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DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:20 am
by rharris07
I am still looking for something to become a new lead setup for my recordings. Here is what I'm trying to figure out...

Would it be better to just get a DSI Poly Evolver, OR should I, for variety's sake, get a DSI Mono Evolver Key plus a DSI Prophet '08 ?

I realize the Poly is basically 4 mono evolvers, but am I missing some different things from the Prophet if I go with the PEK? Or does the PEK sum up basically all of the DSI synths anyways? I don't have the luxury of trying out any of these before I buy, so I'm leaving it up to youtube videos, sound samples, and opinions from forum members here.

The styles of music I'm aiming for - vintage horror disco, italio disco at times, berlin school/ambient at times too. The biggest influences to me would be classic Jarre & Tangerine Dream, Eno, Hoenig, Wavestar...that sorta stuff, plus new stuff like Zombi/Steve Moore, and just about anything you can find on the Italians Do It Better label.

thanks for any and all input!

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:47 am
by FD4F
I have both the evolver desktop and the prophet, and first question would be, is this going to be your whole rig?
the evolver desktop is great for TD/Hoenig type seq sounds, this has also been my primary use of the synth. I also use it for great complex leads, but primarily it is my step sequencer. You can use the step sequencer on the P08, but you need hold a key down to trigger it, and as soon as you release the key, the sequence stops....not very useful for berlin school type improv. Still, the P08 is great for designing some out of this world pads and patches...however, I would venture to guess that the PEK can do just about everything the P08 can do with it's similar architecture + more. If I could do it differently, I would have the PEK and start collecting evolver desktops as time goes on. Unfortunately, I found a great price on a P08 and didn't think twice before I learned more. If you are going to be multitracking, then I would definitely without a doubt do the PEK, but if you are planning on playing live, then I would certainly choose the desktop evolver with the p08. Tell more about how you see yourself using these great boxes?

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:50 am
by FD4F
PS, I rarely, or never, use the Prophet as a lead. The unison sound is a little too chorusy for my monosynth tastes, and really doesn't make the prophet sound faaaat, although some might disagree. As a lead, the desktop evolver beats every other generally available analog or analog/digital synth out there. I also own a little phatty, and if it weren't for the fact that I own it and it's resale value sucks, I'd quit using it and sell it.

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:03 am
by rharris07
well what i'm thinking is using the prophet for a background - for pads and rich soundscapes, while using the MEK as a lead...is that too far out there? i was thinking i could set up sequences on the mek and let it run while playing the rest on the prophet.

it won't be my entire set up, i have a dw8000 coming in from Tallowwaters - he gave me a great deal on it. i'm not sure what i'll use that for yet; also i just picked up an sq-80 from Malik - i really am just curious about this synth and i've never played with one in person, and again i got a great deal so i figured why not try it out and see how it goes. i'm also using a microkorg and a yamaha motif 8, plus a korg emx-1. i don't really have a centerpiece right now - i use each thing differently almost each time, all i know is i want a new feel - a new sound - and some new things to create with.

i think i've made my decision though, i'm just not satisfied with the idea of dropping 2 grand on the PEK without ever getting a chance to touch and play with it - i've been offered a great deal on the prophet, plus i can pick up an MEK later on (used hopefully!!) if i feel that the prophet is not providing enough lead for me...

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:48 pm
by bhrama
I have a P08, and it never seems to get what I would describe as a lead sound from it. Sure there are aggressive presets (but who uses presets?!?), however I find my Voyager cuts through the mix much cleaner, while the P08 seems to thrive in a choral setting, or "pad" type backing. I've never had the opportunity to play the Poly Evolver, though it seems like an amazing piece.

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:35 am
by prophei
i LOVE my poly evolver keyboard. it is a glorious instrument, and i would go for that....

btw, i HIGHLY recommend the potentiometer version. it completely changes the synth, making it a million times better. :)

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:59 pm
by rharris07
prophei wrote:i LOVE my poly evolver keyboard. it is a glorious instrument, and i would go for that....

btw, i HIGHLY recommend the potentiometer version. it completely changes the synth, making it a million times better. :)
What kind of differences does the PE edition of the poly evolver make, if you don't mind me asking...?

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:36 pm
by prophei
while i have always loved my original polyevolver, one thing that kind of made it less inspirational to program is the encoders. they don't feel natural. parameters seem to move to fast or too slow most of the time. it is impossible to perform on cause it takes too many turns to sweep the filter right. it's just not exacting like a one turn traditional pot. that said, my criticism isn't about the implementation of the encoders, just about the way encoders act as a technology.

with the pots, finally all the parameters moved like you expect. it brings back a real hands on feel that makes it as easy to flow with as an older analog synth. to me, this is HUGE. as simple of a change as this might be from a technical standpoint, it made the synth two times better to me.

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:58 am
by mao
Imho... I prefer a MEK + Prophet08 rack. The MEK/Evolver desktop is great on sequences. Leads are really good too. Now the PolyEvolver keyboard never catched me because seems not a "natural" evolution of the MEK. The 4 osc structure multiplied by polyphony gives me a bad start. The evolver is a killer for leads, basses and sequences... so use it in this way and forget chords... while the prophet 08 will give you pads and all the chord sounds you need. It's the best choice for me (well I prefer the Andromeda over the P08...)

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:17 pm
by n3wt15
My p08 isnt my go to synth for everything, and I have never powned a poly evolver (though plan on it some day)
but I really do enjoy the sounds I get from my p08, lots of good basses and pad, great for morphing atmosphere style sounds.
and I think it gets pretty dirty and evil sounding

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:23 pm
by rharris07
yeah now that I've had my P08 for a few months, it tends to be my go-to synth for bass...but i haven't gotten too far into morphing sounds yet - i've played a bit with it, but i tend to get frustrated with the LFOs...i'm not getting response from them as well as i had hoped...maybe i'm just not into the synth yet enough to know my way around it inside and out, i kinda always go to a bass line on it instead of exploring further...but damn can that bass sound awesome!

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:21 pm
by Scories
I don't want to confuse you, but have you ever considered getting a Microwave XT ??

At some point, I've considered to swap it for an Evolver but realised that the XT sounds better and dirtier IMO.

I started digging deeper in it and got really rewarded; you can get so many out-of this-world sounds out of it that I don't feel that I need a Fizmo (or even a VCS3!) anymore. It can sound very concrete but can even generate sweet Moogish and ARPish tones with the saw/square/tri. The mix of modulated FM and sync can give you some nasty tones. There's also 2 lfo and a 16 parts matrix. I use it with a tube processor and I feel like it gives me best of both worlds. It's not just good for neo-industrial.

I've checked some videos on youtube but they don't really show how good it can be. However, for some reasons I can't explain, I don't think it's the best choice for leads. Analog monosynths are best for that.

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:38 pm
by prophei
the microwave xt is pretty beautiful, and the synthesis options are superb. that said it can sound very brash/harsh. it was with a lot of sadness that i sold my black face version a number of years ago, cause it was hard for me to get it to lose that edge when i didn't want it.

not to downplay the synth, this may be an entirely subjective thing... but if you have never heard one, i would play with it a bit before buying. i would not underestimate its ability to have a love or hate sound.

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:39 pm
by Scories
prophei wrote:the microwave xt is pretty beautiful, and the synthesis options are superb. that said it can sound very brash/harsh. it was with a lot of sadness that i sold my black face version a number of years ago, cause it was hard for me to get it to lose that edge when i didn't want it.

not to downplay the synth, this may be an entirely subjective thing... but if you have never heard one, i would play with it a bit before buying. i would not underestimate its ability to have a love or hate sound.
True. You have to love its tone.. even though it's quite varied; can range from very smooth to very harsh.

Re: DSI Poly Evolver OR DSI Combo of MEK & Prophet '08

Posted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:42 am
by RD9
rharris07 wrote:yeah now that I've had my P08 for a few months, it tends to be my go-to synth for bass...but i haven't gotten too far into morphing sounds yet - i've played a bit with it, but i tend to get frustrated with the LFOs...i'm not getting response from them as well as i had hoped...maybe i'm just not into the synth yet enough to know my way around it inside and out, i kinda always go to a bass line on it instead of exploring further...but damn can that bass sound awesome!
Obviously it's been a while since your original post, but I was wondering how the P08 is behaving as a lead for you? I've noticed in my own stuff that I get better results from a monosynth for leads because of the way the notes overlap and sound. Poly notes sometimes sound too thick, particularly when the ADSR-release is long and with sawtooths, even if you just play one note at a time. When the notes overlap, you get this unneeded extra layering that doesn't sit well in the mix by the time you add everything else. It starts to get too muddy. Square and tri waves aren't as bad, but the sound isn't as "clean" as on a monosynth. I don't know, maybe it depends on the music.

I just recently picked up an MEK which sounds great, but I'm still getting used to the interface...