If you’re anything like me, you’ve always wanted a real Mellotron but could never afford it.
fetish magic of real analogue tape synthesiser is beyond time. Mellotron is all over the place on all the records I love, from King Crimson to Radiohead, and its distinctive allure is still spellbinding thousands of musicians.
Mellotron used analogue tapes and heads with pre-recorded sounds (from strings to choirs), which were triggered at different speeds by the mechanical keys on the keyboard. It had all the real analogue magic you can think about – low fidelity, noise, flutter, compression, and incredible sound.
Digital and analogue reissues are well in the market – Mellotron itself revived as a company to create the stunning M4000D Digital Mellotron as well as Mellotron Apps for iOS and the analogue Mellotron MK VI.
Numerous other incarnations exist – think about the great Mel9 guitar pedal from Electro Harmonix, which allows guitarists to mimic Mellotron sounds directly from their axe.
Onde Magnétique OM-1 is a super clever, yet affordable heir of the Mellotron.
Is it still 100% analogue, but it uses analogue cassette tapes (yes, the ones from when we were young) instead of built in tapes or samples
“The OM-1 Cassette Synthesizer is an analog musical instrument built around the concept that when a continuous tone/note is recorded to tape, its pitch will change as the tape’s playback speed is increased or decreased. Individual notes are playable via the 8 buttons (keys), each with a tuning knob directly above it.”
Images worth a thousand words below.
How cool is this?? And YES, it comes with the cassette player!
This is the kind of low fi, affordable tool that keeps you busy creating sounds forever.
Just imagine recording your own loops and sounds on the cassette, which instantly becomes your analogue sampler. You can record anything: clips from records, your own voice, guitars, flutes.. you name it!
Each unit is made in the USA and it ships for $285.
Unfortunately, the OM-1 is currently sold out.