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Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal   

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The polyphonic MEL9 uses the same extraordinary technology as the B9, C9 and KEY9 to transform your axe and resurrect the sound of vintage tape-based...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Capture the sounds of the legendary Mellotron® for guitar, bass or keys.

The polyphonic MEL9 uses the same extraordinary technology as the B9, C9 and KEY9 to transform your axe and resurrect the sound of vintage tape-based keyboards. It pays homage to nine of the coolest Mellotron® sounds: Orchestra, Cello, Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass, Low Choir and High Choir. It works on guitar without modifications, special pickups or MIDI implementation and tracks bends, slides, even whammy dive bombs!
You can also put it to work with your bass down to the open A string as well as keyboards. The MEL9 includes independent Effect and Dry volume controls so you can create the perfect mix at the Effects output with a Dry Output jack to output your input signal at unity gain. The Attack control sets the volume swell speed. As it’s turned clockwise the notes fade in more gradually, while the Sustain control adjusts the release time after a sound is stopped. As it’s turned clockwise, the fade out time increase

FEATURES
  • Features 9 Mellotron® sounds: Orchestra, Cello, Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass, Low Choir and High Choir
  • Works with guitar, bass (down to open A string) and keyboard
  • Tracks bends, slides, even whammy dive bombs
  • Independent Effect and Dry volume controls
  • Dry Output jack outputs your input signal at unity gain
  • Attack control sets the volume swell speed
  • Sustain control adjusts the release time after a sound is stopped
  • Dimensions: 4.0 (w) x 4.75 (l) x 2.25 (h) in.

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Electro-HarmonixMEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.5

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Responsive (7)
  • Compact (6)
  • Good selection of effects (6)
  • Excellent sound quality (5)
  • Versatile (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (6)
  • Home studio (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (5), Professional musician (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Effects Pedal

This pedal is a weird animal and you have to adapt your playing to the pedal.

First off, don't expect to play fast and complicated with it; it has tracking Read complete review

This pedal is a weird animal and you have to adapt your playing to the pedal.

First off, don't expect to play fast and complicated with it; it has tracking
limitations like any other Guitar Synthesizer. However, consider an actual
Mellotron - you couldn't play fast intricate parts on a Mellotron either, just
because of the action and tape-to-head mechanism.

Play with this pedal as you would expect to play an actual Mellotron.

Also, you may have learned songs a certain way but when you use this pedal
certain fingerings produce a better experience, so, you won't be playing parts
the way you may be used to if you were just using a straight guitar.

I used to play Court Of The Crimson King using a root D chord, then, using my
middle finger to play the C bass note while relying on open strings to produce
my harmonies. That application didn't fair well with the Mel9.

Even full bar chords on the E and A strings don't always work well with certain applications. I find that simple triads, typically on the D, G and B strings produce a more convincing and well-controlled sound. Try to stay away from chord structures that mix open and fretted tones.

Also, be careful to make your chord changes clean and discrete. If you move your
hand down from something like the 9th fret to the 5th fret you get a sliding effect,
similar to using the Pitch Wheel on an actual Mellotron.

Although that is a nice feature, it will go against you if that is not what you were
intending to do.

You have to fool around with the pedal and re-invent ways to play familiar passages
in order to achieve a good balanced sound.

Also, if you want to toggle between straight guitar and Mel9 make sure to only use
the Effect Output. The Dry Output will always give you your untreated guitar tone,
independent of the knobs that blend the Dry and Effect outputs.

I like most of the tones; the only two settings that I am not too crazy about are the Brass and Sax settings.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

I would not buy this unit again.

I bought this for recording and it does have latency issues. On some chords it lags milliseconds. The stomp switch is hard to press and depress.
For the price I expected a superior...Read complete review

I bought this for recording and it does have latency issues. On some chords it lags milliseconds. The stomp switch is hard to press and depress.
For the price I expected a superior performing product.

Reviewed by 24 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

From a Mellotron Fan

By Quad The Qrazy Synth Man

from New Jersey

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Very Usable Sounds

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio

    Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

    I grew up listening to Mellotrons. Later, as a musician I dreamed of owning a Mellotron but they were too expensive a required a lot of maintenance. Then one day I heard there was a new German company called Manikin-Electronic who were about to release a digital form of Mellotron called a Memotron. This was a dream come true. Today I own a Memotron keyboard, rack and table top M2D. But that did not stop me from buying an actual Mellotron. Not the bulky original mentioned at the start, but the digital M4000D Mini keyboard. All together I have a library of at least 400 Mellotron sounds but when I saw the Mel 9 I wanted more. Not being a guitar player made me think how I would use it. I decided to use my ARP Odyssey by KORG's mono output into the Mel 9 and both the DRY and EFFECT output to a mixer. This allows me to adjust the mix and blend in some other effects with very nice results.

     
    4.0

    Cool with finger-picked acoustic guitar

    By JimB

    from St Louis, MO

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Double parts
    • Neat sounds

    Cons

    • (For me) Only for finger-picked passages
    • Does not respond well to fast changes
    • Not enough control over parameters

    Best Uses

    • Church
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

    I use with my Martin in church for slower "ballad" type things when fingerpicking. Tracking is a little slow but this depends on the attack/sustain chosen. Fast, strummed parts tend to sound messy so I don't use for those (I really didn't expect to) but it can sound like angels singing when picked.

    I've tried at home with an Ellis mandolin (K&K pickup). Was interesting but didn't track higher passages.

    I gave a '4' as I wish there was more control over the parameters. Other than that much fun.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Guitar Mellotron Madness!

    By eeL

    from Cordova, TN

    About Me Professional Musician

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Superior weirdness!

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I play a weekly acoustic/eclectic gig at a restaurant where few patrons actually care about what I am playing, as long as it's not too loud. I bring different acoustic/electric guitars every once in a while just to keep it interesting - for me, mainly. After some positive notice after I brought my Godin via Roland GR-20 guitar synth, I wanted to replicate some of the "pleasing orchestral sounds" using an acoustic, non-hex-equipped guitar. After some research, voila! The EH Mel9. I'm still playing around with the sounds, but after the first gig with it, I believe I found what I was looking for. Strange, unearthly orchestral voicings quite similar to the wobbly tape loop sounds emanating via the original Mellotron of the late-'60s are definitely possible... now, to master "In the Court of the Crimson King"...!

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      the Mel-9 has added a new shade of color to my ballads.

      By Bruce

      from Perham MN.

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Performances

        Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

        I play a 5 string fretless bass and the Mel-9 has added a new color to my ballads. I was impressed that I could even get the low A on my E string. The STRINGS setting is a favorite. I would recommend the Mel-9 to a fellow player.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Cool Pedal

        By Stroker

        from Tx

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Excellent Sound Quality

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

          Very inspiring pedal. Can get sounds like Zeppelin or the Beatles. Fun to play with and sounds great. I use two amps and sent the effect to one amp and the guitar to the other.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great product

          By Woody

          from Left Coast Oregon

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Good Selection Of Effects
          • Responsive

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Performances

            Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

            I'm using the mel9 with my bass guitar to add chordal backing during guitar solos. It works really well with the upper strings of my 8-string bass for chords,runs,etc. Sounds fabulous to replicate the keyboard parts of "Kashmir" with a 3-piece band!
            I love the orchestra,string quartet,and choral settings right off the bat. The flute,and other woodwind settings don't seem as good,but i may just need more time to figure how best to utilize those sounds. I would probably have preferred more choral settings,(female voices,as the mel9's are definitely male-or is that just because i'm using a bass guitar to trigger it?) It tracks well,and seems to do ok even in registers lower than the Low A. I am going to try running my keyboard,and a guitar through it at some point,but overall i think it is a terrific pedal.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Versatile but not perfect

            By Greg

            from Humble, TX

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Selection Of Effects
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Some Effects Better Than Others

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Performances

            Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

            This is a very versatile and cool pedal. I play electric guitar in a small praise band at our church. We have a piano, bass, acoustic guitar and drums. It often falls to me to fill in some other the other sounds that may be indicated. This pedal, along with the EH C9 Organ Machine gives me quite a varies palette from which to paint the music. The Orchestra setting fills out large passages very well, similar to a synth pad but with a brighter sound. The Cello setting is excellent on the low strings. It is very convincing. The Strings setting does a good impression of a string pad with chords; single string notes in the right range approximates a violin. The Flute setting is okay and gives you a unique sound but doesn't quite capture the flute sound. I was not impressed by the Clarinet and Saxophone settings, again something different but not a very good approximation of the actual instruments. The Brass is a little better and does sound "brassy" with the right settings but won't take the place of an actual horn. The two Choir settings do pretty decent with 2 and 3 note chords utilized like a synth pad.
            The response and tracking is quick. It's so quick that you have to really watch the extra movements on the strings lest you change the pitch inadvertently. Even taking your fretting fingers off the string will result in a pitch change unless you mute the strings simultaneously. It takes some finesse to get the sounds clean but the learning curve is pretty mild.
            Overall an amazing pedal that I would recommend when a lot of different instrument sounds are needed in a limited personnel setting.

             
            5.0

            another great pedal from EH

            By bear

            from boston, MA

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Good Selection Of Effects
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

                easy to use, the sounds are realistic! very unique sounds !

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great pedal

                By johnnyd

                from Massachusetts

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

                Very cool pedal. Does what it says it does. It can't replace a keyboard player, but it's close.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great pedal that works great, for a reasonable price.

                By Saether

                from Kristiansund N, Norway

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Compact Design
                • Good Selection Of Effects
                • Responsive
                • Versatile

                Cons

                • Lack of vibrato and tone control.

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine Guitar Effects Pedal:

                  This is pedal has some great sounds, and very close to the real thing. The only thing I find missing is a vibrato and a tone control. The sound is a bit on the harsh side treble wise, so I have to use an analogue pedal with a tone control as a filter. That works great, though, and takes the sound closer to the warmth of a real Mellotron. I use the cello, orchestra and flute effects the most, but the other effects is very cool too. Some of the effects could make use of a vibrato control as the vibrato can be a little too present at times. I would say that this pedal works exellent on keyboards with great tracking and all, but not so much on guitar in my opinion. I guess one have to adjust the style of playing to emulate the instruments on each effect. When the pedal is in use on keyboards it is possible to play fast solos as well, but I felt the tracking was a little off with a guitar. Overall I think this is a great pedal with great value for the Money. This pedal has been long awaited.

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

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                  Previous | Next »

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