Why no new hardware stringers?

There’s been quite a bit of renewed interest in stringers since Streichfett came out, but having compared Streichfett and VSTs to original analog stringers, they really don’t sound the same. Streichfett’s limitation is that it’s ALL digital, no BBD chips in sight, and those were the real key to the stringer sound. A lot of the softsynths use samples as their base, but a single sampled note in a BBD unit sounds quite diff than multiple notes, not to mention the VCA. In my opinion, G-force and UVI’s soft stringers are lacking because of precisely this, in fact, I think Loomer’s String soft-synth does a better job because it starts out as purely digital waves and then puts those into a much more carefully designed BBD simulator.

Of course, stringers back in the day were really limited, but I can’t help wonder what a second generation could do, or why synth manufacturers don’t play around with this to make synths that are stringer-esque.

For example, is it possible to do your divide down digitally, ie: take an analog oscillator, feed it into a DA converter, and divide down there? You’d still get the minor fluctations in pitch of analog, I’d guess, but if you did this with two analog oscillators, divided them down separately, then layered, you’d get fluctuating polyphony, like on the Korg Lambda, only D/A hybrid, right?

Or what if you just took 2 digital waves and detuned them (ie: Audiothingies P6 or PreenFM engine), and connected this to the guts of an Oakley unit for BBD chorus? The problem with something like the Oakley or Elkorus is getting the levels right, but that would all be set internally.

Any thoughts?

I doubt that there’s a real market for it, which is why you won’t see anything new cropping up anytime soon.

Small market products like what you’re describing, usually come from labors of love, not some big name manufacturer.

It also seems like (at least certain) BBD chips are becoming really hard to find, as evidenced by moog discontinuing their analog cascade delay, and this would put of anyone making more than a couple of machines a year using those chips.

All in all, it seems unlikely that there’s going to be any new stringers, at least not of the analog variety that you seem to prefer. :confused:

Niche, limited, expensive?

Anyone desperately wanting one would either buy an old one or use a VST?


“This video demos the first polyphonic software version for the Atmegatron. It simulates a classic String machine, but adds lots of interesting extra features.”

Not another claim to emulate a string machine on an 8-bit Atmel… Well at least he’s not calling it a Solina like the other guy.

The soulsby stuff actually sounds pretty nice, this might be interesting ( he says without playing the video)