The Solina String Ensemble is the classic string machine of the 1970s. It was used by Pink Floyd (Shine on You Crazy Diamond and on the Animals album), Elton John, OMD, Tangerine Dream, Japan and many more. The original 70s machines are heavy and getting increasingly rare, but there is something special about their odd string sound.

Behringer have brought back the Solina with a reproduction of the original in a smaller desktop form factor. Still using the analogue circuit, it is 49 polyphonic (using the original divide-down technology) and has the original Cello, Contra-Bass, Viola, Violin, Trumpet and Horn sounds, of which you can combine any combination of them.

It also has the classic modulation effect which gives the Solina its character. Also built in is a brilliant sounding phaser which really adds to the classic 70s sound. There are only a few sound editing parameters: bass volume, crescendo and sustain length but that is exactly what the orignal had.

You can also use the mod in / out and phaser in / out to process external signals with the unit’s effects. I tried pushing my Yamaha TX7 through the phaser and it sounds amazing. There are also 9 pin MIDI In/Through, USB Midi and Eurorack connections.

As soon as you start playing the Solina, you get the classic 70s and 80s string machine sounds, and I was transported back to a world of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. In this video, I unbox and review the Behringer Solina String Ensemble. I also demonstrate running other synths and drum machines through its modulation and phaser effects.

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