MATRIXSYNTH: The SynthSummitShow episode 18: John Bowen synth designs

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

The SynthSummitShow episode 18: John Bowen synth designs

Streamed live 5 hours ago Flux302 of

Fascinating bit of synth history with John Bowen who started his career with synths during the early days of Moog Music, followed by Sequential Circuits. Dave Rossum in the early days of E-mu is mentioned as well. John now of course runs John Bowen Synth Design, and is the creator of the Solaris. You can find previous interviews with John at various synth events in the archives here.

Interesting little bit of trivia at 41:55 regarding John drawing some of the Prophet-VS waveforms as estimations of the waveforms on the front panel of I'm guessing either the KORG DW-8000 or DW-6000. It's interesting to know they are in there. It's worth noting all of the Prophet-VS waveforms and Waldorf, and therefor PPG waveforms, are in his new Solaris x 4, meaning four independent oscillators capable of having separate waveforms or wavetables from each. The Prophet-VS vector synthesis of course made its way to Yamaha's SY-22/TG-33, followed by Korg and the Wavestation where it morphed into vector sequencing. He also worked on the original version of the KORG OASYS which turned into the PCI card version. He then left to work with Creamware on Scope, on some of the first software models of vintage synthesizers. It's pretty incredible when you think of all the connections between synths John has not only influenced, but created over the years.

Note the Solaris 1U rackmount at 1:11:48. Two were made a couple of years ago but the idea was scrapped. John spoke with Axel Hartmann on it and they agreed that the lack of UI made it not worth it. The Solaris has over 1200 editable parameters and part of the magic behind the Solaris keyboard is the UI which makes it all easily accessible.

Funny note regarding the Yamaha DX7 at 1:23:00. John is referring to the Jellinghuas controller for the DX7 after that, and Flux is referring to the DTronics DT7 based on it.

Video description:

"The SynthSummitShow is a live streamed show dedicated to Synths, music technology and the people who make the gear we use possible.

Todays guest is John Bowen.

John was instrumental in many of the products we all know and love, from the prophet 5 to the solaris John has been a staple in the music industry.

Host: Ken Flux Pierce is a sound designer, Music technology consultant and blogger you can find me at"

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