Ever heard of a Mellotron? No? Well, even if you don’t recognise this instrument’s name, you’ll recognise its sound: it’s the sound of The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever, of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and of Radiohead’s OK Computer.
If that’s inspired you to have a tinker, you’ll want to check out Mellowsound. The app lets you play your own Mellotron, just without all of the big, bulky, costly restrictions of a traditional unit.
Mellowsound is based on the Mellotron M400, from which all its sounds have been sampled. And these 16-bit/44KHz CD-quality samples are good enough for proper recordings.
They cover 14 instruments including strings, pianos, choirs (not technically an instrument, we know) and woodwinds. Need more creative control? The app also includes tremolo, delay and reverb effects to add ambience.
It’s an app that also plays well with others. You can connect an external MIDI keyboard, and you can use it with your favourite recording app via AudioBus or Inter-App Audio.
Once you get the obligatory Strawberry Fields out of the way it’s easy to get lost in the sheer joy of making music with a new instrument. Mellotrons are tons of fun and Mellowsound does a great job of capturing that.
Let it take you down...