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Monday, June 16, 2008

ARP Quartet

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"The ARP QUARTET is identical to the Italian made Siel Orchestra. In fact, it is the Seil Orchestra! The ARP QUARTET was made by Seil (an Italian synthesizer manufacturer) and relabeled and sold by ARP. It specialized in string, brass, organ, and piano sounds.ARP bought, relabeled and sold it as the Quartet without changing it. It's a 4-part orchestral synthesizer with 4 sections: Brass, Strings, Organ and Piano. These 4 tone color families can be played individually or two can be played simultaneously. They are also individually tweakable. Selected presets will light up LEDs to show you which sliders and buttons can be used to modify the current section. It sounds very good and is a "classic" analog synth.

The BRASS section creates Trumpet and Trombone sounds with independent attack and sustain controls. The STRING section creates Cello and Violin sounds with independent attack and sustain controls. The ORGAN section is 2-voice and has a Celeste sound available as well. The PIANO section offers two types, traditional or Honky Tonk. The Quartet has been used by 808 State and Massive Attack for some those great string sounds.

The BRASS SECTION on the Quartet offers a choice of two brass footages (8'and 16'), in the form of Trumpet and Trombone voicings. Because the Quartet's preset voices are mixable, the Brass section can be combined with other preset voices. A brass chorus with delayed vibrato or string and brass orchestra are just two of the many polyphonic effects that can be created in this manner. The Brass section features independent control of attack and sustain.

The Quartet's STRING SECTION includes Cello and Violin chorus voicings, plus a choice of percussive or solo settings. Again, the String sections can be mixed with other sections to produce a pop organ, using percussion, solo, or organ and strings. The attack and sustain of the String section may be varied by using the String Section's independent attack and sustain sliders.

In in ORGAN SECTION two voices are preset on the Quartet. The Organ and the Celeste can be played either independently or in combination with other instrumental sounds. The pop organ patch on the Quartet takes on an added dimension when the Celeste is added, producing a rotating speaker effect. Double footages on the Organ setting produce a full, rich tone unparalleled in the Quartet's price range. The Piano section offers the Musician a choice between Piano and Honky Tonk, either or both of which can be mixed with the Quartet's other sections.

The PIANO SECTION allows a musician to produce both a 4' and Grand Harpsichord, with variable sustain.

Twelve LED status lights let the musician know which functions are in use at all times. A foot switch permits prolonged release on all selected voices. An optional optical volume pedal is also available for the Quartet.

The Master tuning control is conveniently located to the right of the keyboard. The Quartet is manufactured in a sturdy aluminum frame with genuine wood endblocks.

FEATURES of this keyboard are divided into four interacting sections:
* Brass
* Strings
* Organ
* Piano

You have four push buttons in the middle, just above the keys. Each selecting one of the sections. You may select one or more sections at a time. And each of the corresponding switches and sliders got a LED to show you which controlls are now active for the selected part(s).

The following controls are available in the Brass section:
* Brass Attack
* Brilliance

These select the filter function of the paraphonic (a single filter for all voices together) and single trigger
Brass section.
* Vibrato Speed
* Vibrato on/off switch
* Brass Sustain on/off switch

The Vibrato Speed is ranging from a few Hertz to audio frequencies (about 20-30 Hz ?). The vibrato is always delayed. The modulation of the vibrato LFO is increasing after the pressing of a note till it reaches the max after 2 secs. This is again paraphonic. So you have to release all keys before this delay starts again. Notes pressed while other notes had been pressed before will start with the max vibrato amount. If you switch the Vibrato off, the LED above the Vibrato Speed will be switched off too. Nice. So the beginner learns how functions interact and when some sliders just won't change a thing. The Brass Sustain will switch the sustain of the Brass section to a way lower volume. Think of it as the Sustain of an ADSR being reduced from max to 50%. Nice to add some brass attacks to the strings without having a full brass section mixed with the strings.

* Trombone on/off switch
* Trumpet on/off switch

These do differ in pitch (Trombone being 1 octove below Trumpet) and waveshape. The Trumpet is more brilliant ..

All parameters named before are active when the Brass section is active.

The controls of the String section are:
* Cello on/off switch
* Violin on/off switch
* Percuss (short for Percussion) on/off switch
* Solo on/off switch

The Cello is one octave below the Violin sound and in the same pitch as the Trombone sound of the Brass section. Except for the octave, there is also a little difference in sound from the Cello and the Violin: the Cello is more low-pass filtered.

The Percussion switch will shorten the string sounds to a short volume decaying sound of half a second.

The vibrato is preset. And there is some kind of other modulation added to it. .

By swithing the Solo to on (flipping the switch to the back), the vibrato section described above will be active. This way you get a more warmer sound with a complex vibrato . The delayed vibrato of the Brass section is modulating the String section with the delayed function. And, the vibrato of the String section is also active. This way you get more warm and nice strings known from other string keyboards.

The Organ section features two controls:
* Organ on/off switch
* Celeste on/off switch

Both are using the same added squarewaves from different octaves to add them to a stack of a somewhat squarewave organ like sound. The Organ preset adds the lower octave for more bottom.

The Piano section constists of:
* Piano on/off switch
* Honky Tonk on/off switch

Both sounds have nothing in common with a real piano sound.The Piano preset is soft and the Honky Tonk is bright in sound. Here the instrument is featuring a full polyphonic volume envelope. Each key triggers its own little and short decaying volume envelope.

The next controls are:
* Attack
* Sustain

The Attack is active when the String or the Organ section is active.The Sustain (actually the release time) is only active when the Piano section is active."

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