ARP String Ensemble

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"Solina" redirects here. For the lake in Poland, see Lake Solina. For the village, see Solina, Poland.
ARP String Ensemble
ARP String Ensemble
ARP String Ensemble
Manufactured by ARP Instruments, Inc.
Dates 1974 - 1981
Technical specifications
Polyphony Full
Timbrality Five tones: violin, viola, trumpet, horn, contrabass
Oscillator Sub-octave divider network
LFO None
Synthesis type Analog Subtractive
Filter None
Attenuator AR
Memory None
Effects Chorus on/off
Keyboard 49 keys
Left-hand control None
External control Gate out
Sound sample

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 ensemble section of the Eminent 310 electronic organ in 1972, manufactured by the Dutch company Eminent NV.[1] The main oscillator consists of twelve discrete tone generators with octave divide-down to provide full polyphony; and the built-in chorus effect utilizes bucket-brigade devices (BBDs) controlled by two LFOs to create the characteristic vibrato.

Famous users[edit]

The ARP string ensemble has been extensively used by rock, jazz and disco artists of the 1970s, including 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, Roxy Music, The Cure, Gorillaz, The Chameleons, Joy Division, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and Air.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gordon Reid. "Eminent 310 String Synthesizer". Sound On Sound (May 2007). 

External links[edit]