Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

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

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by synthwalker » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:26 am

A great moment in Frankfurt with John and the Solaris. We made a soon to be realised video with sound captured directly out of the Solaris.
For those who waited so long, I must say the wait is worth every second, since every second has been spent to listen to people and make the Solaris even better.
If you think digital aliasing everytime you modulate something in the audio range, please just forget it with the Solaris... also welcome to a new world where digital meets organic sounds.
Eric

http://www.audiofanzine.com

seamonkey
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:10 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by seamonkey » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:13 am

Thank you for making a video, and for your comments regarding the organic sound of Solaris. After visiting the site, and spending quite a bit of time searching for the video, I realized after re-reading your post it has yet to be uploaded.
I'm sure I speak for many here, we are anxiously waiting to hear the wonderful sounds emerging from the Solaris once the video is online.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your moments listening to Solaris at Musikmesse. :D

synthwalker
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:16 am
Location: France

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by synthwalker » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:08 pm

I'll let you know when it's online...

mickeyl
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:05 am
Location: Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Contact:

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by mickeyl » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:23 am

Since I live in Frankfurt/Main, I have been pretty much on every Messe for decades now – apart from the last two years. Over the last years I was very unimpressed in the digital synth department, the last devices that did impress me were the original Nord Modular and the Roland V-Synth. After that, I have merely seen reiterations and quantitative improvements all over. This year though I have been very impressed, when I played the Solaris (which actually has been on the show twice before, but that were exactly the occasions where I couldn't go to Messe). I'm looking forward to ordering one of those beasts – providing EMC can give me a fixed schedule eventually – and I want to thank John and the unsung heroes behind for delivering such an innovation after all these years. You guys rock, keep on!

Thanks,

:M:
Cheers,

:M:

matocaster
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:19 am
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by matocaster » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:28 am

John, it looks like Solaris was more visible than ever at Musikmesse 2011! It was cool to come across this video of you playing it in a live setting. It really cuts through. You played some sweet riffs also. For a moment I thought it was Dr. Fink( former Prince keyboard player) up there playing :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvV_FwI5JDU

cheers,
Mat
Everyone knows me as a guitar player!

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by John Bowen » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:16 am

Ha! I didn’t think there was any video of this!! Blackmail!!!

They were playing 3 demos a day, and for the last day of the show, Martin (Ernst, the keyboardist) invited me up to play some lead lines. I didn’t know the tune (obviously), and I couldn’t really hear myself (see me checking the headphones at 0:31). Also, Martin had told me it was this ballad they had been doing during the day, and to use this more breathy synth sound I made....and then he starts this uptempo tune! After a few stabs of the smoother sound, I decided to change to the Mini feedback lead I like, but I still wasn’t too sure when to drop in some lines.....but it was a lot of fun to do! It’s been some time since I was onstage playing any keys.

We actually did 3 songs, and this was the last one. I think I had more playing time on the others. (At the end of this tune, I switched to playing a clavinet sound, but it’s not very audible.)

Next year we plan to do more of this, and actually have some practice beforehand (and I hope a better monitoring situation for me! I hate it when I can’t hear what I’m doing).

matocaster
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:19 am
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by matocaster » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:02 am

John Bowen wrote:Ha! I didn’t think there was any video of this!! Blackmail!!!

They were playing 3 demos a day, and for the last day of the show, Martin (Ernst, the keyboardist) invited me up to play some lead lines. I didn’t know the tune (obviously), and I couldn’t really hear myself (see me checking the headphones at 0:31). Also, Martin had told me it was this ballad they had been doing during the day, and to use this more breathy synth sound I made....and then he starts this uptempo tune! After a few stabs of the smoother sound, I decided to change to the Mini feedback lead I like, but I still wasn’t too sure when to drop in some lines.....but it was a lot of fun to do! It’s been some time since I was onstage playing any keys.

We actually did 3 songs, and this was the last one. I think I had more playing time on the others. (At the end of this tune, I switched to playing a clavinet sound, but it’s not very audible.)

Next year we plan to do more of this, and actually have some practice beforehand (and I hope a better monitoring situation for me! I hate it when I can’t hear what I’m doing).

Yes, I could tell that you were struggling to hear yourself at first. I played keys in a band for the last year and hated when I couldn't hear what I was playing. Sometimes it happens when there are other really loud instruments on stage as well.
Once you switched to the Mini lead sound you started cookin'!
Hopefully the other two jams will surface, so we can hear some more of you and Solaris in action!
Last edited by matocaster on Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Everyone knows me as a guitar player!

BF
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:05 pm

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by BF » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:42 am

matocaster wrote:John, it looks like Solaris was more visible than ever at Musikmesse 2011! It was cool to come across this video of you playing it in a live setting. It really cuts through. You played some sweet riffs also. For a moment I thought it was Dr. Fink( former Prince keyboard player) up there playing :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvV_FwI5JDU

cheers,
Mat
Thanks Mat, and John. That was an enjoyable clip. :D

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by John Bowen » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:54 pm

Here’s a video I did for an Italian crew - strumenti musicali - and I thought the fellow introducing me (Max Tempia) was going to translate what I was saying, so I kept stopping (in my mind), waiting for him! I finally realised towards the end that this was not going to be the case (I was wondering if he would add translations later or what), so, anyway, the demo is a little disorganized or 'distracted', in my estimation....but I think there are a few sounds not played on some of the other videos that people may want to hear:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJsayAhO ... dded#at=12

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by John Bowen » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:48 pm

A fellow Korg buddy of mine sent me a link to their Forum, with the topic of the Music Messe. Here's what was posted:
synthguy wrote:
Uhm... not to get too hyjackie or anything, but what did you think of the Solaris? I'm seriously interested in this.
Ah, the Solaris. It is very much a question of want vs. need, isn't it!

There were three Solaris (no prototypes but actual production units) and they are beautiful instruments. Everything is very well designed and the build quality seems to be quite good.

IMO the best feature of the Solaris is its simplicity. This may sound strange given its deep synthesis architecture, but despite all its capabilities it is just wonderfully intuitive to use. After just a few minutes I felt right at home and had already made a simple but decent bass sound.
Kudos to John Bowen for designing this interface. It really invites you to be creative.

Sound-wise there seems to be great potential (that bass sound certainly had a lot of punch), but there were only a little more than a handful of presets on those demo machines. So it remains to be seen what they come up with in this regard. (Word is that Howard Scarr is also creating some patches for it.) At present, the Solaris' sonic potential is still largely uncharted territory.
Note: I had set up a very quick 'step-through bank' of about 12-15 presets in the first bank, with a couple examples each from the four of us who have programmed presets so far, including Howard. Howard's bank was actually Bank 5, which some users found, no doubt, but generally, people were checking out the first bank only. Bank 3 was my basses bank (about 15 presets so far) and Bank 4, Carl Lofgren's bank, had about 60 presets in there.

But yes, I still have to organize things and gather (and make) some more presets before we ship...but I think the full sonic potential of the Solaris is going to be uncharted for several years!

seamonkey
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:10 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by seamonkey » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:30 am

Yes, the language difference seemed a bit awkward at first, but I thought you recovered well, and afterall, once you started playing the Solaris, it no longer mattered.
Nice to hear some different presets. The richness, raw energy, and endless modulation possibilites, will, I believe, blow many of the competitors out of the water.

I loved the patches your friend Steven, from the "great white north" created for the Munich Synth gathering meeting you attended about a half year ago.
I realize he did these while having spent some time with the Solaris, and while they may not be included in the first set of presets, I certainly hope he would be willing to share them in download form with the community here. :D
For anyone who may have missed the video of John playing these sounds, here is the link:
http://vimeo.com/16004667

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1749
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by John Bowen » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:59 am

Stephen’s patches will certainly be included in the first release - but he only had 3 days with the synth before I had to take it back, and this was an older version of software...so, I need to give him my proto once I update it when I get back, so he can finish up his presets.

synthwalker
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:16 am
Location: France

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by synthwalker » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:35 am

As promised this is the video we made at the Musik Messe with John and his excellent Solaris... enjoy !

http://fr.audiofanzine.com/synthe-numer ... QymDc.html

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWTafQQy ... detailpage[/video]

seamonkey
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:10 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by seamonkey » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:45 pm

synthwalker thanks so much for posting this video, it was well worth the wait.
For what ever reason, it seemed like the perfect time of day, allowing John to be heard without a lot of extraneous noise around him.

John my D50 is temporarily holding the keyboard slot on my stand below the Voyager, waiting for the Solaris to finally make it's way home. :D

synthwalker
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:16 am
Location: France

Re: Musikmesse Frankfurt Time!

Post by synthwalker » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:37 pm

Actually there was a lot of noise (saturday morning) with a very loud Moog show close to us. We used a clip-on mic and a direct plug insert in the Solaris audio output. The downside of this is we are in mono (one track for John, one track for the Solaris 'cause both are worth listening to :lol: ). And mono sound really does not do justice to the Solaris...

Post Reply