All user reviews for the Dave Smith Instruments Mono Evolver Keys
namnibor's review"The Synth that ate my brain!"
Editing it very easy and much easier than the desktop evolver. There's still a few menu-deep in programming but huge majority of all controls have dedicated knob or button. What's cool is you can actually isolate and play/program each of 4 osc per evolver, individually. Can even press the analog or digital osc's buttons to play massive real analog that in my opinion sound much more FAT than DSI Prophet 08's osc but then you also have two osc's with all the Sequential Circuit's Prophet VS wavetables,which can be played/programmed and isolated/played, and the mix of the two is what makes such intricate sounds that truely EVOLVE into whatever you want over any period of time; with real anolog low pass filters on both sides of sound path, upon which you can select 4 pole for self-oscillation madness! The manual is fine and assumes one already know more than basics about programming synths. A labor of love was put together by Anu Kirk called, "The Definitive Guide to the Evolver", which is a free download and is indispensable to wrap brain around this incredible synth.
There's basically no limits aside from one's creativity in what this synth is capable of. I dare say that have had ALOT of "happy accidents" and also fact the Evolver DARES YOU to even attempt to get her to "play nice". (Yes, I just personified her) Her "happy spot" is that weird transition where a back scratch starts to be painful yet feels so good!! Best to watch your volume levels lest your studio cat wants to permenantly be wearing a woofer collar! The presets are actually quite good and very good starting points for making your own and in a polychain set-up, any edited sounds saved on MEK also saves to any polychained Evolvers. Delay and distortion are effects built-in and need no other because there's FOUR LFO's, etc. to modulate anything and the 16x4 step sequencer allows for both note and modulation sequencing--at same time. The external input allows for many more possibilities in one's set-up. When not using the polychain midi output, it should be noted that it acts as a second midi out. The MEK only transmits sysex data so anything other than additional evolvers polychained and connected to midi out like say a Mopho desktop or anything external, you would have to make changes on that external unit's interface rather than from the MEK evolver's knobs. It also should be noted that while making parameter changes to MEK via knobs/buttons in a polychain it of course affects all other evolvers in polychain but not say the Mopho connected via midi out from MEK nor would changes made on the Mopho affect the Evolvers BUT it *may* require placing that Mopho (in provided example) to be placed on it's own midi channel.I have recently learned that originally, all the controls sent and responded to System Exclusive messages only. Now there are over 40 MIDI Controllers that the Evolver responds to, which is ideal when you want to drive it from an external sequencer. Usefully, you can now address the cutoff frequency and resonance of both (left and right) analogue filters as discrete modulation destinations, which is ideal, whether you're processing external signals or just creating dynamic stereo patches. Lastly, if you have as I do, three evolver's polyphonic (three notes can be played simultaneously), any instrument also connected via MEK's midi out while plychained will ALSO be sent same number of voices. I have ONLY scratched the surface here and it is like trying to describe what color blue is to someone that's been blind all their life...it's THAT deep but at same time the signal flow shows the brilliant simplicity therein!!
Love everything about MEK and it was offically discontinued in June, 2012, however technical support from DSI is pretty awesome that other companies, big and small should take note of as an example of a company with true passion for what they create. The Poly evolver and desktop are still in production. I purchased the MEK now because this is destined to be a future classic and although I will never sell mine, they are holding their original MAP $ even second hand.
If anything were to happen to mine beyond repair, I definitely would replace it quickly!! Know that the build-quality is top-notch and I actually PREFER the endless encoders and have had not issues with jumpy parameters but DSI still offers the PE (Potentiometer Edition) changeover as well as I have, the Prophet 08 black with silver ring knobs on mine as love the feel and it looks pretty amazing as well! This is like alien technology used to make an instrument or simply an alien musical instrument reverse engineered from Roswell, New Mexico in the 50's....so much time goes by while working with it I have had to remind myself of need of food and water. Did I mention I really love the Evolver?
1 people found this review helpful
Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
This should just dive in, but the machine is very well done
Almost 1 1 function buttons.
Some sub menu but not death, not liked
The only negative point is the jump in the value of the encoder, I find it boring ... carément
Sound!! Carément huge, it sounds at once hot, bold, distorted desire as a cold, outer space and aggressive! Everything is a matter of programming
Opportunities outside the norm
Empowered low, aggressive and a heavy ...
For FX / ambience / sheet of delirium is perfect for sound design
The step sequencer is a childlike simplicity and allows creating sequence of madness
Some factory sound make me go to low sequence at Nine Inch Nails
For FX, ambience and would ply AC + side of Massive Attack (100th Window)
Is the synth that I search for years
You can do anything with (except the piano of course )
It sounds really hairy ... incomparable with other machine in power
I had a lot of synth (MS20, SH101, Korg Delta ...) and bein in the same register of his wins it hands down
The value for money is excellent! Even if it took my AC to save was worth really worth
I really recommend this synth (rack or keyboard for that matter)
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
vanpet's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
An encoder function, except that the sequencer is shared with other functions (not really bad c).
Create a sound is very simple, everything is well organized and very practical.
The big negative is the quality of the encoders, they often skippent values and we must take it twice. Along the same idea, this is not a knob, and you do not "see" the patch under the eyes, we must refer to the small screen that shows the values. Not always obvious, especially since all values are between 0 and 100 for example. Some go up to 128, the other up to 160, etc.. We never really know where we are ... (And it should easily do 3 laps for the cutoff is painful)
Apart from that, it's still up in the basket, it is far from synthetic matrix (style Evolver Desktop MicroKorg etc ...) and you can easily create a sound very complex and less than 5 minutes.
The sound is fabulous. The hybrid analog + digital is great, AC can be very creative, without forcing anything. The range is thus enormous: it can range from simple low moog sounds the most modern FM ... simply by selecting analog or digital CSOs. From this point of view, this synth is really huge!
The presets range from awesome (especially bass lines really aggressive pro) to its weak squeaker squeaker two francs. Here, clearly, I prefer to edit my sounds myself.
The keyboard is okay, everything is solid, fairly nice looking, but very colorful (eg LEDs of LFO rate will fluctuate).
The price / quality ratio is exceptional. This is my 4th hardware synthesizer and certainly the best. on the other hand, this is my first mono synth, and then it takes a little thought for composing contrapuntal lines rather harmonic. Here, the sequencer is very helpful means the result immediately.
I think this is one of the best synths of the decade.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
revega's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
At first glance the configuration gnral seems appropriate and without much difficulty but mfiez you, its size is far, far from its potential trs. So we have a lot of things under the eyes, especially for time CONTRL Funds (Osc, filters, substain, attack etc ...) but when it comes to return to the heart of the Evolver is will look a little further in the sub menus but not too galre people come here fast enough even without a manual.'s edition of the sounds is easy and intuitive plutt, so no 4 problem with sound banks busy (512 programs in all). For the manual will Franais board, it simply does not exist. Us version as it is a little even when lgre! The size of a paperback book, in English and not really easy to follow, but it's always a good final and if they get a little connate synthse was largely in hand. For the curious a certain Anu Kirk Aralis a guide to the Evolver trs INTERESTED: http://www.carbon111.com/evolverguide.pdf
In short, in other words the use of MEK requires a little patience and persvrance.
Rcents little advice for users and especially beginners, get lice and what about the results fast, without dcourager (the possibilities are standards) made simple approaches.
Ex: Take a basic wave (last program I believe) use a view to begin with oscillators 2, although the grate filter ADSR bet, do not use effects and launch in the Modulation LFO & & co after your well refined and adjusted. If not making head and dcouragement programming are real risks with this type of architecture.
L it must be said the sound is quite impressive! No sounds trsralistes Obviously, it is not done for a. We are far, far away from the trs 'simulated analog' or VST, here we are in the drive in one that emphasizes the expression of your crativit. It has a grain, is sr, straight down to a Prophet and because it is indirectly benefit from the Curia Sequential Circuits. Even if you are really in the range of the Prophet, including a Pro I will not speculate too evokes a paternity of the latter vis vis the Evolver (small, convenient, compact and portable) the same level and found a common spirit (a coronation potato). I did try a friend who compltement hallucinated before the possibility of mono, itself saw a modern version of Pro 1 (for the same reasons). It is true that four oscillators (two FM), 4 LFOs, a trs good filter and a package of possibilities in terms of modulation, we can patch it (via the encoders) as you want so as re trs intuitive as that is the standard that can be done without limit.
One can imagine the best and we are right, especially the sounds of plants are for once particulirement Russian. You just have to play with all the knobs and you'll see that the Evolver is no exception for bass, leads trs FX expressive and really, really strong. Do not cross the thunder bass of Gary Numan (Cars, they are in it too!) And leads to Kraftwerk (Autobahn) as Dave Smith took care of her job and lighting it for the first time he made great impression. The squenceur typ 'analog' is an excellent initiative (well not simple program), and gives your character a hell squence. There is an arpeggiator hidden in BCAN Dave Smith at the last possible time of manufacture, it is effective to express INTERESTED. The effects are terrible (delay among others) and trs not intuitive, even when adpanne prfres but I go through an external rack simpler and more efficient. If not a distortion but only pass small dose trs (to harden the sound). As the function Grunge level. L I do not understand the intrt of such a function ... It messed up the sound like a bad distortion. It is anything but subtle and nuanced. Let's dtail a menu in the construction of this little monster.
The subject that caused much ink is especially at the Premire versions of encoders. L is not tip top, but the version that saves dsagrment PE. So for future buyers in nine of you will not.
For those who have this version Premire (encoders and capricious plastoc look black ugly):
-For the look, simply write Dave Smith instruments and buy the knob of P8, which will restore a pace worthy of the name of BCAN (a carrment the fact and gives it a tr s good looks).
-Level functionality is a problem known in Dave Smith, Crivi them and they will return to New potentiomtres. It will be sure to disassemble the MEK and oprer as it should be otherwise
mine was the return to the USD (I sent the cards are internal or fixs encoders), he returned with new encoders and is now like new with a real maneuverability. The opration costs a few $ $ $ but worth it, srieusement.
Otherwise level construction, the sides are wood trs beautiful and the machine is 100% trs trs mtal so robust (provided prserver the knobs a bit). Yeah, small diodes are plutt enjoyable in the dark, gives a quite living in a ct done.
It is probably one of the most Monos Russian beginners of this millennium (well above the Moog Little Phatty in which he, conversely, offers the possibility of conventional and trs s trs / limits too).
It is very modern in the sense that it is not a simple architecture of type CS Yamaha, Moog Prodigy and Juno 6, here is more compact, thus also much more complex volumes. I think that's what makes that many have not adapted to the Evolver trs and sell quickly.
I have for over a year and I immediately find a little every day and especially it surprises me every time. Certainly it has a sound that does not inaperu and its almost infinite possibility of routing will make you work but how much much fun.
I blame him just (for Premire versions) that approach the nerve potentiomtres but hey, it's not rdhibitoire either since they can be changed and that the version of PE catching compltement sauce.
Otherwise it's a real 'pro' in its field. Sr good is the mono is a bit frustrating and we are surprised at the Poly RVer and 4 channels at the same time but when you look in rear, a packet group is made squence beautiful with simple mono (New Order, Yazoo, Depeche Mode ...) Note that I did not glue the compressor, it suffices him even this level l. FYI I have tried several in my life analos Roland Juno, Polysix, Trident, Prodigy, MS20, Teisco, Sequential Circuits Evolver but Key is one of those I prfre with the Prophet 08 (my pr Frence going Prophet One last but not trs).
The ratio quality price is trs good when you see the junk numrique competition and VA. At the same time the one who grabs a head shot to play the 'analog synth mode' (if there are so, look at the number of arms was on YouTube casss worth of tour ..) has it all wrong because as I said it is a 'modern analogue' with all the complexities that are read (menus, ability, effects, routing, modulations etc ...). So you really have to use it and express dbusquer the true potential of this machine. But once matris is a synthesis of a trs trs value. If we disregard the problem of encoder Premire version (not PE) we are faced with a beautiful machine, powerful and complements in the air.
I am sr if there was marked 'Sequential Circuits Pro Two' above we find no one below 900 euros into opportunities and more. You decide if such is even Whereas deprive you of this trs trs attaching MonoEvolverKey ....
FYI, this is the synth that I recommend most.
25/08/2010: APRS two years of use and re-state encoders that made her default (thank you Dave Smith intrument and professionalism) I confirm my opinion without fear and can store the Mono Evolver Key in the category of the best single-analogue of the beginners of a shekel (the Moog Voyager, but it falls into a range diffrent). Its price is around 1000 carrment the blow to the eye of the old cuckoo on cots and fatigus. Not to be prt dtrner in terms of price quality ratio!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful