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Episode # 26: Bringing the Mellotron into the 21st century

Episode # 26: Bringing the Mellotron into the 21st century

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About the show

Playing tracks by

Shinsekai, Genesis, Peter Mergener and Klaus Hoffmann - Hoock, KRAFTWERK .

There are very few instruments so iconic that their name rings a bell with musicians across the globe. The MELLOTRON certainly is one such instrument. Made famous by artists such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Genesis, The Moody Blues, Kraftwerk and The Beatles (to name but a few) it will live on forever on the records of the aforementioned artists.But for one man that just wasn’t good enough! POEM’s Thomas Janak talks to “Mister Mellotron Germany” Klaus Hoffmann – Hoock about the Mellotron and Memotron, the 21st century version of the legendary instrument.

Quite fitting as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Mellotron.

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Barry Shatswell
Barry Shatswell

It is an interesting interview with Klaus. I found his recollections delightful. On the instrument side, though I did not choose the Memotron. It was just too slow in changing sounds and the keyboard was not really a good feel, when I wanted to have ultimate control over swells with the keyboard. I finally settled on the Digital Mellotron M4000D from Markus Resch (www.mellotron.com). I found that Markus' tapes were cleaner and the keyboard to be superior over the Memotron. The M4000D is heavier than the Memotron, having wooden piano style weighted keys, but the sound so very much makes up for the weight increase. I used the M4000D alongside a Nord Wave to simulate a 4 register Mellotron, without all of the mechanical problems associated with the analog Mellotrons.

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