ARP String Ensemble
ARP String Ensemble
|Manufactured by||ARP Instruments, Inc.|
|Dates||1974 - 1981|
|Timbrality||Five tones: violin, viola, trumpet, horn, contrabass|
|Oscillator||Sub-octave divider network|
|Synthesis type||Analog Subtractive|
|External control||Gate out|
The ARP String Ensemble, also known as the Solina String Ensemble, is a fully polyphonic multi-orchestral synthesizer with a 49-key keyboard, produced by Eminent NV (known with Solina brand), distributed by ARP Instruments, Inc. from 1974 to 1981. The sounds it incorporates are violin, viola, trumpet, horn, cello and contrabass. The keyboard uses 'organ style' divide-down technology to make it polyphonic. The built-in chorus effect gives the instrument its famous sound.
The core technology is based on the string section of the Eminent 310 electronic organ, manufactured by the Dutch company Eminent NV. The main oscillator consists of twelve discrete tone generators with octave divide-down to provide full polyphony. The built-in chorus effect utilizes bucket-brigade devices controlled by two LFOs to create the characteristic vibrato.
The ARP string ensemble has been extensively used by Jazz-funk artists in the 1970s such as Herbie Hancock, George Clinton and Eumir Deodato. Elton John used an ARP String Ensemble on his hit song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", The Rolling Stones in their hit Fool To Cry, The Buggles in "Video Killed the Radio Star" and Rick James used it in his song "Mary Jane". In 1975, George Harrison used the ARP on his song "You" and the same year The Bee Gees played it on their hit "Nights on Broadway". Stevie Wonder played the famous string line on Peter Frampton's 1977 ballad "I'm In You". The Solina string sound has also been used by Kim/Ricky Wilde, Pink Floyd, The Cure, The Chameleons, Joy Division, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and Air.
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