Time machine: HOHNER STRING PERFORMER String Machine 1977
This german early eighties string keyboard was one of the last variations on building a string ensemble keyboard with or without some extras added. The Hohner String Performer is a string machine made in Germany. It has strings in 3 footages (CELLO, VIOLA, VIOLIN), which are mixable via volume faders. Also CLAVICHORD and PIANO presets, all free mixable. Each half of the keyboard has these features. A bass preset can be added to the left half of the keyboard. Like most string machines, the keyboard is split in the middle so that you can adjust the volumes seperately for the lower and upper part of the keyboard. The sliders for adjusting the volume of each basic sound works upside-down, like drawbars, i.e. you pull the slider towards yourself for raising the volume of a sound. Also, each sound can be muted with a corresponding button. The Performer has a minimal amount of control for adjusting the sound: only the release (called “sustain” on the Performer) time can be controlled. Also, the ensemble effect is a part of the string sound and cannot be switched off or variated. Fortunately, the string sound is really good.
“On the right, there is a simple monophonic preset synthesizer with 4 presets: BRASS, STRING, CLARINET and PLANET. To be honest, I didn’t know that a planet could be a musical instrument – but Hohner should know
The String Performer is fully polyphonic and has a decent analog string tone. It is quite large and heavy.”