pre-digital sampling technology. Instruments like the Mellotron and the Chamberlin used note-by-note recordings of real world instruments on audio tape or disc-shaped media to allow musicians to easily and cheaply add previously big budget type sounds like orchestras and choirs to their own music. If you've heard the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields" (which used the Mellotron Flutes sound) or The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" (which used the Mellotron Strings sound), then you've heard a Mellotron. The recordings themselves are certainly lo-fi by today's standards (these instruments were built in the 60's), but that's exactly the point! That 'wrongness' of the sounds is what makes them so cool. Because of their age, working Mellotrons are becoming increasingly rare. Thankfully there are upstanding citizens like Taijiguy out there to preserve and share these awesome sounds via the miracle of the Internet Tubes™! Currently he has posted samples of every note from the string section, GC3 brass, and the apparently rare Combined Choir. Get 'em while they're hot!