NAMM

Discuss John Bowen Synths - Solaris
serena-5
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NAMM 2010

Post by serena-5 »

I got to attend the NAMM 2010, and went straight for the Solaris booth. All I can say is "WOW". This synth seriously smokes...it has a presence live that just doesn't come over the computer speakers. The four osc. sound is massive...very reminicent of the old Oberheim synths...as a matter of fact, John played a patch called "Obie Time" (I believe) that had even the old polyphonic glide that made Oberheims famous. And some of the rotor wavetable switching things that were going on were seriously cool.
I can definitely say that this synth is definitely worth the wait, and I applaud your efforts against the storm, John, to release this when it's ready. John was in the process of loading another OS into the synth, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to hear it in it's new incarnation...I'm sure it was equally impressive. It was a pleasure meeting with both John and James...and I hope to be hearing from you soon (if for nothing more than my black T-shirt...size XL). And again, thanks so much for bringing this monster to life...
-Alan (#42)

scope4live
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Post by scope4live »

marzzz wrote:Yes- it was awesome. No- JB was receiving OS updates daily during the show.
:roll:
Soniccore..............always keeps us on the edge of the seat.
Sounds great I wish I wasn't shovelling snow and sneezing...

April is tax time for most but I have paid mine already and yes I am broke, but who gives a HOOT...........
My tax returm will be a hardware Solaris............ankyuvarymush..

And I will take aN XL also..... :wink:
Magnus C350 on a TV Dinner Tray Stand with 2 x PigNose Amps for stereo


https://soundcloud.com/jimmyvee/wormhole

lotus-eater
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Post by lotus-eater »

Did the sonicstate guys record any video of the Solaris? This was really the only thing I was looking forward to from NAMM.

Glad to hear the synth was getting lots of attention.

marzzz
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Post by marzzz »

The coolest thing about the Solaris was how great it sounded when you weren't in the immediate vicinity- I spent considerable time at the Infinite Response booth next door and you could really hear the power of the Solaris from a distance!

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen »


marzzz
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Post by marzzz »

Nice pics, JB!

ThreeFingersOfLove
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Post by ThreeFingersOfLove »

Is the OS finished? Can we hear some decent examples in wav please? :roll:

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen »

Yannis,

I know you've been very anxious to know what's been happening, so, in short, here's the deal - the project was stalled for a while, now it is back on. The OS is getting frequent updates, but we are still probably a month away from finishing the first release. We did some recording of bits of demos at NAMM, and I hope that these will be posted soon (but I don't have the recordings - someone else in Los Angeles did them). I hope to be in production by April for the initial orders. Once those are filled, there will be a bit of a break, and then we will start production again for normal retail sales, which I would guess will be in September.

We had a very strong response at the NAMM Show, and are still taking deposits now as a result.

I do appreciate your interest, and I'm sorry it's been so quiet, but there were some non-technical business issues going on over the last several months which caused delays. Now we are back on, and things are looking good, and I do hope I can get some more audio demos posted for those curious to hear more...but my real priority is to get the first group their units, as some have been waiting for quite a while.

cheers,
john b.

ThreeFingersOfLove
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Post by ThreeFingersOfLove »

Hi John,

thanks for the reply. Nice to hear that things are getting better. I am anxious to see these videos!

So, it's my understanding that the Solaris will be monotimbral first and then multi-timbrality will be added in later OS releases?

What's the polyphony in monotimbral mode? Did you implement some sort of dynamic voice allocation or is it fixed? In mono patches can you switch between low-note, last-note priority?

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen »

Yannis,

Here's the thing about "mono-timbrality" - the Solaris has the ability to have four distinct signal paths per preset (signal path being 0sc->Filter->VCA). You can also use all 4 oscs into each filter, with different filter settings, and get some layers that way....or any combination as well. This means you can have a "layered" sound, but what you don't have is the ability to split/layer different presets, as Korg does with the Combi mode on their synths. We do plan on having a 4-part MultiMode in the future, but I think many will find the normal preset capability can get quite dense if needed.

re: polyphony - we expect the final OS optimisation to produce 15 voices - the current proto is running with 10 (we have a multiple of 5 for our voice calculation). It is not currently a dynamically allocated code; this may be something that gets implemented down the line, but for now it is fixed.

Low-note, last-note, and high-note are the options for Note Priority.

-john b.

lotus-eater
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Post by lotus-eater »

Regarding the multitimbral issue,

What I would like to see is a non-gated sequencer (press a button to start, pause, reset) that could be used to control the pitch of oscillators that I'm not using in whatever sound I'm playing from the keyboard. In other words, it would be great to be able to have a two oscillator, 16-step bass sequence running while I play chords on the keyboard over top. This arrangement seems like it would be easier to implement than replicating the entire solaris architecture four times over, but would still make the solaris more useful in a live performance.

Is this a possibility?

Carbon111
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Post by Carbon111 »

NAMM was crazy this year...if there were fewer folks this year, it was hard to tell from the vantage of the Solaris booth. ;)

I'm just now recovering my voice from talking so much - and the head cold I caught in all the unbelievable rain down there.

Suffice to say it's been a long, complex road with lots of unforseen delays and stumbling blocks along the way. Now the end is finally visible! I think John has done a bang up job through all this!

The best part of NAMM wasn't really the gear, it was the people, especially all the other preorder folks I met there! :)
Best Regards, James
--
http://www.carbon111.com

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen »

lotus-eater wrote:Regarding the multitimbral issue,

What I would like to see is a non-gated sequencer (press a button to start, pause, reset) that could be used to control the pitch of oscillators that I'm not using in whatever sound I'm playing from the keyboard. In other words, it would be great to be able to have a two oscillator, 16-step bass sequence running while I play chords on the keyboard over top. This arrangement seems like it would be easier to implement than replicating the entire solaris architecture four times over, but would still make the solaris more useful in a live performance.

Is this a possibility?
Would the chords you are playing sound in the same 'bass patch' as the sequenced voices you are playing?

-jb

sjones
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Post by sjones »

Glad to hear that NAMM was a success for the Solaris!

John Bowen
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Post by John Bowen »

lotus-eater wrote:... In other words, it would be great to be able to have a two oscillator, 16-step bass sequence running while I play chords on the keyboard over top.....Is this a possibility?
OK, I did a bit more quick testing, and I have to say that no, it is not possible. The sequencer is playing all of the synth - you need a 2-part multi-timbre setup to do what you ask.

-john b.

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