Soloist Motion Composer Suite


Design Features

  • Development software; part of the Soloist platform
  • Deploy complex single-axis motion control processes
  • Connect to and deploy programs to a variety of Soloist controller/drive hardware products
  • Manage the connection and configuration of interface to Ethernet/IP industrial fieldbus networks
  • Set up and configure drives with powerful configuration tools
  • Deploy powerful real-time application solutions
  • Integrate motion and process tool control with the AeroBasic programming language

The Power to Differentiate Your Process

The Soloist Motion Composer Suite is the development solution your motion control application needs. Part of the Soloist single-axis motion control platform, the Motion Composer Suite allows you to deploy advanced automation that outpaces competitive solutions. The suite includes the following products:
  • Soloist Configuration Manager
  • Soloist Motion Composer IDE
  • Soloist Digital Scope

Powerful Technology, Simply Integrated

The Soloist solution is a powerful performance tool that can be simply integrated into your system. The Motion Composer Suite gives you more precision at your fingertips through a user-friendly interface with tools for each aspect of your development process. Using the Motion Composer Suite, you can deploy real-time application code to a smart, single-axis drive which includes an integrated controller. This smart drive easily communicates with your larger automation control system.

Connect and Go

Setting up your smart drive solution is easy. Quickly set up drives, motors, and stages with the Configuration Manager application. This is just one of several tools integrated in the Motion Composer Suite that makes drive, controller, and servo configuration fast and effective.

Setting up an automation process is also quick and easy. The Soloist smart drives include an integrated controller that can talk over EtherNet/IP, Ethernet TCP/IP, RS-232, RS-485, and Modbus TCP.

Fieldbus I/O and expandable I/O on Aerotech drive hardware is directly accessible within the AeroBasic real-time programming language.

Develop and Test Real-Time Applications

The Soloist Motion Composer Suite includes a powerful environment for real-time developers. The Motion Composer IDE allows real-time application code to be developed, debugged, and deployed to the smart drive.

Note: For developers who aren’t working at the real-time level and prefer a standard programming language, the smart drive can be accessed via .NET, C, and C++ libraries; a MATLAB library; and LabVIEW VIs.

Tune and Optimize Your Process

Optimize motor setup and servo performance with the Digital Scope’s optimization tools. Ensure that your motor is phased and commutating correctly and that the encoder is optimized for performance. Continue to optimize by evaluating the servo loop and using powerful loop shaping tools to maximize performance.

Or take the easy route. Use Aerotech’s EasyTune one-button servo optimizer that makes tuning simple.

Getting Results

The Motion Composer Suite can optimize applications that use different types of motion: torque control, velocity control, point to point, contoured, or holding position. Motion programs are run with the IDE while the Digital Scope collects position, velocity, current, acceleration commands, feedback, and error. The results are plotted and Fourier transforms are performed to see any troublesome frequency content.

Relationship-Driven Support

During each phase of your development process and your machine’s operational life cycle, we have a team ready to support your needs. Our Field Sales and Application team is an extension of your design team even while you are still considering solution options for your system.

When engineering your solution, Aerotech continues to serve as a resource to your team. We can be brought on as a design partner, or we can offer a simple consultation. Customers use our system engineering expertise to expand upon their own capabilities.

Motion Control Software Image

As you build, commission, operate, and service your system, Aerotech’s Global Technical Support team supports and guides your efforts. We have technology experts that can optimize your process and develop code for your machine.

Set Up Your Devices

Use the Configuration Manager to set up and manage all of the devices in your automation solution. Parameters that are stored on the smart drive electronics are set up and managed with this tool. Help is easy to access. Simply click on the item you are setting up and the help screen updates with detailed, relevant content.

Soloist Configuration Manager

Don’t Guess. Calculate!

Aerotech makes setting up a single-axis solution simple. Quickly set up your motor and stage with the Axis Parameter Calculator. All of Aerotech’s mechanical stage products are included in a detailed database accessible through this tool. Choose your mechanics and verify the load, motor, drive, programming units, feedback type, servo-loop target performance, and (optional) current-loop target performance. Click “apply” and you’re done. Your system is now ready for detailed tuning and optimization.

Axis Parameter Calculator

Single Button Simplicity

Simplify the process of tuning and optimizing your motor through a series of single push-button tools. Some of the tools’ functionalities include:
  • Setting up proper motor phasing
  • Correcting Lissajous errors from analog encoders
  • Tuning the motor
  • Running a loop transmission
  • Best-fitting filters based on a loop transmission

Know What You’re Working With

Aerotech’s Motor Phasing Calculator is used to verify incorrectly wired motors. With the push of a button, this calculator identifies and compensates for unexpected motor power wiring and misalignment between the motor phasing and the feedback device. These corrections are accessible through the push of a button and are required checks for AC brushless motors with and without Hall effect switches.

Calculate Motor Phasing

Feedback You Can Trust

Performance of an analog sine-wave encoder is optimized when the Lissajous pattern is correct. A process that once required an oscilloscope is now performed with a single click of a mouse. The Feedback Tuning tool applies a simple move to the stage and graphically displays a Lissajous pattern with the correct phase and amplitude adjustments.

Digital Scope (2)


EasyTune® is the most advanced autotuning tool available. Entirely data-driven, the algorithm mimics the process followed by an experienced controls engineer. EasyTune begins with a system identification operation. It continues with the development of a baseline stabilizing controller followed by progressively more sophisticated compensation via loop-shaping procedures.

In just minutes, the system has the highest bandwidth practical, all with no input from the user!

Easy Tune

Advanced Tuning for Advanced Users

For users who prefer or require becoming more familiar with servomotor tuning, advanced tuning tools are available.

The Soloist supports 11 different response types, five different digital filter types, plus the ability to autofit digital filters, two different excitation methods, pole-zero plots, quick loop-shaping tools, and many more advanced features. These advanced tools make it simple to evaluate and optimize complicated systems.

Aerotech can work with you to optimize your system. Not only do we have powerful tools, but we also have motion control experts that are partners in your success.

Advanced Tuning

Powerful Programming

The Soloist Motion Composer IDE is a powerful part of the software suite for developing a motion control program. With the Motion Composer IDE you can write and debug programs, use standard program controls (start, stop, pause, compile, etc.), and use breakpoints, step into, step over, and syntax highlighting.

Soloist Motion Composer IDE

More than Motion

The ability to combine motion control with process tools and automation makes the AeroBasic™ programming language the motion control industry’s most powerful tool. Access language features such as program flow control, a TCP/IP communication library, math functions, I/O commands, file and serial port communications commands, and several advanced controller features.

Additional features include a detailed error explanation, full diagnostic debugging tools, a watch window that shows variable values for easy debugging, and a link to the help file for a description of the error.

Debugging & Optimizing

Debug Your Automation Programs

The IDE includes powerful tools to help you review and debug your programs. You can insert breakpoints, run and pause your program, step into or step over subroutines, and toggle breakpoints. All of these debug features are easily accessible on a top-level menu bar in the IDE.

Debug Your Automation Programs

Debugging And Optimizing

Optimize Your Motion

Building a motion control solution requires your motion to be optimized. In the motion control world, throughput and accuracy are two important considerations.

The Digital Scope application has tools to detect how well the system is moving. Collect and analyze more than 60 standard axis signals and 10 standard task signals with a software oscilloscope capable of FFT analysis.

Seeing this feedback allows you to determine how well your motion system is following the desired path, how fast it is settling into position, or how well it is holding a target position. When things aren’t working the way intended, you can monitor signals such as velocity feedback and current command feedback to get an idea of what could be causing the error.

Use the Scope tab in the Digital Scope in combination with Aerotech’s different tuning tools to optimize performance.

Optimize Your Motion

Tools, Tools, and More Tools

Built for Expansion

The Catalog Manager lets you add an unlimited number of devices to your library. Use the Axis Parameter Calculator to quickly set up the motors and stages that you added to your device database.

Catalog Manager

Programming Libraries

.NET, C, and C++ Libraries

Aerotech’s standard controllers are flexible enough to handle almost any control application. Aerotech motion controllers provide the flexibility and power required for today’s automation challenges, and it is all accessible through powerful programming libraries.

MATLAB® Library and LabVIEW® VIs

Users who program in MATLAB and LabVIEW can benefit from Aerotech’s powerful motion control tools. Integrate into your native environment with well-documented libraries.



Soloist Motion Composer Suite Minimum PC Requirements

To install and run the Soloist software, you must have administrative privileges for installation and your PC must have the following minimum requirements:
Processor Intel Pentium 4 or faster
Operating Systems

32-bit or 64-bit version of one of the following:

  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 (any service pack)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (any service pack)
Other operating systems are not supported
Graphic Display 1024 × 768 pixels or higher resolution
Hard Disk Space 500 MB available disk space
Microsoft Internet Explorer Internet Explorer 6 or later1
Required Peripherals Keyboard, mouse and CD-ROM drive
  1. Internet Explorer is not included as part of the Soloist installation. If it is not installed on your computer, you must manually install it before you continue with the Soloist installation.

Soloist Motion Composer Suite Software License Specifications

Soloist Order Entry Point

Full installation of the Soloist Motion Composer Suite and unlocks certain features on the Soloist drive-based controllers

Pricing is summation of selected products. Maintenance (software update) included in price for one year from date of purchase.

Soloist Motion Composer Suite is intended for deployment on desktop or industrial PCs.


  • Soloist Configuration Manager
  • Soloist Motion Composer IDE
  • Soloist Digital Scope
  • Soloist Help
  • Programming Help
The Soloist is not multilingual and cannot be used in applications that require a native-language user interface.
License Machine

Contains both the Soloist Motion Composer Suite and options that enable features on a Soloist Drive-Based Controller.

Provides the ability to:

  • Write, compile, execute, debug programs in AeroBasic
  • Full access to .NET, C, and C++ libraries
  • Access full diagnostics, fault, and status information
  • Access and set I/O, registers, and variables
  • Collect, analyze, and save data
  • View files from machine for analysis and record keeping
  • Connect PC to machine through Ethernet TCP/IP or USB
  • Upgrades can be installed (firmware or controller) using loader
Machine Upgrade Used to change configuration options on an existing machine license
Requires the current license ID from customer
Price is based on the new options added
Maintenance extension is a separate line item
Machine Addition Increases the number of seats associated with an existing key
License Extension Extends the maintenance period on an existing license
Can be purchased in yearly increments
Media Only License ID distributed on the specified media

Soloist Configuration Manager Features

Use Configuration Manager to change parameter files, parameters on a controller, connection settings, and security options.

The main menu and toolbars give you access to almost all of the features that are available in the application. Below the main menu, the Configuration Manager has four window panes or sections:
  • Network Explorer: Set up the controller and organize files.
  • Viewer: Shows contextual information about the current selection in the Network Explorer. For example, when you select a parameter category, all of the parameters in that category show in the viewer.
  • Editor: Modify the values of different items such as the name of a controller or the value of a parameter.
  • Help Browser: Shows the help topic for the subject that you select in the viewer.

Configuration Manager includes the following tools/wizards:

Catalog Manager Create a catalog of motors and stages that are not standard Aerotech motors and stages
Connection Settings

Use the Connection Settings dialog to configure the connection settings of individual controllers and to map and un-map controllers

Analog and Digital Filter Calculators Calculate coefficients for the two filters on analog and digital inputs that are available on each axis
Axis Parameter Calculator The primary calculator to use to configure an axis. You can use this calculator to configure axis types that include ball-screw stage, linear stage, rotary stage, voice-coil stage, and no stage (motor only). For each axis, you can specify information about the mechanics, drive, units, feedback, servo loop, and current loop.
Encoder Resolution Changed Calculator Helps users to manage changes in encoder devices and encoder resolutions. This calculator comes into view when you change certain encoder and feedback parameters.
Motor Phasing Calculator Calculates the correct values for parameters which allow you to compensate for motor wiring problems
Scaling Factors Changed Calculator Scales other parameters that are entered in user units to match a new CountsPerUnit value

Soloist Motion Composer IDE Features

Soloist Motion Composer IDE is an environment for developing and debugging AeroBasic programs for Soloist controllers. It has a feature-rich program editor with the following features:

  • Line number indicators (for each line)
  • Breakpoints (indicated by a breakpoint icon)
  • Current Line indicator (indicates the next line to be executed)
  • Status bar (indicates the file path, line, column, and character number)
  • Syntax highlighting:
    • Commands: Blue
    • Strings: Red
    • Variables and Registers: Brown
    • Parameters: Purple
    • Constants: Gray
    • Comments: Green

It also functions as a basic interface and can be used to do the following tasks.

  • Command basic motion
  • Inspect diagnostic information
  • Do basic configuration (for advanced configuration options, use Configuration Manager)

Editing Programs

Each controller task is identified by a tab. You can open program files in a specific task tab and debug programs that are running in that task. If you open files in multiple task tabs, the files are linked together. If you make changes to one file, the changes are applied to all linked files.

Building and Loading Programs

When building programs, the build file is always the active file and is always an .ab or .abl program. The Compiler output is sent to the Output Window, and errors are shown in the Error List. Loading a program builds the current AeroBasic program, loads it onto the controller, and sets the task to the Program Ready state. You can then execute the program.

Running and Debugging Programs

In the Motion Composer IDE, you can take advantage of a full suite of tools to run and debug a program.

The following actions are available for running and debugging a program:
  • Run the selected AeroBasic program
  • Pause the active program
  • Stop the program associated with the active task
  • Stop all programs (on all tasks)
  • Toggle a breakpoint
  • Clear all breakpoints
  • Toggle line highlighting
  • Variable Watch
    • View and edit the value of Global Variables, Task Variables, Program Variables, Virtual Binary I/O Bits, and Virtual I/O Registers
  • Load symbols
    • Tries to load symbolic information for the current program
  • Step Over
    • Executes one line of the program that is associated with the active task
    • For a subroutine call (CALL or FARCALL), it executes all of the subroutine and moves to the next program line
  • Step Into
    • Executes one line of the program that is associated with the active task
    • If the program line is a subroutine call (CALL or FARCALL), it steps one level into the subroutine
  • Step Out
    • Runs the program until it exits the function that is currently running

Issue Immediate Commands

An immediate command is a one-line AeroBasic program that executes on a task. These commands are issued from the Command Box of Aerotech applications, which include Motion Composer and Digital Scope. This functionality is perfect for simple commands such as:
  • Asynchronous motion commands
  • Setting parameters via AeroBasic commands
  • Setting variables
  • Setting modes (for example, absolute/incremental programming modes)

Soloist Digital Scope Features

The Soloist Digital Scope is a system analysis and tuning application that lets you optimize system performance using a collection of advanced tuning tools and features. With system analysis tools, you can plot and graphically analyze system data. With tuning tools, you can automatically calculate servo-loop and feedback device parameters.

The Digital Scope application includes a variety of utilities that let you perform analysis and tuning operations.

Scope: A Powerful Digital Oscilloscope

The Scope tool is used to collect and view 1D or 2D data. The Configure Data Collection tool gives you access to all Axis, System, and Task data items. Customize the signals that you are interested in seeing, the resolution of collection, the number of points, and how the signals will appear on your visual plotter. Enjoy zoom in, zoom out, zoom extents, and dual cursor controls as you evaluate your data in 1D or 2D format. Quickly switch between 1D and 2D and perform Fourier Transforms on collected signals.

Integrate data collection when using Step Forward, Step Back, and Auto Step controls. These tools allow you to configure simple axis motion and coordinates data collection, as configured with that motion.

The Scope Tool also provides the capability to autotune the servo loop of an axis. Use autotune to calculate a set of servo loop gains. Simply excite the axis using a predefined input. The output is measured and new servo loop gains are calculated by the autotune feature.

EasyTune: More Automatic than Autotuning

EasyTune is a one-button tool that automatically tunes and optimizes an axis. When EasyTune is finished, the optimized servo gains and servo filters are committed to the controller.

Loop Transmission: For Those Who Analyze

Use the Loop Transmission utility to analyze the characteristics of the servo loop and the associated mechanical system. The Loop Transmission measures the response of the servo loop. Signals are sampled and displayed for magnitude and phase analysis.

Powerful “loop shaping” tools are available to the user. These tools work with the existing data and show a prediction of an updated loop transmission response plot should new servo gains and parameters be applied. These loop shaping tools include:

  • Warnings for feedback data that indicate unstable behavior
  • Single button optimization of the servo loop gains and digital filters
  • Single button assignment of all digital filters
  • Graphical shifts of the predicted open-loop magnitude and phase
  • Graphical additions of Low Pass, Notch, Lead Lag, and Resonant filters
  • Direct editing of the digital filters in the frequency response plotter utility
  • The ability to overlap multiple loop transmission plots

Feedback Tuning: Removing Error from Precision Feedback Devices

Tune the feedback device signals so that optimum performance can be achieved. This utility can only be used with analog feedback devices. The goal of the feedback tuning utility is to tune the feedback device so that the Lissajous pattern received from the feedback device closely matches the ideal Lissajous circle pattern. This tuning is applicable to sine-wave encoders and resolvers. It can also be applied to situations that use dual loop sine-wave (position and velocity) tuning.

Add-On: Dynamic Controls Toolbox

The Dynamic Controls Toolbox includes a collection of controller-level algorithms designed to improve machine positioning, increase throughput, and reduce cycle times. These tools include: Harmonic Cancellation, Command Shaping, and Cross-Axis Feedforward.

Add-On: Enhanced Throughput Module

The Enhanced Throughput Module (ETM) is a physical sensor that is added to your mechanical motion system. It can improve machine throughput by measuring base or frame vibration directly and using this information in the servo control algorithm. The Enhanced Throughput Module interface in the Digital Scope allows this sensor and its input to be configured on the controller.



Ordering Information

Soloist Motion Composer Suite

Product NameDescription
Soloist Soloist Motion Composer Suite

License Options

-Machine Soloist software installation on a single PC
-Machine upgrade Soloist software configuration change of license
-Machine addition Soloist software increase license count for existing key
-License extension Soloist software extend maintenance period of license
-Media only Soloist software distribute current license on media
-Download Installation media provided for download only
-USB Installation media provided on a USB drive
-CD Installation media provided on compact disk
-Default Current version of software/controller
-Legacy Legacy version of software/controller
-Maintenance-X-00 Software/controller maintenance for x year(s) after purchase where X is one through seven. One year is default.

Drive-Based Controller Configuration

Dynamic Controls Toolbox
-Dynamic Controls Toolbox Aerotech Advanced Controls
Enhanced Throughput Module
-Enhanced Throughput Module Setup and monitoring screens for ETM modules
Enhanced Tracking Control
-Enhanced Tracking Control Reduced dynamic following error and settling times
-EtherNet/IP EtherNet/IP class 1 I/O, ASCII command and register interface objects

Motion Composer Suite Add-Ons

Motion Designer
-Motion Designer Trajectory creation and evaluation software
-LabVIEW Includes LabVIEW 2010 (forward compatible) VI samples
-MATLAB MATLAB library for motion, parameters and data collection

Soloist Controller Connection Cable (Items Ordered Separately)

PC to Soloist Drive/Controller Cable
ENET-XOVER-xx Ethernet crossover cable (available in length xx where xx = 9, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, or 150 dm)
USB-AMBM-xx USB A-Male to B-Male cable (available in length xx where xx = 5, 10, 30, 50, or 200 dm)