The Electro Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal is a little wonder that turns your guitar into one of nine captivating Mellotron sounds. From dark and brooding to softly sweet, let the MEL9 guide you in the creation of ethereal soundscapes as you let your fingers and imagination run wild. The beauty of the MEL9's design lies in the elimination of needing special MIDI pickups to create these synth sounds, all you need is an electric guitar, or any other instrument with an electrical output, such as a keyboard or bass down to 55Hz. The exemplary tracking abilities of the MEL9 means that whether you're performing intricate arpeggios, strumming chords, bending strings, tapping, diving - pretty much anything and everything we guitarists like to do -, you can rest assured that the subtle nuances of your performance are captured immaculately.
As noted, at your disposal there are 9 luxurious presets to explore: ORCHESTRA, CELLO, STRINGS, FLUTES, CLARINET, SAXOPHONE, BRASS, LOW CHOIR, and HIGH CHOIR. Whether you're looking to recreate classic rock and prog inspired tones, or want to craft your own mesmerizing sonic masterpieces, the presets give you the perfect foundation from which to build upon.
Connectivity and Control
The MEL9 is equipped with a signal instrument input, as two outputs: DRY and EFFECT. The Dry output jack outputs the input signal via the buffer circuit for pristine dry tone. The EFFECT output send the mix set by the DRY and EFFECT volume controls. Across the top, you'll find the very simple - yet remarkably versatile and utterly powerful - control layout that includes: DRY. EFFECT. ATTACK, SUSTAIN, PRESET, and a bypass footswitch.
The DRY volume pot controls the level of the unblemished instrument input signal. The EFFECT volume pot enables adjustment of the overall volume of the chosen preset. The ATTACK pot determines the volume swell speed, or the speed at which the effect becomes audible, enabling you to determine a gradual fade-in of the synth tone. The SUSTAIN pot determines the length of time a preset sound continues to ring out once you stop playing, taking you from an abrupt halt to a long, drawn out enveloping sound.
Solid EHX build quality
As with every Electro Harmonix product, the MEL9 Synthesizer Machine is built in New York City, to a very high standard of quality. Each knob feels smooth and responds cleanly, whilst the EHX bypass circuitry prevents your dry signal from becoming coloured by unwanted noise. Latency is non-existent, so you can be sure that what you play is what you hear.
Each pedal is supplied with an Electro-Harmonix 9.6DC-200BI power supply, so all you need to do is plug in and play!
Manufacturer Electro Harmonix Model MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal Dimensions (H x W x D) 89 x 121 x 102 mm Controls DRY, EFFECT, ATTACK, SUSTAIN, PRESET Connectivity Inputs: Input
Outputs: Dry; Effect
9V DC Input
Presets OBX, Profit V, Vibe Synth, Mini Mood, EHX Mini, Solo Synth, Mood Bass, String Synth, Poly VI Preset Descriptions
- 1. ORCHESTRA – This sound represents a full orchestra—including an octave below the normal guitar—and produces a gigantic, full sound.
- 2. CELLO – This sound of a solo cello includes the cello’s natural vibrato.
- 3. STRINGS – Presenting the sound of a small four-piece string section, including natural vibrato.
- 4. FLUTES – This preset presents the classic solo flute sound heard on many recordings.
- 5. CLARINET – This sound of a solo clarinet sounds great both as a solo (played monophonically) instrument and when playing chords.
- 6. SAXOPHONE – This funky vintage British solo saxophone sound is perfect for playing Beatles-like rock lines. It blends great with an overdriven guitar.
- 7. BRASS – This preset is a trumpet-like sound, and when playing chords it produces a great brass section sound. As noted earlier, the ATTACK and SUSTAIN knobs work differently for this preset than for other presets. The ATTACK knob controls a filter sweep for brass synthesizer sounds and the SUSTAIN knob adds the “lip buzz” characteristic of trumpet/brass sounds.
- 8. LOW CHOIR – This sound is a full low-voiced choir made up of many voices.
- 9. HIGH CHOIR – This sound is a higher-voiced choir made up of many voices.
TIPS ON GETTING OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE FROM THE MEL9
- 1. The MEL9 is generally best used as the first pedal in an effects chain. Place modulation, delay, and reverb effects after the MEL9. The unit will not perform well if placed in the effects loop of a guitar amp.
- 2. If a guitar’s pickup has a weak output, performance can be improved by putting a clean boost or a compressor in front of the MEL9. Avoid placing a distortion or overdrive in front of the MEL9. Placing distortion or overdrive in front of the MEL9 will muddy up the input signal and cause the tracking to be unstable. If you want to add overdrive or distortion, place it after the MEL9.
- 3. The MEL9 tracking response is limited depending on the preset chosen, and the type of electronic instrument you use to trigger the effect. On guitar, the usable range for these sounds goes up to about the 23rd fret on the high-E for some presets, and to only the 16th fret for others. On bass guitar, the MEL9 tracks only about as low as the open A-string.
- 4. The MEL9 imitates Mellotron® sounds, so the MEL9 will only sound as real for any of the nine instruments as the Mellotron® does. For example, the FLUTE preset is the same as the Mellotron’s flute which is a recording of a real flute.
- 5. Pay attention to performance gestures (vibrato, trills, slides, and so on) and the settings for ATTACK and SUSTAIN. If you want to mimic a Mellotron®, play pianistically with as little guitar inflection as possible. If you want to simulate an actual sound such as a cello, adapt your performance gestures to help mimic the actual sound. Otherwise, let your creativity guide your approach to playing the MEL9. And that means you should feel free to go wild by combining atypical performance techniques with traditional sounds. So what if an actual clarinet does not let you bend a note up a whole tone or more? Now you can go for it!
Input Impedance 1MOhm Output Impedance 500Ohms Current Draw 100mA Included Accessories Electro-Harmonix 9.6DC-200mA power supply
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