knobs

Discuss John Bowen Synths - Solaris
Post Reply
qtuner
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:17 pm

knobs

Post by qtuner » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:52 am

are the knobs on the solaris pots or are they rotary encoders?
Do they have detents?
Are the knobs expressive?
Can I do complete filter sweeps using the cutoff knob without have to turn the knob more than 300 degrees?

Rotary encoders can be ok if they are programmed well. I personally find that the knobs on the prophet 8, and mopho to be the weak part of those synths. DSI responded to this by releasing the potentiometer conversion kit.

The benefit of the solaris is the interface, i hope the knobs are responsive rather than obtrusive.

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Post by John Bowen » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:50 pm

The knobs are all rotary encoders, except for the Master Volume.

I understand the desire to have regular pots, because it's fast to program that way, and you get a good idea quickly of the ranges you're working with. Unfortunately, because the Solaris has so many parameters, some of the knobs require a wider range (such as the filter cutoff, which can range 12 octaves), whereas others only need to select from a list of 7-8 things (menu items), and the fact that each display is paged means that sometimes the knob is going to need to handle the wider range, and other times not. What we are doing to address this is an implementation of an acceleration routine for the parameters that have a wide range (but would not work for menu items), and you can switch between 2 acceleration rates with the Shift key. While this still doesn't make it as optimal as I know you are hoping for, it is a decent way to work with the large number of variables in the Solaris.

While currently none of the knobs have detents, we are thinking to put in a select number of knobs that do - ones that are arranged so that they ever only select menu type items, where you want precise and small increments. These would be for the Osc Type, Filter Type, LFO Shape, & probably alpha knob.

Even with the current acceleration, the filter cutoff knob still takes about 1 and 1/2 turns for full range, so I would have to say by your question that it is not 'expressive' enough (if a full range sweep is required within 300 degrees).

Optimally, each knob would 'know' the range it currently needs, based on whatever parameter it was addressing at the moment. This is a bit more programming than we have time for presently, but perhaps in the future we can build a more sophisticated and responsive knob behavior.

-john b.

ThreeFingersOfLove
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:07 am
Location: Greece
Contact:

Post by ThreeFingersOfLove » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am

What is the resoluion of the knobs? 14-bit?

Also, you might want to consider implementing something like velocity sensitivity, i.e. when you quickly rotate the knob it jumps in 10s (or some other useful number) and when you slowly rotate it makes fine adjustments. Or, alternatively, something like a Shift function, whereby pressing Shift and rotating a knob gives ultra-fine resolution.

Personally, I am not a fan of encoders at all. The ones on the Prophet 08 are CRAP. Makes me wonder how dared Dave Smith released such an instrument with such crappy encoders. :shock:

marzzz
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:07 pm

Post by marzzz » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:16 am

With regard to encoders, there have been numerous reports of problems with the ones used by DSI on their otherwise fine instruments, so much so that the have gone to potentiometers for most of their products. There is definitely good reason to use encoders with the Solaris, but hopefully JB will give us the highest quality encoders possible!

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Post by John Bowen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:19 am

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:[edit].... Or, alternatively, something like a Shift function, whereby pressing Shift and rotating a knob gives ultra-fine resolution.[/edit]
If you re-read my initial post, you will note that we currently do have a Shift function that allows going between 2 speeds - what I didn't explain is that 'standard' is wide range, and with Shift it is a finer resolution.

-john b.

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Post by John Bowen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:21 am

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:[edit]Personally, I am not a fan of encoders at all. The ones on the Prophet 08 are CRAP. Makes me wonder how dared Dave Smith released such an instrument with such crappy encoders. :shock:
Well, that's one of the ways to cut cost, and I think most will agree the market is much bigger for a keyboard at $2000 than one at $4000.
-jb

John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Post by John Bowen » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:00 am

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:Also, you might want to consider implementing something like velocity sensitivity, i.e. when you quickly rotate the knob it jumps in 10s (or some other useful number) and when you slowly rotate it makes fine adjustments. Or, alternatively, something like a Shift function, whereby pressing Shift and rotating a knob gives ultra-fine resolution.
I have a new version of the OS yesterday, which changes the knob algorithm so that it takes into account the range for the current parameter. So, for filter cutoff, where the range is 12 octaves, it takes 1 and 1/2 turns to reach the whole range, sweeping by semitone, whereas with Resonance, you have 0-100%, which happens in 1 turn, moving by 1% increments.
Holding down the Shift key inverts the current control algorithm per knob (just testing this to see how it 'feels') - changing the cutoff sweep moves by 1/10 of a semitone, and Resonance moves by 5% increments.
We will continue to tweak this until I think it's at a an optimum point for most parameters.
-john b.

ThreeFingersOfLove
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:07 am
Location: Greece
Contact:

Post by ThreeFingersOfLove » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:50 pm

John Bowen wrote:
ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:Also, you might want to consider implementing something like velocity sensitivity, i.e. when you quickly rotate the knob it jumps in 10s (or some other useful number) and when you slowly rotate it makes fine adjustments. Or, alternatively, something like a Shift function, whereby pressing Shift and rotating a knob gives ultra-fine resolution.
I have a new version of the OS yesterday, which changes the knob algorithm so that it takes into account the range for the current parameter. So, for filter cutoff, where the range is 12 octaves, it takes 1 and 1/2 turns to reach the whole range, sweeping by semitone, whereas with Resonance, you have 0-100%, which happens in 1 turn, moving by 1% increments.
Holding down the Shift key inverts the current control algorithm per knob (just testing this to see how it 'feels') - changing the cutoff sweep moves by 1/10 of a semitone, and Resonance moves by 5% increments.
We will continue to tweak this until I think it's at a an optimum point for most parameters.
-john b.
Hi John,

this is good news!

Is it possible to make the cutoff sweeps in one full turn? In the P08 you can't, I heard complaints from people who said that they were having problems with their wrists... :?

What I would also like to ask is whether there is some kind of offset in filters (or anywhere else). For instance in the Andromeda, there is such a parameter, but in it's default value and when the cutoff is rotated fully counter-clockwise it's not dark enough. Since the Solaris will have encoders I don't see how this could be a problem, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

Regards,
Yannis

Post Reply