Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

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synthmax
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Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by synthmax » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:26 pm

I think my PEK sounds like nothing else in my setup. However, I really can't quite get into the filter, especially when sweeping. On most patches it sounds weak to me. I can imagine this is because of the cheap knob that controls it and because of the choices of default patches. Could anyone recommend a particular preset to try the filter to hear it in full glory?

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by otto » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:58 pm

Someone described the DSI filter as being anemic. I think the words adequate and subtle also apply. While not bad by any means I wouldn’t count on it sounding like a VCO synth sweep.
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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by synthmax » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:06 pm

Yeah, besides that realization on my part as well, I am afraid I'll just straight up break off the knob!

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by Joey » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:01 pm

its not the best with filter sweeps, but if you crank it to self oscillation and put keytracking up you can get some really nice bell tones
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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by masstronaut » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:18 pm

synthmax wrote:I can imagine this is because of the cheap knob that controls it and because of the choices of default patches.
You know if you are sweeping it manually with the filter cutoff control it's going to be steppy. Try routing it through one of the smoothed control slots for mod wheel, breath, foot etc., as suggested in the manual in fact.

Might also be worth running the calibration routine in case the tracking on the filters has gone a bit out of whack, it happens.

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:37 am

masstronaut wrote:
synthmax wrote:I can imagine this is because of the cheap knob that controls it and because of the choices of default patches.
You know if you are sweeping it manually with the filter cutoff control it's going to be steppy. Try routing it through one of the smoothed control slots for mod wheel, breath, foot etc., as suggested in the manual in fact.
Exactly. The knobs are for programming, the performance controls are for performing.

If you're just after filter sweeps I don't think the PEK is the best choice but I'm pretty happy with the sound of the resonant filter on my MEK, one track we play live I play a really acidy sounding arpeggio with a resonant filter and it sounds amazing. Careful choice of cutoff, resonance, filter envelope amount and filter ADSR are the key, the Evolvers are such versatile instruments that the sweet spot is often pretty small. You might want to try in mono or unison made as well.

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:54 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
masstronaut wrote:
synthmax wrote:I can imagine this is because of the cheap knob that controls it and because of the choices of default patches.
You know if you are sweeping it manually with the filter cutoff control it's going to be steppy. Try routing it through one of the smoothed control slots for mod wheel, breath, foot etc., as suggested in the manual in fact.
Exactly. The knobs are for programming, the performance controls are for performing.

If you're just after filter sweeps I don't think the PEK is the best choice but I'm pretty happy with the sound of the resonant filter on my MEK, one track we play live I play a really acidy sounding arpeggio with a resonant filter and it sounds amazing. Careful choice of cutoff, resonance, filter envelope amount and filter ADSR are the key, the Evolvers are such versatile instruments that the sweet spot is often pretty small. You might want to try in mono or unison made as well.
agreed... Although I enjoy the MEK far better than the PEK (I think that format is simply more suited to the design), I can't say I have totally warmed to the sound... Certain things about the filters bug me-the dual filter design makes getting snappy square wave basses hard for some reason, and the filter does not track perfectly which is very strange. However, it still sounds good with the right tweaking. For simple snappy bass pluck sounds, I compared it to an sh-2, and found them similar enough that I certainly don't regret not having it around!
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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by bsh » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:56 am

Incidentally, the filter cutoff on the PolyEvolver is extra sensitive (or unsensitive?) to minimize stepping. Which is a pain when you want rapid changes, but it does result in filter sweeps that are roughly one million times smoother than my Prophet 600.

But yeah, the 600 sounds pretty damn good otherwise. You really have to like the digital side of the Poly to appreciate it. The '08 is the same thing without all the digital stuff and it's sort of a waste of time IMHO when 600s are still so cheap if you want raw analog. I wouldn't complain if they had 4 lfos and 3 envelopes of course...
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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:19 am

Sir Ruff wrote:agreed... Although I enjoy the MEK far better than the PEK (I think that format is simply more suited to the design), I can't say I have totally warmed to the sound... Certain things about the filters bug me-the dual filter design makes getting snappy square wave basses hard for some reason, and the filter does not track perfectly which is very strange. However, it still sounds good with the right tweaking. For simple snappy bass pluck sounds, I compared it to an sh-2, and found them similar enough that I certainly don't regret not having it around!
I also didn't like the basses I got from the MEK until I started running them mono (as in only one output, set the pan parameter as you see fit) and into a compressor. I don't think it's the frequency response of the DSI filter that stops good basses from just falling out of it, it's the dynamic response. As soon as I ran it through my compressor it got really big and snappy, although I think there was a bit of harmonic distortion added as well (this is a good thing :D).

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by lotus-eater » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:53 pm

I've owned an evolver (twice) for the past five years or so. It was my first analogue, and after I got over how much better it sounded than the VA stuff I had been using, I immediately began to wish its filter was thicker, and that it's DCOs sounded fuller. Eventually I ditched it, and scored an SE ATC-X. My issues with the evolver were immediately resolved. Except, now I was lacking all the the gorgeous, bright brassy tones that I loved on the Evo. Picked up my second a few years ago, and could only part with it for a poly evo kbd now. I've found there are a lot of sounds you can get with that synth that you can't get with the more bass-oriented machines people seem to go on about endlessly.

Punchy, VCO bass? Definitely not my first choice. Deep filter sweeps? Ditto. It's not an acid machine, as I see it. I don't find it particularly funky in the bass region, but damn it can make some luscious mid, high-end stuff. And actually I find the filter to be pretty damned versatile. I'm not sure what it is about it, but compared to other synths I've owned, I seem to be able to get a wider range of useful sounds using just the analogue oscillators, filters, resonance, and a couple envelopes. There's a lot you can do with just the most basic building blocks in this synth. And then there's the whole other side to it which is pretty badass. Tuned fdbk sounds SO good.

So yeah, it may not give you the filter sweep sound you're looking for, but persevere with it. There is SO much this board can do!

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by Jinsai » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:19 pm

It's like chocolate cake. Every 4-pole filter design provides a different sound, every synth architecture provides a different sound. Maybe you like the way they taste, maybe you don't.

I am speculating, but I would guess Mr. Smith wanted to make a filter that sounded different or unique, or just "like he wanted it to sound".

I agree, it's not a super-fat, squelchy "Moog"-y filter. Chris Randall said something like it was fundamentally flawed. That's OK. Don't get the synth if it's not working for you.

I try to appreciate every instrument FOR its quirks and character, not in spite of them. One can always go buy a Moog something or other and sound just like everyone else who is trying to sound like someone with a Moog (or an SE ATC-X, which was the Voyager before there was a Voyager).

I'm not knocking that at all. It's all a question of what one wants.
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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by xpander » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:41 am

when it comes to the PEK, i feel like the sound is distilled- i imagine this is because the sound sources are digitized then converted back to analog for the outputs. weird board, though.

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Re: Poly Evolver filter sweep... unconvinced

Post by pricklyrobot » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:46 am

bsh wrote:Incidentally, the filter cutoff on the PolyEvolver is extra sensitive (or unsensitive?) to minimize stepping. Which is a pain when you want rapid changes, but it does result in filter sweeps that are roughly one million times smoother than my Prophet 600.
You need to make use of that Filter CV In jack on the back of the 600, man! I rigged up a CV pedal for it—just a cheap-o volume pedal with the pot wired up to a 9V battery—and it's been smooth sweeps ever since (not to mention two free hands for playing, and other tweaks).
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