ARP Pro-Soloist

ARP Pro-Soloist Image

Pro Soloist

The Pro-Soloist is a thirty preset monophonic analog synth from the early 1970's, originally designed to sit on-top of, and accompany a large Organ. It had 30 preset sounds to choose from, including Flute, Bassoon, Brass, Fuzz Guitar etc. Other features included pitch, portamento, vibrato, growl and wow effects. The keyboard has 37 keys with aftertouch sensitivity for volume, brilliance, vibrato, wow, and even bend effects. A few basic filter (brilliance), envelope and LFO controls allow some tweaking of the preset sounds, however there is no memory to store your settings.

The Pro-Soloist is a compact and basic monosynth best suited to leads. Because of its aftertouch feature, it's simply one of the most playable and expressive solo instruments Arp ever made. It was later followed up by the Pro/DGX in 1977. The Pro-Soloist has been used by Tangerine Dream, Tony Banks (Genesis), Coldcut, Gary Numan, Herbie Hancock, Patrick Moraz, Billy Preston, John Entwistle, Billy Preston, and Vangelis.

ARP Soloist Image


The Pro-Soloist was based on the Soloist from 1970/71. The Soloist - also designed to sit atop an electronic organ - had its preset sound selection switches located under the keyboard in the same tradition as the Roland SH-1000/2000 and Elka Soloist synths.

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24 Visitor comments
Eric Barker
April 17, 2011 @ 6:22 pm
Something changed between in Tony Banks' sound between "Selling England" and "The Lamb". The synth sounds on The Lamb are quite different and distinct from those that preceded it. I always thought that he changed synths at that point, but it seems that he still was using his good old Pro Soloist. I'm wondering if he started running it through a different amp with some tube warmth or something, so just used different presets. Even on Seconds Out, the Cinema Show leads are quite different.

PS: The Cinema Show lead is my goto lead for many tunes, I've recreated it on my Alesis QS and Reaktor.
March 4, 2011 @ 6:44 am
Used by Charles Earland on Leaving This Planet
Andy K
January 8, 2011 @ 6:16 am
Peter Baumann used one during TD's European tour in 1976
December 21, 2010 @ 3:19 pm
Everybody seems to be talking about who uses or used one rather than tell anybody what to expect from one.
I saw the pro soloist listed on many gear list on the sleeve notes of vinyl from the 70's and 80's. Always wondered what it did. Actually got to play with one recently as it was given to me to repair for a friend of a friend. Wasn't that impressed with the build quality and thought that the floating keyboard was just badly fitted until I realised that this was touch response actually considering its age it played pretty well. Needed to go through effects but even dry it made the right noises in an albeit limited range of timbres.
August 24, 2009 @ 10:47 pm
Tony Bank's Pro Soloist is featured all over "Selling England By the Pound", and in all of the concert recordings from that tour. It was also used extensively on "The Lamb," album (along with a VCS3), as well as during the "The Lamb" tour. It's also used everywhere on "A Trick of the Tail" (check the outro of "Entangled"), and in a few instances on "Wind and Wuthering". You're correct about it being all over "Seconds Out." Tony didn't start using the 2600 until "Wind and Wuthering" recording was underway. He went out on tour for "W&W" using only the Pro-Soloist, but started incorporating the 2600 on the "And Then There Were Three" tour, just as he had used the 2600 and the Polymoog during the recording of both "Wind and Wuthering" and "ATTW3." This is way..way, way too much trivia...however, this is my understanding of what synths were used over this time period.
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO
  • LFO - Yes
  • Filter - Yes
  • VCA - Yes
  • Keyboard - 37 keys with aftertouch routable to volume, brilliance, vibrato, wow, and bend.
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1972-1977

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