These are the best free Mellotron VST plugins to use with your favorite DAW. I have included Mellotron plugins for Windows and Mac.
I’ve gathered free Mellotron plugins, complete with feature lists, screenshots, and videos.
What Is A Mellotron VST Plugin?
A Mellotron VST plugin is a software emulation of the classic Mellotron tape-based keyboard instrument. Unlike other digital emulations, which attempt to recreate the sound of the Mellotron by synthesis, a Mellotron VST uses samples of the original instrument recorded directly from analog tapes.
The result is an authentic musical recreation of the unique warmth and character of the original Mellotron. A Mellotron is a keyboard instrument that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It looks like a piano, but instead of having strings, it has tape heads that play pre-recorded sounds when you press the keys. The instrument was used by a lot of famous music bands, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
I’ve downloaded and tested countless free VST plugins, and these stand out as the best free mellotron VSTs.
Best Mellotron VST Plugins
I have included Mellotron plugins that work for Windows and Mac.
- Redtron SE
- DVS Microtron
- Arturia Mellotron V ( Demo )
- Free Mellotron SoundFonts
- Free Mellotron Samples
Instructions: Click the links below to visit each Mellotron plugin. Look around each website for the download link or button. Do not install any suspicious software.
The Tapeotronic is a Mellotron tape keyboard emulation that captures the classic sound of the original Mellotron.
It features 16 different patches, each with its own distinctive sound.
The flute, string, and choir sounds are lovely, and the knob for bias tape SFX gives you even more control over your sound.
With MIDI learn/automation, the Tapeotronic is a versatile and user-friendly tool for any musician, music producer, or composer looking to add a touch of vintage flair to their music.
- 16 Patches
- Bias Tape Effects
- Classic Mellotron Sound
- Simple User Interface
- MIDI Learn & Automation
Tapeotronic | PC
2. Redtron SE
The Redtron SE is a premium Mellotron sample library that captures the classic sounds of the original Mellotron M400S.
The samples have been meticulously cleaned and restored, retaining the original character and charm of the venerable instrument.
The library features nine different sound options, spanning the gamut of the Mellotron’s sonic capabilities.
Each sound is eight seconds long, with no looping for an authentic Mellotron experience.
The exclusive “Mellotronic Click Switch” (MCS) allows you to add the iconic clicks and pops heard on original Mellotrons at the beginning of each note.
The Redtron SE also features layer and split possibilities, independent parameters for sounds A & B, full MIDI app automation, and more.
Nine sound types: MKII Flute, MKII 3 Violins, M400 Cello, MKII Brass, M400 Combined Choir, M400 String Section, M400 Woodwinds, M300A Violins, M300B Violin.
- Mellotron Click Switch
- Independent Parameters
- Full MIDI Automation
- Volume Control
- No Audio Loops
- Tone Control
- Pitch Control
Redtron SE | PC
The Tapeworm is a powerful and creative Mellotron-like synthesizer that allows you to create unique and expressive sounds.
Based on remastered versions of the J.P. hovercraft’s original Mellotron multi-samples, the Tapeworm includes five voice types: tuning, attack, release, and MIDI automation for a wealth of sound-design possibilities.
Tapeworm | PC
Nanotron is a recreation of the vintage Mellotron and Novatron that was so popular in the 80s. The lush, full original sound has been painstakingly recreated in this virtual instrument, capturing the magic while adding some modern conveniences.
The instrument voices were recorded on a Studer A80 tape machine and then lost for many years before being rediscovered in 2004.
The recordings have been cleaned up and corrected for pitch errors, resulting in a plugin that sounds just like the original Mellotron/Novatron. You’ll get male and female choirs, a string section, and a flute, all with that classic 80s sound.
Nanotron | PC
5. DVS Microtron
The DVS Microtron is a recreation of the classic Mellotron/Novatron. Dream Vortex Studio has meticulously recreated the original voices, recorded on a Studer A80. The result is an instrument that captures the magic of the original while adding its own unique flavor.
The DVS Microtron features three voice tracks: Male Choir, Female Choir, String Section, and Flute.
Each instrument track has its own distinct personality and can be further shaped with the Attack, Release, rhythm, and Depth controls.
DVS Microtron | PC
6. MellowSound Mellotron VST
MellowSound is a VSTi plugin that captures the vintage sounds of the Mellotron.
Its three classic voices – Strings, Choir, and Brass – can be modified in real-time, giving you a wealth of options for creating warm, vintage-sounding music.
MellowSound is easy to install – simply unzip and copy all files to your VST plugin directory.
MellowSound | PC
7. Arturia Mellotron V ( Demo )
The Mellotron V demo trial offers a faithful reproduction of the legendary tape replay keyboard that redefined music keyboards in the 1960s.
This vintage classic is packed with never-before-heard modifications that will infuse your sound with an unparalleled level of realism and vintage goodness.
With its wide range of included sounds, from flutes and strings to brass and choirs, the Mellotron V is capable of replicating any number of classic sonic signatures.
- 65 original tape banks
- Authentic sound reproduction
- Wide range of sounds
- ADSR envelope control
- Load external samples
- Realistic vintage sounds
- Distinct sound per key
- Iconic 1960s emulation
- Versatile sound options
- Unique analog feel
- Demo Only
- Specific vintage sound niche
- Limited to tape bank sounds
Arturia Plugin | PC & Mac / 64-bit
8. Free Mellotron SoundFonts
Another option for Mellotron sounds is to use Mellotron sound fonts. You can use a free SoundFont player and load the Mellotron sound fonts.
Free Mellotron SoundFonts
- Musical Artifacts – On this website, you can download one free mellotron SoundFont file that is 100 MB.
9. Free Mellotron Samples
Here is a collection of free Mellotron Samples to download.
Sonic Bloom – The free Mellotron live pack bundle includes a Mellotron Cello, Mellotron M300 Brass, Mellotron String Section, and more.
Sonic Bloom ( 216 MB ) – These samples recreate the unique and vintage sound of the Mellotron by sampling woodwinds, flute, string sections, brass, and choirs, with each note individually sampled. It can be used with any DAW.
Sonic Bloom ( 176 MB ) – Samples of woodwinds, strings, strings sections, brass, flute, and choir from various Mellotron versions are included in SB Mellotron Samples, each note sampled individually to recreate the unique Mellotron sound—a total of 10 individual instruments, all in separate Wav files.
Sinewave Lab – This free Mellotron Kontakt Library collection consists of 10 Kontakt patches with different Mellotron settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Mellotron in Music?
A Mellotron Keyboard is an instrument that plays back recorded sounds using magnetic tape. It was one of the first instruments to use sampling, which is the process of recording a sound and then playing it back using a keyboard or other triggering device.
The Mellotron Keyboard was popular in the 1960s and 1970s and was used by bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis.
How Do Mellotron Keyboards Work?
Mellotrons are keyboards that work by using a strip of tape to generate sounds. The strip of tape is read by a set of playback heads, similar to those used on reel-to-reel tape decks. Each head corresponds to a different note, and as the head moves across the tape, it picks up sound from the corresponding row of holes.
The Mellotron keyboard was first developed in the early 1960s and became popular with bands like The Beatles, King Crimson, and Yes. Today, several different companies make Mellotron keyboards, and they remain popular with musicians who appreciate their unique sound.
How Do You Use a Mellotron in Music?
A Mellotron is a keyboard instrument that uses tapes to create the sound of orchestral instruments. The tapes are housed in cartridges that are inserted into the Mellotron. Each cartridge contains a different set of recordings, which give the Mellotron its distinctive sound.
To play the Mellotron, you first need to select a desired “voice” by pressing one of the keys on the keyboard.
This will activate the corresponding tape, which will play the instrument’s mechanical keys. You can also control the volume and pitch of each voice by using the appropriate controls on the instrument.
Mellotrons were often used in rock and pop music, as well as in film scores. They have been used on iconic songs such as The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”
In conclusion, the Mellotron remains a unique instrument loved by many most producers for its iconic tape-based sound.
While the original tapes and real instruments can be costly, the rise of virtual instruments has made it easier than ever to incorporate Mellotron sounds into your music.
Whether you’re looking for a simple plugin or a more complex one with key features such as tape banks and FX slots, many great options are available. MIDI controllers can also help you to create expressive performances with these digital synthesizers.
Some premium plugins even allow you to use your own samples and apply specific effects such as tape flutter and tape delay, resulting in a lo-fi sound that many producers find desirable.
With so many tape controls and instrument sounds to choose from, it’s no wonder that Mellotrons remains a popular choice for musicians of all genres.
The Mellotron is a unique and interesting instrument that has been used by some of the biggest names in music. While it may be challenging to find a Mellotron for sale, there are a number of companies that make Mellotron keyboards, and there are also several free Mellotron VSTs available.
These mellotron VSTs are great free alternatives to paid plugins like Gforce, M-Tron Pro, UVI Mello, Wavesfactory Newmello Collection, and Ezkeys Mellotron.
I hope you find this list of free Mellotron virtual instrument plugins helpful.
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