- A GForce Software and Streetly Electronics collaboration
- Tape banks from the original UK 'Tron masters
- Derived from original EMI tape-stock
- 26 carefully curated sounds for M-Tron Pro
- 35 notes per tape bank
- Exclusively available via download - 700MB
- 100s of patches, many from luminaries including Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett), Matt Berry (musician, actor, writer, comedian) and a couple of additional Herberts.
Descriptions by Martin Smith, Streetly Electronics.
15 Choir - To be truthful, the history of this recording is lost but nevertheless, this is a great alternative to the Eight Choir with a totally different timbre due to a large helping of men and boys. A gentle plate reverb makes this sit nicely in the mix.
Alto Sax - A sassy sounding sexy sax. Try that with your dentures missing.
Bradley Orchestra 2 - Another one of Les's mixes, probably at the request of a client for a brasher sound and somewhat azimuthy in quality but damned good all the same.
Celeste - This is a ridiculously clean recording from the mid 70s.
Cello Viola Mix - The cello can reach the lower Viola range but the difference in timbre betwixt the two instruments is what makes this recording splendid.
Clarinet - This is the sound of the late George Clouston, Mellotronics Ltd director and difficult, uncompromising gentleman blowing his stick in private. To be fair to George, it's a very atmospheric recording.
Classic Strings - A blend of MKII Violins and the later M300A Violins, each smoothing out the imperfections and removing the OUCH! moments.
Fairlite Swanee - Another 8-bit classic that suits the 'tron perfectly.
Female Choir - Four ladies separated for reasons of decency from the four males during the recording of the legendary Eight Choir so as not to inflame the gentlemen's ardour.
Hammond Organ - A dirty, poorly maintained and unloved C3. Great!
Hammond C3 Clean - The C3 after an expensive overhaul.
Layered Choir - Males morphing to Females morphing to Boys across the 35 notes.
Mixed Brass B - This is the filthiest brass recording in the library. Listen to Grave New World by the Strawbs and be impressed that all the wrong things can most definitely make a right.
MkII Brass - The classic sound of two saxes, two trumpets and a trombone. A popular sound and used by many including King Crimson, The Moodies, Genesis and many more.
Moogy Whoosh - An early modular Moog, transformed into a 35 note polyphonic synth by its transfer to mellotron tapes. This recording had Bob Moog bewildered when he heard his monophonic monster playing chords!
Muted Brass - the MKII Brass recorded through the back of a sofa. Soft and warm, like the seat I have just vacated.
Piano - Bill Fransen was so disappointed by the efforts to record a piano for the MKII that he made a recording all on his own one night while the world slept. This is it.
Pump Organ - A wheezing and wonderful recording all the way from the US of A.
Sad Strings - Amongst Les Bradley's tapes was a reel of 1/4" tape with a recording of these strings. It had been abandoned because there were so many sonic problems that were almost impossible to fix back in the 70s. We decided to rescue the tape and made the tweaks and edits that revealed a haunting, almost archaic sound.
Trumpet - Bright and cheerful but hell for the performer. Eight seconds of blowing those top notes nearly ruined his testicles FOREVER.
Vibes No Vibrato - Vibes with no vibrato. There's nothing else to say except Rick Wakeman used them on Six Wives.
Violin - Believe it or not, the violinist FORGOT his violin for this recording and one had to be urgently located in the wilds of rural Worcestershire. Luckily a local pig farmer had a Stradivarius.
Watcher Mix - The mix Genesis employed on Watcher of the Skies created from blending tracks A&B on their rickety MKII, thatched model.
Wine Glass - Who doesn't like the gentle rubbing of the rim especially when it's gentle and haunting....and worrying.
Woodwind 2 - An alternative woodwind recording introducing french horn and piccolo and surgically removing the BASSOON of DOOM.
The Original Instrument
Made with the help of Streetly Electronic's John Bradley and Martin Smith, this film is a comprehensive and fascinating story of the trials and tribulations then ultimate resurrection of an iconic instrument which still grabs our sonic attention nearly 50 years after its birth.
There's enough info in this film to educate even a hardened Mellotron® enthusiast and there’s no doubting the formidable expertise that Streetly have garnered since John’s family commenced manufacturing and sales of the original way back in 1963. Indeed, the truth is whenever we go to visit them we talk little else but ‘tron and we always leaved armed with more nerdy nuggets of ‘tron information. We also now own one of their magnificent Streetly M4000 ‘trons which is the only currently manufactured ‘tron that’s faithful to the original instrument’s tape replay ethos.
While we love and admire the engineering of the original hardware machines, we also think hardware and good software should sit side-by-side. Because although the hardware versus software debate still rages, ad nauseam, the simple truth is that there's no definitive answer as to which is best. Just as there is good and bad hardware, there is good and bad software and the answer to this conundrum will depend on all manner of things including your personal perspective, available space, your technical savvy, your preferred working environment and of course your finances.
For example, do the majority of musicians looking for ‘that sound’ really care to maintain a forty-plus year old instrument, sourcing rare parts when they wear out or break?
Naturally we care, because we feel that we’re custodians of these instruments and while many other software companies simply hire-in instruments to record or model, we consider this bad practice. In our opinion good practice is when you've lived with and loved the original instrument's character and foibles for a considerable time before beginning any emulative process. Because, then and only then, do you stand a chance of capturing some of the instrument's soul and character within the software alchemy.
It's a simple dogma but you'd be surprised at how many software companies ignore this in favour of marketing hyperbole. Indeed, when we explained our philosophy to the marketing director of one such company, he said "No one really cares" and strolled off to no doubt perpetrate more marketing myths.
For us that fundamental understanding and love for an instrument is what really matters when trying to transplant its character. You see, we can tell the difference between good or bad, lazy or indifferent, marketing bullshit versus a real love for the authentic, because we’ve been immersed in these instruments for over 30 years. And in the case of Streetly, over 50 years!
But ponder this - while we’ve thrown countless bags of money at the purchasing and maintenance of all manner of tape replay instruments from Chamberlin’s to Mellotrons, we’re the exception. We’re committed (some would say ‘certifiable’) and we do it so that you don’t have to.
If you want an M400 plus all the tapes we supplied with the M-Tron Pro, you'd be looking at £20,000 plus, as opposed to the M-Tron Pro's £140. Likewise, if you wanted to buy the physical tape frames of a Streetly Tapes Volume for your original M400 you’d be looking at a price tag of at least £5,000, whereas at 1% of that each Streetly Tape Volume represent amazing value for money.
It’s something worth bearing in mind the next time that someone tells you that hardware is better than software.