John Bowen Synth Design

New Preset Bank by Brian Kehew

I’m very happy to announce the release today of a brand new bank of 100 wonderful sounds by the synth expert Brian Kehew. Brian is well-known in the synthesizer world, having spent time on the road playing keyboards for The Who, and his own group The Moog Cookbook, as well as having co-authored the book, “Recording the Beatles”. He has served as the Archives Historian for the Bob Moog Foundation, a non-profit whose goal is to preserve the archives of Dr. Robert Moog and to teach children about science, music, and innovation. You can read more about Brian’s background at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Kehew

I have these comments from Brian:

"I wanted to explore the non-retro parts of the Solaris potential. I think the world has been stuck in 1980s polysynth limitations too long. I'm so excited by this part of the Solaris - the clarity and resolution are incredible, but still using the "language" we speak (of oscillators and filters etc.) to create.

"Many of these sounds evolve over time. I have done some more retro sounds here, while trying to add something modern or more "dense" than was possible 30 years ago. Some of these may become jumping-off points for your own ideas, I hope. Some sounds are just playing with the many interacting modulations, generative patches or sound FX that can go on forever. I don't have time to dial in all the options of controllers for every sound, but a quite a few have a mod-wheel option to use. 

"It's quite a variety, and certainly most of these are not possible on any other instrument I know. It's an amazing design, still evolving, and I don't think I will ever "bump my head" on the ceiling of what it can do..."

Brian Kehew 
 

At times I get notice of another product in software named 'Solaris', and I have to let the developer know that I own the trademark rights.

I don't always keep a watch out for VSTi or other plug-ins that appear with the usage, and so I appreciate any notice when someone finds it. 

For the record, here is what my trademark covers:

"For hardware sound modules, printed circuit boards, for effecting sound, computer software, or parts for all the aforesaid goods." First use was January 2003, with the trademark granted September 2005.

So far developers have been very responsive in changing their product names. If you do see or know of any other product in these categories that is using the name, I would be most grateful if you send me a notice at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

NAMM 2018

The 2018 NAMM show will be held on January 25-28th. I will not be showing this year, but will be there to walk the floor and say hello to so many great people in this music business.

This will be my 45th year of attending NAMM shows....hard to believe! My first show was actually my 'audition' for Moog Music, at the Chicago NAMM show, June 1973. Time sure has flown by!

 

New version 1.4.0 OS Released - Dec. 15, 2017

Just in time for Christmas, I am really happy to announce another major OS update to cap off 2017 - v1.4.0 is released today.

Here's the new features added with v1.4.0 OS:

1) A reworking of the voice handler for significantly better performance.

2) All parameter communication has been completed to work as SysEx commands. NRPNs are no longer supported (and were never fully implemented previously anyway). A complete SysEx implementation document is available online in the User Guides section.

3) A "Poly Chain" mode has been added, so you can have multiple units slaved together for increased polyphony (i.e., 20 notes from 2 units).

4) Added the new parameter “LoadSamp” on the System page 1/2. When enabled, the Solaris will automatically load the first sample pool on bootup.

5) The following parameters were moved from the Home page 3/4 to the System page 2/2: VTIntensity, VTOffset, ATIntensity, ATOffset. Renamed some of the labels for the pedal parameters. Renamed VTIntens and ATIntens to VTCurve and ATCurve (because response curves are what they actually are).

6) The following parameters are now saved to the global init file: Polychain, VTCurve, VTOffset, ATCurve, ATOffset. This means they are no longer stored per preset.

7) Improved display and editing of time values above 1 second.

8 ) Since EG6 controls the overall shape of the sound, the Solaris now boots up with EG 6 selected.

9) After samples are loaded, the wave number is always reset to 1 in the Oscillator Wave display.

10) An extra parameter was added for the Osc modulation amount parameter when the destination is LinFM. This separated it from the amount parameter for Shape. Older presets will sound correct IF the destination is set to Shape. However, if the the preset uses destination LinFM, when the preset is loaded by an older OS the sound will not be the same because the Osc modulation amount will not be correct. Also note there is no way to make such a preset backward compatible by setting the Shape amount because the ranges for the two amount parameters are different.

11) Parameters for setting the MIDI Device ID and transmitting the current preset buffer added (important for Poly Chain mode).

12) Improved encoder acceleration for the following parameters: LFO rate, EQ frequency, Phaser Offset, Oscillator and Rotor NoTrack frequency.


Again, I want to thank Jim Hewes ('minorguy' in the Forum) for all the arduous work he did to get SysEx fully working! With over 1250 preset parameters (and numerous additional front panel controls) completed, a major block in writing complete proper software editors for the Solaris has been removed. While I understand that some DAW software (such as Studio One or Cubase) still have issues recording SysEx, the only other option would be to assign a selection of the 1250 parameters to available CC numbers. We will investigate this for a future OS release, and would appreciate feedback as to how owners end up using the new SysEx implementation.

Also note: the User Guide has not been fully updated yet, but should be ready soon.

 

Update On Pre-Orders - October 22, 2017: 

Production Round #6 is all sold out...thanks to everyone who pre-ordered!