Electro-Harmonix Mel9

Upon hearing the capabilities of the new Electro-Harmonix Mel9 Tape Replay Machine Mellotron simulator pedal, the thought that immediately came to mind was that guitar players might finally have a fair shot at landing some film, TV, and video game scoring work. Historically, MIDI has always given an unfair advantage to keyboard players because they can recreate orchestral and symphonic string passages with ease, while guitarists are more or less stuck with just their guitar sound.

With the Mel 9 Tape Replay machine, EHX has created a pedal that offers surprisingly realistic takes on nine different settings that span a variety of orchestral, woodwind, brass, string, and choral tones, so this opens up new possibilities for composing music with guitar. Imagine being able to add quality string sections, saxophone parts, and even a decent flute to your recording or live playing capabilities on the fly without monkeying with complicated MIDI interfaces, loops, or plug-ins.

The technology is built similarly to the EHX B9 and C9 organ machines, but in my opinion this is a much more versatile pedal. The organ machines are certainly cool, but those sounds tend to be achievable from most high quality reverb pedals. The Mel 9 gives the guitar entirely new instruments and soundscapes to add to the arsenal. Best of all, the Mel 9 doesn’t break the bank, retailing at a reasonable $220. We don’t have word on a concrete release date yet, but EHX says it will be “coming soon”.

Electro-Harmonix Mel9, Builder’s Notes

Now any electric guitar player can have access to nine magically quirky, dark and unique Mellotron® sounds. No more extra devices such as special and cumbersome 13-pin MIDI pickups! In addition to electric guitar, you can trigger the MEL9 with any instrument that produces an electrical output, such as a keyboard or a bass, down to 55 Hz or A1.

The polyphonic EHX MEL9 has superior tracking; you can create single notes or chords with ease. The MEL9 will follow guitar bends, dive bombs, slurs, and any other guitar expression/performance techniques you can throw at it!

  • Pays homage to nine of the coolest Mellotron® sounds: Orchestra, Cello, Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass, Low Choir and High Choir
  • Works on guitar without modifications, special pickups or MIDI implementation and tracks bends, slides, even whammy dive bombs!
    Also works with bass guitar down to the open A string as well as keyboards within the limits of its polyphony (5 notes) and range (A1 to A5)
  • Includes independent Effect and Dry volume controls so you can create the perfect mix at the Effects output
  • Dry Output jack outputs your input signal at unity gain
  • Attack control sets the volume swell speed. As it’s turned clockwise the notes fade in more gradually
  • Sustain control adjusts the release time after a sound is stopped. As it’s turned clockwise, the fade out time increase
  • Power adapter included