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
October 1, 2011 @ 11:17 am
I try not to look at synths for their limitations - but for what they can do, having working with building synths. I experienced the Pro as a straightforward stage synth. The tweeking, introspection, and compulsion through labyrinths of dials, switches, and patchcables were reserved for the Oddy and 2600, or at least an Axxe. It's amazing how in the nineties I saw these go for nothing and were commonly known as a 'cheap, grandma's organ-top play-along' and now...a coveted, untouchable novelty. I think it's value is sold more on the legends who used it than the actual instrument.
October 1, 2011 @ 10:49 am
I had a chance to play one of these extensively in a music pawn shop quite some time ago - and when their going rate was really cheap. The pressure controller's a bit of a curve to milk it - especially pitch bending and it took a bit more than a feather's touch but it was quite unique how many things you could control. Personally, I liked controlling the pulse width or filter. Some switches didn't seem to work, but the one's that did had a rich overtone content. Structurally the thing felt flimsy and clunky - I constantly had this feeling I might break something. More...
Jack Floyd
June 25, 2011 @ 8:02 am
Brian Eno just processed Peter Gabriel's voice on The Lamb.
I think Tony Banks just began to fiddle about with the usual presets (Telstar, Fuzz Guitar 1, Trumpet) using Pro-Soloist's own features, leading to a slightly different sound than before, when they were virtually pure.
June 3, 2011 @ 2:34 pm
@eric barker

For the Lamb you must also consider the effect of "Enossification". ws/q178jul01.htm
May 28, 2011 @ 12:36 pm
seems to be a lot of genesis fanboys posting here - wonder how many of them have actually played the synth? Anyway, the Pro-Soloist is a very limited monosynth which was aimed at home organists who wanted "synthesizer" textures. The sounds are pretty average really and the sound manipulation limited. That might not have bothered riffing prog rockers, but this instrument has curiosity value only IMHO.
When compared with the other "organ top" synth, the Korg 700s, it is shown up for what it was - a one trick cheese machine.
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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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