At 350 pounds (159 kg), the original Mellotron is not an easy instrument to acquire … or lift. But its 8-second tapes helped define a classic sound – Strawberry Fields, forever.

Sample house UVI have been doing a lot of nice work lately – including some real rarities like the prepared piano at Paris research center IRCAM. They’re giving away their multi-sampled Mello emulation.

It’s always tough to know how to best capture as a digital instrument something as idiosyncratic as the Mellotron; in this case, they’ve multi-sampled dozens of tapes on three different machines for the 28 sounds. It’s a massive 1.7 GB library.

It’s a lovely instrument. There are some caveats to getting it for free. You have to follow UVI on Twitter or Like them (via an app) on Facebook. And you need an iLok in order to use the authorization; it’s a shame they didn’t just do an unlocked build, but if you already have an iLok sitting in a hub, you won’t care much. The Facebook app is also reasonable benign; it didn’t post anything to my account when I just tried it. Update: Some people are unhappy sharing data with the Coupon app on Facebook. You can instead choose to log in with Twitter; that automatically follows their Twitter account, but nothing else.

Oh, and if you don’t own an iLok, you can get one sort of kind of for free. (You pay the full price, but get a US$78 voucher good toward UVI stuff):

If you do jump through the hoops, it’s an exceptional giveaway. Features:

Pristine and comprehensive sample library from 3 original machines
Mixable key and mechanical noise for authentic experience
Switchable keyboard range (original or extended)
Stereo modes including custom unison
Switchable multimode filter with cutoff and resonance
ADSR envelopes for amplitude and filter with velocity sensitivity
3-band EQ with sweepable mid frequency
Built-in SparkVerb
Analog-modeled tape delay

It runs on Mac and Windows (every plug-in format) via either the free UVI Workstation or MOTU’s MachFive 3.

And here’s what it sounds like:

Get it from UVI directly:

  • Ned Bouhalassa

    I thought it was a cool deal until I found out that I can’t download it without giving Coupon app my birthday, email, friends’ list, etc. Bad move by UVI for people like me.


      Agreed. I got that far, and backed away (and then also un-liked UVI).
      The samples sound nice and all, but not worth the Facebook Probe.

    • Peter Kirn

      Hang on – try Twitter. All you have to do is follow them on Twitter and you get the same deal with the serial. Not so bad.

      Good for them to hear this feedback, of course.

    • ferrie = differentieel

      sorry Peter – – but on Twitter Groupon not only grabs your address book hey likes to see your password as well – i think that is a very high price for free samples – – –

    • Peter Kirn

      No, that’s not how authentication on Twitter works. They don’t ever see your password. It’s just authentication.

    • Ned Bouhalassa

      Bottom line: nothing’s free! ๐Ÿ˜‰


      in any case, you can’t-not get the software if you have no friends on twitter right? And it’s the high quality package you want right? Simple…. go make a quick and bogus twitter account (it’ll take like 1 minute), follow UVI, get the software and never visit that account again.

    • Peter Kirn

      Yes, you can simply register for a Twitter account and get the deal.

    • Peter Kirn

      Twitter appears to send none of that information (and you can always un-follow them later if you want)

  • chaircrusher

    *Obligatory complaint about ILok & Hardware protection*

    • Peter Kirn

      No argument, but like I said, a lot of people just have one already sitting in their USB hub in their studio… so may still like this deal, even as they’re griping about iLok. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • http://website.coma/ DAE Error 7002

    Part 65535 of the “Oh cool I’m gonna download this…” until I see “requires ilok” marathon. Giving away iloks or equivalence in vouchers still won’t erase my memory of this summer. (horrifically, it hasn’t been completely resolved yet.)

  • Charles Miller

    To get to the download I had to like them on Facebook. Then sign up to their website. Then enter the download key. Then get told I needed an account on a second website, and I had to buy a $49 security key-fob thatโ€™s “free” because it comes with a discount voucher for other products.

    At that point I kind of gave up.

  • Guillaume Lectez
  • Henry

    Well, I agree that iLok in principle is a rubbish idea. I also understand the moaning about whether this is “free” or “not so free, because you’d have to do this and that”. I am neither on Facebook, nor on Twitter, and this offer won’t bring me there. But it is still my personal decision whether or not I find that “price tag” reasonable. In fact, where else would you get decent Mellotron samples at pretty much no cost? All reasonable emulations or sample packs will set you back on $ or โ‚ฌ.

    And ultimately, why should UVI (or any software manufacturer) give away any product without even learning a bit more about their customers? Of course, they want your email to send you advertising. And yes, they want your friends’ emails too. We might not like it, but it is part of the deal.

    GForce do have a pretty fantastic Mellotron emulation – the M-Tron as VST/AU and Re-Tron as RE. Not for free, of course.

  • Jonatan Jansson

    If it still uses iLOK, it’s dead meat.

  • Ariel Mederdrut

    Por favor para hacerle honor a este instrumento pongan un demo de Genesis o The Beatles