Developer Fund

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Toby Emerson
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by Toby Emerson » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:08 pm

david wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:22 am

Therefore, you might be looking for two programmers- one for DSP and one for the external utilities.
For librarian / vst editor something like these that would be absolutely amazing: https://www.mysteryislands-music.com/pr ... /plug-ins/

I wonder if that programmer would be available for hire to build something for Solaris, or maybe even combine some of the great work done on Solarium as a starting point.

gundorf
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:49 am

Re: Developer Fund

Post by gundorf » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:13 am

when would the developer start to work ?
I'm ready to make the transfer as soon as possible !

david
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund

Post by david » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:08 pm

Happy to hear about 1.4 Released today. Brilliant. Thanks again Jim!!!

John - Will the update to Sysex make it easier to build an external editor?

John Bowen
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by John Bowen » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:11 pm

david wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:08 pm
...John - Will the update to Sysex make it easier to build an external editor?
Yes, absolutely! We wanted to say a bit more, but couldn’t until we were ready to release 1.4.

david
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund

Post by david » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:12 pm

John Bowen wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:11 pm
david wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:08 pm
...John - Will the update to Sysex make it easier to build an external editor?
Yes, absolutely! We wanted to say a bit more, but couldn’t until we were ready to release 1.4.
Woo-hoo!!

wsequeira
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Developer Fund

Post by wsequeira » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:33 pm

OK with prepaying.

My main concern is with overall DSP horsepower and managing it. Aware that my board is limited to whatever DSP is already on board-- not sure how much more DSP magic can be done w/o diminishing overall synth capabilities in one way or another.

It is clear folks may want to use Solaris in different ways, where DSP resource allocation would be detrimental to some and supportive of others -- multitimbral/multivoice vs. multilayered complex polyphonically limited voices/animating and morphing between them; or having a few garden variety effects vs. sophisticated stream/bit processors.

Don't know if it would be possible at all, but would want to manage/choose DSP allocation depending on my purpose/application -- allow the reconfiguration of synth resources according to workflow/use. Perhaps even open up the fx processing part of the architecture to import processing modules, being able to choose them at will, allocated to a processing "flow". Regardless, a great idea to extend the architecture.

Any chance of an internal hardware DSP add-on board or similar? Would really open up new possibilities.

Cheers!

auton
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:06 am
Location: UK

Re: Developer Fund

Post by auton » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:32 am

To add my tuppence,

CS80 SquareSaws for the oscillators
Basic Additive synth user waves (more OSCar than K5000)
Multi-timberal or even simple 2 layer split
Reverb
Software editor

And yes I would be willing to stump up for the fund.

nachtsmeer
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by nachtsmeer » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:16 am

I know making Solaris multitimbral is not trivial.

I personally would contribute (pre-pay) to a developer fund to help develop multitimbrality and if this was achievable via a rack unit/expander then that would also interest me.

Obviously some thought on the logistics of how to edit in a master / slave setup needs consideration and development which needs funding in some way.

cLoudForest
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:25 am

Re: Developer Fund

Post by cLoudForest » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:51 am

Firstly, many thanks to Jim for all his efforts on v1.4 and to John for his continued persistence in pushing to make the Solaris even better than it is now. On the topic of future enhancements here's my thoughts (quite long, sorry):

For me the most pressing issue is fixing Linear FM to work correctly with audio rate sources. See this thread where I provided an explanation of why I believe the current implementation deviates from what one would expect from experience with other synths that provide the feature: https://forums.johnbowen.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=16350.

Since I posted in that thread, Dave Smith has added Linear FM alongside the existing Exponential FM to the Prophet 12, an instrument which I believe takes some inspiration from the Solaris, and I think it's a real shame to see the Solaris surpassed in this way. IMHO the current "Linear FM" feature is pretty much useless in it's current form for use with audio rate sources since you can't make anything remotely tonal with it, and fixing this would open up a vast area of sound design for the Solaris that would make it pretty much unique when combined with the existing feature set.

Multi-timbrality: is this a DSP coding task rather than, say, voice allocation? I'm not hugely desperate for splits and layers given that 10-notes isn't a large number of voices to begin with, but I can see it being useful provided that the implementation allows voice allocation to be flexible enough. From what John has said with regard to voice allocation, it doesn't appear that voices would be able to be dynamically allocated between parts, so for me I would want at minimum to be able to choose how many voices from 1 to 10 (or however many remain from other parts) to allocate to each part. The way DSI instruments implement bi-timbrality by just dividing the available voices by the number of parts (two) has always bugged the ---- out of me, so it would need to be more sophisticated than that. A bonus would be able to use unison per part and choose how many unison voices the part would get separately from the number of voices allocated to the part (e.g. 2-voice unison detuned part with 2 voices for monophonic bass, plus an 8-voice, non-unison, pad).

One thing I would really like to see in the Solaris is MPE support so that we can use MPE controllers like the Roli Seaboard and Linnstrument. Making the Solaris 10-part multi-timbral with each part on a different MIDI channel would be a way to achieve this. If you wanted to make life a lot easier for us a simple "MPE Mode" switch could work like a setup macro: when switched on it would take the current preset, make all ten parts of a 10-part multi use the same preset, allocate 1-voice to each part and set the parts' MIDI receive channel to be from 2-11 consecutively. Making channel 1 accept global controller values to be routed to all parts would be a bonus.

There's a number of "more of everything" type requests which is okay and all, but I'll echo some of the responses here: not at the cost of reduced polyphony.

Finally, on effects such as reverb: I can understand that live players might want a reverb in the Solaris, but to be honest, as a studio-only user I wouldn't want to pay extra for effects in the Solaris personally. If there was the prospect of integrating the FX with the Solaris's modulation sources then it might be different, but that doesn't look like it's on the cards. I would think that most of us are already pretty well served by plug-ins and external reverb units, and if I we're going to put money towards a reverb then I would rather spend it on a plug-in that would give me better utility overall because I could use it with every instrument in my studio rather than just on the Solaris. I'd also be able to choose the type of reverb that suited me from the many that are available on the market for pretty low prices. I don't think we can reasonably expect anything that competes with a Lexicon or an Eventide given the development time and the limitations of the Solaris hardware, and to be brutally frank, if what we end up with is just another so-so hall algorithm then I think that I'd just switch it off in favour of using something better that I already have, which would seem a waste, really. I understand that others may feel differently, though.

M-Prod
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:19 am

Re: Developer Fund

Post by M-Prod » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:59 am

Also prepared to prepay. My list would be:

1 More per voice 'analogue' random control signals (i.e. 'Analogue drift') and EG drift
2 modulation options for the VCA
3 one or two more filters (cs80/roland) but only with 10 voices. Couldn't you create multiple OS's where you simply load the OS (and filters/oscillatros) that you want on you OS. So no dynamic offloading but choosing the right OS.
4 multi timbral
5 More FX, eg a reverb, tape, distortion, drive
6 New oscillators e.g. FM (same suggestion, pick and choose your OS)

John Bowen
Site Admin
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by John Bowen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:11 pm

wsequeira wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:33 pm
OK with prepaying.

My main concern is with overall DSP horsepower and managing it...

Any chance of an internal hardware DSP add-on board or similar? Would really open up new possibilities.
Not really. I asked about this some time ago, but without a major change in the board, it’s really not possible.

John Bowen
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by John Bowen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:00 pm

cLoudForest wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:51 am
For me the most pressing issue is fixing Linear FM to work correctly with audio rate sources. See this thread where I provided an explanation of why I believe the current implementation deviates from what one would expect from experience with other synths that provide the feature: https://forums.johnbowen.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=16350.

Since I posted in that thread, Dave Smith has added Linear FM alongside the existing Exponential FM to the Prophet 12, an instrument which I believe takes some inspiration from the Solaris, and I think it's a real shame to see the Solaris surpassed in this way. IMHO the current "Linear FM" feature is pretty much useless in it's current form for use with audio rate sources since you can't make anything remotely tonal with it, and fixing this would open up a vast area of sound design for the Solaris that would make it pretty much unique when combined with the existing feature set.

Multi-timbrality: is this a DSP coding task rather than, say, voice allocation? I'm not hugely desperate for splits and layers given that 10-notes isn't a large number of voices to begin with, but I can see it being useful provided that the implementation allows voice allocation to be flexible enough. From what John has said with regard to voice allocation, it doesn't appear that voices would be able to be dynamically allocated between parts, so for me I would want at minimum to be able to choose how many voices from 1 to 10 (or however many remain from other parts) to allocate to each part. The way DSI instruments implement bi-timbrality by just dividing the available voices by the number of parts (two) has always bugged the ---- out of me, so it would need to be more sophisticated than that. A bonus would be able to use unison per part and choose how many unison voices the part would get separately from the number of voices allocated to the part (e.g. 2-voice unison detuned part with 2 voices for monophonic bass, plus an 8-voice, non-unison, pad).

One thing I would really like to see in the Solaris is MPE support so that we can use MPE controllers like the Roli Seaboard and Linnstrument. Making the Solaris 10-part multi-timbral with each part on a different MIDI channel would be a way to achieve this. If you wanted to make life a lot easier for us a simple "MPE Mode" switch could work like a setup macro: when switched on it would take the current preset, make all ten parts of a 10-part multi use the same preset, allocate 1-voice to each part and set the parts' MIDI receive channel to be from 2-11 consecutively. Making channel 1 accept global controller values to be routed to all parts would be a bonus.
Well....

1) The Linear FM you mention in the Prophet 12 is not true Linear FM, but the better-known “DX-7 FM”, which is really phase modulation. The original Solaris specification had this in an additional Oscillator Type, but it just didn’t get finished. I hope to have this in the next revision of the DSP code. (Also, as you point out, the current Linear FM needs closer inspection as to the correct implementation, which we will also check.)

2) MultiMode - It’s both DSP and Blackfin code work to get MultiMode working. The Master FX DSP also handles the signal routing for the voices, so we ned to get in there and see what needs to be done. I also expect people would want independent FX for each part, so we’d probably want to duplicate the current FX so we have 4 x. As for voice allocation - I have posted elsewhere the plan, which is to have a number of pairings of voices per part assignable by the user, as I think you are saying. Because each DSP produces 2 voices, it is not possible to have a 10-part Multi. The best you could have is a 5-part.

3) MPE support - I guess the MIDI spec is finalized now? This looks like an update to the old 'MIDI Mode 4’, where each voice was on a different MIDI channel. I’ll ask Jim to take a look. So far, the Solaris does handle Polyphonic Aftertouch, which you can use.

Thanks for posting!

niversen
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by niversen » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:45 pm

For me, adding modal/resonator synthesis or granular synthesis would be very cool, or some kind of cool FM engine. I've enjoyed every resonator/modal synth that I've used from Structure (in Mainstage) to the Elements module from Mutable Instruments in my Eurorack rig. I try to like NI's FM-8, but the sound is a bit flat, like all of NI's stuff. I'd certainly take a Montage over FM-8 any day.

Wolfgang Palm' s new Infinite Pro soft synth is wonderfully creative. I believe there is still much ground to be explored by convolving overtones, decay envelopes and other paramters over time and over the overtone series for a given base tone. Infinite Pro definitely allows you to explore the fact that real instruments don't only have harmonic overtones, but also in-harmonic ones. I don' t know exactly what the ask is, but exploring these approaches would definitely need DSP and would definitely produce a unique, special, impossible to replicate elsewhere result.

As an aside, I think one thing the Yamaha Montage has demonstrated is how much an external automation/modulation matrix can bring to a core synth engine. The many layers of nested and linked modulations can make very "alive" and playable sounds. The Solaris seems like an even more flexible canvas for this sort of thing now that SysEx is available, but this would not require DSP work.

niversen
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by niversen » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:45 pm

I should also add that multi-timbral operation is not important to me. I use mine in my composition studio, and it is easy to layer things in the DAW as much or little as I want. My Minimoog makes one sound at a time, so does my bass, piano, drums, the OB-6, and so on. I just don't see this as any limitation on what I use the instrument for.

John Bowen
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Re: Developer Fund

Post by John Bowen » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:23 pm

I would love to have both resonator and granular models, and in fact, had planned on a granular type to be added early on, since the coder at Sonic Core had developed a working software plugin for his thesis project. Unfortunately, he left Sonic Core, and so nothing ever progressed with that. When I saw the new Waldorf Quantum announced, I was a bit sad that we didn’t get to finish that for the Solaris - but maybe now we can approach these types of models for a future upgrade.

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