Streetly Electronics Mellotron Tape Library

Birotron Choir

They said it couldn't be done - but it has.

Those of you familiar with the story of the Birotron are probably used to the adjectives 'ill-fated' and 'worn-out' by now. The truth of the matter is obviously a lot more complicated. Despite the fact that the instrument is to Wakeman what the Orchestron is to Moraz (ie, a one-to-one relatonship) the Birotron came with its own range of Mellotron-like sounds. The fact that it was running on endless loops meant that you lost all the starts and ends, both of which give sound its characteristic. Well, we have some of the original Birotron tapes here and can offer you (at the moment) the sound of the Birotron choir.

It's actually quite beautiful, in an ill-fated and worn-out sort of way. This recording is not perfect at all - some of the sounds have a couple of howling errors in them - but being a multi-voice sample it's impossible to remove them entirely. Furthermore, the male voices at the bottom end sing solo (and rather loudly) but are joined at the top end by some very sweet female voices indeed.

Even playing a series of uplifting majors and open fifths, this still sounds like the sound of abject melancholy. Maybe due to the sales figures. Or just being associated with Rick Wakeman? Who knows?

The June/July 2007 issue of Believer Magazine has this article in it all about the Birotron. Recommended reading.

Click here to hear a sample of this sound