the evolver's digital side

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the evolver's digital side

Post by code green » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:04 pm

i love that the evolver (i have the desktop model) has 2 digital osc's--along with the idea of running a digital osc/osc's through an analog filter...however, i generally use them only to add a bit of color to my analog patches/sequences. i'd like to delve more into my evo's digital side but i confess that when i scroll through the waveforms, many of them sound more or less the same to me (yes, i'm confessing my lack of refinement here--no need to point it out). so i have some questions for you digital afficianadoes:

-any favorites among the waveforms?
-related to the above: do you have any "go to" shapes for specific sounds, effects?
-any cool digital programming tips?
-and finally, among those who have basis for comparison, how do you rate the digital side of the evo? how does it compare to similar wavetable synths, such as the offerings of waldorf, ppg, ensoniq, korg, and dave smith's own VS?

many thanks for your insights...eric @ codegreen
Last edited by code green on Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by mikewelch7 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:33 pm

As a musician with a pretty decent collection of synths, I can say that the analogue - digital combination presented in the Evolver makes it, by far, the most versatile and best sounding synth I own.

I absolutely adore its multiple delay effects which can be combined to create some amazing psychedelic soundscapes! I don't care that they are digital effects - they sound amazing!

The Evo has four oscs, two analogue, two digital, panned hard right and left by default. I don't have any 'go to' waves in the digital tables, but scroll through them as I'm designing a sound and see what compliments the composite sound best. I use the levels to bring them forward in the mix a bit.

I've even programmed some patches based entirely on digital wave forms. They create very Prophet-VS type sounds that remind me of the great synth work from Dead Can Dance, which relied quite a bit on the VS.

My Evo rig comprises of a Evo mono keyboard which I pair up to a poly Evo rack. This gives me five voices total. The integration between the keyboard and the rack is perfect and they operate in exact unison, making programming patches very easy.

On my MySpace page, the song 'Aur-y-El' was done entirely on the Evo. The very trippy 'screeching' patch in the center came from combination of the digital plus analogue oscs, panning, and heavy use of the multiple delays.

The Evolver is the best synth I own. Nothing else comes close. The analogue purists who insist digital has nothing to offer should reconsider... Dave Smith got it right with this instrument, and IMHO, took a step backwards by presenting an 'all analogue' signal path with the Prophet 08...
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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by code green » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:03 pm

thanks for your reply, mw7--sounds like you use the evo in much the same way i do (and i agree with your superlatives for it)...what about the rest of y'all? anyone here tend to START with the digital osc's when making a patch, rather than bringing them in for emphasis/color?

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by balma » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:19 pm

I was about to post a new thread when I read this one.

What is the Evolver good for??? How do you describe its personality....

I'm about to get one in this moment (proceeding to check out my purchase)
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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by GeneralBigbag » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:36 pm

At its wildest, the Evolver is a crazy melodic noise machine. Look at the modulation options! It has 4 sequencers, 4 LFOs, 3 Envelopes, and 4 mod routings. You've got the Waldorf Q - it's flexible on the level that the Q is. You can have a sequencer controlling the level of FM between osc 3 and 4, whilst th

On the other hand, if you don't turn everything on, you can get some really nice vanilla analogue or digital stuff from just the basic osc->LPF->VCA patch.

Still probably the best way to spend $600 on a new synth (if we're talking about the DEVO). Completely lives up to the acclaim.
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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by code green » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:19 am

thanks for the replies, folks. balma, i suggest you start a new thread, as you originally intended. you want some general information about the evolver, while i was hoping to start a discussion specifically focused on the evolver's digital oscillators. you might also use the search function (which i notice seems to have been improved), as the evolver has been much-discussed here.

so please--i'm not looking for more anymore testimonials as to how great the evolver is. i'm quite clear on that and in agreement, but that's not what i'm looking for here. thanks, e

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:44 am

code green wrote:i love that the evolver (i have the desktop model) has 2 digital osc's--along with the idea of running a digital osc/osc's through an analog filter...however, i generally use them only to add a bit of color to my analog patches/sequences. i'd like to delve more into my evo's digital side but i confess that when i scroll through the waveforms, many of them sound more or less the same to me (yes, i'm confessing my lack of refinement here--no need to point it out). so i have some questions for you digital afficianadoes:

-any favorites among the waveforms?
-relate to the above: do you have any "go to" shapes for specific sounds, effects?
-any cool digital programming tips?
-and finally, among those who have basis for comparison, how do you rate the digital side of the evo? how does it compare to similar wavetable synths, such as the offerings of waldorf, ppg, ensoniq, korg, and dave smith's own VS?

many thanks for your insights...eric @ codegreen
I find myself using the digital waveforms more than the analogue ones, they just seem to be more interesting. To answer your questions:

- I like number 2 and number 19 quite a bit, 2 is a sawtooth and 19 is... well I don't know what 19 is but it's really buzzy, good if you want a buzzy sound. :) A lot of the time I just tweak the knob til I find something that sounds right though. Do you have a MEK? If so do you know you can hold down an oscs button to solo it so you can hear what it's adding to the patch?
- Cool digital programming tips... The wave sequencing thing is really handy, especially if you get two different length sequences going. I like prime numbers for my sequence lengths so they repeat less. :) Also have a play with modulating the delay time/amount/feedback with the envelopes and LFOs, you can get really cool sounds out of them. I've also modulated delay time with external inputs before, that did some cool stuff. If you can get a nice delicate balance of things going with the digital oscs and delays and then put on the output hack you can get some really cool sounds, but it's really tricky to get the right balance.
- Of those all I've used is the ESQ-1, which I had for a while while fixing it for somebody. I was really into the idea of it and thinking about getting one for myself but then when I put it head to head with the Evolver it just sounded so tame in comparison. I kept wanting to change values more when I got to the end of the slider, it got kind of frustrating. The Evolver has a smaller sweetspot in comparison, but that's because it lets you go to so many different places with it, it actually has a lot of different sweetspots all over the place, you just have to get the right parameters lined up to uncover them.

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by xpander » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:02 am

i tend to use the dcos for the lower end stuff and pile the purely digital stuff on to make it sound metallic like the Prophet VS. i still prefer the Prophet VS sound to the PEK, but the PEK is really fun to use and really feature-rich.

Image

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by Jinsai » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:19 am

Carbon111's page (http://www.carbon111.com/evolver.html) has links to 4 pages which show the digital waves in detail (he also hosts my Definitive Guide to Evolver, which includes them as well).

The pages show the waveshape and the corresponding overtones/harmonics, plus the original name of the waveshape. They're very helpful starting points - you'll get a lot closer to a vocal or bell sound easily if you start with a vocal or bell waveshape.

I like the digital sounds, but the aliasing really limits or colors what you can do. It certainly makes FM much less useful than it otherwise would be.

It's also worth reiterating that the USER WAVES are 16-bit, but the ROM waves are only 12-bit. It makes a difference.

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by Computer Controlled » Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:06 am

You did that Evolver guide eh? I printed that thing out, had it bound and put a nice cover on it. WAY better than the manual. It's a must read for anyone with an Evolver!!!
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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by hyphen nation » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:20 am

xpander wrote:i tend to use the dcos for the lower end stuff and pile the purely digital stuff on to make it sound metallic like the Prophet VS. i still prefer the Prophet VS sound to the PEK, but the PEK is really fun to use and really feature-rich.

Image
I got may hands on a VS in a store for half an hour...ran to the ATM, and it was GONE!!! those deep metal tones are mind blowing...such a freaking awesome synth...HUGE sounding...one day my friends one day...anyone know how an xtk stacks up against it?

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by lemurman » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:54 am

code green wrote:-any favorites among the waveforms?
I really like the wave sequencing so favourite waveform would have to be 94, the blank one, for the extra rhythmic possibilities it gives.

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by xpander » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:05 am

hyphen nation wrote:I got may hands on a VS in a store for half an hour...ran to the ATM, and it was GONE!!! those deep metal tones are mind blowing...such a freaking awesome synth...HUGE sounding...one day my friends one day...anyone know how an xtk stacks up against it?
sad times, indeed. the VS is one of my favorites of all time, one of the rare synths were you would have to spend a lot of time to get it to sound bad.

seriously, in that picture of the poly evolver & VS there is a waldorf xt on the floor. i know there are a legion of believers in the xt, but mine is on the floor.

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by lemurman » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:37 am

xpander wrote:there is a waldorf xt on the floor. i know there are a legion of believers in the xt, but mine is on the floor.
Always found the Waldorf XT to be a frustrating synth - some days it would sound awesome in a mix then others terrible. I'm glad I owned it as I learnt a lot from using it but for digital pads I just use an ms2000 now as it's less stressful.

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Re: the evolver's digital side

Post by aredj » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:42 am

I've had my devo for a couple of years now, and I've always used it for leads and basses (its my only analog monosynth)

But very recently started into the digi side going heavy with the delays and feedbacks and the output hack while jamming with a friend... My GOD... the textures... I can always get this thing to cut through one way or another... When you're grooven and tweaken - you really feel the appropriateness of the machine's name...

Nowadays I'm almost exclusively using the digital side... leaving the bass duties to other machines... The evolver is too unique to merely use as a bass...

(I want a poly rack sooo bad....)

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