Mellotron FX 400 Sound Effects Machine

Mellotron FX 400 Sound Effects Machine
Title:
Mellotron FX 400 Sound Effects Machine
NFSA ID:
556402
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The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical polyphonic tape replay keyboard, originally developed and built in Birmingham, UK in the early 1960s.

Contained inside the instrument is a bank of parallel linear magnetic audio tape strips. Playback heads underneath each key enable the playing of pre-recorded sounds. Each of the tape strips has a playback time of approximately eight seconds, after which the tape stops and rewinds to the start position.

This unit features grey-blue chipboard casing with small keyboard and effects dials on left hand side. The unit can be wheeled around on casters. Tapes in this machine were loaded with pre-reocrded sound effects used in TV drama production. A description of each effect is written in red pen on masking tape positioned above keyboard.

Manufactured in Australia, circa 1970.

Photographer:
Brooke Shannon