This funny little preset synth has four polyphonic sounds (trombone, trumpet, piano and viola) and nine monophonic sounds (tuba, trombone, trumpet, bari sax. alto sax. bass flute, picollo and violin). The mono section features a two-stage envelope, variable portamento and a wah effect named "wha wha". The rest of the controls are vibrato (with controllable delay)and brilliance. The poly sounds are fully polyphonic, which leads to the conclusion that traditional organ technology was used to get polyphonic sounds out of monophonic sources. It was available in two styles - wooden or alluminium housing. Although created with the ambition to provide the player with the sounds of traditional instruments,the Synthorchestra doesn't really live up to its name. The names of the sounds shouldn't be taken literally - they're just rough indications of what the sounds vaguely resemble in terms of range and timbre. Yet, for 1975 it wasn't all that bad...and was better than certain similar instruments which came from other Italian manufacturers of infamous string machines (Logan, Crumar and the other aural horrors). You can play passable string/brass pads on it, though, and the funky two-stage envelope generator and wah used on tuba or bari sax can be used for some nice oldfashioned bass runs. The Synthorchestra is also very compact and light.
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