by Robin Vincent | 4,5 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes
Elta Solar 42

Elta Solar 42  ·  Source: Elta Music

Elta Solar 42 back

Elta Solar 42 back  ·  Source: Elta Music

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42  ·  Source: Gearnews

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42  ·  Source: Gearnews

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42  ·  Source: Gearnews

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42  ·  Source: Gearnews

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42  ·  Source: Gearnews

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42  ·  Source: Gearnews

ADVERTISEMENT

The SOLAR 42 improves on the original SOLAR 50 with new drones and generators for a thrilling experience. We have the (almost) full details on this intriguing ambient synthesizer and the fabulous news that you can now preorder one.

ADVERTISEMENT

SOLAR 42 (updated post from Superbooth)

The SOLAR 42 was one of the most interesting things at Superbooth, but cold hard facts were thin on the ground. It was obviously an evolution of the massive SOLAR 50 drone machine, but it seemed to be more musical, easier to engage with and potentially the best thing at the show. Elta Music has opened preorders, and I was able to dig some details out from them to better understand what we’re buying into.

The SOLAR 50 had a massive ten drone voices, which was extraordinary but also, perhaps, a bit overwhelming. SOLAR 42 brings this down to four drone voices. These operate in exactly the same way as with the 50 giving you five oscillators of different tuning ranges within a voice. Next, we have two additional drone voices that are completely new. They are designed for “space sound effects” and have noise, Sample & Hold, FM and AM factors the play with.

Elta Music Solar 42

Elta Music Solar 42 prototype

Perhaps the biggest evolution is the two melodic voices. The SOLAR 50 didn’t feature any Volt/Oct inputs; it was purely for sound exploration within the microtonal nature of itself, whereas here we have a pair of proper synth voices with a range of waveforms.

Other features include a pair of LFOs, a 5-step analogue sequencer, preamp for a contact mic, an envelope follower and a big stereo mixer with panoramic channels. It has a dual polyvox stereo filter, presumably based on the PF3. The Dual Effector central section can load cartridge effects and run different ones on each channel.

Control

The SOLAR 42 is not just about the sound but also the control. It’s developed a bit from the SOLAR 50 and now features a 12-finger touch-plate keyboard for the melodic voices with modulation. Next, you have a joystick for pushing CV about the place and, finally, mute buttons over the six drone voices. It makes for a very playable environment.

Within the control section, you’ll also find an arpeggiator, pressure and vibrato control, portamento, and a bank of loadable scales.

Preorder

Elta Music has opened preorders, and you can pick up the SOLAR 42 Starter Kit for €1,500, excluding shipping. The Starter Kit includes the INFINITY cartridge, 5 patch cables and power supply along with the SOLAR 42. You can buy all 12 cartridges for €100.

Original Post from 15th May 2023:

Solar 42

I mentioned that I was keen to see this in this week’s Midweek Modular. Well, now I have a bunch of photos, which is great, but still not a great deal of cold hard information. However, I’ve had a report from our man on the ground to say that it was a truly inspiring instrument to play.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s not melodic in the traditional sense, combining droning oscillators with more regular voices. The capacitive keyboard was set to a predetermined scale and played polyphonically. It was like there were two polyphonic synths with two separate output sections, each one feeding a different filter. The outputs were panned apart so you could sweep the filter on just one side. The conclusion was that it was, as labelled, an awesome polyphonic ambient machine.

Looking at the new photos I think my first thoughts about it were on the money. 6 banks of 5 droning oscillators combined with 2 multi-oscillator melodic voices. And it’s those extra voices that elevate it into doing more than soundscapes.

I am very much hoping to have a go on this when I’m at the show on Saturday. If I can find a video I’ll add it to this post. There’s a video – it sounds flipping amazing!

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Image Sources:
  • Elta Music Solar 42: Gearnews
Elta Solar 42

How do you like this post?

Rating: Yours: | ø:
ADVERTISEMENT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *