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Identification

The Welson Symphony, (identical in features to the General Electric S.L.M. Concert Spectrum) is an analog string synthesizer produced originally from around 1976 by

WEBO ELECTRONICS CO. S.p.A.
60020 PASSATEMPO - ITALY
(no longer in existence)

Best known users are E.L.O. (S.L.M. Concert Spectrum version)

Very little further information is available on the internet about this instrument, although schematics appear to be available from several sites, offered at about $20.
The device itself seems extremely rare, but not very much sought for. Prices on Ebay range $150 - $200.

Features

Main features are:
The Concert Effect is some kind of subtle, slow stereochorus that can be applied to the Horn&Trumpet, the Piano and the Harpsichord sound (3 on/off pushbuttons). Also available are 5 panning sliders, of which 4 affect the Harpsichord, the Piano, the Horn&Trumpet and the String (Cello and Violin Combined) sounds. The fifth slider pans the sum of all sounds.
With the Concert effect and the panning disabled, the output is basically mono. There is no touch sensitivity.

The individual sounds are rather dull and boring, but the layering makes things slightly more interesting.

Pictures

I may add pictures here later on. In any case, you can find a photo now at SonicProjects' Stringer website. (Who did sample some sounds of the Welson Symphony for their Stringer VST).

The Samplebank

The Welson samplebanks at the main page I recorded, looped and mapped in May 2007.
The samples were recorded from my own Welson Symphony, using Adobe Audition, Zero-X Seamless Looper and Native instruments Kontakt 2.1
Every key was sampled at 44.1 kHz, 16 bit, mono. Noise reduction was applied with as little damage to the sound as possible. A looped sample of the background noise is included for increased authenticity ;-)

The Piano and Harpsichord sounds were re-enveloped, because this way they take only 1.5% of the diskspace they would take if sampled with complete decay stage.

Attack Hold Decay Sustain Release
Cello
0.00ms 0.00ms 0.00ms -0.0dB 1600ms
Violin
0.00ms 0.00ms 0.00ms -0.0dB 1600ms
Brass
0.00ms 0.00ms 0.00ms -0.0dB 1600ms
Piano
0.00ms 0.22ms 1300ms -31.8dB 1300ms
Harpsichord
0.00ms 2.00ms 930.5ms -31.4dB 930.5ms

Main differences with the hardware version:

The Disclaimer

Although this samplebank sounds fine to me, I do not have the best soundcard available (a Hercules DJ Console, if you must know), so the sound quality is probably not comparable to any commercially available samplebank. Then again, I don't know any commercially available Welson Symphony samplebanks. That are free.

Also consider that the Welson Symphony is definitely not the most interesting, best sounding string synthesizer ever built.

All in all, you're welcome to try it out, and if you're anything like me, you'll enjoy tweaking the sound until it is interesting. The sounds do work well with choruses and delays.

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