Hans Zimmer is not only a long time Scope user but has kept up to date by upgrading to the the XITE-1 platform.  His statement on the Sonic Core website sums up his experience with the Scope platform 'SCOPE XITE-1 is a truly great sounding system. The sonic quality is first rate, the versatility is unmatched to this day.  The modular synth, in conjunction with the mixers and effects, beats most of the hardware out there.' 

SoundDesigner and Sunmachine assisted in further exploring Hans Zimmer's deeper history with the Scope platform by unearthing some Sound on Sound and Sonic State interviews with the great composer:

SOS: When it comes to using samplers, Hans is a big fan of Tascam's GigaStudio.

Zimmer:  I use a lot of Gigasamplers which I think in England everybody thinks is a toy.  Nobody really knows how they work yet or how powerful they are.  A sampler is an inherently boring thing that just regurgitates sounds.  It's what you do after the samples come out where it gets interesting.  I just rebuilt my studio here at my house and I came up with this idea of how to build the ultimate GigaStudio by putting these Creamware Scope cards in and it just works so great because each one is a little studio in itself.  I have a load of plug-ins including a whole modular synth that I can run my samples through so it becomes a real sound-mangling environment.  If I just want to get pretty string sounds I'll have decent reverbs and decent EQ in there as well.


SOS: The left of these two racks of outboard include no fewer than six Lexicon PCM80 and two PCM81 effects units, four Nuendo DD8 eight-channel audio interfaces, two TC D-Two delays, a Fireworx effects units, four Creamware A16 interfaces, two Roland SDE330, one SRV330 effects unit, a Line 6 Mod Pro effects, two Echo Pro delays, two Quantec Yardstick master clocks, two Lexicon 480L reverbs and one 960L reverb.  As can be seen from the labeling each group of interfaces and effects units is dedicated to a specific GigaStudio-based section of the orchestra. The right rack houses Hans' Analogue Systems modular synth.

SOS:  After Hannibal, Hans next collaboration with Ridley Scott was 'Black Hawk Down'.  Having listened to that soundtrack more than once I had to find out the source of the great synth sounds used.

Zimmer:   'That's my secret weapon! That's Creamware stuff, which nobody seems to know about.'  Creamware build brilliant synths that just sound really good.  Actually, one of the tracks on the album is named after one of the synths 'Synchrotone' (ed: this could possibly be a reference to Orbitone's 'Synchrome').

They just did a model of a Minimoog.  As you know everybody's done models of Minimoogs so I put it up against my real (slightly ailing) Minimoog and it was absolutely identical!  I was talking to two software guys over there called Klaus Piehl and Matthias Klag (who are brilliant DSP engineers) about how they did it and they have no aliasing in any of the sounds because they oversample all the DSP.  Right now as far as devices that sound really good their stuff is the best.

John Bowen, who worked on the original Prophet 5 and also on the Pro 52 for Native Instruments, was always saying to me: 'So you like the Pro 52?' And I was saying 'Yeah I love it, I like all that Native Instruments stuff.'  So he said 'Well, let me build you one on the Creamware platform.'  And he literally had somebody go and analyze the oscillators and the filters and his Creamware version sounds very different to Pro 52.

I love modular synths but I can either write music or spend hours patching things together.  So John built this type of thing called the Red Dwarf which is like a fixed structure but you can just switch and the change the oscillators, the filters and the envelopes. 

It's a very quick and very efficient way of coming up with different sound and I think quick and efficient is something that's important.

SonicState: Hans Zimmer, the Academy-Award winning composer (Gladiator, Lion King...) has been using Creamware systems for many years and has this to say about the Modular III:

Zimmer: I love the new features and modules of the Modular III. It represents the flexibility and modularity of CreamWare's SCOPE Fusion Platform altogether.

SonicState: Few designers in the world have John Bowen's credentials at catering to the most demanding requirements of the professional music elite, having previously been commissioned by award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer, to custom design synthesizers in software form for the former Creamware SCOPE platform.

John Bowen (Zarg Music): A 'spin-off' device from my Quantum Wave synth (which was originally commissioned by Hans Zimmer to recreate his Waldorf Wave), it's basically one of the four Instruments that is contained in the larger Quantum Wave, with the addition of the Global and FX parameters that are normally part of the Performance presets.

This SE version does not use performance presets, but does have the ability to load any of the other preset lists of the Quantum Wave (effects, looping envelope generator, instruments).

For those who have smaller Scope DSP systems and still want to enjoy the sound of the Waldorf oscillators and functionality of the Wave design, the Quantum Wave SE is the ideal choice!

TripleSec:  When I heard Gigastudio with Scope DSP cards I was shocked.  Thanks to him sharing his discoveries that got him a Grammy back then I invested heavily.  I just recently stopped using that same set up and it lasted 24/7 for 9 years.  And once again I have made a similar purchase of the Solaris and XITE-1 and I am sure they will last a decade also.  There's much more to Mr. Zimmer than many discussions on forum threads.  I hope he continues to bless the community with his knowledge and wisdom.

Sound On Sound, Hans Zimmer, SonicState and Chimuelo 2002-2009