The world first heard the instantly recognizable sounds of the Mellotron on hits from the Moody Blues (“Nights in White Satin”) and the Beatles (“Strawberry Fields Forever”) in the 1960s. In 2010, Mellotron reintroduced the iconic tape-based machine in a compact digital version, the Mellotron M4000D, that retains the authentic sound, look and feel of the original keyboard while adding some significant improvements.
To begin with, the original keyboard was large and hard to move around. The M4000D is a similar size and weight to any of today’s digital keyboards (W:34 in. x D:19.5 in. x H:5.25 in.; 38 pounds).
The M4000D comes loaded with 100 authentic Mellotron and Chamberlain (the tape-based keyboard from which the Mellotron was derived) lead sounds. Mellotron sourced the sounds from the original first-generation tape library, so the quality is pristine yet retains the distinctive character of those early machines.
The uncompressed 24-bit sounds are immediately accessible—no waiting for tapes to reposition—and, unlike the original, two banks of sounds can be accessed at the same time and blended. An expansion card slot lets you add another 100 sounds. The front panel TFT display can even display images of the selected instruments.
Additional controls include volume, tone, a switch for normal or half-speed play and pitch adjustment. There are three balanced connectors (XLR with gold-plated pins) and three line connectors (1/4-in) for the A and B bank outputs plus Master. MIDI in, out, and thru are also included. Additional outputs (1/4-in) are provided for sustain, expression, and volume pedals, and for headphones.
The M4000D has been used onstage and in the studio by artists, musicians and producers including Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, Eels, Jackson Browne, Bruno Mars, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Sean Lennon, Brendan Benson, Air, Kooks, Train, Elbow, Michael Beinhorn, Bob Rock, Raphael Saadiq, Noel Gallagher and Gotye.
- 100 instantly accessible Mellotron and Chamberlin sounds, captured from original tape sources at 24-bits, uncompressed
- Expansion slot for 100 additional sounds
- A and B sound banks simultaneously accessible, with mix control
- Controls for volume, tone, normal/half-speed play and pitch adjustment
- A, B and Master outputs available on balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4-in line connectors
- 1/4-in. connectors for sustain, expression, and volume pedals, and for headphones
- MIDI in, out, and thru
- Dimensions: 34 in (W) x 19.5 in (D) x 5.25 in (H); weight: 38 pounds