February 1, 2007


by Chris Randall

I know I'm a Johnny-Come-Lately to this whole Dave Smith thing, but I finally nutted up and bought an Evolver this week. It just showed up, and boy, howdy is this little guy the bomb. I'd have a hard time coming up with a better value-for-money in the music industry than the tabletop Evolver, and that's a fact.

First nice thing I'll note, since I haven't really seen it mentioned in the reviews I read, is the construction quality. It is incredibly rare to be able to buy an electronic music instrument that was actually made in the USA any more, but quite frankly, I've seen other boxes in this price range that were far less capable that were made out of extruded plastic and sheet aluminum, so I fail to see where the cost-cutting comes in to play. This thing is heavy and is made out of thick steel. High quality pots and a nice big display. I have no complaints whatsoever about the build quality. The panel is dense, and maybe a bit tricky to read in a live situation, but that's the only thing I could fault about the package itself.

Sound-wise, it is fantastic. The addition of the DCOs and the delay really make it sound contemporary, as opposed to other modern analogs, most of which I am not impressed with. There are some very crafty presets that make use of the feedback path of the on-board delays, and I thought of about 20 songs while I was sifting through the included sounds. In short, that's what a new synth is supposed to do. They don't all do it, that's for sure.

So, I'll have to spend a little time with it to be able to offer actual opinions about signal flow and programmability and such, but for now, it'll set me up just right. I'm fairly happy I bought this. Go buy one now. Seriously. You'll thank me later.



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Feb.01.2007 @ 2:48 PM
love my evo. it's quite surprising at times and always really fun to tweak. you should get the headphone y cable thing so you can sit on the couch with it. put a dvd on w/no sound and make patches.

Feb.01.2007 @ 2:54 PM
I made a awful decision in selling my evolver when I got my Nord G2 (which i sold to get my MS-20). Its really a fantastic sounding little synth, I'm going to pick up an MEK once i pay off my most recent Moog Music spending spree.

Feb.01.2007 @ 2:59 PM
+ for pc users you can transfer in waveforms
i don't know if there is a mac utility...

I had 1 problem when working with an editor. When i chose a preset i saved before it didn't give me teh correct waveshape but kept returning to the same waveform as the original preset.(i made a sound starting from a preset, so something was in that setup)

Just for info
this is Dave's response which was correct:

"One possibility is that the program uses osc waveshape as a sequencer destination for wave sequencing. If so, whenever you select that program, it loads the waveshape from the sequence, over-writing the Shape parameter. Check the Osc 3 and Osc 4 Shape Seq parameters; if they are not Off, this is likely what you are experiencing."

Great little device !


Feb.01.2007 @ 3:03 PM
Here's synchronicity for you. Following this post I made this morning on KVR:

link [www.kvraudio.co...]">link [www.kvraudio.co...]

I've been interwebbing all day trying to find the best Canadian deal around on one of these.


Feb.01.2007 @ 3:33 PM
I think i resisted buying one mainly because it's blue, if only it was a more appealing design in black or white. Still sounds amazing and unique nonetheless.

Feb.01.2007 @ 4:08 PM
I heartily agree with Chris as far as the value of the Evolver. This is an extremely deep synth. The modulation routing is lots of fun. Another one of my favorite things to do is use the software editor and play with the morph feature which morphs between 2 patches. You can get some crazy sounds in between those 2 patches.

Feb.01.2007 @ 4:18 PM
I've been seriously considering getting a poly- doesn't the evolver basically have the same engine?

Feb.01.2007 @ 4:32 PM
Hey, bought mine two days ago!
Really looking forward of getting my hands all over it.

Feb.01.2007 @ 5:34 PM
I've had mine for about 6 months. I agree with the build quality: it is what modern gear should be built like...
My evolver has appeared in 95% of all my new songs, so yeah, i think it does sound very good :)

Btw, have you guys seen the DSI BoomChik? It's a collaboration between Dave Smith and Roger Linn, and it is a unit which appears to be a mashup of an MPC and an evolver...looks promising.


Feb.01.2007 @ 5:46 PM
I've had one for about 3 years now and after ignoring it for a while decided to sell it. But when I got it back out to play with one last time I realized that I can't let it go!

As far as build quality, the case is obv nice and sturdy but using those plastic stickers instead of silkscreening makes it feel kind of cheapo to me.


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