Siel Orchestra

Siel Orchestra Image

The Orchestra is a 4-part orchestral synthesizer from the classic Italian synth company, Siel (later bought by ARP and relabeled the Quartet). The Orchestra has 4 presets: Brass, Strings, Organ and Piano. The 4 tone color families can be played individually or two can be simultaneously played. They are also individually tweakable. Selected presets will light up LEDs to show you which sliders and buttons can be used to modify the sounds. The synth itself is very limited, there's no external control, no pitch/mod wheel and few edit parameters. However it sounds very good and it is, after all, a classic analog synth.

The Brass section creates Trumpet and Trombone sounds with independent attack and sustain controls. The String section creates Cello and Violin sounds with independent attack and sustain controls. The Organ section is 2-voice and has a Celeste sound available as well. The Piano section offers two types, traditional or Hony Tonk. The ARP Quartet, which is completely identical to the Orchestra has been used by 808 State and Massive Attack for some of its great string sounds.

Siel Orchestra Image

The Orchestra 2 was a more flexible version that followed the original and was released in 1983. It still had 4 preset sounds but offered many more sliders and edit parameters. The Brass section received a better filter with cutoff and resonance sliders. The Strings section added Mute and Percussion sounds to the mix. The Reed or organ section offered an Accordion and Musette sound in addition to the traditional church organ sound. And the Piano section added a clavichord sound to its mix. Other sections include a 5-band graphic EQ, simple LFO, Octave Transposition and the Animator section, a flange-type effect for "animating' your sounds!

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21 Visitor comments
June 27, 2012 @ 11:11 pm
I bought the original Sidle and used it on my first album released in the UK in 1982 titled "Cordially". I left Great Britian in 1984 and had the synthesis converted over to 120v for stateside use. I still own it and agree with the other comments that however limited the sounds it does produce are very very sweet indeed!!
March 9, 2012 @ 11:18 am
The Orchestra has one place it fills very, very well: strings in the upper two octaves. Instead of turning harsh or thin it stays sweet and dreamy. I'd love one for those strings again, but it's hard to justify the expense (which isn't too bad yet) and space it would require. Fond memories, though.
December 21, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
As the Orchestra 2 has an input, my thought is that one could plug in another instrument (ie guitar) and use it as an effects processor. But when I plug something in nothing happens. Any thoughts?
July 18, 2011 @ 1:52 pm
I love this synth. Have it for many years and will never get rid of it. Found it at the garbage on the street, and it worked perfect still... Especially the strings and the organs are VERY good. It has an Italian flavor to the sound, hard to describe why. Cheesy, and very 70's sound in my opinion, even though it's made in the 80's. Did wild improvisations with it on stage. The eq makes it especially interesting.
July 3, 2011 @ 5:31 am
I have prepared special chart/setup on paper (for print - pdf A4 format, two sounds per chart) for those who have Siel Orchestra 2! You can write your favourite sound/patch on this chart!!! You can download it here: eset%20list.pdf

It is free for all Siel Orchestra 2 owners.
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  • 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 - 49 notes
  • Oscillators - Brass, Strings, Organ and Piano
  • LFO - Fixed waveform, speed, depth, delay sliders
  • Filter - Yes: Brilliance (Orch 1). Freq. Cutoff and Resonance (Orch. 2)
  • Effects - Animator flange effect (Orch 2)
  • VCA - Yes, individual attack and decay sliders for strings, brass and piano sections.
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1979-1982 (Orch 1); 1983-1986 (Orch 2)

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