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To all the keyboardists out there, what would you rather own? A mellotron or a synclavier?


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#1 fraroc

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 07:42 PM

I'm not a keyboardist by any stretch of the imagination...But I'm interested to hear from people who are good at the keys their take on this.


Personally, both instruments seem like a lot of fun to play. The Mellotron is especially cool because of it's rich history in progressive rock music and the fact that it pretty much is a completely analog version of a sampler. All the sounds that come from that are from hundreds and hundreds of spools of magnetic tape.

The Synclavier was definitely ahead of it's time when it came out in the late 70s early 80s. It was one of the very first digital synthesizers. Most of the 80s synths that we all love like the Oberheim OB-X were analog synths. The Synclavier could play a wide variety of different sounds and samples as well. (Fun Fact, the synthesizer intro to Michael Jackson's Beat It is a synclavier. It's not an Oberheim as most people think.)

Anyway, I'd like to get your guys' take on this.

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#2 Maverick

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:13 PM

Why not get something Y that can emulate both?

#3 Bigbobby10

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 12:02 AM

Im not a keyboardist either, but the mellotron is my favorite sounding instrument period, I just love the sound of it.

#4 Lorraine

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 06:58 PM

View PostBigbobby10, on 02 August 2017 - 12:02 AM, said:

Im not a keyboardist either, but the mellotron is my favorite sounding instrument period, I just love the sound of it.
Me too.  That's why I loved The Moody Blues and King Crimson and ELP back then.

Still love the sound of it to this day.

Edited by Lorraine, 02 August 2017 - 06:59 PM.


#5 fraroc

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 07:38 AM

Im curious as to how much a mellotron costs nowadays. An authentic fully analog one.

#6 Mystic Slipperman

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:37 AM

Mellotron for sure!!

#7 Lorraine

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:15 AM

Do they still make them?

Mike Pinder from the Moodies talked a lot about the mellotron in interviews.  He was one of the first, if not the first, person to use it in songs.  He used to talk about transporting them during tours and how they would break down on stage and he would scramble to fix it.

And I remember Greg Lake in an interview telling about the first time Keith Emerson sat down in front of one.  That's how they got the end to Lucky Man - it was Keith just experimenting with the mellotron and Greg happened to be recording it.

It's an amazing instrument and made more than a few otherwise bland songs/albums great.

Edited by Lorraine, 03 August 2017 - 11:16 AM.


#8 Bigbobby10

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:39 AM

View PostLorraine, on 03 August 2017 - 11:15 AM, said:

Do they still make them?

Mike Pinder from the Moodies talked a lot about the mellotron in interviews.  He was one of the first, if not the first, person to use it in songs.  He used to talk about transporting them during tours and how they would break down on stage and he would scramble to fix it.

And I remember Greg Lake in an interview telling about the first time Keith Emerson sat down in front of one.  That's how they got the end to Lucky Man - it was Keith just experimenting with the mellotron and Greg happened to be recording it.

It's an amazing instrument and made more than a few otherwise bland songs/albums great.

Every time I hear the Mellotron in Tuesday Afternoon or in In the Court of the Crimson King it just gives me the chills, not sure if they make them still. Completely agree with the last statement

#9 fraroc

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:16 PM

View PostLorraine, on 03 August 2017 - 11:15 AM, said:

Do they still make them?

Mike Pinder from the Moodies talked a lot about the mellotron in interviews.  He was one of the first, if not the first, person to use it in songs.  He used to talk about transporting them during tours and how they would break down on stage and he would scramble to fix it.

And I remember Greg Lake in an interview telling about the first time Keith Emerson sat down in front of one.  That's how they got the end to Lucky Man - it was Keith just experimenting with the mellotron and Greg happened to be recording it.

It's an amazing instrument and made more than a few otherwise bland songs/albums great.

They make a digital version of them, which do resemble the ones we know and love, however those mellotron samples could probably be loaded onto any digital keyboard or MIDI controller.

#10 Lorraine

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 07:41 AM

View Postfraroc, on 03 August 2017 - 05:16 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 03 August 2017 - 11:15 AM, said:

Do they still make them?

Mike Pinder from the Moodies talked a lot about the mellotron in interviews.  He was one of the first, if not the first, person to use it in songs.  He used to talk about transporting them during tours and how they would break down on stage and he would scramble to fix it.

And I remember Greg Lake in an interview telling about the first time Keith Emerson sat down in front of one.  That's how they got the end to Lucky Man - it was Keith just experimenting with the mellotron and Greg happened to be recording it.

It's an amazing instrument and made more than a few otherwise bland songs/albums great.

They make a digital version of them, which do resemble the ones we know and love, however those mellotron samples could probably be loaded onto any digital keyboard or MIDI controller.
That's like digital church bells.  Nice, but not just quite the same.

#11 treeduck

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 12:37 PM

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 07:41 AM, said:

View Postfraroc, on 03 August 2017 - 05:16 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 03 August 2017 - 11:15 AM, said:

Do they still make them?

Mike Pinder from the Moodies talked a lot about the mellotron in interviews.  He was one of the first, if not the first, person to use it in songs.  He used to talk about transporting them during tours and how they would break down on stage and he would scramble to fix it.

And I remember Greg Lake in an interview telling about the first time Keith Emerson sat down in front of one.  That's how they got the end to Lucky Man - it was Keith just experimenting with the mellotron and Greg happened to be recording it.

It's an amazing instrument and made more than a few otherwise bland songs/albums great.

They make a digital version of them, which do resemble the ones we know and love, however those mellotron samples could probably be loaded onto any digital keyboard or MIDI controller.
That's like digital church bells.  Nice, but not just quite the same.
Lorraine can play keyboards on her teeth!!

#12 condemned2bfree

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 01:34 AM

It depends on what situation, they will both have their place in the right place. Getting vsts and a midi keyboard through to your laptop/PC, makes a convincing case, to emulate the keyboards you mention. Especially the Mellotron.

The Synclaviar was used by Frank Zappa, he composed primarily on this towards the end, thats all I know about this, other than it looks big and cumbersome to physically own.

My preference would be to hook up a MIdi keyboard with a vast range of keys to your pc and get a selection vsts. There are many free ones. I have an Oberheim OB-X VST that was free and its pretty good and some decent free Mellatron vsts are out there too. There are some nice free vsts available, to introduce you to the world of keys.

Synclavier vst


Mellotron, testing the intro to strawberry fields. Listen to how close these free vsts come to the original intro on this Beatles classic -

https://blog.wavosau...-mellotron-vst/

The Synclavier seems to be more enjoyable, having more of a range of sounds, though each keyboard sound has its place, in the right place.
So I don't look at what is better, its whats better suited for that musical moment.

Edited by condemned2bfree, 08 September 2017 - 01:49 AM.


#13 condemned2bfree

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 01:56 AM

Interesting article how the 200,000 dollar Synclavier is now 200 dollars.

http://www.synthtopi...-now-a-200-app/




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