kill my "GAS" conundrum/rant - Evolver MEK

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kill my "GAS" conundrum/rant - Evolver MEK

Post by otto » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:52 am

I hate the acronym gas, but I thought it would best suggest the content of this thread. At any rate. I’ve really been lusting after an Dave Smith MEK as of late - love the mono digital meets analog sounds. However funds are tight and it would mean having to get rid of one of my current synths. I wouldn’t consider selling my Moog LP so that leaves the Prophet 600 or the Virus Indigo. Problem is I like all of my synths and they all offer something different: analog mono, analog poly, and VA. So I’d be losing one of my polys and replacing it with another mono. If I seriously considered it I’m not even sure which to put up for adoption. The virus is much more flexible than the P-600 but the virus doesn’t compare to the thick-cutting sound of the p-600. I keep telling myself I’d be stupid to do it but than I listen to demo’s of the MEK and find it hard to resist.
Last edited by otto on Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:24 am

Nobody can answer this but you. The MEK is cool, but its sound sits between the Virus and the Moog. I think from a purely functional point of view you could cover most of the MEK ground with those two.

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Post by otto » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:37 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Nobody can answer this but you. The MEK is cool, but its sound sits between the Virus and the Moog. I think from a purely functional point of view you could cover most of the MEK ground with those two.

Oh, I know. I wouldn't let anyone but myself decide on the gear I acquire but it is nice to hear opinions. I can see layering the virus and moog to get similar sounds to the MEK but than again neither have the same character of the MEK from what I've heard... ah decisions....
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Post by killedaway » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:41 am

well, if it was my own decision to make, i'd ditch the Virus, unless i had need for it's polyphony (and if i had the rest of your gear, i don't think i would). the Virus is the one thing you have that i personally don't think has a lot of pleasing character all its own. the MEK, on the other hand, has a personality that i like, so it'd be an easy choice.
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Post by wiss » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:39 am

I say grab a nord modular, that seemed to end a lot of "gas" for me. I would highly suggest maybe just feeding new life into your gear. Buying new moniters and effects can really bring new life into old gear.
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Post by pix » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:49 am

GAS = unhappiness, insomnias, obsession.

so ditch the virus or get a desktop evo until you get money for the kbd ;)

I like the virus but I'll probably end up selling it. fast sounds don't usually have much character. the more you work for them the more the magic happens.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:58 am

wiss wrote:I say grab a nord modular, that seemed to end a lot of "gas" for me. I would highly suggest maybe just feeding new life into your gear. Buying new moniters and effects can really bring new life into old gear.
Oh yeah, that's what I usually say:

"Sort out your monitoring situation so you can hear the synths you already have, rather than buy another synth you won't be able to hear properly." :P

Apologies if you already have good monitoring, but fixing that up is a good way of reducing GAS. I also find making music stops me from thinking about what new gear I want to buy.

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Post by pix » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:13 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
wiss wrote:making music stops me from thinking about what new gear I want to buy.
bingo!

I should write that off in bold letters in the wall in front of me

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Post by Huppo » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:06 pm

I've owned or own a LP, a Desktop Evo, an MEK, a PEK, a Virus Indigo and a Virus TIk. I never owned a P600. I still have two of them: the TIk and the PEK.

Nobody can decide for you what you should keep since we don't have the same priorities for sound. For me, analog is nice but not necessary. I appreciate the difference, but it's just not important enough to have separate synths for it. Obviously, for others in this thread that's very different. Of all the synths I listed I'd give up the TIk last because it's an amazingly flexible synth and aside from sampling or weird V-synth style sound mangling, it does anything any other synth I own or have owned as well or better.

So if i had to pick for you based on your rules, I'd say sell the P600 and get the MEK. What's probably more satisfying is saving up the $ to grab a desktop Evo and not having to sell anything you have. You have a nice selection of synths already, but taking out a big digital poly is a mistake in my eyes. of course that's based don what I find valuable in synths, not what you find valuable.
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Post by JSRockit » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:23 pm

pix wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
wiss wrote:making music stops me from thinking about what new gear I want to buy.
bingo!

I should write that off in bold letters in the wall in front of me
add staying off the internet stops me from thinking about what new gear I want to buy.
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Post by otto » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:05 am

JSRockit wrote:
pix wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote: bingo!

I should write that off in bold letters in the wall in front of me
add staying off the internet stops me from thinking about what new gear I want to buy.
I know it! f**k VSE, I cant quit you!
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Post by otto » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:21 am

Huppo wrote:I've owned or own a LP, a Desktop Evo, an MEK, a PEK, a Virus Indigo and a Virus TIk. I never owned a P600. I still have two of them: the TIk and the PEK.

Nobody can decide for you what you should keep since we don't have the same priorities for sound. For me, analog is nice but not necessary. I appreciate the difference, but it's just not important enough to have separate synths for it. Obviously, for others in this thread that's very different. Of all the synths I listed I'd give up the TIk last because it's an amazingly flexible synth and aside from sampling or weird V-synth style sound mangling, it does anything any other synth I own or have owned as well or better.

So if i had to pick for you based on your rules, I'd say sell the P600 and get the MEK. What's probably more satisfying is saving up the $ to grab a desktop Evo and not having to sell anything you have. You have a nice selection of synths already, but taking out a big digital poly is a mistake in my eyes. of course that's based don what I find valuable in synths, not what you find valuable.
Thanks Huppo, I value your insight. I don't think I'd have a problem getting the cash together for the DEVO, while keeping my other gear. However, I’ve read and heard a fair amount of complaints about the interface on the DEVO and that really puts me off and is the reason I find the MEK more interesting. Since you've had both, how off-putting was the DEVO interface in your experience.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:48 am

I also had a desktop Evo and now have the keyboard, I have to say the interface of the desktop is actually pretty good for a matrix type one. The thing is that the keyboard's interface is really really good, and it's pretty much worth the extra cash to get your hands on it.

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Post by otto » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:31 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:I also had a desktop Evo and now have the keyboard, I have to say the interface of the desktop is actually pretty good for a matrix type one. The thing is that the keyboard's interface is really really good, and it's pretty much worth the extra cash to get your hands on it.
That seems to be the general consensus from what I‘ve read. The DEVO is a great value but I’m a bit turned off by interfaces with too many options and not enough or unintuitive control.
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Post by Huppo » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:51 am

otto wrote:However, I’ve read and heard a fair amount of complaints about the interface on the DEVO and that really puts me off and is the reason I find the MEK more interesting. Since you've had both, how off-putting was the DEVO interface in your experience.
I think my voice might have been one you read as being put off by the Devo interface. I would blame the 'matrixiness' of it, but I have had other matrix interface synths that I found to be very easy to navigate. The MicroQ comes to mind. The Evolver has more parameters to deal with, so maybe that's at the root of why it seemed kind of impenetrable to me. I found the shift button to perhaps be the most frustrating thing about it. For all the time I spent with it, I never stopped turning knobs without hitting shift and screwing up some carefully constructed patch or sequence or something. I don;t blame the synth, lots of people (like Stab Frenzy) had no trouble with it.

That said, I sold my Devo partly because I thought I wasn't able to use it to its best advantage and it was sort of wasted on me. In retrospect I think I can blame the matrix for making a really interesting and capable synth engine hard for me to visualize. I knew I'd revisit the Evolver engine at some point and got a MEK a year or so later. The identical synth engine really took on a new life for me becuase, as Stab pointed out, it is an extremely well designed interface. I tend to be a little bit compartmentalized in my approach to constructing patches and the way the MEK interface organized things fit very nicely with my workflow. It removed that layer of having to deal with a non-intuitive interface and having OSC 3>4 FM not really be any different visually or physically than the filter rez, delay 2 time or 4th LFO speed control. In the MEK, all these things are in different places, arranged logically (or maybe just more obviously) by signal flow, etc. The MEK allowed me to access the engine more effectively. It made me dream of a poly version of the engine almost right away and as fate would have it, a few weeks after getting it I ran across someone with an equally new PEK who wanted to trade for an MEK! I tossed in some cash and 'traded up'.

So back to you..if matrixy interfaces bug you, the Devo might bug you as it did me. If you love well-laid out interfaces, then you probably should hold out for the MEK. Don't forget other trivial bits like the ability to take a DEVO with you anywhere practically in your pocket and mess with it, in case that's of use to you. If it's going to live only in your studio then that's obviously less important.

So I'm back to my original advice for you. The things an analog polysynth can do aren't terribly important to me, so I'd drop the P600 in a heartbeat to get an MEK. No way in heck would I drop the Virus for it, but again, that's just me. HAving had both an LP and a DEVO I can say there is very little overlap in practice between the two. In fact there is very little overlap between any Evolver and anything else, it is pretty unique. If you treat it like just a 2 osc analog synth I think the point is being missed. It's digital but not as overtly digitally overinflated like a Virus. It's got 4 step sequencers, but they're just as much mod sequencers as note sequencers. It's got plenty of envelopes and lfos and very little restriction on what you can do with them. It's a synth engine that's hard to be indifferent about and really stands on its own, not as a replacement for anything else.

So does that help? :shock: :oops:

Let us know what you decide to do. :D
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