DSI Evolver - opinions?

If you have one or have tried one - how do you like it? What do you use it for? Do you have any tracks to show me that features an Evolver?

And, I know it’s not really fair to compare, but how do you like it compared to an Analog Four?

Love mine, it’s very versatile little synth, can do soft and sweet or nasty and gnarly.
Lots of modulation, lots of options for using as an fx processor as well.
The main arp in this is a evolver.

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It’s a fantastic sounding machine, but some things threw me off:

  • No init patch.
  • It has a matrix interface with a 3 character display. Very cryptic. Lots of times unwanted things happened, like entering sequencing mode by accident, or worse, changing a patch while not intended. (There goes your work on the previous patch)
  • It clips easily. Gotta keep all volumes down

I loved mine and still miss it, ill get around to buying another one day but its been a long way down the list of things I actually need… Because I don’t need it.

Very cool synth though, takes a bit of time to learn the matrix but once you have it’s a very sat workaround. As mentioned Rees no init so best way is to make a blank, save it and copy that patch to the location to start from. I loved the sound, the filter is very good (not really a character filter but there’s plenty of that elsewhere), the modulation is incredible and there is plenty going on. For what they go for now I don’t think there is a better synth out there.

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very cool synth miss it too…combines analog and digital waveforms…nice sound!

I had been drooling on it since it came out. I eventally got one a couple of years ago. The possibilities are huge, very cool and capable synth.
The matrix program surface is clever. But I don’t know, I finally did not manage to click with it. I made a man happy by selling it like 4 months later.

I did this track with it, L’art Saigne. Feedback. https://soundcloud.com/stevegardet/lart-saigne

Definitely the most versatile of all the monosynths I’ve tried. I find it really excels at arps, leads and drones. It has an unusual parallel filter setup where oscillators 1 and 3 go to one, 2 and 4 to the other. Gives it a subtle but extremely effective stereo presence, even without modulation.

I have the keyboard version, with the full knobby interface, and I love it. You’ll only find them second hand now but it’s the nicest all-round synth I own. Great keybed too.

Sweeet, this has really re-iterated my GAS for this thing. I’m getting the desktop version though, no keybed for me. Like the track, stiiiiive, it’s got a great sound! Getting this seems like a no-brainer. Thanks, guys!

I’ve got one for sale on eBay right now, got it new from Novamusik a few months ago. It’s a really cool synth. I love how the knobs cause the sequencer steps to play when the sequencer is stopped, it makes programming it really easy. I like to use the sequencer to program different pitches to the 4 oscillators so I can make chords on it.

I’m saving up for an Octatrack so it’s got to go.

PS: This is the video that sold me on the Evolver. It doesn’t so much show the wacky noises it can make, but rather the intuitive way in which the sequencer operates.

Ah, that’s yours, saw it this morning. :slight_smile: Unfortunately, my audio interface seems to be breaking, so I need to replace that before getting an Evolver. :frowning:

I had one of the first units and it was my first synth with analog oscillator…first i liked it, but after a while the distinct character of the sound got terribly on my nerves. Since then i can always hear that in all DSI synths. Hate that characteristic. Besides that…the interface could be better, build quality of the Desktop model was sturdy and good, too many functions for too less knobs, sound in general much harsher than the A4. If i would have to choose a companion synth to the A4…not a DSI Synth. Take a closer look at Vermona or Moog, Oberheim, Future Retro…or Elektron…the Monomachine makes a hell of a good companion to the A4…:wink:

Yeah, I know, got the Monomachine and the A4 working together now, and it’s a sweet, sweet combo! :slight_smile: Pretty much decided not to get the Evolver afterall. Happy with what I have at the moment, although I will obviously get tempted to get some more stuff in after a while. Thanks for your reply!

More stuff is always tempting…:wink:
Just pick up something new when it can bring in a new element and your music needs it,

One of the best synth ever made. Its sound is unique.
I have the PolyEvolver in my setup and it’s one of my favorite.
Very interesting sound which can be cold, warm, dense, thin, light, weird.

Very capable synth. It takes some time to get into the Evolver but it’s worth it. Used Evolvers often have broken encoders. Be sure to check this! Also check the DSP as old units can only be updated to the latest OS with a replaced chip. Bought mine when it came out. I often thought to sell it but I am very happy I didn’t.

I started with the Desktop Evolver then added the Mono Evolver keyboard (MEK), and is night and day as far as unlocking and diving deep into multiple parameters same time.

Love it so much that when DSI decided to officially discontinue in June, 2012, I bought a second MEK and another Desktop Evolver so now have them side by side with just the one MEK poly chained to two Desktop Evolvers. I use each one differently and the MEK makes it so easy to say isolate just the analog oscillators and you have a very powerful true stereo, dual analog low pass filter for each, and the key action is top notch!! Love this beast and great for drones or just about anything as it’s truly a chameleon.

I went with the 2 MEK’s and desktops rather than the PEK because as awesome as the PEK is, the fact DSI has made Combo Mode a bit unusable for fact you simply cannot save set-ups with programs assigned to Combos and over at DSI Forum, it’s still a very hot issue trying to get Dave to go back into the code and make this update.

One thing I’ve never undertood about the Evolver (and which has put me off buying one, somewhat) is this notion that the two oscillators are hardwired to the left and right outputs. I get that this can make it sound fatter, but doesn’t it limit the sound in a variety of ways? Or is it something that you simply don’t notice in practice?

The osc’s aren’t hardwired to the outputs.
In the vca section there is an output pan parameter (which is available as a mod destination). It allows you to go from f1 panned hard left and f2 hard right, through various stages of narrower panning to mono (both filters to both outputs) and then reversed panning, through various stages until you get f1 panned hard right and f2 panned hard left.
You can combine that with the filter split parameter, which offsets the cutoff on each filter in opposite directions to get some amazing stereo movement in your patches.

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The dual path also makes it so crazy fun to choose to insert the delay in different places and unlike other DSI Synths, it has an analog low pass filter on each side as well as a non-resonant digital high pass filter. This set-up also lends itself to say, having only the analog oscillator on each side in a program then utilize the digital oscillators to choose a waveform one octave below and use as a sub oscillator.
People have done side by side tests, even some using scopes and just the analog side of Evolver simply sounds more massive AND organic with movement, before any modulation, than Mopho, Tetra, Prophet 08. Also, only the Mono Evolver Keyboard has added Arp as a distinction. You can also do crazy stuff like routing one of audio out cables back into one of the two external audio in for more madness. Pretty versatile beast!