Solaris keyboard - specifications

Discuss John Bowen Synths - Solaris
scope4live
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Post by scope4live » Sat Jun 14, 2008 2:59 pm

If anyone has more information of the functionality of the Super Ribbon, please post it.

Maybe JBowen can elaborate on it's particular uses that Solaris could provide.

I assume it has a programmable software GUI that can be configured on a PC / Mac.

I use a MIDISolution FPB which has configurable options for each of it's 8 controllers via the software on a PC / Mac, and it's a 1U hardware rack.

I just love watching the monthly options grow for Solaris.

To me, that's what excites me, as the software version has no equal, I believe the hardware version will follow suit. :D
Magnus C350 on a TV Dinner Tray Stand with 2 x PigNose Amps for stereo


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HVX
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Post by HVX » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:30 am

urge wrote:I thought the ribbons were exactly the same. The box that comes w/ the expressionmate provides the functionality while on the superribbon the functionality is provided by the user's synth; Is this correct or am I missing something?
You would be correct. Image

stardust
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Post by stardust » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:40 am

Thanks for the info. so it seems a really affordable alternative.

matocaster
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Post by matocaster » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:01 pm

I used to own a kurzweil k2661 and used the super ribbon controller with it. It was very cool indeed. I can only imagine what fun it will be with the Solaris!

Jackal
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Post by Jackal » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:22 am

Thanks for the updates and samples John. Much appreciated and exciting as always.

I'm a little sad that there won't be an onboard ribbon controller, but a supporting connector for the Kurzweil Super Ribbon Controller (PC2SRIB) is a good alternative. I'm just wondering; at 60cm, if there'll be a spot on the console for it to sit. I've never actually used it, so I'm guessing the ideal place for it is where most other ribbons are - above and behind the keys, centre-position. I checked the Kurzweil site, but I couldn't find any info on how it stays stationary. Perhaps, it's like a Roland GK pickup for guitars, which uses double-sided tape. If anyone has any info on this, it would be welcome. From what I hear the ribbon can be programmed to be one long surface or segmented into 3 parts. An excellent product. Good to know that it will continue to be manufactured in the future, have compatibility with Solaris, and is affordable too.

Going with the Compact Flash format makes sense. Royalties for SDHC at $16,000! Ouch!! I'm fine with CF. I'm also okay with there only being a B Type USB connector. Not having an A Type connector shouldn't be a problem for most--not for my work process anyway. Having it would have been stellar, but not paramount. 32 MB RAM per DSP is spot on for me. 64 MB would be outstanding! Sugar on creme.

Regarding the wheel box; I'm more than happy with the current design. Light up LEDs for the wheels is a MUST for your signature editions! The ones on synthwood have DIP switches that allow you to toggle through an assortment of colours. A pretty option. Blue and turquoise might work best since they appear to closely resemble the displays you currently have. I'm also for switches by the wheels too. Not an absolute necessity, but a much welcomed option. It seems pretty bare over there. I'd go with a signature pad similar to what Dave Smith had on his Prophet '08 SEs. It looks classy. Is there a way to protect the signature on the pad, though? The pad's the way to go. Just signing the chassis seems, well, something of an anachronism. Is the vector joystick still in the cards?

333 mhz DSP chips! FANTASTIC! Good things really come to those who wait!

Keep up the good work John. I'm not worried about any delays. Make your dream a reality. Looking at the way things have gone with development, I'm thoroughly overjoyed that production got pushed back.

Much respect to Klaus too for his commitment with the coding for the hard sync. A tip of the hat to a true perfectionist!

- Jackson

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:57 am

To Forum readers:
The information below that Jackal is discussing comes from a private email I sent to those who have fully prepaid for their Solaris synth:
Jackal wrote: I'm a little sad that there won't be an onboard ribbon controller, but a supporting connector for the Kurzweil Super Ribbon Controller (PC2SRIB) is a good alternative. I'm just wondering; at 60cm, if there'll be a spot on the console for it to sit.
Yes, well, that was/is one big problem - there's no decent space for a ribbon on the front panel, either built-in or even for something like the Super Ribbon. I'm afraid users who want this will have to get creative as to where they put the controller, obviously somewhere that can be comfortably reached.
Going with the Compact Flash format makes sense. Royalties for SDHC at $16,000! Ouch!! I'm fine with CF. I'm also okay with there only being a B Type USB connector. Not having an A Type connector shouldn't be a problem for most--not for my work process anyway. Having it would have been stellar, but not paramount. 32 MB RAM per DSP is spot on for me. 64 MB would be outstanding! Sugar on creme.
Yes, I was quite surprised about the SD card's High Capacity royalty! I'd never heard of this - the officiating organization must be doing OK financially! (To explain to forum readers here - we were told that, if we were to use SD cards greater than 2GB capacity, we would have to pay some kind of royalty to be able to - although I don't know the technicalities of that).
Regarding the wheel box; I'm more than happy with the current design. Light up LEDs for the wheels is a MUST for your signature editions! The ones on synthwood have DIP switches that allow you to toggle through an assortment of colours. A pretty option. Blue and turquoise might work best since they appear to closely resemble the displays you currently have. I'm also for switches by the wheels too. Not an absolute necessity, but a much welcomed option. It seems pretty bare over there.
RE: LEDs for the wheels - the synthwood design is exactly the source I've been checking. Will discuss with them more.
I'd go with a signature pad similar to what Dave Smith had on his Prophet '08 SEs. It looks classy. Is there a way to protect the signature on the pad, though? The pad's the way to go. Just signing the chassis seems, well, something of an anachronism.
Forum readers - this is for a way to make the pre-paid units ordered into a sort of 'Special Edition'. I mentioned this in the email because of the several delays we've had in the project, and how I wanted to do something to show my appreciation for their patience and understanding.
Is the vector joystick still in the cards?
Absolutely!! I got this question from a few of you, and I'm sorry I didn't make that clear in the email.
Keep up the good work John. I'm not worried about any delays. Make your dream a reality. Looking at the way things have gone with development, I'm thoroughly overjoyed that production got pushed back.
Much respect to Klaus too for his commitment with the coding for the hard sync. A tip of the hat to a true perfectionist!
Thanks you so much for your nice words and encouragement! It is much appreciated...

Regards,
John B.

seamonkey
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Post by seamonkey » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:29 pm

I'm not fond of the pad signature idea, to me it would disrupt the beautiful clean lines of the Solaris body.
My wife and I have been discussing this for awhile and one thought we had was engraving your signature into the side panel of wood, then highlighting it in black(it would be small enough to not distract from the wood.) 8)
I'm not sure how expensive this would be, but whatever you decide I'm sure it will be tasteful and as Jackal said...classy! :D

scope4live
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Post by scope4live » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:15 am

This is an incerdible time for all of us.

Firstly, I think it is an honor to have John Bowen involved on a personal level.

I don't ever remember having been involved during the developmental stages during the building of anything other than my house.

All involved should be proud.

On another note the ribbon will cover up the embedded writng of the I/O's location at the back of the top panel on my unit.

I have had the Kurzweil Expressionmate for a while and it works well for me that way.

Some synths have placed it in poor areas like my CS80.

When it sits right above the keys, it'll definately handcuff you if you try playing and using it simultaneously.

I personally will consider the signature pad a badge of honor. 8)
Magnus C350 on a TV Dinner Tray Stand with 2 x PigNose Amps for stereo


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ThreeFingersOfLove
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Post by ThreeFingersOfLove » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:08 am

One of the most important reasons why I am here, is because John Bowen is involved personally. We have the guy here, actually writing on this forum, expressing his ideas, asking us for thoughts/opinions/suggestions, answering questions and everything.

This is what forums are for and how they should be.

(OK, I admit the forum is kinda slow but I am expecting things to change when the Solaris is commercially available)

So, here is another suggestion: How about:

1. an engraved signature on the wooden parts for the Signature models
2. a face plate for the other models (for the ordinary production models)

urge
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Post by urge » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:14 pm

I don't know if the superribbon comes w/ some way to attach it but the expressionmate did not. Off to an art supply store to buy velcro tabs w/ a sticky backing. Worked perfectly. It currently is sitting on the ledge beneath the keybed on my Kurz Midiboard. For those not familiar w/ the ribbon it is solid, not flexible. Think of it like metal ruler ( a little bit longer and wider though ).
I too would like to thank John for his personal approach. It was a major factor in purchasing the synth new rather than waiting it out until I tried it personally.
The multi colored wheels would be a nice touch....

strav100
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Post by strav100 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:17 pm

I don't have the money beacuse I have forked out for a new car but I wouldn't mind my synth having a JB sig on it.
If I miss the pre-paid perhaps a nice special edition - i.e change the knobs for a different color (orange? hartmann (!)...like special edition of cars (!)
I would like a Solaris but I live in the UK (will be hammered for VAT - our PM loves tax! ) - and worried about delivery costs
But I would like this machine by the end of 2008
And then there is Scope Xcite...................
Scotland, UK

stardust
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Post by stardust » Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:57 am

Well it takes the time it takes. There will be several ways to show appreciation.

Most important in my opinion is that John can take it forward to where it has to belong.

epoxy2600
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Post by epoxy2600 » Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:20 am

Hi everyone, this is my first post to the forums but I've been enthusiastically reading them since making my Solaris pre-purchase back in December '07.

First off, while I like the idea of a Signature Edition it's just icing on the cake of what will already be a must-own instrument. With that said, though, if there are going to be cosmetic distinctions between a SE and a regular production unit I suggest making those distinctions things that cannot be interchanged. For example, wood end panels, knob caps, lit wheels are all things that can be swapped around, blurring the distinction.

Also, I don't like the look of signature pads ala P'08 or Voyager SE...I think they look too tacked-on and gimmicky like an afterthought. It's almost like the designer didn't really sign your unit, more like a piece of paper that then got glued to your synth! (I say this owning a Voyager SE).

I suggest having John's signature as a big, bold, silkscreened graphic that is part of the front and rear panels next to the Solaris logo (like Moog's on the Tribute Lil Phatty). To me that's classy AND truly a distinction that can't be swapped around.

And then on the serial number sticker on the back there could be an extra line that says "Signature Edition xx/xx" where John could sign each unit for real and write in the unit#.

Keep up the amazing work, John and team, and thanks for thinking about doing something special for those of us who gave you our vote of confidence last year through our wallets!

seamonkey
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Post by seamonkey » Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:41 am

epoxy2600 wrote:Hi everyone, this is my first post to the forums but I've been enthusiastically reading them since making my Solaris pre-purchase back in December '07.

First off, while I like the idea of a Signature Edition it's just icing on the cake of what will already be a must-own instrument. With that said, though, if there are going to be cosmetic distinctions between a SE and a regular production unit I suggest making those distinctions things that cannot be interchanged. For example, wood end panels, knob caps, lit wheels are all things that can be swapped around, blurring the distinction.

Also, I don't like the look of signature pads ala P'08 or Voyager SE...I think they look too tacked-on and gimmicky like an afterthought. It's almost like the designer didn't really sign your unit, more like a piece of paper that then got glued to your synth! (I say this owning a Voyager SE).

I suggest having John's signature as a big, bold, silkscreened graphic that is part of the front and rear panels next to the Solaris logo (like Moog's on the Tribute Lil Phatty). To me that's classy AND truly a distinction that can't be swapped around.

And then on the serial number sticker on the back there could be an extra line that says "Signature Edition xx/xx" where John could sign each unit for real and write in the unit#.

Keep up the amazing work, John and team, and thanks for thinking about doing something special for those of us who gave you our vote of confidence last year through our wallets!
Hello epoxy2600, welcome to the Forum. It's nice to see a new face around here and we look forward to your contributions as time goes by.

I agree, some of the things which have been suggested here could be swapped out with a regular production Solaris. Maybe a letter of authentication could be included.
The important thing to realize is this is an act of appreciation from John for our fully paid pre-order and whatever he choses should be of minimal cost to him, especially since we received such a great price.

I totally agree with your comments regarding the other Signature Editions, these were my first impressions when I initially saw them.
I like your silkscreen idea but would like to see an artist's rendition of it first.
I also think a signed nameplate would work on the left side, perhaps above the Solaris symbol as long as it blended in with what I feel is already a work of beauty and art.

Whatever John decides we are all very fortunate to be future owners of the Solaris.
I love the idea of future software upgrades, expanding our Solaris as John creates new features.
I'm turning 61 next month and this is I feel my last major purchase. I see myself still playing and learning the Solaris well into my 80's. :lol:

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:18 am

Hi All,

I, too, have the impression that the little signature pad approach as it appears on the Prophet '08 just doesn't seem 'classy' enough - I thought it looked a little questionable. I can understand Dave wanting to go that route, as it's fairly easy to sign a number of these without committing the entire case's silkscreen to being that of an SE module - just add the signature pad, and the special LEDs for the wheels, and you can make a Prophet '09 SE out of a standard model with very little extra effort. To have the signature done as part of the silkscreen (my preference) also means that you must produce a separate additional silkscreen master to use when painting the case - so it's a bit of an extra cost to duplicate the silkscreen and add the signature just for this...but it's what I'd like to have for the name. Adding a real signature on the serial number sticker as well would be no problem for me.

Not sure about engraving the signature into the wood, and as has been pointed out, wood side panels can be exchanged easily, which I also felt could diminish the "specialness".

Thanks for everyone's input here on this - it's been very helpful!

cheers,
john b.

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