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John Bowen Solaris Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 2nd April 2010
  #1
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John Bowen Solaris

All of John's video demos on the Solaris site are academic, basic and unmusical. I want to hear what this thing can do.

People seem to be pre-ordering it purely on faith that it will sound amazing.

So far it seems to be nothing more than a Creamware VA in a really expensive box with some bells and whistles.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #2
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T71 View Post
All of John's video demos on the Solaris site are academic, basic and unmusical. I want to hear what this thing can do.

People seem to be pre-ordering it purely on faith that it will sound amazing.

So far it seems to be nothing more than a Creamware VA in a really expensive box with some bells and whistles.
Neither pro or con, good or bad, but I've wondered the same thing. I've even heard such absurd statements like the Solaris being some people's favorite synth!
Old 2nd April 2010
  #3
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Matocaster's Avatar
 

Come on man, at least let the thing get released and have presets done. I understand your skepticism, but the demos John has put up are to show what each individual section of the the synth does and how they relate to each other. There are a few actual song demos floating around:

YouTube - JOHN BOWEN SOLARIS SYNTHESIZER PROTOTYPE DEMO NUMBER THREE

YouTube - JOHN BOWEN SOLARIS SYNTHESIZER PROTOTYPE DEMO NUMBER TWO

YouTube - JOHN BOWEN SOLARIS SYNTHESIZER PROTOTYPE DEMO NUMBER FOUR

This is just one of the prototypes. A lot more has been added since and will continue to be as future updates!

Believe me it's a lot more than a Creamware va in a nice box with bells and whistles. I got a nice in depth demo of it in my home studio. I mean if it's good enough for John Bowen, Hans Zimmer, Brian Kehew, Larry Fast, Carbon111 and Redmartian; then I think the rest of us must be on to something.

If you have any questions or doubts I'd suggest going directly to
John Bowen Synth Design :: View Forum - Solaris Discussion John Bowen will tell you you what you need to knowthumbsup
Old 2nd April 2010
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matocaster View Post
There are a few actual song demos
Those youtube song demos are just "meh".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matocaster View Post
If you have any questions or doubts I'd suggest going directly to
John Bowen Synth Design :: View Forum - Solaris Discussion John Bowen will tell you you what you need to knowthumbsup
Been there, done that. John is very responsive and seems like a great guy.

My current impression is: too heavy on the VA and too half baked on the other synthesis types.

We shall see...
Old 2nd April 2010
  #5
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It's not even finished yet, how can you make claim that it's too heavy on one style and half baked on the rest? Yeah, it's expensive, but so is the MacBeth M5. And that only plays one note at a time =o]
Old 2nd April 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard View Post
It's not even finished yet, how can you make claim that it's too heavy on one style and half baked on the rest?
By watching these: Solaris Videos
Old 2nd April 2010
  #7
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Derp's Avatar
Am I missing something here? From the demos and the specs, it looks like it's another modular VA, like a cross between the Nord Modulars and the Arturia Origin. Not that that's bad, it's just that for four grand, I'd expect something mind blowing. I was wrong about the Virus TI's though, so I'll reserve final judgments until it's been out for a while and has gotten its chance to shine.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
Am I missing something here? From the demos and the specs, it looks like it's another modular VA, like a cross between the Nord Modulars and the Arturia Origin. Not that that's bad, it's just that for four grand, I'd expect something mind blowing.
Exactly where I'm coming from.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #9
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T71 View Post
By watching these: Solaris Videos

What... videos of a not fully finished unit?
Old 2nd April 2010
  #10
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If JB focused more on the vector and wavetable synthesis aspects and threw in full blown wave sequencing a la Korg Wavestation, I think he'd have a lot more potential customers.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard View Post
What... videos of a not fully finished unit?
Yep. And emailing back and forth with John. He seems like a seriously cool guy, BTW. Definitely the kind of company you want to buy a synth from.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #12
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Good. Bad. Does not matter and no one knows.

My only comment is that it's funny and odd that people are even defending ANY position when it isn't even out yet

Hype hype hype, deserved or not is still hype until we hear it, use it and get to know it (same complaint when we're talking about "this" vs." that" synth when half of everyone hasn't even heard one or the other )

Believe me, I HOPE it is amazing. A great new synth is always welcome.

Until then...
Old 2nd April 2010
  #13
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Matocaster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
Good. Bad. Does not matter and no one knows.

My only comment is that it's funny and odd that people are even defending ANY position when it isn't even out yet

I've experienced it up close and personal for a few hours in the environment I record in. It's a dream synth. So many sound options. I feel totally comfortable defending Solaris! It might not be for everyone, but it's just what I want.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
Hype hype hype, deserved or not is still hype until we hear it...
Hear it here: Solaris Audio Examples
Old 2nd April 2010
  #15
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MonoBrow's Avatar
 

The solaris plugin is amazing.Wish i could afford it now.I think the hardware will be the new "must have" synth but it takes time to get it perfect.And it will be perfect...
If anyone wants to listen to some SolarisV5 plugin demos.Here:Zarg Music - Synthesizers created by John Bowen
Old 2nd April 2010
  #16
gdh
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matocaster View Post

Believe me it's a lot more than a Creamware va in a nice box with bells and whistles. I got a nice in depth demo of it in my home studio. I mean if it's good enough for John Bowen, Hans Zimmer, Brian Kehew, Larry Fast, Carbon111 and Redmartian; then I think the rest of us must be on to something. thumbsup
Both BK and LF earn a full time living in this industry - are you saying that they bought one and/or had anything to do with the development or the synth? or were they just at NAMM and got their pic taken with it.
Me personally I am just waiting to have a good long demo myself to decide whether yay or nay to purchase.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #17
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Matocaster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdh View Post
Both BK and LF earn a full time living in this industry - are you saying that they bought one and/or had anything to do with the development or the synth? or were they just at NAMM and got their pic taken with it.
Obviously they were just @ NAMM 2010 and had photos taken with it. So what? John Bowen has that kind of reputation. I think anyone who loves synthesizers will be interested in Solaris. If John said they were impressed I'll take his word for it! I know I was heh
Old 3rd April 2010
  #18
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I wonder what the black market price for a Kidney is...


Old 3rd April 2010
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard View Post
I wonder what the black market price for a Kidney is...


= 2.5 Solaris

from a 2004 article... so the price may have gone up for inflation and back down because of economics. But your only graced with 2..

"The sums being offered seemed a fortune. The minimum wage here is barely $80 a month, and work is hard to find. Many men struggle to exist on odd jobs that pay barely a dollar a day. Initially, the organ brokers paid as much as $10,000 for a kidney -- more than a decade's wages. "

I took the time to read that article.... just straight up scary
Old 3rd April 2010
  #20
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alexp's Avatar
Meh. JD800 did it better, in 1994.


It looks cool, and I like some of its features, but its far far to sterile for me. I guess if your a plugin dude its cool. Wouldnt integrate well around here though. Prolly the most expensive VA ever to.


alexP
Old 3rd April 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
Prolly the most expensive VA ever to.
I hear ya. I keep trying to convince myself to pre-order one, but then I come back to the fact that it's primarily designed to be really good sounding Creamware VA. After all it is a modified version of his Solaris Scope plug-in in a box.

Here's John's recent post on the subject from his forum:

"1) I am not a software coding guy...I just used the standard Scope DSP library of modules, and was able to add as much functionality as I wanted to the plug-in because the Scope SDK makes it so easy to do that.

2) The hardware Solaris has all new code, improved and optimised by the same person who did the original library 12 years ago, but now has that many more years of experience and knowledge under his belt, and also the mandate to make everything run optimally at 96kHz and to sound as good as we can make it."
Old 3rd April 2010
  #22
Mr Arkadin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
It looks cool, and I like some of its features, but its far far to sterile for me.
Where and when did you demo it?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T71 View Post
it sounds gorgeous. at least through my tiny built-in laptop speakers.

the price though.

i'll need to wait for the stripped down, knob-free, single voice, keyboardless rack module.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogberto View Post
the price though.
Not a huge fan of the Solaris. I filed it under "whatever". But the $4000 are not too far off from other VAs:

Waldorf Q Phoenix, MSRP $2,990
Access Virus TI2, MSRP $3,295
Nord Wave, MSRP $3300
Arturia Origin Keyboars, MSRP $3499
Waldorf Q+ Phoenix, MSRP $4,299

Considering the configuration with 4x Oscillator, 4x Filters etc. with switchable characteristics, the $4000 doesn't seem that much anymore. However IMO the Solaris seems to wait for new software to come out all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogberto View Post
i'll need to wait for the stripped down, knob-free, single voice, keyboardless rack module.
I am going to wait for the App that runs on my iPod. heh
Old 3rd April 2010
  #25
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Originally Posted by T71 View Post
I hear ya. I keep trying to convince myself to pre-order one, but then I come back to the fact that it's primarily designed to be really good sounding Creamware VA.
We hear ya but we don't understand why are you trying to convince your self (weird...) to buy or preorder anything (weird...really weird..) in the first place and why are you trying to make product marginally same with already available software version while in fact product is still in development...
Old 3rd April 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpod View Post
We hear ya but we don't understand why are you trying to convince your self (weird...) to buy or preorder anything (weird...really weird..) in the first place and why are you trying to make product marginally same with already available software version while in fact product is still in development...
Not to mention that its now too late to preorder...

(from the website)

February 21, 2010: A new update on pre-order pricing has been posted on the PURCHASE page. All planned units are now spoken for, but we are taking names for the next build. Please have a look here.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #27
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gundam's Avatar
 

For the price of a Solaris I would rather get the Sonic Core XITE-1.

At least the Q+ has analog filters, which inherently costs more to add than a purely driven DSP synth.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #28
i think from the demo's that this thing could be awesome. we'll see
Old 3rd April 2010
  #29
Gear Nut
 

It invariably sounds digital. I love digital but not when it's trying to do analogue. I'm sure it's got a lot of potential for new, exciting digital sounds but all this talk about analogue modelling is just babble with no substance to me.

Even the old hybrids have a better analogue sound than Solaris.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Not to mention that its now too late to preorder...

(from the website)

February 21, 2010: A new update on pre-order pricing has been posted on the PURCHASE page. All planned units are now spoken for, but we are taking names for the next build. Please have a look here.
Uh, I would be pre-ordering the "next build".
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