John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

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DLovas
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John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by DLovas » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:55 am

Jesus - came on here to post a thread on this and got carried away for nearly 30 minutes lookin at other threads :roll: :oops:

One synth i have been very fixated upon lately is the immensely complex Hartmann neuron synthesizer.
It uses a form of resynthesis technology and neural networks.... not to mention its freakin sexy
Image

anyway - i was talking to some people at the Fizmo yahoo group about it (they proved to know much much much more about it than i did) and they basically said that it would be wiser to consider the solaris considering the rarity, price, and resale value of a neuron (if i could find one) and i checked out this solaris (i had heard of it before, but didnt have too much knowledge on it) and it seems to be some sort of mega synth. I was reading it uses the wavetables from the Microwave Xt series from waldorf and other things like that as well as having a whole plethora of other features - not to mention it looks like your in the control center of the alien mothership when u play it
Image - anyone have any detailed knowledge on this synth that you'd like to enlighten me with - anyone who feels i should still stick to the path of obtaining a neuron one day? thanks in advance - DLovas

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by Alex E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:16 am

It's a $4,000 mothership that will bring you to Venus and back. Probably the most powerful modern synthesizer out there that is not Modular. If you have the dough, go for it.
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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by Z » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:27 pm

I had a Neuron briefly and never really go into it. I think it's maing thing is manipulating samples. I've pre-ordered a Solaris and is more what I'm into. The Solaris is basically a bunch of quality software synths that John Bowen has been involved with in the past 10 years or so put into hardware form, plus many new tricks. THere are a few demos on the Solaris FaceBook page made by the lucky few who have already received units from the first production run.

There is a software version of the Neuron that comes with a small hardware controller. You might also looki into that if you can find it.

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by cryabetes » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:58 pm

man that top one, any time you play out with it, you'd have to dress like Image

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by urgetoplay » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:28 pm

I own both. Apples and Oranges. The only thing they have in common is good ergonmics and lots of realtime performance controls. The Neuron is a sampler/ mangler excellent ambient machine, the Solaris is a top of the line performance VA w/ a bunch of additional sound design choices. If I had to chose one: Solaris.
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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by DLovas » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:50 pm

cryabetes wrote:man that top one, any time you play out with it, you'd have to dress like Image
Hhaha - it's not as much a synth as it is a machine that detects deadly gasses in the atmosphere

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by DLovas » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:54 pm

urgetoplay wrote:I own both. Apples and Oranges. The only thing they have in common is good ergonmics and lots of realtime performance controls. The Neuron is a sampler/ mangler excellent ambient machine, the Solaris is a top of the line performance VA w/ a bunch of additional sound design choices. If I had to chose one: Solaris.
You are very lucky to own both haha - i think the Solaris would be a good choice for me (if I could afford it). Something about that neuron is just beautiful - and I'm very into in depth sound design, both would prove more than perfect. Thanks for all the feedback

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by Max Websta » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:50 am

Haven't ever tried the Neuron. I have Solaris on pre-order and got to spend some quality with it and John Bowen. Solaris is capable of loading samples and doing it's fair share of mangling. I can't wait! The sound quality blows away any kind of VA. It's much more than that!

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by garranimal » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:40 am

I used to have the Neuron VS (software version w/ 'nuke' controller). The Neuron system is like sampling on steroids if you have the 'model-maker' program. Model-maker is a hard-to-find supplemental program that allows you to compile your own waveforms into Neuron so that it can warp the acoustic-modeled sound parameters. So in that way it takes sound that already exists and allows you to re-synthesize new sounds from that. The result is almost always ending up w/ sounds that are in extreme left-field, especially since the terminology and concepts surrounding the Neuron are seemingly abstract. Think about the body of a violin and being able to warp the shape of the violin body while making sound, you would be ok with that until it is proposed to play the violin as a reed instrument instead of using a bow at the same time. This is what makes the Neuron ideal for ambient music, conceptually it is very far-out. I sold my Nuke and software when I was struck with the fear, as software, it is completely unsupported with the company having passed-on. Neuron being a product designed for older computer technology Windows XP and older Mac OS systems. I've not seen the VS nuke software and controller on Ebay in some time.

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by urgetoplay » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:58 pm

The big problem with the Neuron is that it never lived up to its concept. For example, you sample a metal flute and resynthesize it in model maker. You get qualities like bore size, metalness, length etc. .The sound never behaved the way it should have.. like shortening a piano string should make the pitch higher but it goes lower ordoesn't change. The results are interesting, just not intuitive. Besides some of the issues stated, modelmaker runs on legacy machines, it'll never be ported to the newer machines. An additional maitenance issue oneshould be aware of.
There are some free models on the user site as well as an excellent dvd of models/patches for sale. The machine is amazing but like various great vintage synths there are quirks/ issues you needtobe aware of before purchasing.
The Solaris is a deeper machine by far. More options/ choices and has the benefit of being a current project. J. Bowen has been amazing at keeping everyone in the loop as well as dealing with any user issues. Valuable beyond measure... Whether Solaris will develop similar issues ( say a board prone to failure at the 8 year mark) I don'tknow but I'm confident that as long as John's around there'll be someone to help. The displays are better than the Neurons and the keybed is the best synth keybed I've ever dealt with...period. You can't go wrong in purchasing a Solaris..I was one of the very first preorder customers and I waited a very long time for mine...it was well worth the wait.
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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by b3groover » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:33 pm

Buy Alchemy and a good knobby controller and forget about the Neuron.

The Solaris looks awesome. I hope that does well.

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by shaft9000 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:06 am

b3groover wrote:Buy Alchemy and a good knobby controller and forget about the Neuron.
so alchemy does resynthesis w/ the Hartmann code now?

I can't imagine anything sounding like a Neuron. It's got the most distinct sound of any digital synth I've ever had, along w/ FS1R and kawai k5000. but Neuron even moreso.

why not save a bit more and just get both? get the Neuron VS version for 700-900USD and keep an XP machine around
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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by DLovas » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:12 am

shaft9000 wrote:
b3groover wrote:Buy Alchemy and a good knobby controller and forget about the Neuron.
so alchemy does resynthesis w/ the Hartmann code now?

I can't imagine anything sounding like a Neuron. It's got the most distinct sound of any digital synth I've ever had, along w/ FS1R and kawai k5000. but Neuron even moreso.

why not save a bit more and just get both? get the Neuron VS version for 700-900USD and keep an XP machine around
ahh yes - but the issue is even finding one to purchase in the first place - not just the money... and i would much rather a real neuron - i'm a really hands on person - i just feel my creativity is limited by software.

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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by urgetoplay » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:43 pm

Image
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Re: John Bowen Solaris mega synth my goodness

Post by urgetoplay » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Dlovas,
Neurons come up for sale a few times a year; currently costing between $2-4K. If you really want one and are ready to buy post in the Neuron forums and see if anyone wants to sell theirs.
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