MELLOW OUT WITH MELLO
French software developer UVI has gone to great effort to produce the Mello, the company’s virtual instrument version of the classic Mellotron. The Mellotron was a keyboard that used an 8-second recorded tape for each and every piano key to create hybrid organ/synth/electric piano sounds that became the mainstay of 1960-1970 pro rock bands like Yes and Genesis, but is probably best known as the flute intro to the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever and the keys on The Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin. The Mellotron must have been a roadie’s nightmare at 160kg, and UVI’s Mello plug-in is no lightweight either with its 1.7GB of samples courtesy of UVI painstakingly sampling the tapes from three of the original machines. You also get keys and mechanical noises included – being a virtual instrument these are mixable – plus several modern options like a tape delay and 3-band EQ. The really good news is that for a period Mello is completely free. Instead, you’re encouraged to donate to the Fukushima Earthquake fund and UVI will match any generosity dollar-for-dollar. Eventually Mello will sell for US$99.00 from UVI’s website at www.uvi.net There you’ll also find more details on the Mello’s development and extra information on the Mellotron’s history.