The Melloman is a fully functioning musical instrument based on the design of the original 1964 Mellotron. The Mellotron, considered one of the predecessors to modern day sampling technology, utilized rows of magnetic audio tape onto which a continuous loop of sound from a musical instrument would be recorded. To get a much better idea of how this works and what it sounds like watch this.
The Melloman consists of a Casio keyboard re-mapped to trigger 36 Walkman cassette players each loaded with looped sample tapes. In choosing the material for these tapes an effort was made to choose timbres that would be complimented by the often eerie quality of the well worn thrift store tape players.
Here's a fuzzy cello melody as played on the Melloman:
In later versions I made it possible to vary motor speed and direction which makes some very interesting sounds possible.
Here's the sound of vocals on over-driven motors oscillating between forward and reverse:
...and here's a motor with a fluctuating voltage just barely strong enough to play tape: