GForce - Virtual String Machine (Pc/Mac/Universal)

The modern, polyphonic string synthesizer was invented in 1970 by Ken Freeman, a British keyboard player and engineer who discovered that if you layered a note with another detuned and slightly modulated version of itself, a pleasant ‘chorused’ sound resulted.

Even though Ken's invention wasn't the first instrument of this genre to be commercially released (That honor fell to the Eminent organ company with their 310 Unique organ) there's little doubt that Ken's vision contributed immeasurably to electronic music over the next few decades in the guise of over 100 different models by a huge variety of manufacturers.

After all, what would the intro to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here have sounded like without those moody intro chords? Can anyone imagine Oxygene without the swirling tones imparted by the Eminent 310 and Small Stone Phaser? Likewise, what would Lonnie Liston Smith’s Expansions have sounded like without that effervescent Solina?

The above are just a few examples of how, over the last few decades, the evocative sound of the string machine has significantly contributed to an almost endless array of tracks from artists as diverse as Air, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, The Cure, Parliament, Herbie Hancock, Joy Division, Jean Michel Jarre, Thomas Dolby, Genesis and more recently Kasabian and Goldfrapp.

The VSM is a simple but highly powerful Virtual String Machine which captures many of the sounds from this genre of instruments, containing a wealth of sounds from a small mountain of classic and rare string machines. These range from the first commercial string ensembles (Eminent 310 & Freeman String Symphonizer) through to the highly lauded Solina, Elka Rhapsody, Logan String Melody, Korg PE2000 and many more.

With the sheer amount of instruments captured within the VSM it's simplicity itself to recreate all those golden string machine tones from yesteryear. However, with the VSM's comprehensive, yet intuitive feature-set, plus a two-layer option it's now possible to create your own hybrid instruments taking these sublime vintage tones into hitherto unchartered territory.

The sounds from 17 classic and rare string machines
Over 2.5Gb of data
66 individual sample sets
49 notes, each individually sampled and looped
Dual Layer & Split Keyboard capability
Vintage style Ensemble & Phaser effects
Filter section with Lowpass, Bandpass & Highpass modes
Two Envelope Generators
Pitch LFO
Dynamic control including filter aftertouch
500+ Patch library

Full Instrument list
ARP Omni, ARP Quartet, Crumar Multiman, Elka Rhapsody, Eminent 310, Freeman String Symphonizer, Junost 21, Korg PE-2000, Logan String Melody, Oberheim OB-8, Oberheim Xpander, Moog Opus 3, Polymoog, Roland RS202, Solina, Yamaha SK-15, Yamaha SS-30

Inside Info
There's so many myths that surround certain tracks and it comes as no surprise that Ultravox's Vienna was amongst them. The big rumour among synth-spotters was that all the string parts were recorded using a Yamaha SS-30, however, talking to Billy Currie is seems that this isn't the whole story.

"I used the Elka Rhapsody for the Vienna high note of the verse & the pad in the instrumental section with the Violin solo. The rest was just on the chorus's with the Yamaha string machine. The one with the dodgy wood finish (the SS-30). It had a chorus switch that if was set slow sounded more like an organ.

The Cello line under the Violin solo was done by a Yamaha duo phonic synth. I cannot remember it's name now. It wasn't a synth of mine

I did hang on to the Elka using it for parts of the next "Rage In Eden" album. Most of its use was with the first three Ultravox albums though. " Artificial Life" at the beginning intro is my favourite. (From the album Ha Ha Ha)"

Essential Listening
Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene (Eminent 310)
Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe (Elka Rhapsody)
Duran Duran - Rio (Crumar Multiman)
John Foxx - Metamatic (Elka Rhapsody)
Beck - Midnight Vultures (Opus 3)
Morrisey - You are the Quarry (Opus 3)
Jeff Wayne - War Of The Worlds (Freeman String Symphonizer)
Elton John - Song For a Guy (Freeman String Symphoniszer)
David Bowie - Sound & Vision (ARP Omni)
Roy Ayres - My Life in the Sunshine (Solina)
Herbie Hancock - Chameleon (Solina)
Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings (Logan String Melody)
Steve Hackett - Voyage of the Acolyte (Elka Rhapsody)
Genesis - Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album (Elka Rhapsody layered with Mellotron)
Air - Moon Safari album (Solina)
Ultravox - Vienna (Elka Rhapsody & Yamaha SS-30)
Ultravox - Artificial Life - (Elka Rhapsody)
Lonnie Liston Smith - Expansions (Solina)
Gary Wright - Dreamweaver (Solina)
Goldfrapp - Number One (Roland RS505)
Vangelis - Heaven & Hell (Elka Rhapsody)
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart (ARP Omni)
New Order - Blue Monday (ARP Omni)
The Cure - In Between Days (Solina)
Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Solina)
Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express (ARP Omni)

VST 2.0 (Mac/PC including VSTi)
Audio Units (Mac)
Compatible with both PPC and Intel based Apple computers.

Minimum System Requirements PC
Intel Pentium IV 1GHz with 512MB RAM
5Gb Hard Drive Space
Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP*
VST 2.0 or RTAS compatible host application for plug-in operation
ASIO-compatible soundcard for standalone operation
* Home and Professional Edition only. Windows Media Center Edition is not currently supported.

Minimum System Requirements Mac
1.25 GHz PowerMac G4
512MB of RAM
5 Gb Hard Drive Space
Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)
VST 2.0, RTAS, or Audio Unit compatible host application for plug-in operation

Launches in March 2007 with a price of $149.99.