Author Topic: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards  (Read 2048 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MarkF_48

The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« on: October 08, 2022, 10:54:33 PM »
Wasn't sure where to stick this, but an interesting look back at the roots of arranger type keyboards......

https://youtu.be/HdkixaxjZCM
 
The following users thanked this post: Keyboard Master

Offline pjd

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2022, 11:36:53 PM »
Thanks for the post, Mark!

That's an interesting use of a Mellotron circa 1965. The gestures and tape playback are similar to what people do with loops and one-shots in Ableton Live or Akai MPC.

All the best -- pj

Offline mikf

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2022, 11:48:18 PM »
Yes, the Mellotron was a complicated instrument full of moving wheels and tapes and tape heads.  I think I read somewhere that it was used on a couple of Beatles tracks and other British 60s bands. Quite a lot of them were made, but they were apparently very expensive. They make the Genos look like a bargain. I canít even imagine how hard they were to maintain.

US members would not be aware that the guy at the keyboard, David Nixon, was a huge TV star in the UK at the time with his own show. He was a brilliant magician, maybe the first TV magician. His celebrity did a lot to get the Mellotron noticed.
Mike

Offline pjd

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2022, 12:11:09 AM »
I was blown away the first time I heard one played live by John Hawken in Strawbs. Of course, I wasn't in a straight mental state at the time, nor has my hearing recovered to this day.  :D

-- pj
 
The following users thanked this post: Keyboard Master

Offline travlin-easy

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2022, 01:03:43 AM »
I absolutely loved watching this. Especially  when the pianist performed El Cumbanchero, a song I performed regularly for my Latin audiences.

Thanks for posting this,

Gary  8)
Love Those Yammies...
 
The following users thanked this post: Keyboard Master

Offline alans

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2022, 12:07:23 PM »
If you have heard Strawberry Fields (Beatles) you have heard a mellotron,it is the sound in the intro,Paul McCartney now ownes the one used in the song.
Here is a youtube vid of him using a mellotron in Abbey RD studios

https://youtu.be/TUcfB5Whp4I

Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues also used a mellotron quite extensively in their music.
I believe they are still being manufactured by someone
« Last Edit: October 12, 2022, 12:10:43 PM by alans »
Previous keyboards-Yamaha PSR 410,Technics KN2000,KN5000,KN6000 , KN7000 and Tyros5
 

Offline SciNote

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2022, 03:01:36 AM »
Yep, I've seen this before.  It may have even been posted on here several years back.  I'm surprised that a video recording from 1965 is in color.

This instrument does a lot more than what the Mellotron eventually became.  As far as I know, the ones you usually hear on rock records are basic, one-keyboard instruments that allow you to select between two tones that are, of course, played on tapes inside the instrument.  If you want different sounds, you have to change the whole set of tapes.  But it was a way to get the sound of real instruments before electronic sampling technology was available.

The instrument in the video is far more complex, with all of those rhythms and backgrounds, and it sounded like he said there is a choice of 18 instrument sounds for lead instruments!  That thing must have been jammed full of tape loops/strips!

But I imagine the accompaniment section had to be pretty limited, as it would seem difficult to accommodate a wide selection of drum rhythms, chords, tempos, and background instruments using just tape loops.  You could change the speed of the playback, but that would affect pitch and tempo at the same time.

Mellotron does still exist, and I think they do sell a tape-based system.  But they also sell electronic-based systems, as well.  But in my opinion, they're very expensive for what is essentially a "rompler" -- as much as $2800 US -- with keyboards like the PSR-SX700 and SX900 having far more features for the money.

On a related note, what do you think was the first commercially available polyphonic synthesizer?  A Moog from the 1960's, maybe?  Nope!  It's the Hammond Novachord from 1939!  Just do a search for it -- plenty of info out there about it.  Wikipedia says it had 163 vacuum tubes, and a few still exist today!
Bob
Current: Yamaha PSR-E433, Roland GAIA SH-01, Casio CDP-200R, Casio MT-68 (wired to bass pedals)
Past: Yamaha PSR-520, PSR-510, PSR-500, DX-7, D-80 home organ, and a few Casios
 
The following users thanked this post: Keyboard Master

Re: The Beginnings of Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2022, 07:32:36 AM »
Thank you for Posting this Nice Find! This shows how Arranger keboards started and ten they evolved over time 8)