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GForce Software M-Tron MkII review

GForce Software M-Tron MkII: What is it?

Sixty years ago, when the 60s were really swinging and music technology was in its infancy, an extraordinary instrument appeared. Providing the unthinkable, you could have an instrument in your lounge, which would not be out of place with your home furnishings, that was literally a band-in-a-box!

The much-revered Mellotron is considered to be the first sampler, long before digitization took effect. Sounds were recorded, and stored on large numbers of tapes, with each providing a set of sounds that could be selected and played at will. The most commonly referred to sound can be heard at the beginning of Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles. The haunting flutes, generated by the Mellotron, have become iconic, but the Mellotron was capable of far more than just providing flutes.

(Image credit: Future)

The dual-manual Chamberlin and MkI and MkII Mellotrons, provided a two-keyboard setup. The lower keyboard, or ‘manual’ as they’re described, would provide accompaniments and rhythms, while the upper manual would provide lead sounds. We’re all well versed with the Casio concept of the auto-rhythm within the lower section of a home keyboard. Imagine the same scenario, but every time you press a note, you hear a full-on traditional rhythm section playing in a variety of different musical styles. Lest we forget, in the case of the Mellotron, every time you pressed down a note, a tape would roll and provide the audio, and unlike your old Casio, that’s a lot of moving parts!

Plugging in!

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