MTI Auto Orchestra

Brand: MTI

For sale: in exceptional condition - the best we've seen. Fully serviced, excellent working order and comes complete with the volume footswitch and bass pedalboard....Read more

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In our continuing quest to explore the outer reaches of analogue esoterica, we are delighted to offer this incredible (and slightly bonkers) MTI Auto Orchestra or "CR78-On-Steriods" as it's known here at Soundgas HQ.

 This one is in exceptional cosmetic condition - easily the best one we've ever seen. 

It's just been serviced and is in excellent working order

Complete with the original volume footswitch and bass pedal board to operate as an analogue electronic one man - or woman (thank you, Reg) - band. 

Unusually it also has the original chrome stand and pair of small circular touch-plates for triggering fills.


This machine represented the ultimate breakthrough for the terminal narcissist: no longer need they share the limelight with their bandmates. Lead guitarists could solo all night to this space age rhythm section (dig that futuristic logo); no more waiting for the bass-player to show up; helping the drummer unload his kit in the rain; lugging electric pianos up stairs; dealing with in-fighting between first and second violins…


The drawback? To coax a varied and musical backing track requires the mastery of the two sets of footpedals (with four side-switches on the volume pedal), a bank of buttons and pots on the main unit for drum/string/keys pattern variation and a pair of touch plates for drum rolls and fills. Yes, it's possible - and the adept could create something quite detailed and complex - but for most of us mortals the use of this many limbs whilst simultaneously wrestling with our main instrument is a stumble too far. These are reputed to be favoured by pedal steel players - no strangers to multi-tasking of multiple limbs...


I bought my original MTI years ago without the pedals and eventually pieced together a full set-up. However, I already had enough trouble playing one instrument with just two hands, so the added complication of dancing around a foot-operated 'keyboard' - whilst simultaneously operating a volume and chord-selector pedal (Minor, Dim, 7th & Start/Stop) was too much. Thus my dreams of onemanband nirvana were quietly extinguished to the great relief of those within earshot. 

My machine languished in the studio as yet another "What the… is that?" piece of under-used gear until we sold it to Arcade Fire earlier this year. 

I imagine them dancing across the pedals, switching instruments and creating richly-textured symphonies of delights.


That said, these are great fun for studio inspiration and it's possible to quickly run up some quirky rhythms and basslines, so when this one showed up we got it serviced and here it is, all working as it should. There are plenty of detailed photos below and I've included some scans of the original sales brochure (not for sale, sorry) for a full rundown of all the features below. It's basically an analogue drum machine, bass synth, keyboard chord player and string section in one large crazy space-age box that jams along with you as you play or sing. Has to be seen/heard to be believed...

  [ Read our blog post on these beasts here ]

YouTube demo to follow.


Please view the detailed photos to fully-assess the condition before buying.


It's been converted to UK/EU 240v power so will require a step-up transformer for countries with 100-110v mains.


Tax (VAT)

Some of our gear will have VAT at 20% added in the UK/EU, but a lot of it won't. This should hopefully clarify the situation but if you have any questions then please get in touch.


  • These items will have two prices visible: with and without the tax.
  • If you are buying in the UK/EU you will receive an invoice showing the tax component.
  • If you are buying these items outside the EU when you get to the check out and enter your shipping location you will be charged the ex-VAT price.
  • VAT-free sales are also possible to businesses within the EU with a valid VAT number. You will need to contact us in order to buy via this means.


    • Much of what we sell is classified as "Second Hand Goods" and so while we still pay some tax, there is no recoverable/deductible component for sales to any part of the world.
    • So, the price you see is the price you pay wherever you are.


    • Shipping charges are also subject to VAT at 20% within the UK/EU - this is included within the prices you see for shipping to those areas - it is not shown separately in the cart but will be shown on the VAT invoice you receive with your goods.

    We are very experienced at packing and shipping valuable and sensitive gear worldwide. Binson Echorecs, large valve amps, vintage synths, rare racks, and even a CS-80 or two - you name it, we've sent it and it has arrived in one piece and ready to play.


    We keep it simple: if you buy more than one item you only pay the shipping on the item that has the highest shipping cost. This is the same no matter how many items you buy together (so the more you buy together, the bigger your shipping discount). If you check all the items out all together this will be calculated automatically at checkout. However, if you make an order and then wish to add to it before it ships please get in touch and we will refund the shipping on the item(s) that are cheaper to ship.

    Note that this also allows you to purchase add on items such as transformers and other accessories, and also t-shirts and other merch, without paying any extra shipping on them.


    CAN I COLLECT MY GEAR (and save on shipping?)

    Yes! If you want to use this option either get in touch before you purchase, or contact us afterwards and we will just refund you the shipping. Note that collection is by appointment only and only during weekday office hours.



    The shipping prices for our gear vary considerably depending on the type of gear, value and destination. To see shipping costs put the item you are interested in the cart and then either use the shipping estimator or go into the check out process. Or just contact us and we'll tell you what you need to know.

    It is a fact that, with vintage items, there are going to be times when gear arrives in need of some adjustment or calibration, and some times a piece of gear that was working 100% just chooses the day after arriving for a new fault to develop. However, having been working with sensitive vintage gear for many years, we are very experienced at dealing with these occurrences and will always work with you and get the problem solved as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    Note that we have have not entered automatic shipping for every country. The countries we ship to most often will have shipping rates and we are in the process of adding more shipping fees to the check out process. But if you are looking at an item that doesn't have the fee information you need then please use the contact page or call on +44 1773 856475.

    Which carriers do we use?

    We usually use Royal Mail, UPS and DPD/Interlink - it depends on the item and destination as to which is the most economical. If you have a preference then we should be able to accommodate it (but we may need to pass on any additional costs) - just let us know what you need.

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