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  MSE1 string machine At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1995  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 4.3/5 |  Read reviews (8)
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Steve Serraiocco ( writes:
If your looking for great sounding strings for about $500, this is the way to go. As a bonus, it has some percussion and pad instruments as well, and the expressivity is great.

Anon writes:
This sound module is on its way out of the market place, with reason. While the violin and viola patches are the strongest of the bowed string patches, the ensembles and 'cello patches are a disappointment. For a module named String Ensemble, it should have concentrated on the ensembles a bit more. The "legato control" feature on some of the patches is a nice touch. It lets you play a true legato, no harsh attacks until a pause in play. Some specific string techniques are offered like col legno, pizzicato, spiccato, and nonvibrato. However, more common string effects like harmonic tones, muting, and marcato didn't make it into their offering of 170 patches.

Moving between patches is tedious and getting to patches over 127 is a task. A number pad or wheel would have made it much more efficient. The 3 character LED display doesn't tell much either. MIDI compatability is standard through a keyboard, but though any sequencer (I tried 3), good luck. Lots of freeze ups and error messages. It supposedly will make adjustments for Gen MIDI, but how you get there can be a mystery.

Unless you're hard up for solo violin, viola, harp or harpsichord, pass this one by until it falls below its current $400US price.

Comments About the Sounds:
Overall, the sounds are great and very expressive when used with the Mod Wheel, Velocity (for attacks on the strings), expression controller and aftertouch. The cellos, violins, and contrabasses are great, violas are pretty good. The sections have everything from full orchestral strings to each section divided and individual combos (violins + violas, for example). Included are harpsichords, harps, and some percussion sounds, along with some 3-D type synth sounds and synth pads.

(Thanks to Steve Serraiocco for this info.)
and Peter Schonning for the pic

Links for the Roland MSE1 string machine
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