Solton TS 4 [TS4K] Midi Expander + FootSwitch, 1989, made in Italy





Arranger by Ketron Lab (1989)
Simple arranger with digital PCM drums and some analog sections like bass especially designed for real-time arranger performance.
The ts4k is the keyboard version and TS4 is a 2 units rackmount version, project derived from previous model Programmer 24.


KEYBOARD 49 velocity keys. Main panel features a 16 x 2 LCD display, 48 buttons and 13 sliders for mixing parts control. Quite oddly the pitchbender is located on top left. 

Back panel terminal connectors: 
- Midi interface
- headphones + main analog out + bass individual out 
- 7 outs for drum section 
- 2 custom connectors for pedal controls (bass foot controller +volume) 
- 2 pedalswitch inputs for start/stop and fill-in PIC (from ebay)
 Power supply is a custom model PSU with AC-AC weird pinout!


Company: Solton
Model: TS4 / TS4K
Dates: 1989
Display: 16 x 2 LCD 
Synthesis: hybrid
Resolution: 16 bits
ROM size: ?
Polyphony: ?
Multitimbric: 4 parts
Filter: lowpass
LFO: none
Envelope: 3 EGs 
Memory: 100 slots 
Midi: IN / OUT / THRU 
CPU: 8031
IC: M114S IC




SOLTON TS3 : another accompaniment rack mount unit, should be really close to TS4 series. Not much info about it.
THE TS3K is the module rackmount version

VOICE machine based on a 8031 INTEL 8-bits CPU. 
The machine is organized into 3 melodic parts + 1 drum one:
- monophonic bass
- chord 1 melody
- chord 2 melody
- PCM drums (8-12? bits sounds on EPROM

TECH the polyphonic section is technically interesting based on a SGS Thompson M114S IC digital "sound tone generator" which read data off an eprom. This chip is used for the so-called "crosswaves" also implemented on other more famous machines e.g Amstrad Fidelity CKX1000, Keytek CTS-2000/1000.

LEFT - SGS Thompson M114S IC -

SOUND sections description: 
- BASS is monophonic and features 16 different presets e.g slap, picked, sixties, fingered. Not much else but BASS BRILLANCE which is a kind of filter EQ.

- CHORD 1 there are 32 patches e.g strings, EP, grand piano, fiddle, organ, choir, brass, pads... You can filter it with CHORD BRILLANCE function

- CHORD 2 another wave of 32 patches: marimba, piano, funky, mellow, clarinet, flute, harmonica, guitar, bell ...

- DRUMS 7 channels with individual gain and outs for a total of 43 percussions sounds samples.Some drum functions like ROLL and FLAME. Drums includes: kick, snare, Hihat, ride, tambourine, toms, shaker-maracas.


ARRANGER classic fingered playing with styles and auto-accompaniment but also recording with quantizes from 4 to 96 resolution and variable time signature. 
There are several preset functions for live play: 
- auto bass

- custom arranger
- patch change
- manual drums (triggers with notes) 
- odd bass 16/8 feet
- tempo change
- memory save
- custom variation
- intro fill in-end.

 TIP machine can be slaved to external MIDI clock.



EFFECT there is a chorus board based on TDA lines


MIDI each section is assignable to a different channel. 
Midi Sysex dump enabled.

MEMORY:
- 32 style (tango, waltz, twist, rock, slow, beguine, mambo, disco, beat, foxtrot, march, polka ...) 

- 32 slot RAM, 64 extra slots can be added using custom RAM cartridge.


SPOT THE CHIP t Did you say cannibalisation? The analog section with some interesting chips including:
- dual VCA CEM 3360 amplifier (used in some PPG, Crumar Spirit, Ensoniq ESQ-1, Linn drum and even holy grail Synton Syrinx). 

-SSM-2300 as multiplexer sample and hold same found on the Ensoniq SQ-80.
- Bunch of useful eprom


This unit accompanies the accordion very well. It is particularly notable for the incredible array of left hand possibilities as well as right hand settings. There is advanced programming of the rhythms. We particularly like settings which use the automatic capabilities but on when triggered by keys/ buttons pressed and find that it adds hugely to the sound produced by the player.
This unit is rack mount but completely encased so can be used free standing. There are numerous red LEDs to indicate functions selected and an LCD screen to indicate status of the various settings. The unit is in good condition although it has be used in a rack with some signs minor of use to the casing.
On the rhythm side there are separate slider volume controls for bass, snare, hihat, ride, tambourine, toms, shaker maracas, general rhythm.
There are also separate slider volume controls for bass, bass brilliance, chord, chord brilliance, chord2 volume.
There are numerous banks and buttons for bass, chord1 and chord2. For the accordion one of these settings can be used for the right hand.
There is auto bass, custom arranger, chord1, chord2, voice change, manual drums, bass 16/8 feet, tempo, stop/continue, start, memory, custom variation, intro fill in, ending, touch start, presets, pattern, song, registration, edit and enter and up and down buttons. 
Functions selected are shown on an LCD screen with LCD contrast rotary knob.
There are midi in, out and through connectors.
Outputs in clued mono (L) or stereo (L and R) . Unusually it is possible to output instruments on their own jacks if required. These include shaker maracas, toms, tambourine, ride, hi hat, snare, bass, rhythm, bass.
There are also stereo headphone sockets and external instrument inputs.
91 types of percussion instruments, 64 registrations, ability to program your own rhythms, custom arranger, fingered (plays only what you press on your instrument), manual.
Set separate channels for keyboard, bass, chord1, chord2, rhythm, program change.
Transposer.