This year at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, John Bowen's Solaris featured as per last year.  But this year there was a difference.  This time, the mighty synth is actually in production and on the verge of being shipped.  So how did this give this years event a different edge?  John Bowen and Ralf Dressel give their impressions.


Dante:  What sort of setup did you have at the Messe this year?

Ralf: Well, yesterday I was in Frankfurt and it was just the best weather.  We had three Solaris' for playing and one in the backstage, which was used for personal demo or sometimes for an extra demo on stage.

Dante: And with Solaris now soon to be available, how did this reality make you feel, as opposed to last year when there was still a way to go?

John: Well, I have to say, of course Iím glad to be able to state that we are shipping soon and all that.  But what still surprises me is all of the people who have come by to see me at Messe to say how happy they are that the project is finally here! Itís like a group of long-time friends who have been watching from the sidelines and cheering me on, and now are really happy for me, and this is an even better feeling I think.



Dante: Apart from the obviously highly functional multi-screen/control layout, aesthetically I particularly like the glowing light blue controller wheels.  What other recent changes stand out?

Ralf: Solaris looks now finished, some slight changes have been made to the case, it has become a little bit bigger and somehow has a more powerful look about it.

Dante: Well, in that case let us take a look at just some of what is under the now complete hood:

  • 4 Oscillators, each with several types available:
    MultiMode, WaveTable, CEM, WAV (sample playback), VS (single cycle waves), Mini.

  • 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.

 Four videos:


Ralf Dressel, John Bowen and Dante April 2011