The Epic John Bowen Solaris

US Espen Kraft on the futuristic digital synth      03/01/22

Espen Kraft has recently taken a look at the John Bowen Solaris - a fully digital synthesizer released in 2011. It's a synth which completely passed me by, but given the digital abilities and features within it, it certainly looks a treat. It's capable of playing wave tables from the 4 oscillator slots - and has the Prophet VS, Moog Minimoog and Casio CZ wave forms on board the latest OS. 

It was designed and made by John Bowen, and has the following features:

  • 4 Oscillators, each with several types available: MultiMode, WaveTable, CEM, WAV (sample playback), VS (single cycle waves)
  • 4 Filters, each with selectable Inputs.
  • Filter types are: MultiMode Lowpass, 24, 18, 12, 6 dB, Highpass 24, 18, 12, 6 dB, Bandpass 24 dB, Comb (2 types), State Variable 12 dB LP, HP, BP, & BR,SSM Lowpass 24 dB , Mini (Ladder) Lowpass 24 dB, Vocal Formant
  • 2 Vector Mixers, 2 Rotors (special 4-step waveshape sequences),2 AM sections (includes Ring Mod)
  • 6 DADSRs, 1 8-stage loopable envelope
  • 4 free LFOs, 1 Vibrato LFO. Each LFO features delayed start, fade in and fade out times, key sync and Phase control
  • Phaser, Chorus/Flanger, Phaser, Delay, 3-band EQ effects

It's a superb overview of this digital monster - which is packed with features, and uses a compact flash card to store patches, presets, wave files and the OS. Perhaps the name was inspired by the incredible Andrei Tarkovsky film too... 

There are plenty more videos on Espen Kraft's youtube channel. For more information on the Solaris, head over here:



About the author [midierror]: midierror makes nifty Max For Live devices, innovative music hardware, award winning sample packs and hosts a podcast speaking to people in the music world.

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