Carbon111's DSI Evolver Resource Page
What an amazing instrument! The DSI Evolver has the signature "old school" timbre down pat as well as being able to provide digital timbres reminiscent of the Waldorf Q. There's certainly a "rougher" side available as well with all the feedback implementation and controled distortion. Being able to make PM type plucked and blown sounds is just icing on the cake. Dave Smith should be commended for a job well done. Just have a look at the Panel Layout to get a taste of what this beauty can dish out - the controls are pretty much laid out in the form of a signal path graphic. Be sure to visit Dave Smith's Website!
Evolver Sound Examples
There are a lot of demos of the Evolver on the web showcasing the gutsy harsh sounds of this beast so I decided to post demos of some of my own patches as examples of the "softer" more "vintage" side of the Evolver's timbre. I make no apologies for these unpolished recordings - these are merely sound samples ;)
What can I say? I love pads...
- Resonant Plucked Pad
- This pad shows some of the rich resonant nature of the filter.
- Soft Lead
- This is a simple analog brass lead patch.
- A fun patch with lots of motion made using my "Audio-rate Filter FM" programming tip below.
- A nice bland-vanilla pad ^_^
For more MP3 demos showing the full gamut of sounds the Evolver and Polyevolver are capable of, please visit the excellent website of Stefan Trippler!
The Definitive Guide to Evolver
This rather in-depth guide to the Evolver goes places and does things a mere manual can't. This labor-of-love was crafted by Anu Kirk and with his kind permission, I am offering this fantastic resource right here in PDF format!
A much smaller version (400K) is here but it dosen't have internal hyperlinks.
Here's a fun repository of programming tips for the Evolver in all its incarnations. Please email me if you would like to add some.
- Fingered Wave Sequence
- Submitted by Dave Bryce. This brilliant technique has to be heard to be believed! Plus, its one of those cool things unique to the Evolver! This particular tip is so full of detailed information that it gets its own page!
- Audio-rate Filter FM
- Submitted by James Maier. Use the "Audio Mod" parameter in the Filter section to frequency-modulate the cutoff with the analog oscillator. Add resonance until the filter is just on the edge of oscillation then mod the cutoff with just a little triangle LFO set at a very slow speed. Amazing moving chorusing pad and lead sounds can be made this way.
- Fatter Bass/Pad Sounds
- Submitted by Mike Peake. Set the same sound in both channels (detuned saws, for instance). With the filters at the 24dB setting, increasing resonance cuts the passband as on the Moog filters. Set Envelope 3 to minimum attack, maximum decay and release, and sustain to maximum. This "creates" an offset, a continuous "on" signal while the keys are gated. Modulate one filters' resonance up (just one), or of the overall resonance level is high, us it to modulate one filters' resonance to its minimum. You get the resonant character plus the size of the non-resonant filter. Use Tri and Sine waves on that side too.
- "Warmer" Sounds
- Submitted by James Maier. The Evolver can make many ultra-bright and buzzy sounds due to its extensive feedback and distortion stages but sometimes people miss the subtler side of the beast. For a warmer sound use little or no distortion, close the filter just a bit and turn off the feedback and delay lines. I've managed to get dead-on Prophet5 timbres this way.
- Adding "Punch"
- Submitted by Mike Peake. Set the envelopes to linear, and use a Mod to modulate AmpEnv All by itself (lin through log responses with positive and negative self-modulation).
This is of course fun on the filter envelopes as well.
- More Vintage Character
- Submitted by Mike Peake. Oscillator Slop, set at 5, doesn't come close to the Moog and other old-timer movement, so add slight (1 or 2) LFO to pitch modulations, with individual LFOs per oscillator, and a touch of LFO to LFO rate modulation. A tad of Envelope 3 to pitch helps as well.
- Don't miss out on the 12dB filter setting
- Submitted by Mike Peake. The 24dB setting has much more resonance, but the 12dB setting can sound nice and plucky, and do nice slightly fuzzy pads etc.
DSI Evolver Waveshape Charts
Below are charts I've assembled of the digital waveforms and their spectra as currently used in the DSI Evolver synthesizers. Originally these waves were unique to the SCI ProphetVS vector synth.
I find these waveform/spectra graphics really usefull when programming sounds - maybe you will as well. Pay special attention to the spectra as this info is sometimes much more useful than waveshape in determining actual timbre - even before you hear what the waveform sounds like.
These are designed to be downloaded (right-click & "save target as"), and printed at 300dpi on 8.5" x 11" pages - don't resize these images before printing or you will lose useful detail. Use them as a handy refrence. This information was cobbled together from various scattered sources (with very special thanks to Achim Gratz!).
Any errors or omissions are my own. ^_^
As far as the origin of these waves is concerned, one of the original VS engineers, Chris Meyer, said:
"The original waves for the VS were created three ways - extracting single-cycles from sampled sounds, using a custom additive synthesis program, and using a program Josh (Josh Jeffe, another VS engineer) slapped together called "Hacker" where you could draw the waveshape. These were fed straight from the computer through the filter and VCA of a Pro-One to figure out what they might sound like in a patch. And by the way, no PPG waveforms appear inside the VS - we had access to them, but in the end our consciences got the better of us. We did steal some waveforms from the Korg DW6000, but only by looking at the harmonic drawings on the front panel and trying to imitate them in our additive synthesis program."
Modulation Matrix "Cheat Sheet"
This chart shows all the modulation routing available on the Evolver. This same info is available in the manual but this can be printed on a single sheet of paper as a handy refrence!
These I created just for fun and desktop "beautification" ;)
What you give is what you get.
The contents of these pages are Copyright ©James D. Maier 1997, 2013 All Rights Reserved.
Please report any broken links or problems you may have with these pages.