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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » DSI Synths
Desktop Evolver
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Desktop Evolver
Subject description: Absolutely amazing
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I've been lucky enough to indulge myself in a lot of different software, hardware and hybrid 'toys' over the past 12-months and, by landslide, I have to say that the Evolver has got to be my favourite indulgence so far.

Sure, I'm sure there's plenty of people who loved and left it, or simply didn't like it at all but I am absolutely dumbfounded by what this thing can do and I've only scratched a tiny bit of its surface.

Can anyone suggest any good resources for this amazing device?

I don't know if I I'll be able to resist a poly key version in the new year instead of the Mopho X4 I was planning on...

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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Can't blame you at all. I think it is one of the more misunderstood Dave Smith products (probably because of the crap documentation) and is incredibly rich. I have a PEK. Wink
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I dread to think what the poly is capable of - I find my self forgetting, a lot, that the desktop is 'only' mono!

I'm going to have to get at least another desktop if not the PEK!

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namnibor



Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
I dread to think what the poly is capable of - I find my self forgetting, a lot, that the desktop is 'only' mono!

I'm going to have to get at least another desktop if not the PEK!


I too firstly had the desktop evolver. When I heard they had discontinued the Mono Evolver Keyboard as of June, 2012, decided I wanted to buy one for all the hands-on controls and poly chaining and also I happen to like the "endless encoders" and only FEW new ones being sold by only one seller in NYC are all the "PE version". Low and behold a seller I have dealt with before posted one with original encoders and had been completely services with no jumpy encoders AND had all the pretty Prophet 08 knobs fitted as well. They are holding their MAP $$ amount about one hundred below.
****OMG****...Firstly know that it's actually advantagious to have the MonoEvolver Keyboard (MEK hereafter) and polychain up to 20 desktops or total evolvers rather than the PEK. (I have been communicating with DSI support for a bit and have learned ALOT of cool stuff) Also, if you do not have this free download of an evolver owner's labor of love (do a search or it is even now free download on DSI site) by Anu Kirk, "THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE EVOLVER"...it is like taking a Master Course on the Desktop Evolver however it applies to ALL Evolvers, as it takes you through exercises using the Evolver signal flow, modulations, etc, etc.
Now, advantages of MEK over PEK are just a few but important few: ONLY the MEK also has an arpeggiator and then even though the MEK does not have "combos" like the PEK has but with the PEK, for each Evolver used within a COMBO, one actually loses an Evolver per instance in an PEK "combo", whereas the MEK does not have "combos", when polychained, you absolutely always have those voices in a polychain, sacrificing nothing!!!
When the MEK is polychained, the midi out is still able to send note-on data for how many poly voices you may have in a polychained set-up. You also need to have each audio out of each polychained evolver going to a pre-mixer (I bought an older Kawai MX-8R rack mixer for the two desktop Evolvers I now have polychained to my MEK that ALSO has one midi IN and THREE MIDI THRU, which in no way affects the mixer signals nor even have to be from that same source), then I send that MASSIVE stereo-summed L/R to either my main rack mixer and/or to audio interface, then Reaper)...The MEK manual is actually much better than the desktop in explaining so many things that combined with the free download of must-have aforementioned guide, I cannot express how expressive and high quality of the key-action of the MEK and with aftertouch as a multiple modulation destination, other than my Blofeld Black Keyboard and both Virus KB and KC, have never played such wonderful keys. It is worth noting that all desktop evolvers need to be on O.S. 3.0 and all serial numbers 1586 upwards come with it from DSI. It involved replacing a PIC/eprom-like, for still $25. from DSI THEN following instructions and sending sysex update to finish....good to know when looking for other desktop evolvers at good price to build your polychained monster!!
So much more and not time nor space but if you have any other questions that I may be able to answer, surely will do so or contact Carson Day at DSI Support, whom has been so very helpful!
The sound....even when isolating and playing 2 DCO alalog osc's on just ONE Evolver, I am convinced without a doubt that it is more FAT than one voice on the Prophet 08!!!!
Hope this helps and firmly believe Evolver is most ingenius invention by Dave Smith in the DSI incarnation! Three Evolvers, including the MEK all polychained to, is so massive cannot imagine any more considering rest of synth arsenal. Having the MEK with all the functions 1 to 1 per knob/switch, makes night and difference in immediacy of controlling parameters. Rant over!


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Waldorf: Blofeld, MicroQ Omega, XT, Q-Rack, PULSE PLUS, NAVE, Miniworks 4-Pole; Virus KB and KC; DSI Evolver Desktop and 2-MEK's(poly-chained)-x2; Korg: Wavestation SR, DW-8000; Alesis: Ion, Fusion--for HollowSun SampleBanks; Novation Supernova 1; Quasimidi Polymorph; Roland SH-32; Yamaha: RM1X, CS2X; Elektron Analog Four, MnM mk1; Reaper, Scarlett 18i20, Studio Maine Coone Cat pre-loaded with toxic wavetables on each fang and claw! Military Training! Crossbow:-)
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

She looks gorgeous, congrats Wink

Thanks for the info - it all makes a lot of sense. I was looking for a DSI purchase in the new year which started with a Mopho key, then I thought about MophoX4 but maybe now this is the way forward.

I've recently picked up Nord Micro Modular which seems to sit really well alongside my Evolver - for my tastes, better than the Mopho does. I'm doing an exchange with a chap in Jan which involves my White Blofeld keys for his Nord Modular Rack G1.

So I'll be left with the Virus Indigo but I'd happily barter that for a MEK to poly with my desktop lol (I have less and less space so will be condensing my gear more and more in the new year).

I think I might have my work cut-out finding an MEK in UK/EU though...

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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, and, Anu Kirk's Definitive Guide To Evolver has been on my iPad since before i bought an Evolver - top guide for sure!
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namnibor



Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
She looks gorgeous, congrats Wink

Thanks for the info - it all makes a lot of sense. I was looking for a DSI purchase in the new year which started with a Mopho key, then I thought about MophoX4 but maybe now this is the way forward.

I've recently picked up Nord Micro Modular which seems to sit really well alongside my Evolver - for my tastes, better than the Mopho does. I'm doing an exchange with a chap in Jan which involves my White Blofeld keys for his Nord Modular Rack G1.

So I'll be left with the Virus Indigo but I'd happily barter that for a MEK to poly with my desktop lol (I have less and less space so will be condensing my gear more and more in the new year).

I think I might have my work cut-out finding an MEK in UK/EU though...


That was my issue, wanting an anolog monophonic but NOT the MiniBrute as I personally want more osc's, et al, and considered the Mopho and Mopho x4. Having already the desktop evolver at time, a friend showed me how to isolate just the two anaolg osc's for programming and I realized for sake of space (me too) and it only made sense to get the MEK with one extra octave that Mopho and although am sure the Mophox4 is quite capable, the FACT that there is NOT the external input the Mopho possessed, it was a simple choice and came across great deal on the second desktop evolver to polychain two to MEK and once polychained, other than the connections and needing to have their audio outs each going to a mixer, you essentially set up polychain and tuck them away as ALL control is from the MEK. The variety of sounds, versatile uses in having the external input on MEK and the PHAT, from ambient-ethereal to the downright rip your face off sounds was a no-brainer!
I am a hardware kind of guy...just me as less time clicking a mouse and training as a pianist--vst's are fine for other's needs as well but just not for me...on that note (mind the pun), with SO many people ditching their hardware synths to go full vsti, I am sure you will come across an MEK and FYI on USA Ebay, there's ONE reputable seller called ProAudioStar that has the MEK (the PE version) at $1119. usd buy it now....but also has MAKE AN OFFER option. With your VAT/Customs, and buying the Queen a new hat (LOL), you still may at least inquire.
Robert

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Waldorf: Blofeld, MicroQ Omega, XT, Q-Rack, PULSE PLUS, NAVE, Miniworks 4-Pole; Virus KB and KC; DSI Evolver Desktop and 2-MEK's(poly-chained)-x2; Korg: Wavestation SR, DW-8000; Alesis: Ion, Fusion--for HollowSun SampleBanks; Novation Supernova 1; Quasimidi Polymorph; Roland SH-32; Yamaha: RM1X, CS2X; Elektron Analog Four, MnM mk1; Reaper, Scarlett 18i20, Studio Maine Coone Cat pre-loaded with toxic wavetables on each fang and claw! Military Training! Crossbow:-)
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I can buy a new MEK here in the UK for around £950.
A rough calculation of the $1130 MEK, after import/customs approximates to around £1020 - gotta love the UK taxes Sad

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namnibor



Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
I can buy a new MEK here in the UK for around £950.
A rough calculation of the $1130 MEK, after import/customs approximates to around £1020 - gotta love the UK taxes Sad


Those UK Taxes are the very reasons musicians that have "made it" to include sales of past works, move to The States and set-up lables/studios here or wherever. I remember an interview I saw where Allan Parsons and David Gilmore stated if they had remained in UK they could BARELY cover costs and touring they would only make a nominal profit after costs and then keeping the "Roylas men AND women in silk panties"...LOL! Pretty sure most of Depeche Mode members and past have done same.

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Waldorf: Blofeld, MicroQ Omega, XT, Q-Rack, PULSE PLUS, NAVE, Miniworks 4-Pole; Virus KB and KC; DSI Evolver Desktop and 2-MEK's(poly-chained)-x2; Korg: Wavestation SR, DW-8000; Alesis: Ion, Fusion--for HollowSun SampleBanks; Novation Supernova 1; Quasimidi Polymorph; Roland SH-32; Yamaha: RM1X, CS2X; Elektron Analog Four, MnM mk1; Reaper, Scarlett 18i20, Studio Maine Coone Cat pre-loaded with toxic wavetables on each fang and claw! Military Training! Crossbow:-)
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I thought I'd revive this as its quite apt.

I staved off of any real purchases for some time - giving myself some time to let the dust settle, see what crept into my field of vision and as to whether I'd bore of the Evolver (I have a VERY short attention span).

The Evolver desktop is now my longest serving item and I've sold everything but (moved house, change of circumstances and a realisation that having more gear than time was very counter-productive) - no regrets on the decision.

I'm buying a Mopho X4 next week to bulk up my analog (and give me a decent keyboard) but I've just discovered I'm due a considerable wad of money I'm the coming weeks.
So, I'll be keeping an eye out for an MEK PE and joining in the aural-assault soon Smile

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namnibor



Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
I thought I'd revive this as its quite apt.

I staved off of any real purchases for some time - giving myself some time to let the dust settle, see what crept into my field of vision and as to whether I'd bore of the Evolver (I have a VERY short attention span).

The Evolver desktop is now my longest serving item and I've sold everything but (moved house, change of circumstances and a realisation that having more gear than time was very counter-productive) - no regrets on the decision.

I'm buying a Mopho X4 next week to bulk up my analog (and give me a decent keyboard) but I've just discovered I'm due a considerable wad of money I'm the coming weeks.
So, I'll be keeping an eye out for an MEK PE and joining in the aural-assault soon Smile


The Evolver certainly creates a lot of missing time. Come on board with the MEK, the spaceship has plenty of room!

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Waldorf: Blofeld, MicroQ Omega, XT, Q-Rack, PULSE PLUS, NAVE, Miniworks 4-Pole; Virus KB and KC; DSI Evolver Desktop and 2-MEK's(poly-chained)-x2; Korg: Wavestation SR, DW-8000; Alesis: Ion, Fusion--for HollowSun SampleBanks; Novation Supernova 1; Quasimidi Polymorph; Roland SH-32; Yamaha: RM1X, CS2X; Elektron Analog Four, MnM mk1; Reaper, Scarlett 18i20, Studio Maine Coone Cat pre-loaded with toxic wavetables on each fang and claw! Military Training! Crossbow:-)
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
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Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There's still time for me to go MEK instead of X4; I showed the wife some pics of the 2 and she purred at the MEK's "purdy glory" - she thought the X4 looked too boring lol.

I see you've dropped the MonoMachine - not everyone's tastes but I suspect I won't be able to resist Elektron's calling for too long post-MEK...
Limited yes but my favourite sequencing environment by miles (yes, even better than the RM1x)

I see the path as such...
(Mopho Key/X4) > MEK > Blofeld > MonoMachine/MachineDrum > Divorce

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adnauseam



Joined: Mar 27, 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If one were to be buying in order to satisfy one's attention span than I would place the evolver well before any mopho-esque synth.

Just sayin..
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Already got one desktop Evolver though I do hear you - maybe just the one (more) desktop Evolver then... Lol
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Christ on a bike, there's little difference between a desktop and MEK in £'s right now.

I think I'll stick to my plan of a Mopho key model right now - I can't imagine I'd lose that much if it doesn't fit - though I dare say there's some fun to be had with the direction I'm going in, least not feeding it into the Evolver.

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namnibor



Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 59
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

clementshawes wrote:
Christ on a bike, there's little difference between a desktop and MEK in £'s right now.

I think I'll stick to my plan of a Mopho key model right now - I can't imagine I'd lose that much if it doesn't fit - though I dare say there's some fun to be had with the direction I'm going in, least not feeding it into the Evolver.


As you probably well-know, ebay, regardless of world region of ebay; is actually a really poor way to judge actual value or more specifically, future value.
Why?
Because all it takes is some people listing items at either ridiculously high or even low prices, even if not actually selling at that higher or lower price; then the "prepal pricing algorithm" then suggests that new price for a seller.
I saw this happen recently to the Waldorf Pulse Plus analog rack synth. I had purchased a Pulse Plus for $400. USD back in January, then this guy posted one for $800. and had it listed several months with nobody buying and then a totally different seller listed a Pulse for $750. and has never sold and still remains on USA ebay today, stating there is nothing special about it but prepay suggested that selling price.
The DSI MEK was discontinued in June, 2012 and at least here in ebay USA, they have been selling for rock steady $900 to $1000., approx. two hundred below brand new.
Economy is slowly getting much better in USA but value of dollar is still low compared to say the Euro and hardly any exchange difference between Canadian Dollar (I remember when USA $ was 40% more value than Canadian)...so long story short (too late), buying an MEK sooner than later would probably be a great investment as well as night and day difference in user interface and access to unlocking so much more of this awesome synth.
Just saying--would rather have 4 analog oscillators from Evolver (two Evolver units to gain that), than one or even four voices of the Mopho. I think my ears hear that much of a difference in dynamics and possibilities and that's even taking into consideration Mopho's "sub oscillators".

I think the DSI Tetra would be a better choice than Mopho X4, esp. for using in DAW and the multi/combo modes...perhaps it's just me but see the x4 purposely stifled as to not affect sales of the Tetra and funny thing is everyone had been hoping for a keyboard version of the Tetra but sadly, it is not.
Again, just sayin'

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Waldorf: Blofeld, MicroQ Omega, XT, Q-Rack, PULSE PLUS, NAVE, Miniworks 4-Pole; Virus KB and KC; DSI Evolver Desktop and 2-MEK's(poly-chained)-x2; Korg: Wavestation SR, DW-8000; Alesis: Ion, Fusion--for HollowSun SampleBanks; Novation Supernova 1; Quasimidi Polymorph; Roland SH-32; Yamaha: RM1X, CS2X; Elektron Analog Four, MnM mk1; Reaper, Scarlett 18i20, Studio Maine Coone Cat pre-loaded with toxic wavetables on each fang and claw! Military Training! Crossbow:-)
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clementshawes



Joined: Mar 04, 2012
Posts: 173
Location: Truro, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you Namnibor - that's certainly given me something to think about...
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