Your views on the overall feel?

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Expand view Topic review: Your views on the overall feel?

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by John Bowen » Fri May 24, 2013 8:41 pm

Neutron wrote:...some things are very slightly annoying.
lots of the presets are at quite low volume.
it doesn't remember where it was (preset) when you turn it on.
i think something is wrong with the portamento, fingered seems to still glide on a new note even if you stopped playing.
Thanks for the input. I wanted to address these three points:

1) yes, depending on the structure, there are presets that could use more volume. Too bad I didn't get the Patch Volume parameter in there as I had hoped, because this would have made it a lot easier to match the levels from preset to preset, but it's also the case that the Mixer assumes to always have to be handling 4 inputs, so to avoid clipping, each input is low. I forgot to suggest this to people making presets, but if I want to make a 2 osc patch, and I want the oscs to be louder, like in a typical 2 osc synth, I feed each osc into the mixer twice...that boosts the levels by 6 dB each.

2) Remember the last preset when you turn it back on - this has been suggested, and I've asked Julian if he can add that to the list for the next OS version. I think it should be fairly simple - he just has to store the preset number every time one is selected (because the Solaris has no way to know when you are about to turn it off!).

3) If you have selected fingered portamento, but are still hearing some glide, remember that each oscillator also has a glide setting, which you can turn off on the 2nd Main page for each osc. This individual glide is separate from the Global keyboard glide in the home page, and is always exponential.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by Neutron » Fri May 24, 2013 7:13 pm

I quite like the keyboard, i don't even notice it, i think that's a good sign. not like the m-audio midi controller which feels "plasticy and cheap" or the roland v-synth which feels "slow" i dont really have any others to compare it to since they are modules etc, i ought to be getting a sub phatty soon so ill be able to compare that.

as for the interface I really like it. i know right where to go even on the first patch i wanted to change, knowing scope may be an advantage because you know what some of the things mean from memory. i havent really had to look at the manual except about things like saving patches that are different.

it is the first synth i have had that is easy to set up quickly to use with the continuum (as long as its mono) it tracks perfectly even through cubase. and once you set up the system to use the CCs you want and save it, they are always there. (bring on "guitar mode" so i can use it with the continuum polyphonically!) i even have it modulating shape and/or filter frequency from the y direction and it has never glitched like even the virus ti does sometimes.

some things are very slightly annoying.
lots of the presets are at quite low volume.
it doesn't remember where it was (preset) when you turn it on.
i think something is wrong with the portamento, fingered seems to still glide on a new note even if you stopped playing.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by Jaulus » Mon May 20, 2013 5:14 pm

Since I've got my Solaris over a year now, I'm keen enough to write some lines about it. The overall feel of the Solaris is great. The looks somehow remind me of the wavestation, but bigger and better. Love the deer-red wooden ends and the clear and eye-friendly displays. The housing is massive and the keyboard is quality (huge keys), a true synthesizer flagship that would fit to leather-stuffed executive's office furniture of a big trust very well. The sound is creamy, crispy, deep and organic. Maybe the best not-only-virtual-analog hardware engine I've heard yet.

On the critical side: For the envelopes I would prefer sliders, the knobs don't give me the right feel for direct musical shapings (could be because the value ranges are spread VERY far on the Solaris, on my OB8 the knobs modify the envelopes well). Also the knob and joystick action could be firmer. Soundwise, the unisono sounds scare me a bit more in their intensity than they please me... therefore I'd like to see unisono spread in the stereo field and some little random drift implemented in a future update. But this has been addressed a few times already.

Out of this, I don't mind about multi-timbrality (actually I prefer to handle synths without multi mode), so it beats any other (digital-)synth in nearly every regard. A lifetime keeper.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by galaxiesmerge » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:41 pm

Overall feel = Pristine, superb, solid. I like the keyboard now that I got used to it - slightly different action to the other "plastics" I have but good and solid, not sluggish, a nice feel.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by marzzz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:13 am

I like the keyboard- it is one of the higher-end Fatar key beds that has a textured feel as opposed to cheap/plasticky. The Solaris and my VAX77 are now the centerpiece controllers for my studio. The wheels are pretty standard, similar to several other keyboards I have owned (including Voyager, etc.). The pots feel decent and firm enough, occasionally you have to do a lot of turning to get to a value you want- I need to learn to use the keypad in situations like these. For example, I wanted to slope off the EQ a bit at 5000 Hz....

One thing I don't like at the moment is preset selection- when you have to hit "enter" or not; I understand the incr/decr buttons you don't, but everything else (wheel, keypad, etc.) you do. There should be some kind of preference menu, or maybe the "enter" button should flash to remind you to hit it?

Really like the ribbon controller- that it is extremely flat against the case and blends in- it is almost like you are actually playing the synth itself (does that make sense?) as opposed to touching a controller. I haven't gotten into using the joystick yet, it is otherwise fine but I would have liked a firmer, "chunkier" feel to it. Not really a big deal, I guess- the actual case of the Solaris is pretty big vs modern standards, but maybe its appearance is part of its kinda retro appeal?

Sound? Great, of course! I dialed up a kind of OB/CS-80ish brassy patch (to try out the PolyAT response- YES!!!), and in comparison to a similar patch in OmniSphere, you can really hear a difference. Really just scratching the surface here; the fact that there isn't a large preset library yet is forcing me to stop being lazy and get back into programming as opposed to preset tweaking! Of course, the multi-display setup makes it a helluva lot easier- I used to own an Andromeda and even its one responsive screen was a barrier to digging into it.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by jaykeel » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:27 am

Now you just have to add SolarIs to your gear list at the bottom of your post ;)

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by galaxiesmerge » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:24 pm

Mine feels great.

So far, my only issue is that I am getting used to the feel of the keyboard - but this is total normal and expected. Also, I have some of my own studio "space" problems (way, way too much gear) to arrange a comfortable working mode.

I am having some confusion in really, really simple things, where I knob twiddle, for example, on the organ patch to try to add distortion. Eventually, I get it, but I did not realize how to knob-twiddle *and* assign properly --- so I am thinking a knob-twiddlers guide is useful, but of course, reading the manual and working with the synth solved the issues (so how can I really complain!!! I cannot :) ).

Sonically, the quality is extremely good, though, there is an interesting feel to the move from bass notes, which sound quite creamy thick to the mids to the higher range.

My current activities are just to learn and explore before releasing a video, and then, I am thinking of writing some code for the SOLARIS ... but that may come a bit later, once I really get to grips with it from a players viewpoint.

All in all, a really nice synthesizer. A larger preset library would be welcome, but, that's also true for every keyboard out there.


Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by sven hauck » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:36 am

Hi John,

If you haven't heard from anyone else it certainly seems like an isolated case, which is great.

I just wanted to avoid the shipping to and fro and having to crack the case open to get Sonic Core to exchange some hardware parts.

Thank you for your support, though. That has never been an issue.


Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by John Bowen » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:13 pm


as we’ve discussed privately, we can swap out the front panel boards if this becomes an issue. I’ve not heard from anyone else about wobbly encoders yet, so, hopefully this is just an isolated case.

John B.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by sven hauck » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:47 pm

Hmmm, mine is #0022. It is likely that the manufacturing process improved with each unit built, therefore later units have less issues. :?

One encoder is so wobbly, I fear that it will get looser over time.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by serena-5 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:18 pm

...#0038…white case, w/blue pitch/mod wheels...

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by sven hauck » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:35 pm

What's your serial number?

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by serena-5 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:09 am

Overall, I love the feel of this definitely gives the impression of a fine crafted instrument (ala Moog Voyager or Virus TI). My pitch/mod wheels are very stable, with no lateral play whatsoever. ..all the pots seem very stable, with little lateral play as well...the key feel is exactly like the Virus TI (in other words, top notch). The wood end blocks are really nicer than expected, although I am going to change them out for light cherry wood ends in the future (even here, small Allen-type screws are used, rather than ugly slotted or Phillips-type).
To sum it up, this is a first rate build on this synth, IMHO...

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by sven hauck » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:54 pm

I've got a few wobbly encoders. Well, a bit more than a few. Plus the turning resistance seems quite low, so when I bump into an encoder it changes the value.

For the wobbly encoder issue and the turning resistance issue, I compared the action to an AKAI APC40 and an Access Virus TI Desktop, and both didn't have either of the two problems.

Never fear, though, as I believe that John is aware. It could be that the tolerance from the encoder manufacturer is off.

The buttons and mod wheels are fine, but the joystick seems a bit flimsy.

Re: Your views on the overall feel?

by matocaster » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:55 am

sven hauck wrote:Just wondering, has anyone had any issues with the rotary encoders?
The rotary encoders have been just fine, but the volume pot is wobbly on mine. Also, the sound doesn't gradually get quiet until no sound, it just cuts off at around 8 o'clock.