Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dual-Clutch Transmission Mellotron

Unnecessary Engineering
  [vote for,

The Mellotron is essentially a keyboard where each key controls the playback of a prerecorded sound. Originally, there would be a series of magnetic tapes, each with a single note recorded upon it. Pleasingly, you could replace the whole bank of tapes to obtain alternative sounds... Perhaps you regretted your original choice*.

It occurs to me, that the difference between notes is just a change in frequency. Instead of having many tapes, why not fewer tapes and a mechanism of changing the speed? Now, you could just power the tape with an electric motor and speed/slow the motor based upon key input. This would work, but, there might be some spin-up/spin- down time. You may go from A# to F through a bunch of out- of- key notes, which would sound bad.

How about a little F1 technology? F1 cars have multi- clutch transmissions which can swap gears in the single-digit millisecond range. That's fast, fast enough that you wouldn't really hear it. How about setting up the keyboard as the control panel for a 35-speed gearbox? With the tape drive being the output. Chords wouldn't really be possible, but that hasn't harmed the career of the recorder. Bonus points if the power source is an F1 engine.

Inspired by <link>

* Restraint is advised when selecting the first tape set, "injured cat" may have initial appeal, but no one wants a recital interrupted by the militant wing of the RSPCA

bs0u0155, Feb 03 2016

Multi Cylinder Mellotron Edison_27s_20Mellotron
[bs0u0155, Feb 03 2016]


       Well, you'd get a portamento effect I guess.   

       Yea, sure what the hell. [+]
doctorremulac3, Feb 03 2016


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