DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
HalloweenJack
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:14 pm
Gear: Roland V Synth with VC1 card, Yamaha FS1R, Roland JX3P, DSI Mono Evolver, Korg Arp Odyssey module, Korg Sigma, Roland JDXi,Korg Monotron Duo and Delay
Band: The Electrician

DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by HalloweenJack » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:57 pm

Well, I have to say that since I purchased the Mono Evolver I'm totally amazed by this synth, I really love it!

Even though it's only a couple of months that I have it, the "what if" little voice started knocking in my head :lol: , and the complete question is "what if I have more polyphony?" ;) ...I made a search on the forum but this issue hasn't been discussed often, and right now there is on sale close to my hometown a Poly Evolver rack for 1.250 euros, I don't even know if it's too much or too low, I paid 670 euros for a new Mono Evolver desktop so the price looks fair to me, but anyway some thoughts are welcome...

My doubts are about the 4 note polyphony, I "fear" that they are not sufficient to my needs, what is missing in my set up right now is an analog polysynth, I'm not a purist (I mean I don't care for all the VCO vs DCO discussions, vintage vs modern, and I do really like the filter on the Mono Evolver), but here in Italy for the same price I could have an used Prophet 08, I know that they are two completely different synths, but "those" 8 note polyphony really attracts me, but maybe I'm wrong, maybe the Poly Evolver is so deep and "full" sounding that people using it don't care about polyphony, so I'm asking to "real" users: did you ever found Evolver 4 note polyphony a limitation?

Another question: I know that I can polychain the two Evolvers for a 5 note polyphony, and maybe in a near, or not so near :D , future I could buy anothe Mono Evolver for 6 note polyphony, but I've read that polychaining Mono and Poly Evolvers bring some issues into the game, again I'm asking for real users experiences...

The last thing ;) : I'm not interested in analog for vintage sounds, I do prefer synths with extensive sonic (modulations) possibilities, I love to experiment and found new and "personal" sounds, both in the digital that in the analog world, I play mostly new wave "informed" by synths (I'm saying that just to let you understand why I'm looking at the Evolvers and Prophet 08 instead of vintage gear or Prophet 6)...

Thank you, any help will be appreciated!!!!!

tomorrowstops
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:55 pm
Location: Portland, ME

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by tomorrowstops » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:28 pm

If you're digging the Evolver sound, don't switch it up for a Prophet 08. Totally different synth. I'd get that PER and then start saving for a second PER! Just be aware that every time you add something to the poly chain, you're adding two more audio lines. I'd probably get a little hardware mixer to sub mix all those lines back down to a stereo pair.

HalloweenJack
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:14 pm
Gear: Roland V Synth with VC1 card, Yamaha FS1R, Roland JX3P, DSI Mono Evolver, Korg Arp Odyssey module, Korg Sigma, Roland JDXi,Korg Monotron Duo and Delay
Band: The Electrician

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by HalloweenJack » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:54 pm

tomorrowstops wrote:If you're digging the Evolver sound, don't switch it up for a Prophet 08. Totally different synth. I'd get that PER and then start saving for a second PER! Just be aware that every time you add something to the poly chain, you're adding two more audio lines. I'd probably get a little hardware mixer to sub mix all those lines back down to a stereo pair.
Thank you for the advices, I didn't think about the mixer "thing", useful advice =D>

Just curious about your advice of NOT buying the Prophet 08: but didn't the Prophet and the Evolver "share" the same analog oscillators and the same analog low pass filters? It looks like the analog side of the two synths should be very similar, or am I wrong?

tomorrowstops
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:55 pm
Location: Portland, ME

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by tomorrowstops » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:47 pm

Yes, those are the similarities - but is that all you want access too? The Evolver is capable of so much more, with the digital oscs, delay lines, feedback, etc. The Prophet is pretty plain jane by comparison.

My point is simple - you seem to be enjoying the Evolver, but want polyphony - and you can. Buy that PER!

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5774
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Live 9, Logic Pro X

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:45 pm

The PER seldom shows up used, since I sold mine a few years ago I haven't seen a single one for sale! You can use it three ways:

1. Chain with your MEK for a 5 voice synth

2. Use as a 4 voice synth alongside the MEK

3. Use as four mono synths alongside the MEK

I would advise getting the PER while you can because you will be able to get a P08 any time you want for a long time.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
vicd
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:26 am
Real name: Victor
Gear: Blofeld, Formanta (EMS01, Maestro, Mini), Fusion 8HD, JD800, Morpheus, MP7, Plugiator, TG77, TOM1501, TR626, UltraProteus, V-Synth XT
Band: ROBOPOP
Location: Siberia
Contact:

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by vicd » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:41 pm

I thought the guy who made this video is on our forum, but could not find him after a brief search - oh well.


I don't like the drums, but the drums like me!

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5155
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Flangebeast Mk1, Plonkotron, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Band: Minim
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by madtheory » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:19 pm

Good god, you have the Evolver and the V Synth. Two of the most innovative and fun synths of the last 10 years. I hate you!! ;)

Definitely by the PER, even if you grow tired of it (highly unlikely) you will not loose money if you go mad and decide to sell it in a few years.

Rokk
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:57 pm

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by Rokk » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:47 pm

The Polyevolver is amazing. I had a chance to play Prophet 08 and Polyevolver side by side and while P08 sounded quite a bit all samey soundwise (couldn't get rid of its brassy, edgy character no matter what) the Polyevolver had depth to the sound, more low-end and really, I felt it was the digital waveforms that gave it that special something. I fell in love with it right away. The only thing that put me off was that some of the encoders were skipping values. If you can get the rare PE (pot edition) you'd be happy.

User avatar
GuyaGuy
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:10 am
Gear: YES PLEASE!
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by GuyaGuy » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:58 pm

The polyphony probably feels limited if you are a fancy keys player (I'm not) or sometimes just with lush pads where one voice gets robbed abruptly. To solve for that I added a desktop Evo which you can also polychain. But it just became too fiddly. So I've learned to just work with the limitation and write parts and set up patches that don't need more voices. And the engine is so rich that that isn't that hard.

There are other advantages to the PEK over the MEK: dedicated seq knobs, much closer to knob per function in general, combo mode, etc. BUT it doesn't have the arpeggiator.

I'm probably odd in that I mostly use the analog oscillators. But I still prefer the PEK over the P08 because of the feedback, delay, mod matrix, stereo filters, etc.

User avatar
zmd
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:32 am
Gear: ion, djx, su200, fb01, sk50d, dotcom, kodyssey, volcas, minibrute, minilogue, tg33, 522, streichfett, monotrons, cp35
Band: Shrimp ring/usse/wrote/usurper
Location: saint john NB canada
Contact:

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by zmd » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:12 am

I just went through similar, but I had Mopho and wanted tetra. My reasons and yours were nearly the same...so were my worries.
Suffice to say, I love the tetra!
that's not dirt, that's chili sauce!

HalloweenJack
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:14 pm
Gear: Roland V Synth with VC1 card, Yamaha FS1R, Roland JX3P, DSI Mono Evolver, Korg Arp Odyssey module, Korg Sigma, Roland JDXi,Korg Monotron Duo and Delay
Band: The Electrician

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by HalloweenJack » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:36 am

First af all I'd like to thank everybody for the advices, you help me in my decision, so they were useful advices =D>
tomorrowstops wrote:
My point is simple - you seem to be enjoying the Evolver, but want polyphony - and you can. Buy that PER!
Clear and simple, message received! :thumbsup:

meatballfulton wrote:
I would advise getting the PER while you can because you will be able to get a P08 any time you want for a long time.
Another veeeery clear "message", together with the video posted by vicd (and after this video I watched to all the videos of the same guy on Youtube, impressive stuff!), and the comments of madtheory, Rokk, zmd, GuyaGuy, I decided to go for it! :D ...now I've "only" to explain my wife why I need another synth :roll: and spend 1250 euros, knowing that she will never understand :lol: :( ...actually the guy selling the synth has "discovered" that I have an FS1R and ask me for a trade, never thought of selling my FS1R, I really love that synth because is so unique sounding, but the UI is horrible even with an editor and I have always the impression that when I edit an interesting sound I "arrived" there quite by chance, not knowing exactly what I'm doing, so it looks like it's impossible to explore its full sonic potential, mmmmhhhhhhh, another hard decision to make...any ideas???? ;) :) ;) :)

madtheory wrote:
Good god, you have the Evolver and the V Synth. Two of the most innovative and fun synths of the last 10 years. I hate you!! ;)

Definitely by the PER, even if you grow tired of it (highly unlikely) you will not loose money if you go mad and decide to sell it in a few years.
No don't hate me, we are "brother" in the world wide community of synth users :keys1: :hippie: ...well, actually buying innovative (sound wise) synths, is what has been my goal since I decided to have more than one machine around me (I've been a one synth guy for a long time, mainly a workstation), because as I already wrote I'm not interested in vintage sounds or in the "past" but only in exploring new sonic possibilities...

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:09 am

If the four-voice polyphony of the PER is a sticking point and you'd be looking at getting two, consider the Prophet 12 module instead. The Prophet 12 is actually more of an Evolver than a Prophet; very good digital oscillators, delay/feedback lines, huge modulation section with very flexible routings. The downside is you don't have full multitimbrality like on the Poly Evolvers, but to be honest I always found the DSI multitimbral implementation to me a bit clunky and not that fun to use.

A new Prophet 12 module should go for around the same or less than two PERs and you get a better synth with a much better user interface and 50% more polyphony. Worth considering.

HalloweenJack
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:14 pm
Gear: Roland V Synth with VC1 card, Yamaha FS1R, Roland JX3P, DSI Mono Evolver, Korg Arp Odyssey module, Korg Sigma, Roland JDXi,Korg Monotron Duo and Delay
Band: The Electrician

Re: DSI Poly Evolver: to buy or not to buy?

Post by HalloweenJack » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:54 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:If the four-voice polyphony of the PER is a sticking point and you'd be looking at getting two, consider the Prophet 12 module instead. The Prophet 12 is actually more of an Evolver than a Prophet; very good digital oscillators, delay/feedback lines, huge modulation section with very flexible routings. The downside is you don't have full multitimbrality like on the Poly Evolvers, but to be honest I always found the DSI multitimbral implementation to me a bit clunky and not that fun to use.

A new Prophet 12 module should go for around the same or less than two PERs and you get a better synth with a much better user interface and 50% more polyphony. Worth considering.

Thank you for your advice, but I ended up purchasing the Poly Evolver some days ago :roll: , so my Christmas budget is all gone :lol: ...at the end I didn't trade my FS1R because I love that thing, I use it often in my production even though is a pain to edit even with an editor...the Poly Evolver is not in my home yet because the guy who was selling it is a couple of hours driving from where I live, si we decided to meet in person after Christmas, can't wait to have the synth here!!!!

Post Reply