MATRIXSYNTH: Per Kristian Risvik's Solina String Ensemble+

Friday, May 03, 2019

Per Kristian Risvik's Solina String Ensemble+

Published on Dec 11, 2018 Per Kristian Risvik


1. Some sounds from the Solina String Ensemble+
This Solina didn't have an on/off switch for the ensemble chorus, so my plan was to add that. Instead I added the dry output as a part of the modulation mixer, so modulator 0 is the dry output and modulator 1-3 are the delay lines.
2. Solina String Ensemble MK1 with MIDI
This is a project I've been working on for a while now and I've finally installed MIDI on it, using the Doepfer MTC64 interface. More info about how it was done here.
3. "Straits of Devastation" played on the Solina String Ensemble+
A track composed by Jeremy Soule for Guild Wars 2. It's definitely among one of my favorite Guild Wars 2 tracks - there is a sense of darkness and despair over it, yet it is beautifully majestic.

"Inspired by Albert Steenbergen’s MIDIfication of Jean Michel Jarre’s Eminent 310 Unique, I decided to add MIDI IN on my customized Solina, which I’ve called: "Solina String Ensemble+". Like Albert, I’ve used the Doepfer MTC64 which is an excellent interface for adding MIDI to just about anything! To get the MTC64 to communicate with the Solina I’ve used 4-channel optocoupler ICs, so in order to get access to all the 69 channels needed, I had to use 18 ICs. The last optocoupler does only handle one key, but I connected the remaining channels to the three upper black keys in the top octave, just in case I should think of something fun to use them for - and I have used one of them as a sort of MIDI gate which makes it possible to create rhythmic patterns thru MIDI. So this old Solina is up for some serious techno now :P"

"Here are the details on how the MTC64 is connected to the Solina, thru the optocoupler circuit board – the ground wires from the optocouplers to the MTC64 are not shown. I designed the circuit board in "DIY Layout Creator" and used colored wires from a telephone cable to help me keep track of things during the process of making the board itself and connecting it to the Solina. This did help a lot as it went surprisingly smoothly. The boards are connected to the Solina with connectors so they can be easily removed if there's need to do some maintenance."

"Unlike the later Solina String Ensemble models, there’s hardly any room left inside the original model, but right above the keybed there’s just enough space to squeeze in an optocoupler board and a MTC64. I made some brackets and mounted an L-shaped aluminum bar on the bolts that secures the busbar board."

"This is the underside of the optocoupler board, about halfway into the production. The blue wires are the ground to the MTC64."

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