Mellotron FX Sound Effects Console

Made:
1968-1972

Mellotron FX sound effects console (replay only). Manaufactured by Mellotronics Ltd, about 1970.

The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical musical instrument developed in England, in 1963. The instrument is played by pressing its keys, each of which pushes a length of magnetic tape against a capstan, which pulls it across a playback head. Different portions of the tape can be played to access different sounds.

The instrument began to be used by rock and pop groups in the mid to late 1960s, including The Moody Blues and The Beatles. The Mellotron was subsequently used by groups like King Crimson and Genesis, becoming a common instrument in prog rock.

The instrument's popularity declined in the 1980s after the introduction of polyphonic synthesizers and samplers, despite a number of high-profile users like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and XTC.

Production of the Mellotron ceased in 1986, but it regained popularity in the 1990s and was used by several notable bands, such as Oasis and Radiohead.

Details

Category:
Television
Object Number:
2007-5014
Materials:
aluminium (metal), brass (copper, zinc alloy), electronic components, glass, metal (unknown), plastic (unidentified), textile and wood (unidentified)
type:
mellotron
taxonomy:
  • component - object
credit:
The National Media Museum, Bradford