September 1, 2007

Strings 'n' Things...

by Chris Randall

I'm one of the few, the proud, the people that actually find string synths useful and somewhat endearing. This is an embarrassing trait, and I'd like to kick the habit, but I just can't. Over the years, I've owned one of each, pretty much. My favorite has always been (and will continue to be, for the foreseeable future) the ARP Omni 2, but I think that each one I've tried has had something about it that I liked and could use.

Currently, the only string synth I have is a Crumar Performer. It was previously owned by an indie rock band, and naturally they had no idea. They replaced it with like a MicroKorg or some shit, and sold it to me for next to nothing. It has manifold problems, due to its getting thrown about on stage a lot. Most of the problems are cosmetic, but there were a couple annoying electronic issues that I finally got around to addressing. Once I did that, I set myself down for a big ol' fashioned sampletacular, and got pretty much every sound it was capable of in to Kontact. Since I'm a thorough person when it comes to this sort of thing, I naturally sampled every third semi-tone.

What results is probably the most comprehensive sample set in existence of a rather poor example of an unappreciated breed, Averil->Apogee->disk, with an all-Mogami wiring path. I suppose that's worth something, anyways. Naturally, being me, I had to spend time making a script for UI control, and finding just the right impulse response for the 'verb, and I'll probably skin the Kontact instrument too, because I can. The funny thing is that this all took me a couple days to do, and the net result sounds like pretty much every other string synth. (Pardon the fair-to-middling playing. I just dashed this off for an audio example. Ol' Frederic would rap my knuckles with a ruler if he weren't such a mama's boy.)

In any event, what's your guilty pleasure, synth-wise? Everyone has one. Now's the time to come out of the closet and admit to the world that, yes, you love your JD-800. Or whatever.



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Sep.01.2007 @ 6:04 PM

Sep.01.2007 @ 6:45 PM
i love roland pad sounds and i have a strange soft spot for the CR78. i have, oddly enough, looked high and low for a crumar string performer. it's distinctive tone goes right back to the first duran duran album, a formative palette for me. i would jump to add it to my kontakt library. plans to sell?

Sep.01.2007 @ 7:24 PM
Solipsist Nation
Man, I love string synths too, but my favoritest of favorites is big whooshy pads on the Wavestation. Especially if they've got the nice poly aftertouch to bring in some breathy 9ths. Play a chord, lean on it for a while, lean a little harder, instant ambient track! I can play that shit all day. This makes me a big dork, yes, but a pleasantly spaced-out, relaxed big dork.

I also really dig arpeggiators in general, but hey, who doesn't?


Sep.01.2007 @ 7:27 PM
Prophet VS

they can bury me with it.


Sep.01.2007 @ 8:42 PM
i was also gonna say the korg wavestation ex! i bought one new in 1992, and sold it in 1999, which i still regret to this day. luckily they're pretty cheap on the second hand market so i'm gonna get myself another later this year!

that and the roland tr-606 with its lovely bouncy sound, and the best hi-hats in the world!


Sep.01.2007 @ 8:44 PM
CR78? Prophet VS? Some guilty pleasures! I'll show you how it's done: I LOVE the DX7 - there, I said it.

Sep.01.2007 @ 8:56 PM
the majority of my percussive sample library that i am using today is from a circuit bent furby my girlfriend gave me for my birthday.

Sep.01.2007 @ 9:46 PM
Prophet V string pad, filtered down a bit.
Zawinul used it in mid-70's to heart-warming effect in Weather Report. I bought the Prophet for that sound alone and never was able to get it just right.
But sitting in the crowd listening to it, I'd be on the verge of tears.

Sep.02.2007 @ 12:58 AM
i'm still waiting for GForce to release the Virtual String Machine

Sep.02.2007 @ 1:05 AM
Does anyone have Roland SH-09? I've been wanting one of these for years. Mostly as it looks fucking amazing and the reviews and samples are great. Anyone?

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