Before gadgeteers could get affordable (or any) electronics for polyphonic sound synthesis or sample playback, they dallied with tape playback devices that would link each key to its own tape mechanism that played a pre-recorded tape loop at the keyed pitch. They called it a Mellotron, and yes, an 88-key piano would require 88 tape mechanisms.
Mike Walters’ home-made Melloman uses walkman-style cassette players wired to a two-octave keyboard in that snazzy-cool case. He has to rewind the 60 minute tapes manually, as gapless looping cassettes are hard to find/make.
I wonder who’s going to build a MIDI capable Mellotron now?
Thanks to Engadget for the link.
tags: cassette players, cassettes, engadget, looping, lucy in the sky with diamonds, mellotron, mike walters, musical samples, two octave keyboard, penny lane, playback devices, pre-recorded samples, snazzy, sound synthesis, strawberry fields, tape loop, tape playback, walkman