New silkscreen and ribbon look mahvelous

Discuss John Bowen Synths - Solaris
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New silkscreen and ribbon look mahvelous

Post by Neotrope » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:01 am

Let me be first to say I really like the long ribbon on the final silk screen image (thanks John). Very much like the venerable CS-80, and comparable to the optional ribbon on the Kurzweil, and also the Alesis Andromeda. Yay. Now, I'm hoping we have CS-80 filters at some point, too ;-)

In the home stretch, brother!!!

Chris 8)
I have so much MIDI gear it would warp your soul.

I am the CEO of Neotrope® and am also the editor at and have been a music journalist and MIDI guru since 1984 (ie since MIDI existed).

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Post by John Bowen » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:27 am

For those who are not pre-order customers - Chris is referring to something I sent out in their latest update.

-John b.

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Post by scope4live » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:36 am

The original ribbon I probably wouldn't have used becasue I have an ancient Kurzweil Expressionmate.
I had the CS80 and really missed the old King Of Pain ( Police ) trick.
But when I got the Kurzweil I realized how cool finger controlled Filter Sweeps and other great Modulation tricks and Arpeggiations were and can't do a gig without it.
I would love to retire it though as the power cable and controller box are a PITA and need double stick tape and velcroe.
Years ago at NAMM I was told about the JS800 Modelled Analog by Roland that had a great ribbon controller, etc. Without seeing a brochure I raced down to NAMM and when I saw the pathetic little toy synth with its toy ribbon controller I realized for years to come that digital gear was going to start being made en masse and the good old hardware that lasted years would be a thing of the past.
Our modern day " controller keyboards " are a prime example of the business model that the big corporations regurgitate every year.
This is exactly why Solaris is going to be big hit IMHO.

You know once you get used to the old Spring/Plastic keys of the old Oberheims/MemoryMoogs, etc. You can play anything.
Nowdays, we seem to have much better action but junk rompler and VA jive...
I use the the KS88's because they have excellent MIDI and a very " Live " layout. I hate the action and it's really a big piece of shit.
But I can buy several and have spares of the Chinese 88'rs.
I bought 6 of them for 1700 USD years ago and have 2 left.
Once a contact starts kicking out velocities of 127 from being beaten 6 nights a week I turn it into a synth controller. Then an entire key will lose it's contact after a 1 1/2 year period. Well now you have extra spare knobs becasue once you open it it cannot be closed as it is built as a wrap around chassis. High quality plastic..... :roll:

Solaris looks and feels like a mans synth. I oftened wondered if the lid pops up from right above the keyboard like the Oberheim Matrix12/Xpander it handsomely replicates..?
We would leave the screws out so we could tune the voice cards during the gig............ :roll:
I sure don't miss that.

Thanks JB it looks Beautiful.........
Magnus C350 on a TV Dinner Tray Stand with 2 x PigNose Amps for stereo

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Post by qtuner » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:39 am

I'm very happy with the new ribbon design

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Post by matocaster » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:39 am

This is great news! The one thing I miss about my Andromeda is the long ribbon controller. Oh and being able to play a chord, hold it and press any key playing that chord. I wonder if something like this will be implemented in a future update?

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Post by John Bowen » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:37 pm

What you're describing I call chord stack, and it's a planned option for Unison Mode.
The Prophet T8 had this, and I always liked the function. There's a classic example of it by Zawinul in Barbary Coast (I think?).

-John b

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Post by Jackal » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:01 pm

The ribbon controller is breath-taking, John. Plain and simple. I remember back when a lot of us on this forum were having the whole joystick vs. ribbon controller debate. That debate is long gone now cause you've put both in. Just look at the older prototype compared to what's presently before us. Simply amazing. People need to know how much effort you've gone through to please everyone. Most companies would have elected to bypass customer feedback in favour of cheap parts and labour to cut corners, but thankfully, not you. The Solaris is truly uncompromising. To say I'm pleased is an understatement. I'm blown away. Patience is a virtue and its paid off in spades. Great work John. That's the cherry on top for me. The Andromeda will have to make room. There's a new sherrif in town.

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Post by matocaster » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:13 am

Chord stack, that's awesome John! Solaris a dream synth. It's come so far from where it started,even from when brought over to my place. John you are brilliant! Now I need to dig out my Weather Report "Black market" lp and listen to "Barbary Coast" for that stacked chord!

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