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The German company Waldorf is well known for making electronic instruments that deliver a unique analog/digital mix that’s as versatile as a Swiss knife. Their new product, the Streichfett, is a focused one: like Moog’s Little Phatty, except just for strings. The name “streichfett” literally means “spreadable fat”, though “streich” can also mean “to bow” – as in, to bow a violin.

What is it?
The Streichfett is a polyphonic desktop string synthesizer that aims to recapture the sounds of strings from analog beasts of the ’70s and ’80s. It features a 128-voice string section, with continuous morphing between violin, viola, cello, brass, organ and choir; and an 8-voice solo section, with constant morphing between bass, E-piano, clavi, synth and pluto. There are three global effects on board, plus ensemble and chorus effects for the string section and tremolo for the solo section. You can also store 12 presets. In other words: it’s one of the most inspired musical instruments out there.

Who’s it for?
For people who’d like to use string sounds from semi-ancient synths such as Yamaha’s CS-80 or DSI’s Prophet-5, but of course, can’t afford to buy them. I know that’s a wide audience, but the amount of situations in which the Streich can be made useful are endless. It doesn’t matter if you’re scoring for an Indian TV series or composing Yo Yo’s newest hit single – you’ll find this machine useful.

It’s housed in a minimal, ergonomic frame that’s as straightforward and utilitarian as a slice of bread. It’s not very stylish, but it’s not dull-looking either. It’s just a box with a few knobs on it, but the full black body with text and graphics in grape-purple does look nice. Essentially, it’s a metal plate screwed into a plastic casing. Simple and to the point. The switches are awesome! I’m transformed into the captain of a 1940s submarine every time I use this synth.

The Streichfett is a super simple machine to operate. When placed next to the Arturia MiniBrute or a MiniMoog, it looks like it might not be as serious. It’s so much smaller, so much lighter and has a total of just ten knobs. But don’t let any of this fool you. Its sonic capabilities when it comes to string sounds are highly appreciable.

The Upside
If you try to compare the Streich to the vintage synths mentioned above, you’ll reach no conclusions. But if there’s a void in your life when it comes to vintage string sounds, this synth will fill that space nicely, and at a fraction of the cost.

The Downside
For what this synth costs, considering its capabilities, there really isn’t anything wrong with it.

Final Call
It’s not a synth that your studio can fully rely on, but it is a synth that your studio can’t do without.

What’s in the Box Tech Specs
• User manual
• USB cable
• One-year limited warranty
• 128 voice fully polyphonic strings section
• Animate effect for modulation of strings registration
• Ensemble effect for strings
• Eight voice polyphonic solo section
• Layer/Split for solo section
• Continuous morphing of bass, E-piano, clavi, synth, and pluto for solo tone
• Tremolo for solo section
• Reverb/Phaser
• 12 programmable patches
• Stereo output
• Headphone output
• MIDI In/Out
• Strings section with organic preset select, crescendo and release pots
• MIDI in/out
Approximate Price: INR 23,000


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