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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...Click To Read More About This Product

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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
 
4.3

(based on 30 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

85%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (9)
  • Good selection of effects (9)
  • Responsive (9)
  • Excellent sound quality (8)
  • Versatile (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (10)
  • Home studio (6)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Outdoor events / games (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9), Professional musician (6)

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

 

Disappointed switch set to ON

Let's make this easy...either the unit was broken or it's unusable. Regardless of what setting I used, the low strings were OK but G-B-E all sounded the same...just a high...Read complete review

Let's make this easy...either the unit was broken or it's unusable. Regardless of what setting I used, the low strings were OK but G-B-E all sounded the same...just a high pitched whine. And your tone is out the window. Everything sounds thin and flat. I bought it hoping to replicate the "choir" sound from my Yamaha digital piano and it wasn't close. You might be able to use this for home recording but the fact that the unit doesn't sound good and the inability to save your settings makes it a no go for live performance.

Reviewed by 30 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Orchestra, Cello, Horns

By Full Minimalist

from El Paso, TX

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Performances

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

    Provides a very full sound. Great for rhythm with orchestra, strings, choir, or solo with cello, flute, clarinet, or a variety therein. I use it at the end of my chain in front of the amp with no problem. Using the Pedal Power 2 Plus in one of the "L6" slots powers it up nicely. Sustain and Attack can be adjusted if one doesn't want the notes sustaining for so long.

     
    5.0

    Keyboardist in need of a Mellotron? The Mel9 is it!

    By MCN

    from Fargo North Dakota

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

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

      I couldn't find any reviews regarding the use of a keyboard through the Mel9 save for one, so here's one more from a keyboardist's perspective. I have a Korg Minilogue that I use through the Mel9 and it sounds awesome! I prefer setting the Minilogue on the "Side Chain" so when you play a chord, your previous notes go down in volume, I find for my style that works great for a smooth sound when moving through chords but the "Poly" setting is great too. Then I turn the filter fully open and put it on a simple triangle wave. It can even pick up and track very well with the detuning and sounds killer if you have both Oscillators turned up. Anyway, so many possibilities, sounds awesome, this is a great option if you need a Mellotron. It's worth a try.

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Disappointed switch set to ON

      By Raz

      from Richmond VA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Not Responsive
      • Poor Sound Quality

      Best Uses

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

        Let's make this easy...either the unit was broken or it's unusable. Regardless of what setting I used, the low strings were OK but G-B-E all sounded the same...just a high pitched whine. And your tone is out the window. Everything sounds thin and flat. I bought it hoping to replicate the "choir" sound from my Yamaha digital piano and it wasn't close. You might be able to use this for home recording but the fact that the unit doesn't sound good and the inability to save your settings makes it a no go for live performance.

         
        5.0

        Tons of Fun!

        By Texbro

        from Austin, TX

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Good Selection Of Effects
        • Responsive

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Performances

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

          Some really great orchestral and choral sounds -- like you are playin in a cathedral with a pipe organ or choir.

           
          3.0

          Fun but limited

          By Jack

          from Miami.

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design

          Cons

          • Limited Selection Of Effects

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Performances

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

          The tracking is just OK. It would be nice if the tape warble could be turned off.

          (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Returned

          By Returned

          from Elgin SC

          Verified Buyer

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

          Returned

           
          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

            See all my reviews

            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.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Guitar Mellotron Madness!

            By eeL

            from Cordova

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            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 BL

              from Perham MN.

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              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.

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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