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Evolver OS status

Evolver OS status
« on: April 13, 2016, 07:11:08 PM »
Out of curiosity what is the current DSI view on the MIDI bugs in the Evolver products? Any chance for a fix?
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 10:53:55 PM »
As the Evolver line has been discontinued, it is unlikely there will be more updates.

Edit: Late night grammar fail. Thanks SS ::)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 11:05:45 AM by Robot Heart »
Dave Smith Instruments

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 07:56:53 AM »
Errr...it is unlikely there will be more updates.

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 08:27:24 AM »
. o O ( discontinuation gymnastics )
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 08:56:43 AM »
Well, there is virtually no interest in the Evolvers on this forum.  Here and there, I try to stir some up with an idea or video, but it's only the predictable three or four of us that engage.  So, I'm sure some users would be interested in a last update, but then again, who's watching any longer?  I think those of us who have held onto our Evolvers are happy with them as they are, and have accepted that there will be no more improvements.

On the other hand, I often wonder, if DSI again produced the Poly Evolver Keyboard for a reasonable price, how it would compare with the newer DSI synthesizers in the opinions of DSI users.  With all the "moving on" and "moving forward" talk, I'd be interested to see if a little "going back" might be a tad refreshing.  Imagine the popularity at this point of a hybrid instrument with a five-octave keyboard and four LFOs.  These are the capabilities that had become quite standard and fundamental to DSI users, and that folks have been asking for with consistency and passion for some time.  And then there's the Evolver's extraordinary sound.

Whoops, I'm dreaming out loud again!  Sorry.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 09:21:26 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2016, 09:36:17 AM »
Well as far as moving on better sounding ingredients have been produced by DSI in recent years such as Prophet 12 digital oscillators, Pro 2 sequencer, Prophet 6 filter, OB-6 oscillators/filters. There is simply no reason at all to use the voice architecture implementations of the Evolver in a new DSI product. Rather use the newer and better sounding implementations as a basis for making a new synthesizer featuring both analog and digital oscillators, digital effects and plenty of modulation features.

Such an instrument will have a new and better sound while at the same time having a wide sonic palette. Never say never but my feeling is that you too would prefer such an instrument over the Evolvers current sound. Younger model yet same type of soul.

The problem with the Evolver - at least the desktop version - is that the edit buffer implementation is not correct which means that anyone using the MIDI features as documented will hit a hard and now forever standing bug wall. DSI have been aware of the problem for years and have not produced a publicly available fix, unfortunately. It is situations like this that from time to time raise discussions about OS quality on the various forums. And indeed the customers do have a valid point as the discussion over in the Pro 2 part of the forum clearly showed. No reason to do more these days than just shake the head and update the mark book.

As for the low forum traffic of the Evolver I think there are several reasons for that. First of all its an older instrument so there is not much hype with it anymore. People see it for what it is: a great sounding hybrid machine with many interesting uses. Yet I am sure many Evolver fans out there are simply too busy using the instrument to engage in that many forum discussions. Also, how many forum discussions do we really see on sound design for Prophet 12, Pro 2, Prophet-6 and OB-6?

As the Evolver is not very hyped anymore perhaps some people have moved on from it and use newer sounding machines because they feel it matches their musical goals better? Maybe the new machines makes them feel better and hence they put more energy into their creations? Who knows?

One way to have more Evolver sound design is to start Evolver discussions oneself. I am still very happy for the percussion presets that Razmo posted a while back and I miss your deep sound design posts from the old forum.

Looking forward to interesting Evolver discussions in the future. Our old quirky friend with its friendly blue face and so many types of voices.
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2016, 10:25:24 AM »
Alas, I knew all that was coming.  My dreaming out loud was unpardonably tinged with a vintage simplicity and sadness, I admit it!!

Without denying anything you've said, I find the newer DSI stuff far less satisfying than the older, in spite of all the impressive advances.  One man's advance is another man's loss.

In other words, the advances in technology that DSI has achieved have in no way resulted in a synthesizer that I prefer to the first crude generation of DSI synthesizers.  My musical tastes are looking for something more than just impressive sophistication. 

I've still got one Poly Evolver Keyboard that I'm itching to sell, if only I can find something that musically surpasses it.  This would essentially require the classic DSI voice architecture, which is why I always end up returning to DSI in my quest.  But I have no certainty that these advances will ever be embodied in a musical instrument as satisfying as the PEK and P'08.  Sure, we've heard that a big one is coming next year, and that certainly has me interested.  But it could be a Prophet 12 event all over again - some technological masterpiece of design and capability that leaves many a simple musical heart listless.  So, excessive talk about such "advances" leaves me dry and skeptical.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 10:49:14 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2016, 10:55:06 AM »
I find that view very interesting and would love to understand it better. Sorry for the ignorance but isn't the new filters and analog oscillators better sounding than on the Curtis chip machines? Can you explain better exactly what you miss in the newer designs?
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2016, 11:30:49 AM »
As for the low forum traffic of the Evolver I think there are several reasons for that...

As the Evolver is not very hyped anymore perhaps some people have moved on from it and use newer sounding machines because they feel it matches their musical goals better? Maybe the new machines makes them feel better and hence they put more energy into their creations? Who knows?

I think this is pretty accurate. In the fickle business of music, a lot of people always grab for the latest and greatest thing. I see it all the time where someone needs this or that gizmo because it's the magic pill that will make their music great. There's a certain stigma that goes along with having the newest, best thing and since there's no shortage of new gear being produced it's easy for a product that's 5-10 years old to get lost in the mix. Seems like a piece of gear has to cross the 20+ year threshold to again be appreciated or coveted by the masses.

Of course some gear that's not brand new is still fantastic and those who own it know the power it holds, but it's not going to get as much coverage or interest compared to the new stuff. Hold onto your Evolvers boys! I'll never sell mine.
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2016, 11:35:12 AM »
Seems like a piece of gear has to cross the 20+ year threshold to again be appreciated or coveted by the masses.

. o O ( spontaneous sound randomization features )

. o O ( cryptic vintage smile )

. o O ( :o )
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2016, 11:48:27 AM »
Sure.  In my opinion, the Prophet-6 and OB-6 both sound positively superb, and I mean that from a purely musical perspective.  But that they lack so many capabilities we've come to rely upon makes that wonderful sound - for some of us - un-useable.  What is the point of incorporating technological advances if the end result is a synthesizer with a voice architecture that resembles a 1979 instrument?  Why not combine the classic old analog sound with the newest and fullest architecture?  So, I find myself caught between the sound of the Prophet 12 and Pro 2, and the architecture of the Prophet-6 and OB-6.  On one hand, you have instruments that can design a vast array of sounds, but with a less than stellar (in my opinion) musical character, and on the other hand, you have instruments with a superb musical character, but with extremely limited (in my opinion) capabilities.  Both pairs are tempting to me, but ultimately, I have to "face the music" and decline them all, because I know fundamental elements are missing. 

As you know, I'm a fundamentals guy.  In music and synthesizers, certain things cannot be omitted, no matter what other stuff is added.  Among these, I would name multiple LFOs, a third envelope, substantial stereo capabilities, stacking and splitting, and a five-octave keyboard.  To me, these are just the ABCs of synthesis.  Jeepers, are these fundamentals becoming rare, in spite of all the touted progress!  It's like giving the most finely crafted violin to a violinist and saying, "Although you can't add a vibrato to a single note on this violin, always remember that it's one of the finest ever made."  Uh, all the rest would be meaningless, for lacking the fundamental nuance of vibrato.

This is the conversation, as I see it:

"Hey SS, did you see this fabulous new synthesizer?  It's extremely advanced and uses cutting-edge technology!"

"Yeah, but it can't produce a simple delayed vibrato."

"But it's extremely advanced!"

"It may be extremely advanced, but it still can't make a simple delayed vibrato."

"But it's got a polyphonic step sequencer, onboard effects, tons of slop, a spec sheet ten pages long, and a new technology that they just developed.  Now they can insert this card or that card and it can sound like an Oberheim or a Yamaha or a Roland or a Dodge!"

"But it can't make a simple two-oscillator sawtooth solo patch with delayed vibrato, as my Prophet '08 can."

"No, but it's sooo advanced, unlike your old Prophet '08."

"Sigh...."

Still another way of putting it: I would like to tell my synthesizer what to do, rather than have it tell me what to do!

« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 12:24:53 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2016, 11:51:09 AM »
Hold onto your Evolvers boys! I'll never sell mine.

Amen, brother!  ;D

I would say, the first generation of DSI synthesizers are classics that will not be replaced.  And that's not in any way to deride progress or that which is new.  It's simply an admission that the two generations are substantially different, and that some folks will legitimately prefer one, while others will legitimately prefer the other.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 12:14:48 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2016, 12:37:06 PM »
Why not combine the classic old analog sound with the newest and fullest architecture?  So, I find myself caught between the sound of the Prophet 12 and Pro 2, and the architecture of the Prophet-6 and OB-6.

Okay, so I guessed right and my assumptions were correct about your views on the current modern DSI offerings from Prophet 12 and on. Currently there are free choice between solid analog sound - or enough modulation features. Of cause we want both! Not to mention enough keys on the keyboard versions of the instruments.

As fascinating as plastic oscillators can be they still sound and taste of plastic. However, combined with the solid foundation provided by analog oscillators they can do magic as Evolver users know! Then add the filters from Prophet-6 and/or OB-6 to make the hybrid oscillator machine sound even better.

So I simply think I did not make myself clear enough above. You looked at the existing instruments whereas I tend to look at how the ingredients of various synthesizer voices can be combined to be into a new and not yet existing design having the properties I want. Then add ideas from the wild pipe dream department such as four or eight pole state variable multi-mode filters based on Oberheim/SSM filter designs or phase modulation digital oscillators for an even wider sonic palette.
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2016, 03:59:55 PM »
You and I are probably fairly similar, regarding our ideals in sonic character or quality.  But I need a host of specific capabilities that can take that base sonic character and shape it in ways that parallel the mellifluous charm of an acoustic instrument.  When I'm designing a sound, I'm by no means experimenting.  Experimentation plays no part in any aspect of my music.  Rather, I'm striving for a sound that is already very clear in my mind's ear, and if I can't accurately design that sound, then I'm disappointed with the synthesizer I've got, no matter how new or advanced it may be.  That's why I say I don't want an instrument that tells me what to do, that dictates, in effect, "I can't do that, but I can do this.  Oh, you don't want this?  Too bad; this is what you'll have to do, because you've got me.  And you can forget about that".  With the PEK and P '08, I never have to suffer such a dialog.  With the new instruments, I'd be constantly arguing with them.  For me, they offer either a great sound or a great set of capabilities, but not both.

I was happy with DCOs after some adjusting, but they've nearly come and gone.  Now we've got glorious new VCOs, but with minimal shaping parameters.  Next, DOs sound really distasteful to me, in spite of how they should impress me.  So I'm stuck in the middle.  That's why I've thought and posted so much about creating a synthesizer that was a combination of things.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 07:28:10 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2016, 04:42:58 PM »
Rather, I'm striving for a sound that is already very clear in my mind's ear, and if I can't accurately design that sound, then I'm disappointed with the synthesizer I've got, no matter how new or advanced it may be.  That's why I say I don't want an instrument that tells me what to do, that dictates, in effect, "I can't do that, but I can do this.  Oh, you don't want this?  Too bad; this is what you'll have to do, because you've got me.  And you can forget about that".  With the PEK and P '08, I never have to suffer such a dialog.

Your "mind's ear," though, probably already has a pretty good idea of what sort of sounds your instruments can accomplish. You've already had that dialog with all of your instruments, and you and they have managed to train each other well. And you're going to have to suffer that dialog again no matter what instrument you may buy down the road.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 04:48:53 PM by chysn »
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2016, 05:26:01 PM »
I can understand how you might think that, Chysn, but I would answer, instead, that my mind's ear has been well served by the instruments I've got.  It's not that the former has adjusted to the latter, but that the latter have always well served the former.  The instruments have perfectly served my mind's ear. 

As much as I've carried on in praise of old school analog synthesizers, the hard truth is, I now realize I'd have a difficult time adapting to them because I find DSI's classic voice architecture to much better serve the musical applications of the synthesizer.  I wouldn't ever want to have a synthesizer, for example, that didn't offer 4 LFOs and 3 envelopes, and I could suffer it only if I had the standard DSI architecture to back it up.  That's why I could consider an Odyssey or a Leipzig - only because I would have a Prophet '08 on standby to fill in the many occasions when the other synthesizer would certainly let me down. 

So, I don't feel as if my mind's ear has had to adapt at all the instruments I have.  No dialog was necessary because the two have gotten along quite naturally.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 06:59:54 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2016, 05:33:39 PM »
Hold onto your Evolvers boys! I'll never sell mine.

I have to go back to this.  Robot Heart, this is one of the most cheerful posts I've ever read.  It sounds like the last piece of advice given by a general to his men.  "Hold on to your Evolvers, men.  Don't ever surrender them!"

Thanks for a great laugh!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 06:49:06 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

chysn

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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2016, 03:51:38 AM »
So, I don't feel as if my mind's ear has had to adapt at all the instruments I have.  No dialog was necessary because the two have gotten along quite naturally.

It's nice when that happens. I'm sure that you, like I, have had many instruments that you just didn't click with. Mine have been legion. Looking back, it's a list of pretty good stuff. But apparently not that great, because I don't have those instruments any more.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2016, 06:10:01 AM »
You and I are probably fairly similar, regarding our ideals in sonic character or quality.  But I need a host of specific capabilities that can take that base sonic character and shape it in ways that parallel the mellifluous charm of an acoustic instrument.  When I'm designing a sound, I'm by no means experimenting.

Yeah, we have similar idea of what a good voice is. We just use it differently. Its so easy to judge other peoples artistic goals with ones own views and values. At the end of the day its all about the sound and the facilities the machine offers.

Currently there is a choice between the sound and facilities which seems not to work for any of us. Will see what the future brings. There are surely space for other complex voice polysynth heroes than just DSI. Of cause software quality matters in modern synthesizers but not every manufacturer seems to be too concerned about that! ;)
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Re: Evolver OS status
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2016, 08:06:45 AM »
So, I don't feel as if my mind's ear has had to adapt at all the instruments I have.  No dialog was necessary because the two have gotten along quite naturally.

It's nice when that happens. I'm sure that you, like I, have had many instruments that you just didn't click with. Mine have been legion. Looking back, it's a list of pretty good stuff. But apparently not that great, because I don't have those instruments any more.

Yes, it certainly is nice.  Although I've had a few instruments in the past that I really liked (ARP Odyssey), I've never "clicked" with an instrument like I do with both the PEK and the P '08.