Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Discuss John Bowen Synths - Solaris
synthwalker
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:16 am
Location: France

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thought

Post by synthwalker » Sat May 04, 2013 2:04 am

Solaris can't do multimode and has less polyphony for the moment... parameter access is also different in Andromeda with each VCO / VCF / Env having dedicated controls. Soundwise Solaris is way deeper, bigger than Andromeda, for sure !

marzzz
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thought

Post by marzzz » Sat May 04, 2013 5:01 am

One thing I have definitely noticed, with the Andromeda presets were just drenched in effects, and sounded weaker without them. With the Solaris, I find that I am removing the effects in presets to make it sound "better." The overall sound of the Solaris really holds up dry!

polybonk
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:11 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thought

Post by polybonk » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:52 am

I have both.

Solaris is much much thicker fuller and complex but stable and accurate.

The A6 is a totally different sound. The LFO's go really slow so its far better for ambient that evolves over a long time. I use the A6 for ambient tonal music and Solaris cant really pull the same sort of sounds.

But for everything else Solaris totally kills the A6 IMO.

In fact Solaris pretty much kills every synth I have used (and that is a lot) when it comes to big sounds.

inaheartbeat
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:39 pm

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thought

Post by inaheartbeat » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:52 pm

I love my Andromeda A6's and I also love my Solaris. They are very different synths. If I had to choose just one I would choose the Solaris. That said, however, there are several things that I wish the Solaris had that the A6 does that I love. Perhaps with some future release or set of releases some of these features can be implemented.
  • The A6 has all envelopes loopable and they have more stages. I also like that the loop return time, loop count, type, and curve are configurable
  • The A6 allows you to configure the curves of each envelope stage in greater detail which is really great. There is no support for S curve stages in Solaris envelopes and these are really great as are the variety of log and exp curves.
  • The A6 has great graphical editing of the envelopes and stages
  • The A6 has 16 voices. This matters a lot to me since 10 voices is not enough for long release patches
  • The A6 has multis. Layering patches is great.
  • Arpeggiator and sequencer editing on the A6 is easier. You can use the keyboard to directly enter notes for the sequencer on the A6 for example.
  • The A6 allows offsets to lfo's so that you can have just a small part of the lfo go negative for example and the majority of it be in the positive region. The Solaris allows for normal oscillation around the x axis or modulation completely above the x axis but no in between
The Solaris crushes the A6 for modulation flexiblity, audio path routing, oscillator variety, ease of patch editing and creation, mixer flexibility, lfo rates, filters, rotors, lag processors. wavetable support, and on and on. On paper, the Solaris should be crushing the A6 for effects also but this is still under development for the Solaris. The effects on the A6 are not good and never will be because the product is not being supported.

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1755
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thought

Post by John Bowen » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:07 pm

I agree about the A6's Envelopes....I had a look at the Manual the other day, and it's amazing how much they put in there for EGs...a ton of custom parameters. I was wondering if we could implement the S curve as well.

I understand about the LFO offsets....it's a little bit extra work, but you always can add some of the fixed Max value to bias the LFOs if you need.

digidisiggi
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:02 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by digidisiggi » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:18 am

just a little note from somebody who own now the solaris, p12 and two A6:
there are all different beasts, but on thing comes into my mind:

- love the p12 with the nice slop parameter (random detune)
- love the A6 but never push the autotune !!
- love the solaris, this machine sounds so unbelievble fat and the editing is just superb but one thing i'm missing the most: a simple drift parameter.

you got it? i like the imperfection because that has charme to me. it's like a "little out of tune" upright piano and this imperfection stucks in your head, imho.
back in my seventies and eighties i sold all my analog stuff because of the clean digital stuff. shame on me.

John, it can't be too expensive to implement a drift parameter ;-) that would be a great gift to your baby, believe me!

best to you and your company. merry christmas!

Siggi

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1755
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by John Bowen » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:29 am

Yes, there was this on my original functional list, but it didn't make the last release, however, it's been discussed quite a bit in the Forum as to how best to implement something, and we definitely want to do this kind of 'random offset'.
Please check the Forum for several different discussions such as:
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=887

Also, an idea to get some sort of random value effect:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=875&p=21125&hilit=Random#p21125

F5D
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by F5D » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:49 pm

digidisiggi wrote:just a little note from somebody who own now the solaris, p12 and two A6:
there are all different beasts, but on thing comes into my mind:

- love the p12 with the nice slop parameter (random detune)
- love the A6 but never push the autotune !!
- love the solaris, this machine sounds so unbelievble fat and the editing is just superb but one thing i'm missing the most: a simple drift parameter.

you got it? i like the imperfection because that has charme to me. it's like a "little out of tune" upright piano and this imperfection stucks in your head, imho.

Siggi
Hi there! I feel the need to reply here, as I own the same synths, but only 1 Andromeda. :)
These three synths are my desert island synths. Although in many discussions they jump up as competitors to each other, I do not see the point. They are very different from each other. I will compare them maybe in more detail early next year, but my short summary of the three:

Andromeda A6: Sick analog poly with perfect tonal character in the oscs and filters for creating film- and trance sounds. Modulation routings need to be used. I really like that this synth has its own raw character, and not that it sounds like a Moog. Funny thing, although the A6 is an analog synth, it can produce quite convinsing JP80x0 supersaw too, when using unison.

Prophet 12: Currently my favourite hybrid synth with lots of mod possibilities, using mostly for big sad BOC-style strings / pads, 80's synth and film music sounds. Some people do not like the filters, but I like them alot. Massive organic sounds come out of this thing when using modulations and feedback.

Solaris: My latest addition. IMO the best digital synthesizer there is. With all the choices in the oscillator and filter sections, this is capable of producing both analog and digital type of sounds with really high quality. It is fantastic that the synth allows using wavetables, analog type waveforms, ppg and vs waves at the same time. However, although it is possible to produce analog style sounds with the Solaris using clever modulation, it is quite obvious that you are working with a digital instrument. The filters are the best digital filters I have used, but there is just something when turning the filter cutoff of an Andromeda for example. It is easy to say which one is digital, which one is analog. The Solaris has the best UI and keyboard action of all three. Superb sounds come out of this thing when using different types of oscillators and modulations. At first, I will focus on trance sounds and big strings and pads with BOC-flavours. The Jaws can do quite convincing JP80x0 supersaw emulation, if needed. I am considering selling my 8080 because of this. Due to the fact that the Solaris has the Waldorf wavetables too, I need to consider, whether I should keep my Microwave XTk or not...

About the drift parameter. I never use the slop function of my Prophet 12. I always program my own drift settings with the lfo's and other things. The same with Andromeda and Solaris too. However, drift parameter could be useful for reserving lfo's and mod slots for other things. What I would want in Solaris is more mod destination slots for oscillators. I often consume most of them while creating my custom drift / vibrato function. I still need to read the manual more carefully, but it would be nice if there were common mod slots for all oscillators pitch, because now I create the same pitch modulations in the mod slots of all oscillators. P12 has a destination "All osc freq" in the mod matrix that I use alot.
Last edited by F5D on Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

minorguy
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:09 pm
Location: San Jose, CA, USA

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by minorguy » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:57 am

F5D wrote:What I would want in Solaris is more mod destination slots for oscillators. I often consume most of them while creating my custom drift / vibrato function.
I may be wrong or just misunderstanding this---I don't have my Solaris yet. But if you have a spare Mixer, can you use that to mix modulators and effectively get more mod slots? For example, mix the vibrato LFO and another LFO for drift and use that as a mod source, taking up just one oscillator mod slot. (Or instead of an LFO, what about four slightly different key tables running through a rotor? Possible? Hmmm)
Solaris #249

F5D
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by F5D » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:27 am

minorguy wrote:
F5D wrote:What I would want in Solaris is more mod destination slots for oscillators. I often consume most of them while creating my custom drift / vibrato function.
I may be wrong or just misunderstanding this---I don't have my Solaris yet. But if you have a spare Mixer, can you use that to mix modulators and effectively get more mod slots? For example, mix the vibrato LFO and another LFO for drift and use that as a mod source, taking up just one oscillator mod slot. (Or instead of an LFO, what about four slightly different key tables running through a rotor? Possible? Hmmm)
Your idea sounds great! I tend to forget that the Solaris is "so modular". It is like no other synth I have used regarding how the modulation sources are treated. I understand that audio sources can be used as mod sources, but using audio mixers for mixing modulation sources, and then using the mixer as a source is new to me, but now that you mentioned it, I am quite sure it is possible. I have never used a hardware modular, although generally I am familiar with how signals and modulations work. At first it feels strange that you can scroll through the exact same set of sources everywhere, independent on what the type of the source is. I am not with my Solaris right now, but I will test this right away, when I get back. I am quite sure now that it is possible to use one of the mixers to construct a kind of "drift mixer" with multiple sources that can then be used as a single source for modulating the oscillators. One needs to take a totally different approach with the Solaris. I was also wondering, what to do with the three other mixers, and filters. Currently, I am using only 1 mixer and 1 filter. So, at first, I thought that the 4 slots per oscillator are a limitation, but it seems that there is a back route using the mixers. It should be possible to use the extra filters or lag processors to further tailor the drift mixer output. Also, I believe the control slots of each modulation slot can effectively double the slots. What a machine! :)

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1755
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by John Bowen » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:47 pm

Yes, you can use the mixers for anything, but not only those! You can also use the Rotors to create a semi-random but controlled modulation source by feeding each input a different LFO or other signal (or after using a Lag processor, etc.). As well, there are the 2 Vector Mixers, which also can be used in this way.

There's lots of flexibility!!

-john b.

niversen
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Andromeda owners and Solaris , please share your thoughts !

Post by niversen » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:01 pm

Thanks for pointing that out John, I "knew" that was possible (it is right there in the menus), but the penny hadn't fully dropped. That is wild! It really is a self-contained digital modular synthesizer in so many ways.

Post Reply