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The Basement
FX at Home


Yikes!  It really was that close of a schedule to make it to the show on May 12!

- The Mellotron didn't arrive until early on May 6
- The choice of sounds for the new tapes wasn't made until the 9th
- The tape frame and head block weren't there until late in the morning on the 12th!


Mellotron M400 #408 Activity Log
Day 1 May 6 1:30am - M400 #408 was supposed to be there at 11pm on May 5.  It arrives at 1:30am in a huge truck on May 6.  It is the first thing packed into the truck, so all of MM&W's gear has to come out into the driveway to get the 'tron out.

morning - FedEx grabs the tape frame and headblock for shipment to the UK overnight.  It's only about $170US.

Day 2 May 7 wait
Day 3 May 8 wait
Day 4 May 9 John Medeski gets his sound choices to Martin:

Tape selections for Mellotron M400 #408

bulletBass Clarinet
bulletCombined Choir (lower tapes) / Cello (upper tapes)
bulletMark II Violins
Day 5 May 10 morning - For another $170, FedEx grabs the laced frame and headblock to send back from Birmingham, UK to Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Day 6 May 11 3pm - Your Webmaster arrives in Pennsylvania to find that there is no headblock or tape's held up in Customs.

afternoon - Annoyed phone calls are made to FedEx, as they're supposed to bust butt if you give them $170!

evening - Cleaning and inspection begin on M400 #408.

Jimmy Moore and Jimmy Moore cleaning up Mellotron M400 #408

evening - Jimmy Jr., Jimmy Sr., and Your Webmaster do some work to clean up the machine.  It is decided NOT to remove or mess with the motor or adjust the belt tension, given how John plays the machine (messing with, stopping, and scratching the flywheel).  So the machine got a bit of a cleaning to rid it of the dust bunnies and other crud.

SMS3 inside Mellotron M400 #408

Jimmy Moore cleaning up Mellotron M400 #408

Check out Jimmy Jr.'s web site here!


Day 7 May 12 10:27am - FedEx knocks at the door and drops off the package!  Your Webmaster shorted the preamp and installed the head block and threw in the tape frame.

10:45am - It's alive!

10:46am - Keyboard issues noted...

bulletA few tapes didn't return.  Had to adjust some pinch rollers and spread some pins in the frame.
bulletMassive wobbly on one pinch roller.  Removed, inspected.  The axle had popped out of the holder.  Pressed back in place, reinstalled, crossed fingers.  Just realized I forgot to remind Jimmy to get him a replacement...
bulletMore adjustment where needed, but care was taken not to change the overall feel of the keyboard, as that may have been how John liked it.

John Medeski did all his own key adjustment work, but nobody ever told him how to do it or what the correct procedure is.  Usually what you wind up with is a whole bunch of adjustment screws buried in the keys.  But, nope, John didn't go nuts, and the keyboard was adjusted most sanely, considering, although the pinch rollers and pad arms are down a little too much, and this is causing some tapes not to return well.  At some point I hope to catch up with John and show him a few hints for adjusting the machine so he can take it from there.

afternoon - The 'tron was loaded up and a bunch of us headed over to the Electric Factory in Philly to deliver it to John where we took in the sound check and the show. -->