Cherry.AUdio.Pro.Soloist.v1.0.4.92-R2R
Description: Pro Soloist is the latest in Cherry Audio’s roster of ultimate “what if?” virtual instruments. Featuring the precision-crafted and circuit-modeled DSP designs of award-winning developer Mark Barton, Cherry Audio’s Pro Soloist goes far beyond emulating the treasured, preset-based monophonic analog synth originally released by ARP in 1972. Pro Soloist not only exactingly reproduces the expressive controls, 30 presets, and the unique underlying architecture of this prog rock classic, it breaks it out of its cage by making it fully programmable and expanding it with full polyphony, splits and layers, a mod matrix, integrated studio-quality effects, and more.
At the beginning of the 70s, analog synthesizers were just making their way into the hands of working musicians, and their operation was still a mystery to most folks outside of a college music lab. To avert potential user intimidation and bring synthesis to the masses, manufacturers introduced simple monophonic preset synths that were intended to sit atop an organ. ARP led the charge in 1970 with the Soloist, the first commercial preset synthesizer, featuring 18 presets and basic controls.
In 1972, ARP followed it up with the Pro Soloist, updating the analog preset control with revolutionary digital read-only memory chips (which improved tuning stability) and expanding the preset selection to 30. Most impressive was the introduction of an innovative “touch sensor” keyboard (now commonly known as aftertouch), where pressing harder after playing a note introduces changes to the sound, allowing highly expressive playing. Specifically, the Pro Soloist’s touch sensor controls enabled pitch bend, wow, growl, brilliance, volume, and vibrato. This was heady stuff in the early 70s, and the Pro Soloist proved popular with musicians for its ability to rapidly emulate lead instrument sounds such as horns, strings, woodwinds, and more.
Despite its association with progressive rock, the Pro Soloist was popular with acts as varied as Tangerine Dream, Gary Numan, Kansas, Herbie Hancock, Patrick Moraz, Styx, John Entwistle, Parliament, Billy Preston, Vangelis, David Bowie, Brian Wilson, the Ohio Players, Chick Corea, Prince, and Josef Zawinul. Most notable was Tony Banks of Genesis, for whom the Pro Soloist was his first synthesizer. The track “The Cinema Show” on the 1973 album Selling England by the Pound showcases many of the Pro Soloist’s presets building up to his epic solo featuring the “Fuzz Guitar 1” preset.


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