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GForce The Streetly Tapes M300 Expansion for M-Tron Pro

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The Streetly Tapes M300 Leads

 

Key Features

A GForce Software and Streetly Electronics collaboration
Tape banks from the original UK 'Tron masters
Derived from original EMI tape-stock
17 carefully curated M300 lead sounds for M-Tron Pro
35 notes per tape bank
Exclusively available via download - 437MB
100s of factory patches.

 

Descriptions by Martin Smith, Streetly Electronics.

The Streetly Tapes - M300 Leads. This particular 'tron had a short production life from around 1968 to 1971 but nevertheless it was used by some pretty heavyweight bands including; The Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest, Earth and Fire, Gentle Giant, and Marmalade.

 

M300 A Violins

THE sound of Barclay James Harvest. The M300 allowed you to remove the dry signal and leave the spring line ringing. This is what Woolly did and it was do effective with gently changing string pads set back in the mix. A wonderful sound in the right hands.

M300 B Violins

Mike Pinder used this sound on Never Comes the Day and Watching and Waiting. Need we say more! It is a solo violin recording and as mellow as they come.

M300 Celeste

A bright a sprightly recording that makes you want to take a turn around the room in a Jane Austen stylie

M300 Cello

The cello that appeared in the M400 catalogue was actually recorded much earlier and played by the legendary Reg 'can we do that one again' Kilby.

M300 Cello & Violins

It was decided that the M300 should have a full 52 note string ensemble and this was constructed from the A violins with the cello in the bass. It works although there is the inevitable knee jerk where the timbre changes. But hey...

M300 Clarinet

A black stick, all reedy with air rushing through like a tube train in the night.

M300 Flute

This is more of a jazz flute than the iconic MKII one and makes for a refreshing change.

M300 Hammond Organ

Here we have the beat group influence that haunted the M300. This was designed to be played against the let's get hip daddio pop rhythm in the left hand.

M300 Organ High

Same as above in purpose.

M300 Organ Low

The bottom notes of the previous organ converting the entire M300 into.....an organ!

M300 Piano High

Someone, somewhere decided that a piano sound was still a good bet after the lo fi offering of the MKII. To be fair it is an improvement and very useable in a Hammer Horror kinda way.

M300 Piano Low

The same piano as above stretching into the rhythm section and converting the entire M300 into.....a piano!

M300 Spanish Guitar

Segovia's little known brother Gary let loose on a plank with strings.

M300 Strings 2

As lost as an Inca prophecy, this combination sound sits in the library awaiting it's machine debut.

M300 Trombone

Quite a full on, thrusting sound if that's your bag. We are not sure if this is George Chisholm or not but it's a jolly fine recording heard quite loudly on Earth and Fire's Song of the Marching Children.

M300 Vibes

Tasty vibes without vibrato which makes a refreshing change. Great for incidental music in sitcoms where something crazy is going on with some ladders and a nun.

M300 Vibrato Organ

All the clues are there so I'll make a cup of tea instead.

 

Instrument Overview

 

Released in 1968, the M300 was the first 'Tron with a single 52-note keyboard, making it considerably more portable than its predecessor, the MkII. The M300 also came with a new set of sounds which were considered more hi-fi than those of the MkII.

The Moody Blues and the late Woolly Wolstenholme of Barclay James Harvest were probably the most notable users of the M300, but sadly it was still considered too bulky and fragile for the rigours of touring and was discontinued after approximately sixty were produced.

 

 

Son of the original Mellotron maker and co-owner of Streetly Electronics, makers of the magnificent M4000, John Bradley states “In 1966, my father, Les, who’d done all the recordings for the MkII Mellotron, had a heart attack. As a consequence he was out of the picture for a while and the recordings were overseen by the foreman, David Foreacre. He went down to IBC studios with Eric Robinson and recorded the new library, and because of the lessons learned from the MkII recording sessions, this was treated as a Mellotron Take 2 recording session and there’s no doubt that due to advances in recording and experience gained since the MkII recording session, the M300 sounds are cleaner and more Hi-Fi.”

 

 

There’s also no doubt that the M300 was the transitional instrument which helped spawn the legendary and decidedly more portable M400, but it’s an interesting and rare machine in its own right and deserves recognition for its place in the original Mellotron lineage. The tape replay concept may have remained the same but the M300 song is refreshingly different from either the MkII or the M400.

 

Works With

 

Take a Tour

IMPORTANT!

M-Tron Pro Expansion Packs are only available to registered users of M-Tron Pro. Additionally, they are exclusively available as direct downloads at www.gforcesoftware.com/myinstruments

Click to enlarge image

 

The Original Instrument

While we love and admire the engineering of the original hardware machines, we also think hardware and good software should sit side-by-side. Because although the hardware versus software debate still rages, ad nauseam, the simple truth is that there's no definitive answer as to which is best. Just as there is good and bad hardware, there is good and bad software and the answer to this conundrum will depend on all manner of things including your personal perspective, available space, your technical savvy, your preferred working environment and of course your finances.

For example, do the majority of musicians looking for ‘that sound’ really care to maintain a forty-plus year old instrument, sourcing rare parts when they wear out or break?

Naturally we care, because we feel that we’re custodians of these instruments and while many other software companies simply hire-in instruments to record or model, we consider this bad practice. In our opinion good practice is when you've lived with and loved the original instrument's character and foibles for a considerable time before beginning any emulative process. Because, then and only then, do you stand a chance of capturing some of the instrument's soul and character within the software alchemy.

It's a simple dogma but you'd be surprised at how many software companies ignore this in favour of marketing hyperbole. Indeed, when we explained our philosophy to the marketing director of one such company, he said "No one really cares" and strolled off to no doubt perpetrate more marketing myths.

For us that fundamental understanding and love for an instrument is what really matters when trying to transplant its character. You see, we can tell the difference between good or bad, lazy or indifferent, marketing bullshit versus a real love for the authentic, because we’ve been immersed in these instruments for over 30 years. And in the case of Streetly, over 50 years!

But ponder this - while we’ve thrown countless bags of money at the purchasing and maintenance of all manner of tape replay instruments from Chamberlin’s to Mellotrons, we’re the exception. We’re committed (some would say ‘certifiable’) and we do it so that you don’t have to.

If you want an M400 plus all the tapes we supplied with the M-Tron Pro, you'd be looking at £20,000 plus, as opposed to the M-Tron Pro's £140. Likewise, if you wanted to buy the physical tape frames of a Streetly Tapes Volume for your original M400 you’d be looking at a price tag of at least £5,000, whereas at 1% of that each Streetly Tape Volume represent amazing value for money.

It’s something worth bearing in mind the next time that someone tells you that hardware is better than software. 

     

      

     

      

     

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