Plogue Sforzatron is a free Mellotron for Plogue Sforzando. It’s based on the same set of samples released by Taijiguy which is used in several other free Mellotrons, but it adds a little flexibility not present in the originals.
In addition to allowing the blending of any three sounds from the Mellotron samples, Sforzatron also adds ADSR envelope, tone, detune and pan controls for each sound slot, plus global overdrive, detune and reverb effects. The presets fall into three general categories: authentic Mellotron sounds, thicker and swirlier detuned variations, and sounds which use the envelopes to simulate percussive sounds or reverse tape effects.
Because there’s no resonant filtering or transposition of the samples involved, though, the sounds always keep their simple retro quality – the high-end roll-off of the original tapes, especially, is key to sounding like a Mellotron. So, the pluck-like, percussive sort of sounds are nowhere near realistic plucks. It would be easy to make a full-featured synth with filters and several modulators which could pluck and wobble, but then it wouldn’t sound like a Mellotron anymore.
The Sforzatron upgrades and modernizes the Mellotron’s basic functionality gently, in ways that allow it to keep the very 60s-70s retro sound intact. It’s a sort of Mellotron-plus, but the plus is a gentle one which respects its Mellotron-ness. That should make it worth grabbing even if you already have one or two virtual Mellotrons using the same samples.
Sforzatron is available for free download via Plogue (141 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 353 samples in FLAC format, 1 instrument patch in SFZ format, 1 bank registration XML file).