String Machine MkII

String machine emulation using Analog Legacy

(21 Votes)
1.0 (Updated 6 years ago)
August 29, 2014
Reaktor 5 or lower


Here’s an emulation of one of the most popular string machines of the seventies (Solina). The appearance is of the Mk4 but the sound is more similar to Mk1 or 2. To be able to reproduce the raspy wave shaped tones of the divide down oscillators at the highest octave I had to set the sample rate to 176kHz. As a consequence using the effect both pedals in stereo mode makes this ensemble a real CPU hog. So if you are strapped of horse powers use only one pedal in mono mode.

Just as with my mono synthesizer Juice 3 I’ve used the Analog Legacy algorithms to imitate the organic vintage sound. And to capture the original charm of the Solina 70s electronic’s I added a bucket of noise to the chorus. So if you find these strings to sound unclean and crackling noisy, that’s the intention. That’s how a BBD based string machine sounds like.

String machines are pretty much a one trick pony with only a handful of controls so either you are captured by the minimalistic characteristic sounds or you get bored and move on. But if you can accept the limitations you do have a universe to explore tweaking the waveform presets, attack, release, bass and the effects while playing.

This ensemble uses the Analog Legacy technology.


Ariel Kenan
2 years ago
This is beautiful work... About the CPU issue: only the chorus has a stereo effect, so why not make the phaser and flanger mono, and change the signal flow to strings -> phaser -> flanger -> chorus? Also polyphony seems high at 15.
Robin Parmar
4 years ago
You are a godlike coder. Thanks for all your contributions which are first rate.
Piers Williams
6 years ago
Sounds fantastic!! takes me back 40 years. The sitar has a real early seventies vibe. works OK on my machine turned down to 44.1k. Many Thanks!! WONDERFUL
james storr
6 years ago
hammers CPU :( shame!!!!
Michael Stocker
6 years ago
Sounds VERY nice! Thanks. The way NI shortens the "String machine emulation using Analog Legacy" part on overview page is ...interesting :-)
6 years ago
turn off the pedals, lower the sample rate and lessen the number of notes to get it to work.
Daniel Hogan
6 years ago
Insane CPU. I can't even get a sound out of it. The demo sounds great.
John Loose
6 years ago
WOW. Beautiful design and great sounds.
johan rundqvist
6 years ago
My god what a wonderful sounding machine this is, But my 3 months old imac using 44% cpu in ableton. that is...very very much.
Hugo Portillo
6 years ago
This is excellent ZooTook! The authenticity of this emulation is stunning, from the brass and horn sounds to the envelope behavior. And of course the strings and chorus. Great work!
Phil Durrant
6 years ago
One way of helping with the CPU issue is to make a separate Ensemble for the Phaser and Flanger, and set them to the 'Host/System'. In Ableton Live 9, if I have an Ensemble with just the String Machine and a separate Ensemble with the effects, then the CPU is much more manageable.
6 years ago
On my 3 years old iMac it peaks at 75% when both padals are in stereo mode. With no pedals 35%.
6 years ago
sounds really good! unfortunately the CPU hit is a little high for me (i have some kind of driver conflict that makes reaktor especially slow though).
marco vicari
6 years ago
yeah zootook is back. sounds pretty good.