In this article we’re gonna look at how to create your own presets in Arturia Mellotron V. In contrast to a Synthesizer plugin, where you would simply tweak the knobs to create your own sounds, Mellotron gives you the possibility to import your own samples to create your custom instrument patches.
What you want to do first, is record a single note from an instrument you have lying around or sample from youtube – whatever works best for you. In this case, I recorded a note from my classical flute. Export that sample as a .wav or .aiff file.
Now go to Mellotron V, click on the three lines to open the menu and select „New Preset…“ In the top right corner you’re going to click on „Advanced“ and then right click on the grey regions on track A, B and C to delete the samples loaded in the default instrument.
Now drag and drop that sample you want to use onto either Track A, B or C. Use the handles on that newly created region to make it wider and cover around 3 to 4 octaves. Now you have to slide the whole region so that the highlighted spot in the middle lands on the note that the original sample is tuned to. In this case, the sample is a B, so we are going to slide it to that note.
Now click on „Edit“, make sure the track you want to modify is selected, and disable „Stretch“. This way you’ll make sure, that your sample is not digitally warped in a weird way. This window offers a lot of different ways to make changes to your sound. Have a look around. In this case we are just going to increase the „Release“ to make the notes fade out a little when we release a key. When you’re done, click on „Exit“
Now use the knobs „Flutter“ and „Tape Saturation“ to add some tape flavour to your sound and make it more vintage. If you want to adjust the overall volume of your instrument, use the „Volume“ knob on the left and if you want to make your sound brighter or darker, then use the „Tone“ dial next to it.
Done. We just created a very basic Mellotron V patch.
But wait, there’s more. Import another sample into the sample instrument patch. Drop it on track B and repeat the steps from before. Now that you have two samples loaded onto different tracks, you can use the Track Selector on the left to blend those two sounds and create a layered Mellotron patch.
You can layer up to three sounds in one Mellotron instance. Of course there is more to this plugin than what we covered here. Make sure to check out the effects section by clicking on the „FX“ button on the top right. There are many different pedal style effects like Delay, EQ and Compression that you can use to further customize your patches.
If you’re interested in hearing what patches we created, go check out our Mellotron Expansion packs on Minta Foundry. All of the patches were created with great attention to detail and inspired by the original Mellotron and Chamberlin sounds.