MATRIXSYNTH: Human League's Latronic Notron MIDI Step Sequencer?

Friday, February 03, 2017

Human League's Latronic Notron MIDI Step Sequencer?

via this auction

"One of the rarest pieces of studio equipment ever made. Excellent condition and full working order.

From the current owner:

'I bought this from The Human League in 1997. Since then it has had about 5 hours use, spending most of its life stored in its original box.

So this is as close to a brand new Notron as you will ever find. As you can see from the photos apart from a couple of very minor surface marks it is like new both aesthetically and mechanically.

The unit was factory upgraded to version 1.3 and so has most of the cool features of the Mk2 blue version. So you get the iconic design of the original and the feature set of the Mk2."

More information below. Note that this is a commission sale on behalf of the owner. It is in full working order and you are covered by our usual guarantee of satisfaction.

The unit is supplied with all you see in the photographs including manuals, stickers and other documentation.

The included power supply is for use on 240v supplies. The documentation is very clear about the risks of using anything other than the one supplied. So for use on 110/120v mains you will either need to use a voltage converter or very carefully source the correct PSU - we can help with those as needed.

Beyond that... well, as you can imagine this is the first time we've ever had one of these instruments (and an "instrument" is definitely what is feels like) in the building. So right now we can't tell you much more than the internet tells us about it. if we keep it for long enough to get to grips with is we might have more to say. But there's no doubting that it is a remarkable and unique piece of equipment.

To save you googling here is what Wikipedia has on the Notron:

"The Notron is a British-designed MIDI step sequencer used by Björk, Howie B etc. Produced in two models, the Mark 1 was available between 1996 and May 1998. The Mark 2 was a slim blue box produced until about 2001. About 100 Mark 1 units were sold and a similar number of Mark 2s. The Notron is no longer produced.

It was designed by and developed by Gerard Campbell and the software was written by Dave Spowage of Concourse Systems (UK). The original model bodywork was designed by Martyn Seiles. It was sold under the company name Latronic.

In 1999 it won a Millennium Award from the Design Council and was exhibited at the Millennium Dome during 2000. For some time the Notron was on display in the London Science Museum.

Only about 150 Notrons were made, and production on them has been discontinued. So, already, it is a collectible instrument and will surely increase in value as time passes...

It does different reset points for each sequence, can output 4 different sequences, It does LFO shapes, weird stuttering things, step length stuff, pitch bend and mod wheel macros, chords on steps, some time-stretching emulation sort of tricks, delays, strums and reversals. Some of the other neat stuff was being able to group changes across multiple steps, and all of it in real time. A very cool machine!'"

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