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Solaris future questions.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:35 am
by robinkle
I've spent some time reading the Forum, and I'm very excited. I haven't made a post since 2014. I haven't purchased a Solaris yet, due to obvious financial restrictions :(, though it seems be be solved within a year. I've always wanted a Solaris. Though, I do have some questions regarding the near future of Solaris:

What interests me at the moment on the hardware side is the new mainboard, using next gen SHARC DSP's. I believe I''ve read somewhere that the original mainboard had connectors for voice expansion. I wonder if the new mainboard would feature support for voice expansion as well and if there are plans to offer an internal voice expansion on a later date? I would be interested in that.

On the software side, I like the idea of paying extra for the OS v.2. I would like to see phase modulation (Preferably a DX7 style operator as an Oscillator), and multitimbrality.

I want to thank John for being so awesome and transparent in relation to the community.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:32 am
by John Bowen
Hi Robin,

Thanks for your questions. First, I can tell you that the original main board never had connectors for voice expansion, and we are still using that board for production. The new main board I spoke of also does not have voice expansion connectors. We were just hoping that the more powerful SHARCs would give us a few more voices, but development of the new board is stalled until the board designer has some free time from his regular day job to work on migrating the code to the new board. (During the time he worked on the new board, we did discuss the idea of a DSP expansion path, but I think in the end he said it wasn’t really practical.)

I also would like to have a DX7 style FM/PM structure, as it was planned to have that in the very beginning. We will see what comes...

John B.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:53 am
by robinkle
John Bowen wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:32 am
Hi Robin,

Thanks for your questions. First, I can tell you that the original main board never had connectors for voice expansion, and we are still using that board for production. The new main board I spoke of also does not have voice expansion connectors. We were just hoping that the more powerful SHARCs would give us a few more voices, but development of the new board is stalled until the board designer has some free time from his regular day job to work on migrating the code to the new board. (During the time he worked on the new board, we did discuss the idea of a DSP expansion path, but I think in the end he said it wasn’t really practical.)

I also would like to have a DX7 style FM/PM structure, as it was planned to have that in the very beginning. We will see what comes...

John B.
Thank you John. :)

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:42 pm
by Hein Eken
John Bowen wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:32 am
... but development of the new board is stalled until the board designer has some free time from his regular day job to work on migrating the code to the new board. ...

John B.
Wiil we see that "new board" in the 1HU Solaris expander ?

:)

Hein

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:59 pm
by John Bowen
Nope.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:15 pm
by Hein Eken
John Bowen wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:59 pm
Nope.
thx,- what´s the advantage of a/ the new board at all ?

H.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:29 pm
by John Bowen
What happens as the years go by, some parts become no longer available through normal channels, and you have to find them on the ‘after market’, where the prices become ridiculously high in most cases. That has been the case for the current main board, and my costs have increased significantly because of this. An updated board allows one to purchase parts at regular prices.

Of course, I hope that the faster DSPs will give us an improvement in the number of voices, but in any case, it is designed to be backwards compatible, and would be an easy update for current owners to do. However, I have to say, if people are going to wait for the new main board, you are in for a really long wait!

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:32 pm
by Hook
With the industry moving towards more ARM -- better tools, cheaper, better price/performance -- like the H9000 and Quantum, how much work would it be to move the existing code onto an ARM setup vs. trying to continue down the SHARC path? There would be other advantages too such as a larger base of programmers familiar with the tools.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:41 pm
by John Bowen
Hook wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:32 pm
With the industry moving towards more ARM -- better tools, cheaper, better price/performance -- like the H9000 and Quantum, how much work would it be to move the existing code onto an ARM setup vs. trying to continue down the SHARC path? There would be other advantages too such as a larger base of programmers familiar with the tools.
Yes, I have heard from others about this idea...but I have no idea of the complexity or even possibility. Also, who would do this? It sounds like an expensive and difficult task.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:14 pm
by david
John Bowen wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:41 pm
Hook wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:32 pm
With the industry moving towards more ARM -- better tools, cheaper, better price/performance -- like the H9000 and Quantum, how much work would it be to move the existing code onto an ARM setup vs. trying to continue down the SHARC path? There would be other advantages too such as a larger base of programmers familiar with the tools.
Yes, I have heard from others about this idea...but I have no idea of the complexity or even possibility. Also, who would do this? It sounds like an expensive and difficult task.
I would love drop in next-gen LCD or OLED screens but it’s probably not economical for just a cosmetic upgrade.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:55 am
by Hook
John Bowen wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:41 pm
Hook wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:32 pm
With the industry moving towards more ARM -- better tools, cheaper, better price/performance -- like the H9000 and Quantum, how much work would it be to move the existing code onto an ARM setup vs. trying to continue down the SHARC path? There would be other advantages too such as a larger base of programmers familiar with the tools.
Yes, I have heard from others about this idea...but I have no idea of the complexity or even possibility. Also, who would do this? It sounds like an expensive and difficult task.
Without understanding the code it's hard to say. But this really brings up a greater existential question (beyond the scope of this thread) of where is the Solaris heading if essentially the HW and SW architectures are 'frozen'? There's a reason that the Virus hasn't been updated in 9 years (!), and I'm guessing that the cost of porting to a new architecture just isn't worthwhile.

I'd love to get an understanding of the future of the Solaris. I love mine, but there are a lot of things I'd like to see in a future rev that likely won't be possible if beholden to incremental adjustments to the existing architecture.

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:27 am
by John Bowen
Hook wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:55 am
I'd love to get an understanding of the future of the Solaris. I love mine, but there are a lot of things I'd like to see in a future rev that likely won't be possible if beholden to incremental adjustments to the existing architecture.
Brian - would you be willing to list these things, and send them to me?

Re: Solaris future questions.

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:38 pm
by Hook
Sure. Feel free to email me at brianhook@gmail.com, happy to chat or if you’re in Seattle grab coffee some time.