"classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

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haydenvan
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"classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by haydenvan » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:16 am

Looking for something that can emulate the great lush chorus'd sound of the old roland rs synths. The RS synths seem to be an overpriced one trick pony now. So, I've considered some other roland synths (since I think the roland chorus is a key ingredient). Also, I like how, for example, on the juno 60, it has an arppegiator with trigger in which is useful to me with my non-midi set up but that feature is not necessary. I also have looked at the alpha juno but I feel it might lack the exact sound i'm looking for. Still, I rather keep the price low. Thanks.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:33 am

Get an Elkorus or the J Haible Tripple Chorus and then you can use any polysynth you want to get those sounds, just open up the filter and set the amp envelope right.

haydenvan
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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by haydenvan » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:54 am

Thanks, but those are 500+ dollars at times. I would just buy the juno 60 then. If all it takes is a BBD chip chorus pedal then I already have an Ibanez CS9. But these are triple so I guess I would need three of those.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by CfNorENa » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:42 am

Juno 60 strings have a distinctive "twang" to them. Excellent for fast arpeggios etc., and ideal for 80s synth pop. For "string machine" strings, with the signature Roland chorus sound, I'd recommend something from the Roland JX series (JX-8P, JX-10, or MKS70) instead (haven't played a JX-3P, but that has a lot of supporters, too). On the JX, the chorus effect is much smoother, mellower, and more subtle than on the Juno 60. My JX-10 is definitely my go-to synth for synth strings: warm, lush, and soft. No matter what I do, I can't get that same softness, perfect for sitting back in the mix, out of my Juno 60. And they can be had for under $300 (but you would have to shell out a bit more for the PG-800 programmer).

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:59 am

The JH Triple Chorus is costing me less than $200 to make, but I guess that's only an option for the soldering nerds.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by nathanscribe » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:08 pm

The greater the polyphony, the better. Those old stringers are fully poly, which means you can play evey key at once and not cut off notes. Most of my stringiness is covered by 4-8 notes, but with a 6 or 8 voice poly you're going to get cut-off at least some of the time. The JX-10 is a good option here as if you use it in Whole mode you get 12-voice poly. It does a pretty decent stringer impression when layered though that reduces poly to 6 voices.

I've used various boxes to help emulate stringer tones - often something simple like a Juno can do it if you get the right patch, and run it through the right effects. BBD chorus units are good at this, and depending what you want it to sound like, a phaser. Even though the Juno (for example) has a good chorus built in, it doesn't really sounds like a stringer on its own.

Another method is to use PWM differently on different voices/oscs. Not so easy to get right, but if you're careful it can sound fairly good.

These tricks also work on monosynths, which you can then layer in recording. I've got a patch on my LP that serves as a passable stringer or even mellotron-type sound when it's used right.

Having said that, I also have an old RS stringer, and nothing else here sounds like it. But in the absence of one, you could use almost anything. The key is good programming and intelligent playing.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by Christopher Winkels » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:22 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:Get an Elkorus or the J Haible Tripple Chorus and then you can use any polysynth you want to get those sounds, just open up the filter and set the amp envelope right.
Or you could try a Roland SDX-330. Fellow VSE member Aeon turned me on to one and I can't help but revel in the glorious Ensemble effect. Feed in a single Sawtooth wave with the Ensemble on and you have a veritable string synth for the price of a $200 effects rack.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by OriginalJambo » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:26 am

A JX-10 can pull off some decent "string machine" sounds. Failing that a Polysix will also nail it with its on-board "ensemble" effect.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by haydenvan » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:14 am

Thanks guys. I actually just picked up a very well-priced Juno 60 and have been happy with it in the string realm and beyond. Also, I have enough analog chorus, flanger and delay/mod pedals to thicken up the sound even more.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by aeon » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:03 am

haydenvan wrote:I have enough analog chorus, flanger and delay/mod pedals to thicken up the sound even more.
Do keep in mind that the usual suspects as it concerns chorus, flanger, phaser, and modulated delay will not yield the sound of ensemble modulation as found on many classic stringers.

In the analog domain, you have the Elkorus and J. Haible designs as mentioned. There is also the external input on the Roland RS-505 Paraphonic, but if you had that, you'd have a right and proper stringer already!

In the digital domain, you have (at least) a couple of choices. As mentioned, the Roland SDX-330 Dimensional Expander will deliver the goods. Another unit that can do the ensemble sound is the Korg SDD-3300 Digital Delay. With its triple delay lines and dual LFOs, you can emulate the Solina ensemble circuit with great accuracy.

The SDD3K plug for Korg OASYS PCI as created by Dan Phillips can generate this effect with ease as it is a recreation (with great enhancements) of the SDD-3300. Another option, given the budget, is to consider a modular-level Eventide where an ensemble circuit can be built from scratch with one's own desired tuning, modulation, delay stages, EQ, real-time control, and so on.


cheers,
Ian

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by Rangoon » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:55 am

aeon wrote:...There is also the external input on the Roland RS-505 Paraphonic, but if you had that, you'd have a right and proper stringer already!
...or you would have a Roland SDD-320 Dimension D already. That internal effect on the RS-505 is the same as the original Dimension D, from what people say.

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aeon
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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by aeon » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:35 pm

Rangoon wrote:
aeon wrote:...There is also the external input on the Roland RS-505 Paraphonic, but if you had that, you'd have a right and proper stringer already!
...or you would have a Roland SDD-320 Dimension D already. That internal effect on the RS-505 is the same as the original Dimension D, from what people say.
Well, those people are incorrect. The internal ensemble effect of the Roland RS-505 Paraphonic IS NOT THE SAME as the Roland SDD-320 Dimension D. A simple listen to both of them demonstrates their essential characters are quite different.


cheers,
Ian

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Z
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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by Z » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:28 pm

Yes, the Dimension D is a very subtle, yet somewhat magical effect as opposed to the equally cool ensemble effect of the RS-505.

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by Rangoon » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:02 pm

aeon wrote:
Rangoon wrote:
aeon wrote:...There is also the external input on the Roland RS-505 Paraphonic, but if you had that, you'd have a right and proper stringer already!
...or you would have a Roland SDD-320 Dimension D already. That internal effect on the RS-505 is the same as the original Dimension D, from what people say.
Well, those people are incorrect. The internal ensemble effect of the Roland RS-505 Paraphonic IS NOT THE SAME as the Roland SDD-320 Dimension D. A simple listen to both of them demonstrates their essential characters are quite different.


cheers,
Ian
Acknowledged. I always had trouble believing that myth...

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Re: "classic" string synth that's not strictly a string synth

Post by druzz » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:14 am

i have a korg lambda and was about to sell it but i am slowly changing my mind . it has two sections: percussive( piano ,ep, clav...) and ensemble ( strings, chorus, brass, organ) . it has a volume and an output for each section plus a third output of the mixed signal of both section. the outputs are what i love. i run the mixed output trough my moogerfooger lowpass filter and the string output trough my cs-5 external input wich sits on top of the lambda. its more fun to do strings that way and now i want to keep it . sorry for those who wanted to buy it ;)

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