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ARP String Ensemble

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Dates  1974–1981
LFO  Two
Polyphony  Full
ARP String Ensemble
Manufacturer  Eminent BV ARP Instruments
Timbrality  Six tones: violin, viola, trumpet, horn, cello, contrabass
Oscillator  Sub-octave divider network

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 BV (known for their Solina brand), distributed by ARP Instruments 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 distinctive sound.



The core technology is based on the string ensemble section of the Eminent 310 Unique electronic organ in 1972, manufactured by the Dutch company Eminent BV. 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.

Notable users

The ARP String Ensemble was extensively used by pop, rock, jazz and disco artists of the 1970s, including Herbie Hancock, Bernie Worrell, 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 in "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 and Ricky Wilde, Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, the Cure, Gorillaz, the Chameleons, the Carpenters, Joy Division, Neil Young, Air, Anthony Cedric Vuagniaux and Rikk Agnew. Fleetwood Mac keyboardist Christine McVie used it on the band's Heroes Are Hard to Find album, most notably on her song "Come a Little Bit Closer."


ARP String Ensemble Wikipedia

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