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Evolving an Evolver Paper Weight :( ugh

Evolving an Evolver Paper Weight :( ugh
« on: May 12, 2021, 11:25:07 AM »
Ello, All

I just Bought an Evolver Desktop synth and I'm really worried it might be broken. It does have the newest OS (buttons 1+2 = 3.0 & 1+3 = 3.5) and I was worried because some of the sounds just start playing and do not key track when playing up and down my Arturia Keystep. I started looking stuff up online and downloaded the manual from Dave Smith's site as well as, "The Definitive Guide to Evolver by Anu Kirk." but i still feel a bit lost...  with some of the sounds acting weird I Then i used my MIDI-OX to put  original sounds back on the synth and it still seems to be acting weird, (or normal???) Before and now after it seems that on bank 3 sounds 20 - 39 don't make a sound and if I change the volume levels they  start making sounds but have not key tracking or pitch change. If anyone could help I would be very,very,very,very happy.... I've always wanted an Evolver and I would hate to have waited 18yrs for one only to have it be broken...  I also have Discord if anyone wants to chat about it

--
♪☼♪ τws k∩bs, PSħ ߵ∩s ♪☼♪

        ♪ ♫ rΩ vƵĜĥΩ Dke ♪ ♫ ♪

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Evolving an Evolver Paper Weight :( ugh
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 01:21:11 PM »
Ello, All

I just Bought an Evolver Desktop synth and I'm really worried it might be broken. It does have the newest OS (buttons 1+2 = 3.0 & 1+3 = 3.5) and I was worried because some of the sounds just start playing and do not key track when playing up and down my Arturia Keystep. I started looking stuff up online and downloaded the manual from Dave Smith's site as well as, "The Definitive Guide to Evolver by Anu Kirk." but i still feel a bit lost...  with some of the sounds acting weird I Then i used my MIDI-OX to put  original sounds back on the synth and it still seems to be acting weird, (or normal???) Before and now after it seems that on bank 3 sounds 20 - 39 don't make a sound and if I change the volume levels they  start making sounds but have not key tracking or pitch change. If anyone could help I would be very,very,very,very happy.... I've always wanted an Evolver and I would hate to have waited 18yrs for one only to have it be broken...  I also have Discord if anyone wants to chat about it
Obviously I cannot be 100% sure, but what you are describing is quite normal. Depending on the patches loaded into your Evolver some might not make any sound until the Evolver receives a clock and/or until the sequencer starts.

I recommend trying to load the factory default patches and work through the manual and Anu Kirk's book. The factory default patches in bank 1 should play like a "normal" synth. The Evolver is a truly unique synthesizer and depending on your experience with other synths, sound design can result in many nice surprises ;-).

I can also recommend the excellent Soundtower Evolver editor. The editor will really help you internalizing the Evolver architecture. After you have used the Soundtower editor for a while, you might not need it anymore except for patch management,

Keep posting your adventures here on this forum. There are really great forum members that can help you getting the most out of your Evolver.
DAW-less and going down the Eurorack rabbit hole.

Re: Evolving an Evolver Paper Weight :( ugh
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 02:59:05 PM »
Depending on the patches loaded into your Evolver some might not make any sound until the Evolver receives a clock and/or until the sequencer starts.

Thank you Gerry,

I'll look into to seeing if the clock is an issue, but when I got the unit there was several sounds that when I flip to them they would immediately start making sounds and then other ones wouldn't make any sounds at all. For example, Bank 3 patches 20 - 39 all made no sounds. I did go online to the Evolvers legacy page and downloaded the instructions to install the factory sound set. After following the instructions I was successful but bank 3 p. 20-39 still made no sounds.

I also own the Waldrof Microwave XT, Yamaha CS6x, Behringer Neurtron and Ensoniq ESQ-1 & Mirage. All are completely different beast with programing and sound design. I feel I have a lot of experience with synths; not only that I've owned a ton of other mid-tire gear, and I'm excited to dig deeper into the Evolver. I refuse to give up on it just yet and so far with the new factory setting installed it is sounding amazingly better, but if a few patches don't work I can live with that but I plan on continuing to work on fixing it.

--
♪☼♪ τws k∩bs, PSħ ߵ∩s ♪☼♪

        ♪ ♫ rΩ vƵĜĥΩ Dke ♪ ♫ ♪

Re: Evolving an Evolver Paper Weight :( ugh
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 06:10:07 PM »
Quote
Program Notes
Following is a brief description of the 512 sounds in your Evolver. The factory sound set is on the website if you ever need to refresh it. Remember to save your sounds via program dumps occasionally.
Bank 1
Programs 1 69 are sequence programs; all you need to do is hit the START button. Feel free to play around with parameters while the sequences play to get a feel of the instrument. This group of programs is set to ignore MIDI notes coming in, i.e. they are set at the optimum pitch and will not transpose. You can always change the Key/OFF/Xpose parameter to enable MIDI notes if you wish (details in manual).
Programs 70 127 are sequences that do respond to MIDI notes. These will sound different depending on what notes you hit on your keyboard. Many of these sequences will be too low in pitch if you listen without a keyboard to transpose them up. Experiment with different playing styles.
Program 128 is a test program youll likely want to trash it.
Bank 2
Programs 1 127 are sounds meant to played from a keyboard, and have no sequences programmed. They all respond in different ways to keyboard pressure and mod wheel.
Program 128 is a basic keyboard program, with most parameters off. Velocity is routed to VCA Envelope Amount, pressure goes to the filter, mod wheel goes to LFO 1 Amount, with LFO 1 controlling Oscillator Frequency. This can be handy as a starting point, without having to worry about obscure parameters being set. On the other hand, at first you may find it easier to make new programs by editing existing Programs.
Bank 3
Programs 1 19 are droning sounds; they always play while selected. A couple have simple sequences that alter the playback to varying degrees.
Programs 20 29 are signal processing programs meant to be used with a guitar plugged into the Left Input jack. Or, any mono audio source can be used, but with liberal use of distortion, they lean heavily towards guitar use.
Programs 30-39 are signal processing programs meant to be used with stereo audio inputs plugged into the Left and Right Input jacks. Try playing a CD through Evolver with these programs.
Programs 40 - 79 are an assortment of sequence sounds. Some will respond to a MIDI keyboard, some will not.
9
Programs 80 - 127 are more sounds meant to played from a keyboard, and have no sequences programmed. They all respond in different ways to keyboard pressure and mod wheel.
Program 128 is a test program youll likely want to trash it.
Bank 4
Programs 1 79 are a newer set of sequence programs; all you need to do is hit the START button.
Programs 80 128 are sounds meant to played from a keyboard; some have sequences programmed, and some do not. Most respond in different ways to keyboard pressure and mod wheel.



I feel like such a noob!!!!! lol hahaha after reading more of the manual those patches look to be set a side for signal processing I.E. Guitar or other gear.... .

Oh boy, I feel sheepish
--
♪☼♪ τws k∩bs, PSħ ߵ∩s ♪☼♪

        ♪ ♫ rΩ vƵĜĥΩ Dke ♪ ♫ ♪

Gerry Havinga

  • ***
  • 368
  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
    • For the love of electronic music
Re: Evolving an Evolver Paper Weight :( ugh
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 01:54:35 AM »
I feel like such a noob!!!!! lol hahaha after reading more of the manual those patches look to be set a side for signal processing I.E. Guitar or other gear.... .

Oh boy, I feel sheepish
Yeah well spotted, the Evolver can also be used as an external signal processor. Please don't berate yourself, we have all been there, it is absolutely fine. I really commend you for asking your question here and continue with your exploration.

I haven't experimented using the Evolver as a signal processor/effect unit yet. Simply didn't get to it so far.

I am very much a knob per function guy and I realized quite early on that if I wanted to keep the Evolver I needed to poly-chain it with a Mono Evolver Keyboard (MEK). Even if only for the knobs per function facility. A month or two ago I managed to get hold of a second hand MEK and cleaned it, upgraded it with the latest boards and knobs. Happily Sequential still keeps stock of upgrade boards and knobs.

This has totally transformed my relationship with the Evolver(s). In the last month I have created more fresh Evolver patches then in the whole 3 years since I owned the desktop. The MEK + desktop have become completely integrated with my studio workflow now. There is something about the sound of the Evolver combination, where playing two notes simultaneously sounds better than the sum of both instruments. If I make any sense  :).

Now of course I am lusting for a poly Evolver ...... ha ha ha. But they are very rare and if one of them appears for sale on the second hand market places here in the Netherlands, it will be priced ridiculously high (at least too much for my taste). 
DAW-less and going down the Eurorack rabbit hole.