February 1, 2007

Evolution...

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.

 
 
 

30 comments:

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Feb.01.2007 @ 7:11 PM
Chris Randall
After playing with this, I'm going to buy a BoomChik as soon as one becomes available for me to do so. I may upgrade to the PEK now, as well.

-CR

 
 

 
Feb.01.2007 @ 8:02 PM
inteliko
The acquiring of the new box calls for Four Furious Measures to be posted based on it!
 
 

 
Feb.01.2007 @ 9:36 PM
synthetic
I've been considering either one of these or the Waldorf Blofeld. Everything I've heard from this box has been uninspiring to me so far, but it's cheap enough that maybe I should give it a shot.
 
 

 
Feb.01.2007 @ 9:39 PM
Chris Randall
That's what I thought as well. I bought it on a whim, more or less. I had money set aside for the new Moogerfooger and the Eventide delay, but then I discovered they wouldn't be out for some time, so I was like "fuck it. I'm buying something."

It is somewhat complicated to get going, I'll say that much. It's like programming a Split8, except that there's about 5X as many parameters.

I'm going to pick up a Blofeld as well, almost certainly. I'm kind of a fan of desktop units now, because I can just keep 'em all on a shelf, and pull the one out I need. Takes up much less room than pretty much any other option besides software.

-CR

 
 

 
Feb.01.2007 @ 11:48 PM
tremorcore
i was considering a PEK until it dawned on me that "poly" is not what i want or need out of this machine. a MEK might be in the future, though.
 
 

 
Feb.02.2007 @ 3:00 AM
Taxidermy
I loved my evolver. I ended up selling it because I needed a new mixer. The only thing I didn't like about it was the matrix. It grows increasingly more tedious. I don't like computer interfaces, so it ended up becoming me planning on buying one as soon as I get enough saved for the keyboard.
 
 

 
Feb.02.2007 @ 8:15 AM
meto
the evolver is definetly one of two things that are on top of my wishlist. here you find a cool editor/librarian (i think!)
-> link [www.psicraft.co...]">link [www.psicraft.co...]
 
 

 
Feb.02.2007 @ 8:26 AM
noisegeek
How does the digital HP filter sound? I've always liked the LP -> HP sound, but if the HP filter is crap it sort of kills the effect.
 
 

 
Feb.02.2007 @ 10:53 AM
JG
damn you!

I've wanted an Evo for some time now...3 years? Have they been out that long? Anyway, between the sounds I've heard and my own in-store experiences playing around with one (desktop and MEK), I've had this one at the top of my list for a long time. Actually, I'm surprised CR didn't jump on that shit a lot earlier...

I think Dave has proved that it's not just having a good concept/design, but you actually need to know what the fuck you're doing if you want to produce a really good synth (ahem, Roland, are you listening???). It's like Mr. Smith took a look at the crappy plastic "groovebox" things out there and said, "fuck, I can best that shit with one hand behind my back".

Anyone want to give me $500? :-)

 
 

 
Feb.02.2007 @ 11:06 AM
D' MacKinnon
I have a PEK and I love it to death. My other synths are getting lonely because I spend all my time on it now. It's just so intuitive to come up with new sounds on it's hard not to love. There's just something about good hardware that soft synths can't take the place of.

I'm also excited about the Dave Smith/Roger Linn collaboration that's supposed to be coming out.

 
 

 
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