ARP Solina String Ensemble

ARP Solina String Ensemble Image

The Solina String Ensemble is often thought of as the String Machine of the late 1970's disco era. It's a multi-orchestral machine with Violin, Viola, Trumpet, Horn, Cello and Contra-Bass sounds. These sounds can be engaged via individual on/off switches, allowing for a variety of ensemble configurations. The Cello and Contra-Bass sounds are monophonic and available only on the lower 20 keys of the keyboard. The remaining four sounds are polyphonic and can be played across the entire length of the keyboard. On their own, the sounds are quite unrealistic and not particularly useable. But when combined as an ensemble, and especially with the Chorus effect engaged, the resulting string sound becomes especially lush and shimmery.

The Solina String Ensemble uses divide-down technology, common in organs of the era, to achieve full polyphony. The Chorus/Ensemble effect is achieved by passing the sound through three modulated delay lines that cause a phase-shifting effect to make it sound thicker and more animated. There are also on-board Crescendo (attack) and Sustain Length (decay) sliders, volume sliders and a global tuning knob. It also has Gate and Trigger outputs from the polyphonic keyboard and is completely cased in wood (or wood-like) panels with a clean and discrete layout.

The Solina String Ensemble, like a few other ARP products, is not actually an ARP invention. The Solina was created by the Dutch company Eminent in 1974. It was derived from the string section of Eminent's 310U Organ, and sold commercially as the Eminent Solina String Ensemble. ARP bought the rights to re-brand the Solina for the US market as the ARP String Ensemble. There were also four versions: SE-I was monoaural with a permanent chorus effect, SE-II added an on/off switch for the chorus effect, SE-III added stereo sound, and SE-IV added LEDs.

The String Ensemble has been used by Air, The Eagles, Elton John, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Joy Division, OMD, Josh Wink, STYX, Tangerine Dream, Keane, Japan, and New Order.

Lookup ARP Solina String Ensemble Prices

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50 Visitor comments
Dave Mac
April 27, 2012 @ 2:51 am
Just aquired one and now trying to find a copy of the user manual - can anyone help ?
Hobbitrabbit
February 15, 2012 @ 8:07 am
Pretty sure you could add a little effecting to this thing and make some massive Trance Pads...
boy eats drum machine
January 13, 2012 @ 2:11 pm
Not sure why those links got hosed. Sorry about that. Take two:

http://boyeatsdrummachine.bandcamp.com/track/gun-fight

http://boyeatsdrummach ine.bandcamp.com/track/planets-stars
boy eats drum machine
January 13, 2012 @ 2:09 pm
Nice synth! I borrowed one for my album "Booomboxxx". There are some excellent analog textures here to overdrive. Here's a 'dirty' Solina sound on the right side at 43 seconds:

http://boyeatsdrummachine.bandcamp.com/track/gun-fight

I found the string sound to be smooth but a tad over-hyped. They come in here 22 seconds in:

http://boyeatsdrummachine.bandcamp.com/track/planets-stars

I prefer the string section on the Moog Opus 3. Better flexibility, much more psychedelic in its capabilities, with an easier-to-find 'sweet spot' via the filter.

Superbly cool vintage synth though.
JParg
November 4, 2011 @ 7:51 pm
I think I've found a Solina at this smooth track... enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-fQzfEOWbE&feature=related
 
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VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 3.97 (388 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - Full
  • Oscillators - Viola, Violin, Cello, Contra-Bass, Horn, Trumpet
  • LFO - n/a
  • Filter - n/a
  • VCA - Crescendo (attack) / Sustain (decay)
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - CV/GATE
  • Date Produced - 1974 - 1981
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Review updated August, 2012.

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