MESS + RetroPie


1. Install MESS-Libretro on RetroPie

If you would like to add some more obscure consoles or computer systems like for instance the Interton VC-4000, BBC Micro, Super Cassette Vision, Adventure Vision, Channel F, Bally Astrocade and many others onto RetroPie, then MESS (Multi Emulator Super System) would be your answer. First read this Wiki carefully:

I installed lr-mess (lr=libretro) from the experimental section in RetroPie-Setup which took about more than 2 hours on my Raspberry Pi 2.
After restarting RetroPie I couldn’t find any MESS section in the emulationstation menu. That’s normal because you have installed only MESS and not any systems yet.

2. Add a system (bios & roms)

As an example I use a system which uses a BIOS and of course the roms itself. For the BIOS and roms files lr-mess uses .zip extension, so for instance the BIOS of the Super Cassette Vision has to be and has to be in your roms folder, not in the BIOS folder.
Don’t unzip these files!
The roms do also need to be in the roms folder as well but in a directory the system is called, so for this example scv.
So you have this:

/home/pi/RetroPie/roms/ -> BIOS
scv -> roms directory with the zipped roms inside

If you don’t know how the system has to be named or is supported by MESS, you can check this website here or in your directory:


Be aware that not every system needs a bios file.
Some useful links:
MESS Sofware Archive

3. The config options

To get lr-mess running you need to add a new folder scv of the system and add two files:

  • emulators.cfg
  • retroarch.cfg

In emulators.cfg you add these lines:

lr-mess="/opt/retropie/emulators/retroarch/bin/retroarch -L /opt/retropie/libretrocores/lr-mess/ --config /opt/retropie/configs/scv/retroarch.cfg %ROM%"

In retroarch.cfg you add these lines:

# Settings made here will only override settings in the global retroarch.cfg if placed above the #include line input_remapping_directory = /opt/retropie/configs/scv/ #include "/opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg"

put them both here:


Be sure that all these config files have permission 777!

4. Add your new MESS-system for emulationstation

To see the section of the system Super Cassette Vision on the emulationstation menu you need to add a new system. Add these lines in the es_systems.cfg, which is located here:


<fullname>Super Cassette Vision</fullname>	 	 
<extension>.zip .ZIP</extension>	 	 
<command>/opt/retropie/supplementary/runcommand/ 0 _SYS_ scv %ROM%</command>	 	 

5. Add a theme for your system

For MESS I modified an already existing carbon theme called mess and replaced just the system.svg with the proprietary system logo. You need root or you can use File Manager in RetroPie.


6. Test the system and map your controller

After restarting RetroPie you finally should see your new system section in emulationstation, in this example the Super Cassette Vision. Choose a desired game title and lr-mess should show up and load it.
You can map your controller while pressing the TAB key, then go to Input (this Machine). Be aware that not all systems work properly, check here (red ones usually might not work properly).
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Mellotron M4000D

Finally it’s here, the M4000D in its full glory! It is a 24-bit digital uncompressed audio playback unit with a total of 100 Chamberlin/Mellotron sounds. The machine is built by Markus Resch, who also build real Mellotrons since 1999 (Mark VI & VII). For more infos visit

The M4000D has many options in how you want to play the sounds. For example you can play the sounds with a tape rewind simulation. When you play the same note in a short delay (you can set the exact rewind time in milliseconds), then the sound will continue playing from where you stopped it. The original Chamberlins & Mellotrons had to rewind each tape when pressed back to the start, because the duration of the tape was only around 8 seconds long.
You can also set the attack & release time in milliseconds and even where the tape should start playing.

Inside the M4000D

Sturdy wooden high-velocity keyboard

Instant tape banks in digital form

The panel display

Chamberlin – Music Master & M1 (early 50’s)

Tape Banks
Flute, Bass Clarinet, Open Trumpet, 3 Violins, Alto Sax, Open Trombone, Piano, Vibraphone, Acoustic Guitar, Muted Trombone, 4 Saxes, Muted Trumpet, Mandolin, Marimba, 4 Brass, Accordion, Male Voice, Pizzicato Violins

Tape Banks
Cello, Female Solo Voice, Accordion, Bassoon, Tenor Sax, Oboe, French Horn, Open Trumpet, Organ, Tibia Organ, Harpsichord Electric, Harpsichord Acoustic, Marimba, Vibraphone, Mandolin, Steel guitar, Harp Long Arpreggio

Mellotron – Mark I (1963)

Tape Banks
Clarinet, Mandolin, French Horn, Acoustic Nylon Guitar, Organ, Marimba, Piano, Trombone, Tenor Sax, Trumpet, Hammond Organ, Harpsichord/Brass Split, Tibia Organ, Reverb Organ, Church Organ

Mellotron – Mark I (1964)

Tape Banks
Flute, Rock Guitar, Organ 1, 3 Violins, Brass, Tenor Sax, Acoustic Steel Guitar, Piano, Vibraphone, Trombone, Muted Brass, Mandolin, Organ 2, Harpsichord, Tibia Organ, French Accordion, Accordion, Church Organ

Mellotron – M300 (1968)

Tape Banks
Strings A High, Strings A Low, Strings B High, Strings B Low, Slow Vibraphone, Clarinet

Mellotron – M400 (1970)

Tape Banks
3 Violins B, 16 Violins, Violin Solo, Viola, Cello, Cello B, 8 Voice Choir, 4 Voice Female Choir, 4 Voice Male Choir, Boys Choir, Mixed Custom Choir, Bass Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, Alto Sax, 2 Saxes, 2 Brass, Hammond C3, Pipe Organ, Celeste 66, Celeste 74, Clavichord, Vibes with Vibrato, Vibes no Vibrato, Tubular Bells

The Backside


Special Format Expansion Card
There will be an Expansion Card with 200 additional Tape Banks

XLR Master, Direct A, Direct B
Jack Master, Direct A, Direct B, Phones (Stereo Output)

Sustain, Volume Pedal, Expression 1, Expression 2

My Serial Number

Mellotron power supply (12V)

Mellotron & minimoog – a happy couple!

Digital vs. tape-based Mellotron
The M4000D tunes so “real” compared to the tape-based Mellotron, that you forget that it’s actually a digital sampling unit. Of course you don’t get the noise of the tape bank mechanism or the slightly out-of-tune pitch timbre when playing several keys together.
The analogue Mellotrons are actually very sensitive and a careless handling of the machine could occur several mechanical problems. Smoke, temperature and humidity also play a huge factor.

The pro side of the M4000D is that you have 100 sounds already built-in. These instruments can be changed immediately by a simple knob-touch and the combination of two sounds (A & B) can be set and mixed individually. And they always tune fresh and unused!

With the M4000D you also can play the sounds in low pitch, which means an octave deeper. A sustain play option is planned in future etc…

The M4000D has a position sensitive keyboard, which means each key is in principle a volume control. This is to emulate the effect of the Mellotron and espesially the M-series Chamberlin where you could control the volume of the notes, depending on how hard you pressed the tape on the tape head.

The sounds which are built in this unit are sampled from the original Chamberlin/Mellotron tape libraries in uncompressed 24-bit resolution. Advanced technology has been used to emulate the sounds of the Chamberlin and Mellotron. This means that you can play Mellotron sounds in both Mellotron and Chamberlin style. The same applies of course to the Chamberlin sounds.

There’s an interesting Mellotron documentary called “Mellodrama”, which is available on DVD. Watch the trailer and get more infos here.

Roger Roger – Chatta MOOGA Choo Choo

Roger Roger’s biography, like his name, is a fascinating one.
He was born August 5, 1911. To satisfy a personal whim, his father, Edmond Roger, named the child Roger. Since this duplicated his last name, the result was the odd and memorable double name ROGER ROGER.

Edmond Roger was a well-known opera conductor. He had been a classmate of Claude Debussy, and had shared with him first prizes for piano, violin and harmony at the Paris Conservatory of Music. Thus began young Roger’s musical education at an early age; he taught the boy piano, harmony, counterpoint, and the fugue, and launched his career as a precocious orchestra leader. At the age of eighteen, ROGER ROGER made his debut conducting a five-man orchestra in a small music hall. This gave him the opportunity to accompany well-known artists and play all the hit tunes of the day.

It did not take long for ROGER ROGER to get into Radio and Motion-Pictures; soon he devoted much of his time recording. From then on his orchestra grew larger; he composed works for more than fifty programmes here, over the different networks of Radio – Television Francaise, as well as those of Radio Luxembourg and Radio Monte Carlo, and appeared on many in person. He has composed the scores for more than fife hundred film productions, many of which have been featured in the United States. At the present time a great deal of Roger’s activity is centered around T.V. Meanwhile he is constantly striving to make his compositions more and more destinctive and increasingly original.

JAYCEE Records have the pleasure of inviting you to climb aboard the “CHATTAMOOGA CHOO CHOO” and joining ROGER ROGER on an interesting journey in electronic sound.

All composed and played by – ROGER ROGER
All published by – EROS MUSIC LIMITED
Produced by Roger Roger and Nino Nardini

Synthesizers used in this record:
1. A.R.P.
3. Special Custom.

A1 Chattamooga Chew Chew
A2 Canadian Specific
A3 Clapham Junction
A4 Willett’s Way
A5 Two Stop Local
A6 Moogy Blues
A7 Southern Belle

B1 Pullman Special
B2 Goofy Goes To Town
B3 Downline Calypso
B4 Rockin Ride
B5 Double Yellow Line
B6 Blueball Shunt
B7 Loco Tarta

Label: Jaycee
Catalog#: JC001
Released: 1976

> More about ROGER ROGER

Jean Jacques Perrey, Pat Prilly & Harry Breuer – MOOG GENERATION

Here’s a great reason to start the brand new year 2011 with Jean Jacques Perrey’s happy Moog music!
I absolutely love “Kiddy Kappers” and “Go-Go Scotch” from this fantastic rare album called MOOG GENERATION, released on the well known label “Montparnasse 2000”.

A1 Fusee Dans Le Ciel
A2 Bal Campagnard
A3 L’Horloge Hantee
A4 Kiddy Kappers
A5 Le Delfile Des Moustiques

B1 Pizzicato Polka
B2 Go-Go Scotch
B3 Un Soir A Munich
B4 Glockenspiel Gavotte
B5 Kiyouli Le Clown

Jean Jacques Perrey dedicated this and many other early albums to his daughter named “Pat Prilly”. In fact, some of the tracks are even credited with her name!

MOOG GENERATION & HAPPY MOOG is a must for all Moog library music lovers.

Thanks for your happy music Ms. Prilly, Mr. Perrey and Mr. Breuer!

By the way, there’s a famous swiss tv program called “KASSENSTURZ”. The original jingle is from Perrey’s album “MOOG EXPRESSIONS” and is called “Cardiophonie”. The new version has got overdubbed and remixed with a drum ‘n’ bass beat, which i feel terribly sorry for Perrey’s original version.

> More about Jean Jacques Perrey, Pat Prilly & Harry Breuer


  • 12 x Voltage Controlled Oscillator
  • 2 x Noise Generator
  • 3 x Ring Modulator
  • 4 x Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter
  • 4 x Voltage Controlled High Pass Filter
  • 3 x Trapezoid Envelope Generator
  • 2 x Voltage Controlled Reverberation
  • Octave Filter Bank
  • Slew Limiter
  • Envelope Follower
  • Pitch to Voltage Converter
  • 8 x Input amplifiers
  • 8 x Stereo Output amplifiers
  • 2 x Joysticks
  • 2 x 5 octave Dynamic Keyboards
  • 256 step digital sequencer
  • Oscilloscope
  • Frequency meter/counter
  • 1 60×60 matrix (Signal Board)
  • 1 60×60 matrix (Control Voltages)

Buit 1971 by EMS (London)
Designer: David Cockerell
Price: £35,000

Check out this Blog, if you love EMS Synths!

BLOSSOM TOES – We are ever so clean (1967)

We are ever so clean is the first album by The Blossom Toes, released in October 1967. The album was produced by Giorgio Gomelsky.

It was voted to be Number 40 of Record Collector’s “100 Greatest Psychedelic Records”.

Richie Unterberger: “One of the happiest, most underappreciated relics of British psychedelia”


Side 1

  1. Look At Me I’m You (Godding, Gomelsky)
  2. I’ll Be Late For Tea (Godding)
  3. The Remarkable Saga Of The Frozen Dog (Westlake)
  4. Telegram Tuesday (Godding)
  5. Love Is (Godding)
  6. What’s It For (Cregan)
  7. People Of The Royal Parks (Westlake)

Side 2

  1. What On Earth (Godding)
  2. Mrs Murphy’s Budgerigar (Cregan, Westlake)
  3. I Will Bring You This and That (Godding)
  4. Mister Watchmaker (Godding)
  5. When The Alarm Clock Rings (Cregan)
  6. The Intrepid Balloonist’s Handbook, Volume One (Cregan)
  7. You (Godding)
  8. Track For Speedy Freaks (or Instant LP Digest) (Godding, Gomelsky, Cregan, Westlake)