ARP Solina String Ensemble Sound Demo

This video, via AnalogAudio1, is a demo of the iconic sound of the Solina String Ensemble.

The Solina String Ensemble, like other 70s string synths has limited synthesis options. But what it does, it does well, offering lush sound and full 49-key polyphony. 

Video Summary:

The Solina String-Ensemble is identical with the ARP String-Ensemble. It is the first and original “String Machine”. Fully polyphonic with 4 presets and 2 monophonic bass presets!

Many manufacturers tried to copy it (Logan String Melody, Elka Rhapsody, Crumar Multiman, Farfisa String Orchestra, Jen String Machine, Siel Orchestra, just to name a few). In the seventies, every organ manufacturer had a string machine to offer…
but the Solina remains the best (or at least one of the best) with its fat, unique and charming sound, which can not be sampled successfully.

A great machine, which was used by many professionals.


Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream) used it on many records (Green Desert, Aqua, Le Park, Underwater Sunlight, etc.), Herbie Hancock (Secrets), AIR (Moon Safari), Mike Oldfield, David Bowie, Heart, Richard Wright / Pink Floyd (Shine On You Crazy Diamond), Elton John (Song for Guy), Nick Straker (A walk in the park), Geoff Downes / Buggles (Video killed the radio star), Roxy Music (Both Ends Burning), the Bee Gees and the Carpenters (on live performances) …

In the intro I played the Solina along with a Schulte Compact Phasing A.

4 thoughts on “ARP Solina String Ensemble Sound Demo

  1. really love that synth, been thinking about the couple times I got to play one for a solid ten years now. just amazing.

    …also even that youtube demo is a good reminder to me why all the insane hardware fetishism is totally worth it.

  2. I’m lucky enough to still have one of these!…the Arp branded version though, not the original Solina. Pulled it out for a “Pink Floyd Night” my band did and it sounded so authentic. I used to put it through various pedals, flangers, etc. back in the 80’s and made it my makeshift a poly-synth since I couldn’t afford a Prophet-5, ha ha!

  3. I love string machines. I have a Korg Delta which is very limited but also really cool. They certainly have a character to them that hasn’t been updated, unless you count the Waldorf…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *