Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

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Naive Teen Idol
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Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by Naive Teen Idol » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:09 pm

Inspired by this (excellent) thread: http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... &hilit=Dsi

This is a discussion I've seen mentioned in several threads but never explicitly discussed: how to explore the Evolver's analog side.

First, acknowledgments of various arguments made to the contrary. The "sweet spot" on the synth can, indeed, feel small. Things can go from zero to fugly very quickly. Further, the controls (certainly on the DEvo) do little to assuage one's fears in that respect -- while I have no fundamental issues w the matrix layout, it does, for some reason, seem to facilitate destruction as opposed to subtlety. Perhaps that's bc a controller with more than 8 parameters accessible at one time encourages lots of minor adjustments instead of two or three big cranks of the pots, I dunno.

But interface issues notwithstanding, it seems to me that the argument "it's a hybrid not an analog -- don't think of it that way" isn't completely right. For one, it seems that one of the Evolver's secret weapons is the dual LP filter and the ability to control them separately. This was a feature that didn't really become obvious to me until I bought the Soundtower editor software. Yes, the default on this is L/R -- which sounds cool if not particularly "vintage." but by making the output mono and offsetting the two filters envelopes slightly, you can get some interesting phasing action and can fatten up the filter considerably. Also, a number of the digital features, used judiciously, can produce very vintage-y effects -- subtle use of Ring Mod and FM, using the LFOs to slightly vary the delay time, or using the noise or digital oscillators to modulate the VCA. A good layout on an external controller might facilitate this kind of tweaking.

What do others say?

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meatballfulton
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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:30 pm

I've always thought the Evo sounds analog if you turn off the digital oscs. After all, the main signal path is analog (except for the HPF and delay taps at the end).

The one thing I do miss is analog ring modulation, why it's only offered for the digital oscs is a mystery to me.

Offsetting the filters is simple and using the mod matrix you can have independent sweeps (use EG3) which has a lot of interesting applications.

The real trick of staying in the sweet spot is not to overmodulate everything, it's easy to get carried away when you have so many tools at your disposal. Keep things simple in your patches and you can dial in lots of nice analog sounds.
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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:53 pm

It's interesting you mention the dual filter's use not being immediately apparent-I would always get annoyed that you couldn't get the one side's cutoff down all the way, and I tended to ignore that feature entirely. But I was clearly not taking advantage of it in the way you describe.
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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by MarcinELT » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:36 am

Does the Evolver desktop offer independent VCF control from it's panel or is it only accessible via computer?

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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:39 am

Everything's available from the panel.

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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by MarcinELT » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:46 am

A very tasty feature, indeed. I'm warming to the Evolver more and more.

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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by masstronaut » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:48 am

It's not quite direct independent control of the filters - but the same goes for using the editor. They're available as separate mod destinations, and you can use the 'split' setting to have an offset between them.

Also the signal path isn't analogue, I don't think that can reasonably be claimed. Everything goes through A/D and D/A conversion before it hits the outputs.

I love the Evolver though, have used it loads, but tend to use it for what it is, with the integrated effects and sequencer and so on. Although of course it can be many things.

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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by Naive Teen Idol » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:43 pm

meatballfulton wrote:Offsetting the filters is simple and using the mod matrix you can have independent sweeps (use EG3) which has a lot of interesting applications.
This has nothing ostensibly to do with teasing the analog side out of the thing. But the EG3 also has a delay setting before it starts which gives you an opportunity to sweep the filter (or anything else, really) quite a bit after the initial attack. Evolver, indeed.

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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by kaeth » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:34 pm

masstronaut wrote:Also the signal path isn't analogue, I don't think that can reasonably be claimed. Everything goes through A/D and D/A conversion before it hits the outputs.
I wonder how difficult it would have been for Dave to integrate a bypass circuit for the analogue oscillators that could be routed to when not using the digital features. The P08 has an analogue signal path, and otherwise identical voice architecture, no? Might be a good idea if there's ever another revision.

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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:07 pm

kaeth wrote:
masstronaut wrote:Also the signal path isn't analogue, I don't think that can reasonably be claimed. Everything goes through A/D and D/A conversion before it hits the outputs.
I wonder how difficult it would have been for Dave to integrate a bypass circuit for the analogue oscillators that could be routed to when not using the digital features. The P08 has an analogue signal path, and otherwise identical voice architecture, no? Might be a good idea if there's ever another revision.
For what reason? It's not that hard to "tease the analog side out" and it sounds great. Maybe he should have just used VCO's too, ey?
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Re: Teasing the Analog Side Out of the Evolver

Post by kaeth » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:27 pm

Not because it's a huge deal; just because it would preserve some fidelity at the cost of one more menu option, and another trace on the circuit board. It still sounds fantastic the way it is.

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