Developer Fund Update - Important!

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John Bowen
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Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by John Bowen »

Greetings Solaris Owners!

I am writing today to bring everyone up to date on our current development situation. As we are about to release the first version of a Multimode Operating System, called 2.0, I wanted to post a huge 'Thank You' to Jim Hewes, who has been laboring for over 3 & 1/2 years on the Solaris OS. Jim has fixed more than 80 bugs, and added at least a dozen of features that I have requested. During this last year, not only did he completely re-work the entire SysEx code (replacing a bare-bones NRPN system) to allow for MIDI access to all of the 1250+ parameters (!), but has been working overtime to get a reasonable 4-part Multimode structure working. As many of you know, Jim has never asked for any kind of remuneration for his efforts. I've made some small compensation as I could, and while he has been unemployed during all this time, he has continued to work on the operating system (which ranges from his first release of v1.3 back in March of 2017 til now with the forthcoming v2.0). I think you will all agree what he has done is managed to save the Solaris from early abandonment to bring it forward as a still viable current instrument. What other hardware synth has been able to do that which came out 10 years ago?

Therefore, I have decided I will be charging a fixed minimum donation (all of which will go to Jim) for the v2.0 OS when released, but if you appreciate Jim's contributions to the Solaris, I hope you will be generous and donate as much as you feel you can. It would be great if we could help him stay unemployed for at least another year, so he can keep helping out with improving the Solaris OS!


Now - as to further DSP code development. As brilliant as Jim is, he says he is not the guy to be making changes and additions to the actual DSP sound engine code. You may remember that back in 2018 I met with a great DSP coder from Croatia, Hrastprogrammer, who I hoped would be involved for the long term. However, near the middle of 2019, Hrast wrote me that he would not be able to continue due to personal reasons. He did manage to modify the DSP code to create a new Oscillator Type for Phase Modulation, and also incorporated the code from the series of CZ modules that came from the Scope modular synth library. I am very grateful that Hrast was willing to finish up work on this before he had to move on. It would also be nice if people could donate something to his PayPal account for the work he did: hrastwerk@hrastprogrammer.com

Since then we have been without a qualified DSP programmer, but at the NAMM show in January 2020 I was approached by a small company from Victoria, Canada about doing some work on the Solaris code. I am happy to announce that we are now in place to have them start work on a number of items on my list, and with that I will be able to give a better estimate as to how much money will be needed to code up the various features on our 'wish list'.

Since first posting about a Developer Fund back in 2017, many of you have offered to partner up for around a suggested $200 each, with a few actually suggesting more. With your input on the following list of items, I will be able to more clearly define just what we think would be a good update package for the DSP side of things. Some of these come directly from the various comments listed in the Developer Fund thread:


1) The Master FX work - Current v2.0 has the same FX routing as 1.4.4 OS. A Multimode 4-part effects arrangement, or a larger ‘pool' of DSP FX including reverb, etc. would be desireable. This also includes the output mixing and so on. New requested effects could be in here.

2) A couple of bugs in the code - Fix Envelope time modulation bug (modulator value of previous note is taken instead of actual note), and the EG Sustain "Slope” problem.

3) Multisample Oscillator Type. Expanded or alternate SamplePool text object to define it. Possible to add functions such as modulate sample start, sample end, sample forward/reverse, sample number?

4) User Wavetables

5) Add a Random Note to the Mod Source list. We have a rudimentary random pitch in there that Jim added, but it would be nice to have at least one random mod source based on note-on events that I could route to filter cutoff, panning, etc.
See the discussion here: http://forums.johnbowen.com/viewtopic.php?p=3632#p3632

6) More LFO waveshapes, some stepped and asymmetric forms. Also add a slew control to the LFO output. Possible One-Shot mode as well.

7) Quantize module - in my Scope plug-ins, I had the output of the LFOs able to be quantized to produce fixed/pitched control signals. This could also be added to the LFOs, but it might just be nicer to have several modules for general use (like I have with the 4 Lag Processors).

8 ) Add looping to the envelopes.

9) Finer divisions of parameter range for LFO rates and Mod amounts. Some people have complained they need finer resolution on frequency control. (This may be something for Jim, though).

10) CS-80 emulation, for filter at least.

11) Voice number as a Mod Source (mostly for panning? But could be other things)

12) Add more mod sources to the Envelope segments

13) A stereo fixed Filter bank for the main FX (I've wanted this for a while - because I had a 24 band pass filter bank in my Scope plugins)

14) A separate Karplus-Strong Osc Type.

15) A Resonator Osc Type (something to have both harmonic and inharmonic overtones)

16) Some form of granular synthesis

17) something like Kernal synthesis in Waldorf Quantum

18) "For variation over time within a voice, a slow random mod source is needed. I think this is mainly useful for control of oscillator frequency, so the modulation could be packaged as a single Oscillator drift control at the patch level. For optimal results each oscillator should probably have a unique random mod signal that is not the same for all voices."

19) Pitch Bend wheel as a Mod Source

20) Microtuning/alternate scales

21) Mutable Instruments' implementation, especially the Elements module.

22) "Please don't spend any time on reverbs. We all have reverbs. Better to spend time on inline effects like waveshapers or other effects like Virus style distortion/saturation flavors" :-)

23) Roland filter like Jupiter 8

24) Add smooth interpolation to the Waldorf Wavetable Osc Type. Also provide rough & smooth interpolation for User Wavetables.

25) Possible to trigger envelopes from other than note-on events.

26) Clear the delay buffer when changing presets.

27) A way to simulate a single Master LFO, either by adding a synchronization function for all voice LFOs, or some other method.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will take a look at the responses here and see what makes sense and what the costs would be.

Thank you everybody for participating in the Solaris Project! I am looking forward to all the future developments!

Cheers,
John Bowen
david
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by david »

The continuing development push for the Solaris is incredible. Thank you John (and Jim)!

Regarding the DSP, I would not invest in any development on the sample object until sample loading is streamlined.

Perhaps you could petition sample robot to create a Solaris edition like they did for the Prophet X? That would be easiest.

I would prefer a computer utility for organizing presets (an updated library app) and sample management to most of those DSP items mentioned.
jgale
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:38 pm
Location: New York

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by jgale »

Yes! I will definitely financially support the continued development of the Solaris!

Thanks again to Jim for all of his efforts! What a impact he has made on the development of the Solrais! I have made a donation to his paypal account.

To me - the list looks fine. I would suggest getting a price quote for individual items or groups of items so that if that the overall price is to steep - you can prioritize items or break them down into separate releases.

The only thing I did not see on the list for me is a way to sync LFOs. This would be helpful to emulate mono LFOs like in the OBX, etc. Today the Solaris LFOs are all free running per voice.

John.
John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by John Bowen »

Hi David,

I know you are interested in improving the sample loading for the Solaris. One of the bigger issues before I get someone like SampleRobot involved would be to have a new Sample Player object that could handle multisamples. At the time we first designed the Solaris, I didn’t want to give it too much focus on sample libraries, and requested that it handle only a single sample that would be transposed across the board. Obviously now every sample library deals with multiple samples across the keyboard, and I would like to address that as well. To do that, the DSP code has to be modified. Do you feel that this would be an important addition?

I know the people at SampleRobot, and I can certainly ask about an editor for the current WAV Osc Type. I will report back when I get a response.
John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by John Bowen »

jgale wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:46 pm ...The only thing I did not see on the list for me is a way to sync LFOs. This would be helpful to emulate mono LFOs like in the OBX, etc. Today the Solaris LFOs are all free running per voice.

John.
I'll add it to the list - thanks for the reminder.
jgale
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:38 pm
Location: New York

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by jgale »

John Bowen wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:52 pm Hi David,

I know you are interested in improving the sample loading for the Solaris. One of the bigger issues before I get someone like SampleRobot involved would be to have a new Sample Player object that could handle multisamples. At the time we first designed the Solaris, I didn’t want to give it too much focus on sample libraries, and requested that it handle only a single sample that would be transposed across the board. Obviously now every sample library deals with multiple samples across the keyboard, and I would like to address that as well. To do that, the DSP code has to be modified. Do you feel that this would be an important addition?

I know the people at SampleRobot, and I can certainly ask about an editor for the current WAV Osc Type. I will report back when I get a response.
IMO - I would like to see multisample playback in the update. Modulating the start, loop, points etc. would also be helpful.

John
John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by John Bowen »

jgale wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:46 pm To me - the list looks fine. I would suggest getting a price quote for individual items or groups of items so that if that the overall price is to steep - you can prioritize items or break them down into separate releases.
I can give one example to get an idea of the pricing - to add 4 separate duplicates of the Master FX (so that each part could have its own set of the 4 effects), and also to be able to route each part to one of the pairs of physical outputs, with flexible routing, etc., would be around $7200.

I will wait to see what other items Solaris owners would like to add, then try to get several more estimates.

Cheers,
John B.
John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by John Bowen »

david wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:58 pm Perhaps you could petition sample robot to create a Solaris edition like they did for the Prophet X? That would be easiest.
Hi David,
I cannot find any editor done by SampleRobot for the Prophet X. Could you provide a link?

Thanks,
John B.
david
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by david »

John Bowen wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:19 pm
david wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:58 pm Perhaps you could petition sample robot to create a Solaris edition like they did for the Prophet X? That would be easiest.
Hi David,
I cannot find any editor done by SampleRobot for the Prophet X. Could you provide a link?

Thanks,
John B.
Here you go: https://samplerobot.com/blogs/news/samp ... -5-is-here

https://www.sequential.com/2019/12/samp ... prophet-x/
david
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by david »

To clarify, not interested in using Solaris as a sampler but it would be fun to have some samples for sound design.

I just can’t get me head around the Hex file upload process sample robot might be overkill. I personally just want a super easy FAST workflow to upload a sample oscillator.

A simple utility Built into a library editor might be better.
John Bowen
Site Admin
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by John Bowen »

Ah, I was looking for some type of Editor program! You are just saying to get them to add the Solaris to the SampleRobot Export file choices. This is the same as what the Translator programmer did back in 2015.
I have now sent the Solaris documentation for the sample format to Sample Robot and asked if he would consider adding the Solaris to the Export list.
bennethos
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by bennethos »

Hello John,


Just made a donation to Jim Hewes. He did a fantastic invaluable job indeed.

Obviously the above news is great news and personally I will chip in when you need me too, 200 or higher would not be an issue for me or probably most of us ( I mean we all own the Lamborghini of synths here). I do think we need to make sure all Solaris owners are aware of this through facebook, email campaign, twitter etc because I stumbled by accident on this post.

What about setting it all up in a crowdfunding type of way through one platform ? Could even ask people to chip in for 50 bucks and get a t-shirt or Solaris fridge magnet. If you need any help setting this up do not hesitate to reach out, I would be honored to be able to help you out .
Through crowdfunding you would get more visibility, get the community motivated and be able to put proper targets on the page ie :

Target 1 1500$ : Slop
Target 2 3000$ : Slop + CS-80 filter
Target 3 4500$: ...
...
Target 5 : vst-plugin

Personally what I think would be very useful is :

1 most important : A good editor, modular editor, sample loadup editor, sequencer editor, vst-plugin for use in DAW's (this would be fantastic with the multi part in v2.0 that is arriving), wavetable editor

- Possibility of CS-80 style architecture, we're halfway there ! we got the ribbon and poly-aftertouch support already :)

- slop to get a more analog type of sound

- More steps in the sequencer 32 or 64, more tracks if possible

- more sound/filter capabilities (not convinced about more wavetables, Kyra has 4000 of them, it's just too much)

- can the lfo's work independently on the voices without being reset every time you hit a key ? (maybe this is already the case)

- all the rest

- reverb (but only if quality is superb, otherwise I think people will use an external one anyway)

Cheers
Ben
Last edited by bennethos on Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Owner of Solaris #00324
david
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by david »

bennethos wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:56 pm Hello John,


Just made a donation to Jim Hewes. He did a fantastic invaluable job indeed.

Obviously the above news is great news and personally I will chip in when you need me too, 200 or higher would not be an issue for me or probably most of us ( I mean we all own the Lamborghini of synths here). I do think we need to make sure all Solaris owners are aware of this through facebook, email campaign, twitter etc because I stumbled by accident on this post.

What about setting it all up in a crowdfunding type of way through one platform ? Could even ask people to chip in for 50 bucks and get a t-shirt or Solaris fridge magnet. If you need any help setting this up do not hesitate to reach out.
Through crowdfunding you would get more visibility, get the community motivated and be able to put proper targets on the page ie :

Target 1 1500$ : Slop
Target 2 3000$ : Slop + CS-80 filter
Target 3 4500$: ...
...
Target 5 : vst-plugin

Personally what I think would be very useful is :

1 most important : A good editor, modular editor, sample loadup editor, sequencer editor, vst-plugin for use in DAW's (this would be fantastic with the multi part in v2.0 that is arriving), wavetable editor

- Possibility of CS-80 style architecture, we're halfway there ! we got the ribbon and poly-aftertouch support already :)

- slop to get a more analog type of sound

- more sound/filter capabilities (not convinced about more wavetables, Kyra has 4000 of them, it's just too much)

- can the lfo's work independently on the voices without being reset every time you hit a key ? (maybe this is already the case)

- all the rest

- reverb (but only if quality is superb, otherwise I think people will use an external one anyway)

Cheers
Ben
I 100% agree with Ben’s list!

John- do you have a programmer who is good with editors?
david
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by david »

Ben’s concept of crowdfunding with goals and tiers also a great idea. Not sure how many users check this forum but being able to send everyone a link to a website that lays it all out is a good idea.
bennethos
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Developer Fund Update - Important!

Post by bennethos »

We could also outsource the editor part to : https://www.soundtower.com/
Owner of Solaris #00324
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