They TRIED to make it have 100, actually. But that would probably be overkill (says the guy whose AE has 24 VCOs ).
I DO want one of these, though. It seems like it would dovetail very nicely with the Solina module, for starters, but having that touchplate controller is...TOO compelling! Screams "ABUSE POTENTIAL" for days!
EDIT: Just dropped Elta Music a note about the CV/gate/trig standards for the Solar 50. Hopefully we'll get a few answers in a bit...
A while ago I have prototyped an 18 (I hear the "boooo"!) oscillator module, three groups of 6, for drone stuff - very simple, no CV control, just for getting dense wave clouds; as soon as I get some spare time I will continue it (plus the idea of a special mixer for two of these modules to mix the different groups, plus some FX maybe). So I'mfollowing very interested whats going on with this multi-oscillator machines. My inspiration was the 100 osc megadrone of Lookmumnocomputer:
Yeah, that LMNC video was utterly NUTS! But then, it was made by someone who has a literal WALL of Bruel & Kjaer 211x and 102x units. What WOULD you expect!? Hell, I just have ONE 2112 myself (and a 2113 parts unit)...oh, and the 1617 bandpass...uhmm...and...waitasec... OK, ignore that "nuts" part...
I think the first thing of this sort I'd known of was MANY years ago...La Monte Young had had this special microtonal synthesizer with several dozen sine oscillators created by Dave Rayna, using Casheab voice cards under computer control so that Young could use the instrument to output elaborate microtonal drone structures for his "Dream House" installations. At this point, my composition prof had already been talking about the future belonging to software-defined instruments, and we'd just gotten our Alpha Syntauri system, and the idea of sculpting sounds from masses of sine tones was...well, pretty effin' heady stuff! The Syntauri was SLOW AS HELL to use, though...as you'd expect from something running on an Apple II+. But when I finally got at something that could do individual harmonic oscillator tunings (both the Synclavier and the K5-based system at UT Knoxville could do this), it was obvious to me that this still wasn't a ready for primetime concept. The Synclavier was...uh...a Synclavier. Which is to say, a hotwired-to-f**k version of a DEC PDP-11 that had been cajoled into thinking it was a synthesizer...except for concepts such as "portability" and "user friendliness". And the K5 was powerful, fast, portable...but has a programming UI that was clearly designed by the Marquis de Sade!
Oddly enough, I've owned a Synclavier, and I still have a K5 and K5m. Ahhh, the joys and pleasures of masochism. But I digress...
This could be entertaining...two examples that I can think of like this are the discontinued Erthenvar chromatic oscillator bank and the Radikal "Swarm" VCO. But the former has to have a "driver" VCO, and none of the suboscillators are individually tunable...and the second has similar issues with unlocking the "swarm" for individual tunings. Even just having 15-20 oscillators, fully tunable (yeah, yeah...that's a bunch of pots, I know) with global modulation inputs, some sort of "internal drift" circuit for degrees of random detunings, AND an onboard driver VCO...that would be super-potent, even for more mundane pursuits like coming up with bass sounds that can cause structural damage, or something like it.
The Solar 50, though...that solves a number of problems, starting with a suitable dedicated controller. I've constantly thought that something more Buchla-esque might be a better fit with the AE than the Keystep that's currently planned. Depending on what the Solar 50 outputs, and what it wants to see both incoming and outgoing in CV/gate/trigs, it could ALSO be useful as a polyphonic "front-end" for the AE, giving ten voices with five VCOs each which could then be mixed in the Solar 50 and routed paraphonic-style (or separately) to the AE for more processing. And the AE can serve as a massive source of mod signals that the Solar 50 doesn't seem to have. If it's also 0-+5V based, then it almost seems as if the AE and the Solar 50 were MADE for each other! Which, frankly, makes me laugh my a** off, because one of the typical n00b attempts over on Modulargrid has been attempts to build polyphonic modulars. In Eurorack, this can easily be a pain...and also, prohibitively costly, plus the result tends to be quite huge. But if the Solar 50 IS fully AE-interconnectable...then the AE will have solved the thing that Eurorack stumbles hideously on by giving people a true off-the-shelf poly modular, with a dedicated controller that looks like an AWESOME match with the AE, with the addition of the $800-ish Solar 50.
...and it'll still be tiny and cheap! Once again, the AE user base gets to laugh all the way to the bank!
A while ago I have prototyped an 18 (I hear the "boooo"!) oscillator module, three groups of 6, for drone stuff - very simple, no CV control, just for getting dense wave clouds; as soon as I get some spare time I will continue it (plus the idea of a special mixer for two of these modules to mix the different groups, plus some FX maybe). So I'mfollowing very interested whats going on with this multi-oscillator machines.
This is one I'm very interested in
I have a Novadrone by Casper instruments (Peter Edwards has moved to Bastl to make the OMsynth and Bitranger). The basic module has 3 oscillators that can cross-modulate each other to create stepped waves and more complex things.
it is not voltage-controlled, more current-controlled like a lunetta-style thing, so won't behave nicely with a sequencer etc. The main cool thing about it though, is the built-in breadboard so you can add LEDs capacitors, resistors, anything to see what happens.
Here's me taking it for a spin, accompanied by some rainbow lorikeets on the balcony demanding food. adding leds across signal outputs affects the whole circuit. Photoresistors give a bit of 'buffered' control and a way to mix several leds to control one thing elsewhere.
You can stack them indefinitely as each has a mixing stage that includes mixed input from the previous module.
The kit is through-hole construction but I imagine a simplified SMT version might be compact enough for AE. I'm not sure how popular it would be since people expect 1v/octave stuff in their modules.
The novadrone is not really a patchwire synth though because it's more circuit-bending than patching that is happening.
Hi...I can not say much about the synthesis, because the developer has shared only some bits about the concept of the Synthesizer. Snid offers a 3.5mm audio output, CV Gate in/out with a range from 0-5V+ and a 5V micro USB port for power.
Aaargh...just got some clarifying info from Elta Music, and they've apparently changed the interfacing on the Solar 50 to 3.5mm jacks. Still looks intriguing as hell...but that direct interfacing capability between it and the AE that we were hoping for isn't going to be a thing, apparently.