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Where/how are you all learning how to use the PEK?

Where/how are you all learning how to use the PEK?
« on: April 02, 2019, 01:44:39 PM »
Hi all,

First and foremost, I LOVE this synthesizer. I've had it for a few years now and love it- so flexible, such a unique sound, and the almost 'one-knob-per-function' aspect makes it easier than ever to use.

My only gripe is: the manual leaves a LOT to be desired. Even the Carbon111 manual seems to leave a lot out. I see people posting on Instagram and Youtube with their various patches and am dumbfounded how they have figured this thing out to such extents and get such wild sounds out of it. I'm very familiar with synthesis, but the PEK seems to have particular ways of doing things and lots of it is still a mystery to me.

I can't help but relate it to a VST- say Serum or Sylenth1 which have endless tutorials on how to use every aspect of the software.

Is there a particular resource that's all inclusive? I've been reading the forums and trying to find anything online but I feel like I'm missing something.

Any help would be appreciated!  :)

Re: Where/how are you all learning how to use the PEK?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 02:35:08 PM »
It's a matter of learning by degrees.  The PEK manual is just as you described it, but it is a start.  Read it over and over to glean what you can from it.  The next degree is Anu Kirk’s Definitive Guide to the Evolver.  This is a tremendous guide, and it offers exercises in programming that get you involved in design.  And the next degree is painstaking hours of experimentation.  But this has to be methodical.  You have to work through the instrument section-by-section in order to come to know and understand it.  Just the oscillator section by itself is worthy of hours of trial and error. 

This resource might also be worth your perusal.  It goes all the way back to the days when the first Evolver was released.  There's a lot of information to be found, but you'll have to sift the site:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150316072322/http://www.ex5tech.com/ex5ubb_cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum&f=23
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 02:36:45 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.co

Re: Where/how are you all learning how to use the PEK?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 09:09:26 PM »
Thanks for the forum link, that's super helpful. I was actually referring to the 'Definitive Guide...' when I said Carbon111. I've done lots of experimentation, but I think another run through on the Guide will be helpful.

Now that I think of it, I may have stopped short the first time through because it's longer than I remember.

I'm planning on making a bunch of PEK tutorial videos, so hopefully I'll be able to digest this info well enough to regurgitate it! Thanks for the links!

Re: Where/how are you all learning how to use the PEK?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 11:18:02 AM »
You're welcome.  Pardon the self-promotion, but I usually offer patch design descriptions under my videos.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-CSFEgC2tTzYa70uOirGHIWGu72Pui8l
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 01:54:55 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.co

Re: Where/how are you all learning how to use the PEK?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 06:02:29 PM »
Something that's actually helped me get a better handle on my PEK has been using it to recreate patches on my Sub 37 and on my JP-08. I realize that seems silly - but the Poly Evolver invites you to make bugfuck weird sounds, and has such a wide range on each attribute, that sometimes I get lost in random design, enjoying the catharsis that comes with building out those strange sounds, and I end up with something that no one else would ever want to hear.

So when I make a lush pad on my JP08, I see if I can recreate it on the PEK. It helps me get my gain staging under control, it reminds me to be judicious with the filter. I had a gnarly bass patch on my Sub 37, and found that with a little more restraint than I often use, I was able to make an even chonkier variation of that patch on the PEK.

Once I have that strong baseline, I can then go beyond that and bring in some of the more unique elements this synth can offer.

I basically took this technique from my experience with the Tempest. I found the original presets disappointing, but I also wasn't super thrilled with my own attempts at creating synth percussion. When the Roland TR-8 came out, I found myself eyeing it up, because I had let my Tempest collect dust for a year or two, having been frustrated with the sounds I was ekeing out of it. Did I really need to drop hundreds of dollars on another drum machine? I had the ultimate percussion synthesizer, I just hadn't been using it right. Ironically, I took a cue from Roland's promo videos for the AIRA line, where they showed engineers analyzing sound in free oscilloscope software called Visual Analyzer.

I downloaded VA, plugged in my TR-606, opened the Sound on Sound Synth Secrets articles about making 808 drums, and spent a long time building out Roland percussion, and now not only had my fever subsided for the TR-8, but I sold off my TR-606 and DR-110, and had a great starting point for developing my own custom drums, and I really, really got to know the Tempest during that process.