Dsi evolver + ot

hey guys, someone who has the desktop evoler?

i’m think to going to buy one, it’s a good idea?

i’m looking for very weird and dark sounds :wink: how it works with the ot?

Sure, why not?

Any synthesizer can make very weird and dark sounds.

It’s fabulous. You can:
[li]sequence the Evolver from the OT like a regular synthesizer,[/li]
[li]synchronize the Evolver’s sequencer with the OT’s sequencer,[/li]
[li]use the Evolver as an analogue filter and digital effects box for the OT.[/li]

The Evolver is a great one, very worth having. It can sound magnificent.

The only potential drawback would be the fact that it’s monophonic. If you’re a chord person, a DSI Tetra would be a hand in glove for the OT 4-voice poly sequencing, with separate outs. But it doesn’t have the evolver’s inputs or wavetable/fm madness. Choices, choices…

I’d be somewhat surprised to hear an actual owner flag that up as an issue- but you are right :wink:
i seek to push the envelope with synthesisers and i’d never part with the evolver, it can be lots of things, but the predominant flavour i get from it is warm and jangly because of the lovely filter and nice vs waves - it’s an amazingly well specced midi synth, so even though it has its own sequencers i think it would play very nicely with the OT - a combo i’m going to try very soon
not saying the evolver doesn’t do dark or weird btw, i just think there’s something about its DNA which tilts it to happy - there’s plenty about it to get gnarly, not so much with the analog filter though
the name is very apt, it lends itself to constant tinkering, not sure i’ve ever played it as a mono synth from keys - it’s still around for a reason ! :+1:

in the same range, there alre also the blofeld, the dark energy, minibrute and something elese that now i don’t remember…
what do you say comparing with these others synth?

More evolver thoughts:

I mentioned monophony because the stuff i made on it sounded very poly-like, yet it is not sequencable as a polysynth. And with the OT’s monophonic audio voicing, that may be on your ache list.

The brutes and the dark energy don’t rock cc parameter control, so that’d be a strictly analog/manual affair without preset recall. A breeze to sequence, though.

The Blofeld is polyphonic VA/WT/FM, with no actual analog circuitry. Seems like great value. A lot of talk about it out there. Haven’t used one myself.

I’d also take a look at a used Shruthi or Ambika.

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It’s about 10 years since I used a (borrowed) one. Can you:

  • Control the filters via external MIDI (CC or LSB/HSB)
  • Not restart sequence 2-4 at sequence 1’s reset point
    (meaning, can seqs of different lengths evolve independently)


I was looking at a Sherman 2 to add some VCF weight, but this guy is way deeper.

Yeah, I can definitely see that. Output 1-4 back into input 1-4 on the OT is a 10 year/10 album project I’ve been chipping away at since week 3 of our cohabitation.

I sold my Evolver a while back and quite miss it. It is very dark and weird. A unique and really nice Synth, would be a great buddy for the Ocatatrack.

There are CCs assigned for LP filter cutoff, resonance, env amount, env (A, D, S, R), audio mod, dual filter split, key amount, and HP filter cutoff. Many of these are also modulation destinations.

All four sequencers have independent reset points.

I imagine that energyovertime was referring to the two tuned feedback lines in the Evolver.

These synthesizers are all very different. If you are considering other instruments, you have to think about what you want the instrument to do before choosing one.

… although you can use an audio signal from the OT to step through a paraphonic sequence on the Evolver, which is really nice and a feature sadly lacking from the Elektron instruments.

That’s exactly how I understood it.

And since the OT filters track surprisingly close to semitones, you only need a few patch cables to have a two-headed ADD cousin of that system, with plock instead of keyboard control.

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There are CCs assigned for LP filter cutoff, resonance, env amount, env (A, D, S, R), audio mod, dual filter split, key amount, and HP filter cutoff. Many of these are also modulation destinations.

That’s really great. Thank you for clarifying!

All four sequencers have independent reset points.

Right, but both the manual and the guide are foggy on the issue of master reset line in the sequencer. Sorry for going on about this ad mortem. Easy check: if seq#1 is set to 13 steps, can seq#2 be (and play) 14?

You can do as you wish, which i’ve since been doing for the last (too long) - i checked even though it (polyrhythms) are my starting point because there is a subtle significance to seq1 in other regards, but it does indeed allow for seq2,3,4 to be longer than 1 - however if you ungate seq1 for a step - the underlying patterns will always be ungated at the same time as 1, irrespective of their length, so you get changing gated sequences if they are different lengths - i.e. mono voice, but the ‘skip steps’ are reserved for the 1st seq
all good
amazing instrument that just begs to be tweaked
scrolling through my patches it does do dark and very off-piste, but i still think it has a warmth about it which doesn’t feel ‘dark’ - it’s highly modulatable, so weird is all about your imagination
it’s comprehensively specced midi wise
i’ve attached a screen grab - you can see a rest in seq1 and the staggered resets (1st one reached is used on each) - the rest on seq1-step2 will apply to all whenever it is passed on step 1 (i.e. not necessarily for step 2 on each other seq !)
my Editor is 90% complete and i ought to market it soon as i think it offers advantages that others might not (user sub presets e.g on envs, the circles are preset template holders that the user defines/recalls) (though tbh, i’ve never bought any synth editor, I just do my own)
it’s fully bidirectional (via sysex dumps / cc) and can update automatically upon a program change - i’ve no interest in vst editors, so i’ve never taken any down that road, it’s for sound design and for, most importantly, reading a patch - it’s all laid bare clearly, especially the deep modulation area

that isn’t a patch, i’ve just moved values about to show unipolar/bipolar stuff - there are a few unique workflow bells and whistles in there too fwiw, easy naming (not visible on desktop version) and patch management - might start a thread if this is potentially of interest to a few


Please do, although a more logical place for it might be on one of the DSI fora.



Haven’t been on there for years, i guess i was just surprised i’d taken one of my editors that far functionally, so thought i’d pitch in as the mood on here was for evolver love - just had a hoot with it.
I don’t have a mek or pek/pe - so with regards to the poly evolver i’m guessing it’s more to do with system things / voice handling rather than patch differences - maybe quite straightforward, but wouldn’t be able to comment further
It’s done in Max with some javascript to pack/unpack the sysex, and again, I’ve only ever worked on Macs, so whilst it should play ball - there may be a few aspects of the automation in my patch re midi ports that may be platform sensitive, maybe straightforward to adapt
Except, maybe the waldorf pulse editor, it is maybe one of the simpler editors (and thus one of the few close to ‘finished’ ) but there was a lot of time spent on it (Dave chipped in too) - even though there are quite a few editors for it already and the market may realistically be small i would still only be able to justify pushing it out on a low-key commercial basis, i’d want to bring my USPs to the fore more first (and finish the user waves part) - i have no other income and the rainy day savings pot is shrinking - so i more than have the motivation, just not sure if it’s a time drain for limited gain (being somewhat late to the party) - i’ll mull this over if it bleeps on anyone else’s radar

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Wow. Judging by the screenshot, this looks like a ridiculously solid editor. An incredible accomplishment in its own right. I would definitely release it. The fact that the Evolver is still in production 10+ years from its release seems like a good testament to its personality and longevity.

I agree with PeterHanes - some of the synths mentioned in this thread are near diametrical opposites in terms of sound and architecture. I’d say focus on the features that fill in the blind spots in your OT workflow. Most synths with some degree of openness can make “weird” and “dark” sounds, especially run through the OT effects and modulation.

Since you mentioned the Blofeld, I thought I’d mention another digital gem of a desktop synth: Nord Micromodular. 4(ish)-voice poly, great character and depth - and it can be had for $200-300 used. The editor can be a bit of a hassle to get up and running, but soo worth checking out.

The Evolver is an amazing synth due to

  • its sequencer
  • the modulatable effects (three delay lines, feedback, distortion)
  • the digital OSCs with VS waves
  • the classic curtis filter

You can do stuff with it that you’d never though could come out of a mono synth.
Check out my patch demo on Soundcloud:


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real nice demo - shows the evolver’s warmth and evolving interactions …

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