Instrument Overview

What is the OrchesTron Expansion Pack For M-Tron Pro?
As the name suggests, it's an add-on pack for M-Tron Pro users with sounds recorded from the ultra rare and ultra desirable Orchestron optical playback instrument.

What is an Orchestron?
The Orchestron is an optical playback instrument manufactured in the 1970s. It generated sounds based on the same technology as the Optigan but instead of having a rhythm and effects section, it simply focussed on providing a single sound spread across the keyboard.

Essentially, celluloid discs containing pre-recorded sounds were inserted into the instrument and the optical head allowed you to playback this sound.

What sounds were available?
There was a library of 8 discs available including: Cello, Vocal Choir, Flute, French Horn, Hammond B3, Pipe Organ, Saxophone & Violin.

What sounds are included in the OrchesTron Expansion Pack for M-Tron Pro?
The aforementioned Cello, Vocal Choir, Flute, French Horn, Hammond B3, Pipe Organ, Saxophone & Violin. Plus; Marimba, Piano, String Ensemble & Tremolo Electric Guitar.

That's 12 sounds in total.

Where did these additional sounds come from?
These are taken from extra discs made for Orchestron owners and come courtesy of Pea Hicks, owner of www.optigan.com and custodian of all things Optigan and Orchestron.

What do they sound like?
These sounds have a similar lo-fi quality as the Optigan lead sounds and we obviously advise anyone to listen to the demos so they know exactly what their getting before purchasing.

If you're after glossy hi-fi sounds, these are NOT for you. But if you want grainy, scratchy, lo-fi sounds, where occasionally it's more a case of 'noise to signal ratio' we think these are rather magnificent.

Are there any tracks I would know of where the Orchestron was used?
Probably. Kraftwerk used the Vocal Choir and Violins on Radio Activity, Man Machine and Trans Europe Express. If you listen to the opening string ascending part for Trans Europe Express, you can hear the Violins clearly. Also the Choir after the first minute of Europe Endless is all Orchestron.

Other artists and bands we're aware of who used the instrument include Patrick Moraz, Foreigner, Rainbow and Patrick Warren.

What happened to the Orchestron as an instrument?
In short, it died and it's believed out of the various models that saw light of day only around 30 still exist today.

If I want an Orchestron, how much would I be expected to pay?
Honestly? Too much! The last one we saw go on eBay went for over $6000 and given the lo-fi nature of the sound, coupled with the reliability issues you'd face as an owner, we're not sure if it's worth it.

That's one reason why we decided to do this add-on pack - to once again put rare and coveted sounds in the hands of M-Tron Pro users for a vastly more affordable price than an original instrument.

Legal Notice
All product names used in this product are trademarks of their respective owners and are in no way associated or affiliated with GForce Software Ltd. These trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose tones and sounds were studied and or recorded during development of this product.

OrchesTron - Take a Tour >