The Logan String Melody II was the successor of the String Melody I and was built from 1977
to 1980 by the Italian company Logan, which doesn't exist any more. In Germany, the String Melody II
was distributed by the company Hohner under the name "Hohner String Melody II". The Logan had five
preset sounds (0, ACC, SOLO, ORCH. and ORGAN) with octave mixing faders for each the lower and the
upper part of the keyboard. A monophonic bass sound (sine like) could be mixed in in two octaves.
Attack and decay could be regulated separatly for the lower and the upper keyboard zone. What
distinguishes the Logan from many other string machines is the presence of an AD envelope for
each key, not just one for all. This results in tons of transistors, capacitors and wires inside this
SAJ210 divider chips were used to divide down the high pitched master oscillators to the lower keys.
They tend to break and are not available any more. In the sampled unit, these were replaced by
modern standard dividers placed on a custom board. An integrated tripple chorus, not quite free of hum,
gave the tones a tremendous richness. The great looking instrument is integrated in a wood case for
easy transport. And yes, it's heavy like hell, nothing for damaged backs. The sound coming out of this
dream machine ist absolutely fat, lively, warm and exciting. It's without any doubt one of the best
string machine sounds on the planet. If you ever had the pleasure to play this machine, you'll agree
to this. Now it's available in the virtual world - without any shortcomings.
ARP Omni 2
The ARP Omni 2 was built from 1977 to 1981 by the company
ARP, which got famous with the
Odyssey and their semi-modular synths. The Omni II was the improved successor of the Omni I,
which itself was the sucessor of the famous Solina String Ensemble. The clear and silvery
Solina strings were THE strings of the seventies and eighties, used on every stage and on
every record. There's probably noone in the world that haven't heard them one time (exept
some jungle inhabitants maybe...). E.g. you can hear them in Pink Floyds "Shine On" intro.
Originally developed by ENIMENT and licensed to several companies, it became famous with ARP.
The later "Omni" called devices added a polysynth and a bass section to these strings. The
Omni II added electronic switching and single/multiple triggering. Probably thought as a gag,
the keyboard juts out of the device. While the sound is silvery in high notes, it tends to
be a bit harsh in deeper octaves. So the Omni/Solina was used mostly for high pitched single
or dual note strings that makes a song "taking off".
The Welson Symphony seems to be quite rare and there's not much info to find about it. It was
built by the company WEBO in Passatempo/Italy. There are five sections: cello, violin, horn&trumpet,
piano and harp. These have individual envelope controls and can be mixed in stereo (two outs available!).
Especially the stereo mixing results in very flattering broad and warm sound textures. This can be
partly recreated with the two pannable engines of the Stringer. The Welson has a nice looking polished
metal label on the right showing a symphony orchestra - that's what it wanted to be in the old days! :-)
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