Former Sequential Circuits designer John Bowen has announced that that the first production of his Solaris mega-synth is now planned for late September 2008, with delivery shortly thereafter. Pre-orders for the second series of production are available now, with a $1000/800 EUR deposit, and the $3599/2400 EUR final price.
Bowen is best known for his work on pioneering keyboard synthesizers at Sequential Circuits, but he’s also been very active creating software synths.
“While I certainly enjoyed many good years at Sequential Circuits, working as an independent plug-in developer for the Scope platform over the last 7 years has allowed me the freedom to explore concepts and designs that I would have been unable to do elsewhere,” comments Bowen. “Solaris represents the pinnacle of this development, and for several years I’ve had plans to turn it into a hardware version. Finally I can say, it is here.”
More details on the Solaris below.
- 4 Oscillators, each with several types available: MultiMode, WaveTable, CEM, WAV (sample playback), VS (single cycle waves), SuperSaw
- 4 Filters, each with a dedicated Mixer. Filter types are: Ladder Lowpass, 24, 12, 6, dB, Highpass 24, 12, 6 dB, Bandpass 24 dB, Comb (2 types), State Variable 12 dB LP, HP, BP, and Notch
- 2 Vector Mixers, 2 Rotors (special 4-step waveshape sequences), 2 AM sections (includes Ring Mod)
- 6 DADSRs, 2 8-stage loopable envelopes
- 4 free LFOs, 1 Vibrato LFO. Each has delayed start, fade in, and fade out times, key sync and Phase control
- Phaser, Chorus, Flanger, Delay, Overdrive, 3-band EQ effects
John has teamed up with Holger Drenkelfort and Juergen Kindermann (SonicCore GmbH) to produce the Solaris synthesizer.
“We had all worked together in the development of the Creamware Scope system, which as a development tool I found to be sonically superior to any other available native ‘synth construction’ programs on the market,” said Bowen. “However, I needed a new and more powerful system to produce the Solaris properly. Using their expertise, SonicCore has created brand-new hardware and operating system software – there is nothing inside based on the Scope system. Also, we brought in a talented dsp programmer to write completely new algorithm code specifically for the Solaris. However, now that SonicCore has acquired rights to the Creamware dsp library, I will be able to incorporate their special modules as well in Solaris. I’m also discussing licensing other algorithm work for future dsp expansion packs. It’s my plan to have the Solaris act as a capable ‘host system’ for a wide variety of synthesis types, while still providing an ease-of-use factor.”
Notes Hans Zimmer, “If anyone out there can take what we love about the elusive quality of analogue synthesizers and add the inventiveness and versatility that we get from digital, it’ll be John. There is no question in my mind he understands that fundamentally the sound has to be true and uncompromised for a bunch of circuits to turn into a musical instrument. There are many synths out there that are fun and even inspiring. But it takes a certain magic and voodoo, a certain set of ears and sonic heart to build something lasting, something timeless.”