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ELTA Solar 50

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ELTA Solar 50

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:19 pm

I came across this interesting looking device today. It's a bit different in that it's not a conventional polysynth, rather it's a semi-modular with 50 individually tunable oscillators arranged in banks of 5, to make 10 voices, that can be played using a series of touch-sensitive strips, one strip per bank of 5 oscillators.

The modulation capabilities look to make it a very interesting performance synth too. Their blurb says ...

"Designed for creating atmospheric sounds, background music, microtonal music, super polyphonic electro symphonies"

... which is hard to argue with. It sounds very good to me.

https://youtu.be/x9YWKII5KDc?t=449

A comprehensive review from Loopop is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtYa9vdiBMA
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:01 pm

Wow, that is one weird synth bottling up a host of fascinating performance-based voicings.

Coolio! 8-)


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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:56 am

Thanks for posting that Eddy, looks extremely interesting, just off to see how much it is?

:shocked: :crazy:

Talk amongst yourselves.........

OK......€1,000
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:00 pm

It's available for pre-order (shipping in December or January) for 1000 Euro from https://www.eltamusic.com/solar-50

I'm not pretending I'm uninterested myself but I'll be holding off for a while as I've already got the Arturia PolyBrute on preorder, plus there's a world of stuff happening at the moment with regards to my studio roof conversion so I'll take a closer look after Christmas and see what my desire factor is at that point :D
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:07 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:It's available for pre-order (shipping in December or January) for 1000 Euro from https://www.eltamusic.com/solar-50

I'm not pretending I'm uninterested myself but I'll be holding off for a while as I've already got the Arturia PolyBrute on preorder, plus there's a world of stuff happening at the moment with regards to my studio roof conversion so I'll take a closer look after Christmas and see what my desire factor is at that point :D

Me too, but it’s not on the top of my list by any means, I’m sorely tempted by Fat Ben's KARP2600, but can’t really justify it.
Also the Sega Mega FM is still trying to prise open my wallet.
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:41 pm

Look Mum No Computer and (I think) loopop made vids about this wonderful machine.
I think this may win out for my annual synth purchase this year, I hope it becomes available here!
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:59 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:Look Mum No Computer and (I think) loopop made vids about this wonderful machine.
I think this may win out for my annual synth purchase this year, I hope it becomes available here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTe4GCx5y-Q
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:03 pm

This is a very close race for me between the Solar 50 vs 2x Subharmonicons.
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:59 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:This is a very close race for me between the Solar 50 vs 2x Subharmonicons.

The Solar 50 sounds a bit limited, the demos do anyway, the waveforms seem very limited, they all sound like a jar of wasps, and tuning all of those oscillators?
If it was me I’d go for the SHMC between the two, although, I’m not even sure about that, seems like the emperors new clothes, which Moog have a habit of doing sometimes, my life changing synth of all time was buying a Matriarch, truly inspiring, and a great reason to go back to basics.
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:15 pm

The more I look into this synth, the more I think it’s aligned with my compositional goals. It’s an incredibly powerful machine! There’s something vaguely CS-80ish about the pile of sawtooth waves. The ONLY thing that I wish it had were more outputs. Five outputs pre-panned across the stereo spectrum would have made this utterly perfect, but I’ll take 99% perfection!

I am dying to hear this in stereo running through two Deckard’s Voices for filtering!!

You can literally write an entire album with a single patch from this, which I think is the point?

I actually love it’s insular design, how it can interact with external devices but cannot be sync’d to them.
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:26 pm

Arpangel wrote:The Solar 50 sounds a bit limited, the demos do anyway, the waveforms seem very limited,
It's sawtooth only.

they all sound like a jar of wasps,
They are very harmonically rich and I think for something like this it's necessary. You can always filter out the bits you don't need/want, but if you're looking to drive the filter into feedback or the VCOs into AM, those harmonics will serve you well.

and tuning all of those oscillators?
This is the only thing that concerns me. I don't think you're "supposed" to tune them to anything approaching concert pitch, but even if you do, I think it's a lot easier to tune than a bunch of modular VCOs, because a modular VC'sO pitch shifts after you apply positive voltage which means you have to retune a complex modular patch anyway (depending on your sensitivity to tuning).

If it was me I’d go for the SHMC between the two, although, I’m not even sure about that, seems like the emperors new clothes, which Moog have a habit of doing sometimes, my life changing synth of all time was buying a Matriarch, truly inspiring, and a great reason to go back to basics.
I love/admire your ability to convince yourself across the entire spectrum of opinion within a single sentence. :D
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:57 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:
Arpangel wrote:The Solar 50 sounds a bit limited, the demos do anyway, the waveforms seem very limited,
It's sawtooth only.

they all sound like a jar of wasps,
They are very harmonically rich and I think for something like this it's necessary. You can always filter out the bits you don't need/want, but if you're looking to drive the filter into feedback or the VCOs into AM, those harmonics will serve you well.

and tuning all of those oscillators?
This is the only thing that concerns me. I don't think you're "supposed" to tune them to anything approaching concert pitch, but even if you do, I think it's a lot easier to tune than a bunch of modular VCOs, because a modular VC'sO pitch shifts after you apply positive voltage which means you have to retune a complex modular patch anyway (depending on your sensitivity to tuning).

If it was me I’d go for the SHMC between the two, although, I’m not even sure about that, seems like the emperors new clothes, which Moog have a habit of doing sometimes, my life changing synth of all time was buying a Matriarch, truly inspiring, and a great reason to go back to basics.
I love/admire your ability to convince yourself across the entire spectrum of opinion within a single sentence. :D

Don’t worry Ben, I convinced myself a long time ago that I’m far to lazy and impatient to go back to programming and "complicated stuff" :)
The thought of tuning all those oscillators, and actually "finding" the offending ones is about enough to drive me absolutely crazy, that would make it cumbersome for me, as a performance instrument. I watched a video of someone trying to do this, and he was fiddling around.
Still, I won’t jump to any conclusions just yet, I do tend to make u-turns quite regularly, the dictionary definition of a u-turn should be changed to "making an Arpangel"

:D
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:24 pm

LOL

I think I'm already wired into the tuning thing because every time I set up a patch on the modular, the first thing I do is tune all of the oscillators, even those I don't anticipate using, just to avoid issues later if I do decide to incorporate one. As my setup stands now, that's anywhere from 10-15 voices to tune every time.

Since you can turn oscillators on/off, you could in theory have either one bank, or one VCO from each bank, designated as a reference pitch and balance it that way ... I think that the actual approach would change, however, depending on how you decided to use the thing!

What I think sold me on this instrument, however, was at the end of loopop's video, he's going between two banks, and changing the chords just by turning oscillators on and off ... to me, that's where the rubber meets the road. To get very theory-nerd for a minute: If you are looking at purely 2 banks of 5 VCOs, that gives you 10 notes of a 12 note tempered scale. That will give you (implied or otherwise) every chord extension within a certain key -- and then you have 8 more banks to go! That is LOT of compositional power in a single, stand-alone electronic instrument! And it's all analog ... that's what we call in these parts a spicy meatball!
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:42 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:What I think sold me on this instrument, however, was at the end of loopop's video, he's going between two banks, and changing the chords just by turning oscillators on and off ... to me, that's where the rubber meets the road.

Yeah, that sounds cool, it reminds me of what I do with my cassette Portastudio sometimes, I record chords on each of the four tracks, and fade them in and out.
The low speed, plus miss-tracking Dolby ad a useful grunge!
Another thing, how many filters are there on the 50?
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Re: ELTA Solar 50

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:01 pm

One filter in mono, no filter in stereo.
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