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John Bowen | Solaris


When was the last time you heard a new synthesizer that literally knocked you off your feet and made you ask — what on earth is capable of making those sounds? A synthesizer with the uncanny knack of punching out those vintage analog tones capable of sending a familiar thrill right down your spine one moment and then, when you dial up the next preset, it sounds like nothing you've ever heard before and leaves you scratching your head wondering just how is it capable of making that sound? Well, you've just got to listen to the Solaris synthesizer from John Bowen Synth Design!

Relief at last from the common synthesizer!

Have you ever noticed that most new synthesizers sound pretty much the same as last year's model? Expand the number of piano samples held in ROM memory, add a couple of new features, come up with a new name and that is enough to qualify selling it as a whole new synthesizer! Where is the creativity, innovation and inspiration in that? Fortunately, John Bowen Synth Design isn't like other companies that mass produce product lines for every market segment.

We're on a mission...

From the beginning, the singular mission for Solaris has been to create nothing less than John Bowen's personal vision of the ultimate, dream-come-true synthesizer. A vision that draws upon more than three decades of experience in synthesizer design with legends like Moog Music, Sequential Circuits, the Korg Wavestation series and renowned software synthesizers for the original Korg OASYS and Creamware Scope platforms. And it's a vision to create a truly musical instrument masterpiece that is shared with some of the world's foremost synthesizer connoisseurs like film composer Hans Zimmer who is renowned for always seeking the utmost in sound creation capabilities.

OK, so what's the big idea?

The general concept behind the Solaris synthesizer is to implement something like a giant wall-sized modular system entirely in software where you can select among several completely different types of oscillators and filters, exquisitely modelled after the components culled from a variety of legendary vintage synthesizers of yesteryear and even some current virtual analog innovations of today. With up to four oscillators, four filters, four amplifiers, four four-input mixers, six envelope generators, one looping envelope generator, five LFOs, two vector mixers and still more of these software modules available in each program, the Solaris synthesizer becomes absolutely unrivalled in terms of versatility and programmability.

Aren't modular systems a complete pain to use with all those wires though?

The real wonder of the Solaris synthesizer is in how easy it is to accomplish all the routing, patching and programming of all these modules together. This is largely due to the abundant control surface of six LCD displays plus myriad knobs and buttons, and the exceptional way that they have been laid out to facilitate You'll be amazed and delighted at both the efficiency of the workflow and the wealth of feedback provided with the Solaris synthesizer for even the most complex of program configurations (and not a single patch cable in sight)!

With so much going on, this must be monophonic, right?

No, not at all. Even with a complex program utilizing all four oscillators, four filters, four mixers and healthy doses of modulation, you can still expect 10 note polyphony! This is because the powerplant inside the Solaris synthesizer that actually runs the software code consists of six of the most current, state of the art third-generation SHARC DSP processors. This is up to six times more processing power than is available in the current products of other high-end pro audio companies. Internally, all operations are 32-bit floating point and audio signals and busses run at 96 kHz for pristine audio quality.

Whether you are a synthesizer veteran looking for a modern musical instrument that lets you relive the majestic tones of legendary analog synthesizers or you are a sound designer exploring new sonic realms for games, film, stage or other media, we're confident that the unique and unlimited sound creation capabilities of the Solaris will be the synthesizer that lets you cut through all the clatter and instantly raises you up above the competitition. Now, isn't it time you got your hands on the Solaris synthesizer?
BrandJohn Bowen
Engine TypeDigital
EngineVA, WT, PCM
Voices (max)10
LFO5 Noise, Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Sine, Square, Triangle, Clocked, Delay, Freerun, Key Sync, Phase
Engine Detailed4 Osc. Additive, Pulse, Pulse Variable, ROM, Saw Down, Saw Up, Sine, Square, Super Saw, Triangle, User Drawn, Wave Table, White Noise
Filter (VCF)6dB Slope, 12dB Slope (2-pole), 18dB Slope, 24dB Slope (4-pole), Band Pass, Formant, High Pass, Low Pass, Notch, Resonance, Serial, Parallel. Simulation of CEM, SSM, Moog and Oberheim.
Envelope (VCA)6 x DADSR + 1 x 8-stage Looping Envelope Generator
FXPhaser, chorus/flanger, delay, and 3-band EQ for master. The series order of the FX is user-definable. 3 Insert Effects, pre- or post-filter, Decimation, BitChop, and Distortion.
Sequencer4 x 16 step
Key typeKeys
Audio4 Stereo out. 4 mono in
MidiI-O-T, USB
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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