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A quick word on the subject of sampling. I'm sure if you've got this far you'll know this anyway, but digital sampling kicked off properly with the Fairlight CMI around 1980, although it took some years for people to use samplers for sampling other instruments rather than as special effects machines. The Mellotron sound was so 'out' in the '80s that it took until around the end of the decade before anyone really bothered sampling them, so there'll be very few, if any examples here from that period. In the mid-'90s, EMU Systems brought out their famed 'Vintage Keys' module, containing hundreds of PCM samples of old keyboards, many of them sampled very badly, which didn't appear to affect its sales one jot. Roland followed up with a superior effort a couple of years later, and now every manufacturer has to have decent Rhodes/Hammond/Moog/Mellotron samples on their instruments, or no-one will buy them. Software emulations (especially the ubiquitous M-Tron) are everywhere, too, with the predictable result that Mellotron sample use is now endemic and it's becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain what is and isn't real on recent releases. And don't start me on the ubiquity of, first, the Memotron and now, the M4000D (not, of course, to be confused with Streetly's all-tape M4000), apparently described by the manufacturer as 'a Mellotron'. No. No, it isn't.

Regular site visitors will/may note that I've completely rejigged this section, due to preposterous page sizes, an increase in the number of 'sample-use' albums (boo, hiss) and a largish backlog of unreviewed items as of the time of writing. The buttons above now (sensibly) link to the relevant sample pages; if you've found your way here from somewhere else, the three links at the top left will take you to the main page, the regular reviews index and the albums page index, respectively.