There’s a bunch of love out there for the Solina Strings. It seems to have been recreated, emulated and virtualised a lot recently and the latest people to have a go are Sono Elements with their SolinStrings VST and AU instrument.
It has that familiar, warm, wheezing sort of accordion-like sound of something string-like being forcibly dragged out of the instrument. It’s narrow, compressed and forever in need of some effects to give it breath and life. Well at least that’s my personal view of the Solina Strings and SolinStrings reflects this perfectly.
It has a very simple interface with 3 rows of 8 knobs. The top row deals with the ADSR envelope, depth and rate of tremolo and the main level and overall panning. The second row gives us the levels for each sound – cello, contra, horn, trumpet, viola and violin – plus reverb and a low pass filter. The third row lets you pan the tones and also introduces some crackle and distortion from vinyl and tape. That’s your lot. There’s not really much more to it than that. You can access a few more parameters via MIDI such as glide and legato modes.
I like it for the simplicity, it does what it’s supposed to do without Sono Elements feeling the need to add in a whole bunch of additional modulation, sequencers or effects. So for $19 you get a decent Solina Strings.