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Cromina String Machine is a physical modeling recreation of the electronic strings sound of the '60s and '70s. Solina, Crumar and Logan were the names which made it possible for bands to bring a string orchestra on stage or into the studio - the sound of these electronic keyboards featured on many songs of this era.
WOK says that the sound-wise peculiarities of the frequency divider circuit and the BBD modulation section can not be successfully recreated by sampling, so they developed a plug-in with the main emphasis on the reproduction of this typical influence on the sound. Though the drawback is a higher CPU load, it gives a much better reproduction of the original sound.
Although this plug-in has its focus on the typical Solina sound (including a phaser and delay effect), it can produce a wide range of typical sounds by using the integrated equalizer, vibrato, envelope variations (including a piano envelope) and other tuning controls.
Cromina String Machine is one of the best budget string synth I've come across. The competing product, which is by a developer I respect greatly for his FX plugins, had considerable aliasing on the high notes - something that can get in the way of a soaring string section, no matter how nice the oscillators sound in the mid and low registers. Cromina does not noticably alias and sounds just as good if not better, despite being cheaper! Don't let the synthedit logo fool you!
Whilst I already own the excellent Synth Squad Amber, what drew me to this emulation was it's choice of three waveforms, and more mixable stops. The demo was super-annoying, not letting you tweak the important parameters (stops and footages), but I was sold on the strength of the presets. Take for example the patch "Warm Poly Strings", it's just flippin' gorgeous. The phaser, tremolo, and all the other details really come together to deliver the lush.
Speaking of effects, there's a switch to disable the bass registers from passing through the phaser and delay, very useful because that phaser can really blast some holes in the spectrum. Further tweakability comes from the back panel which is accessed by clicking the Wok logo. This lets you set LFO speeds, volume keytracking and advanced EQ settings, amongst others.
The three waveforms you can choose for the oscillator bank each have a distinctive character, two sawtooth types - one raspy and the other soft and fuller, plus a pulse-based waveform, which is naturally more nasal with a slightly hollow body. These waves filter down through the mixable stops giving each voice a distinct flavour, and when mixed they gel together beautifully creating a palette of sound that's interesting yet always constantly familiar (and after all, that's what we want from an emulation like this).
All in all, a really good purchase, and very playable!Read Review