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Is it a Solina String Ensemble or a Mellotron ?

(60 Votes)
1.1 (Updated 13 years ago)
April 20, 2006
Reaktor 5 or lower


Actually neither as such...

This ensemble came about due to my fascination with old hardware synths and the retro sound used so often
in Prog Rock.

I read an article in Elektor (an Electronic constructors magazine) about chorus effects, delay lines and
String Machines and decided to try and make a 'String Machine Chorus Unit' in Reaktor.

I searched the internet and found the Solina circuit diagrams which inspired the design of this Reaktor
version of the chorus unit. My Reaktor version is a replica of the Solina circuit 'electronics' in so far
as it uses the same method to produce the chorus i.e. a dual three phase LFO modulating three delays. But
the rate and depth of the effect were just set up by ear because without actually recreating the hardware
I was unable to work out the rate and depth of the original (My math’s not so good).

I added a few standard synth Macros to complete this simple string machine to test my chorus unit.

Although designed as a one trick synth the result reminds me of a cross between a Solina and a Mellotron.

Also try incorporating the chorus Macro into your own synth creations. I do from time to time and it's
amazing how it can liven up and change sounds, even just filtered noise !


Peter Whiting
12 years ago
Hello Christopher, I am sorry you are having difficulties. I do not have access to a mac so I cannot really help. This ensemble was created in R4 on a PC it is not complex and does not use any "special" or "unusual" tricks so I would expect it to run OK. There is only one snap as far as I can remember. Maybe another OSX mac user could comment or help ?
Christopher Soulos
12 years ago
Didn't crash this time but no snaps and really stiff controls. i think its not for my mac.
Christopher Soulos
12 years ago
Don't think this is compatible with OSX mac 10.4.1. Saw the layout for a split second and then gone. Crashes every time I try to laod it. Damn!
Peter Whiting
13 years ago
Hi Georg, Yes there are a great many "modern sounding" string patches around for both hardware and software synthesizers. I thought it might be nice to try and get some vintage string sounds from Reaktor. I agree we need more nice vintage sounds in modern music. As well as trying the triangle PWM also try connecting the filter pitch to the midi pitch input, it will need an amount control, to improve the sound of the lower notes. This is something I intend to do for SolinaTronV2 but I am unable to upload to the user library at the moment.
Georg Fries
13 years ago
I like this sound VERY much. Thank you for creating it. I am a long-time M-Tron user, and indeed your idea with the macro is something to get more variations in to the "Klänge". (I like to record some tron-sounds and mangle them in an audio editor, so sounds like from your Solinatron can be nice and something new for experimentalists too, I'd think...) I'll see what a triangle oscillator who modulates pulsewidth can do - again, those comments are the best for all who look into the structure of the ensembles. I wished I could contribute something to this later, but here are so many who build ensembles since the early 17th century, it seems:). So thanks for the fluttering chorusing Mellotron Solina :-).
Peter Whiting
13 years ago
Hi Nick Hi Bernd Thank you both for taking the time to comment. I am pleased that you like SolinaTron and that you have found it to be useful.
13 years ago
Added a ssf-bank, for me it's a string compendium. Thank you very much for melancholic sound machine. (PA)
N Marsh
13 years ago
I really like this: I was just looking for a solina/mellotron emulator for a film project and this fits the bill. nice one.
Peter Whiting
13 years ago
Hi Stephan, This is my first upload to the user library so I am very pleased to receive your comment. The original Solina did not use PWM to enhance the string sound but relied, as far as I can tell, entirely on the chorus unit. I cheated a bit by detuning two 25%(ish) pulses. The original used a square wave master oscillator filtered into a kind of saw shape. I must look into this again and maybe try to emulate the generator section. Thanks for downloading and for you comment, I'm glad you like it. Peter Whiting
Stephan Becker
13 years ago
nice. added a triangle osc to modulate pulsewidth and got some really nice string sounds.