Synth Site: Dave Smith Instruments: Evolver: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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tomb a professional user from usa writes:
hmmm, i guess i'm going to have to rain on the parade. firstly, i'm an analog fan, and i favor very raunchy sound. i have lots of new/old analog gear, lots of homemade voltage controllers, etc. i love the stuff, sounds great, i flip out all the time listening to the wonderful gastronomical sounds. i don't enjoy how gosh darn expensive, and frankly, heavy and bulky analog is. i play out constantly, and soundguys hate my ass patching shit together for 25 minutes before my set. i read about the dave smith evolver and thought, "sounds like a great idea, cheap too." i bought one from musician's friend thinking that it has a 45 day satifaction warrantee, if it sounds too digital (as many of the mp3s on the website attest) i'll send it back. amazing modultion possibilities, brilliant design, idea, but.............. it's really quite a tight sterile sound. i appreciate what people say about it sounding like a hybrid of D & A, which i guess is true, but digital wins out. all the dirt on this synth is algorithmic dirt. "virtual" dirt. the distortion and delays are simply unforgivable. completely unusable. if i kept it, i would constantly be doing battle with it to try to get natural sounds out of it. natural grimy sounds are possible, but, be careful, one twist of the knob, you're out into yucky plasticky computer synth. i realize that everyone loves this thing, the yahoo groups are full of ecstatic people using the evolver. it's really me and my opinion, if i can't get it to resonate my lower chakra, it's finished. i don't like the nord modular. is it revolutionary? is it fun to program? of course. does it sound good? i don't think so, and that's what matters most. maybe in ten years digital will have enough resolution to approach the beauty of analog, but now, i think it's a big fraud, attractive for it's price, size, and variety of interfacing, patch memory etc... perhaps dave could come up with a computer controlled synth with all the bells and whistles, but leave out all the digital signal processors. digitally controlled analog makes a lot of sense. i can't afford jomox sunsyn (plus it's hideously ugly) so i guess i'll just keep hauling all my heavy crap around and drinking up those juicy sounds that only come from analog......

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-16-2003 at 15:39
lahonda a part-time user from australia writes:
evolver has to be one of the most original synths made in the last 10 years. that may sound like a big statement considering all the digital designs and new forms of synthesis coming out.

evolver makes the best of digital and analogue which makes good sense to can squelch and growl well, i love the filter and it is as good as(or better)than any of my synths, nord2, juno6, sh09, waldorf pulse for mono lines. the sound mangling possibilities are mind boggling as well.

if i had to keep one synth in my modest collection, this would be it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-16-2003 at 22:58
Alex a professional user from Brazil writes:
I'm not quite sure how Dave Smith managed to do it, but he did it. The Evolver has to have the highest price/performance ratio of any new synth. As innocent as it looks, it has almost endless modulation options. I was surprised by how quickly I could access almost any parameter, despite its rather minimal interface.

The knobs are plasticky and not very useful for real-time tweaking, since they are notched. I use external controllers (JL Cooper CS-32 and M-Audio Radium) for filter sweeps and the like. But they are very useful for programming patches.

The Evolver sounds fantastic. If you've grown accustomed to listening to your computer soundcard, it will come as quite a shock. There is something about the lo-fi wavetable oscs through analog filters that really sounds perfect to my ears.

Though I can't really compare it to any other synth, the Evolver sounds to me like a hybrid of an early wavetable synth (VS, PPG) and a small analog modular (System 100, Buchla).

I want three more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-29-2003 at 17:05
DAVID VESEL a hobbyist user from St. Louis, Missouri, USA writes:
I have three words for this synthesizer.

Oh, my, and gawd!!!

This thing would be a steal at twice the price. Very heavily built, four oscillators (2 analog, 2 digital), and dripping with programming possibilities. After reading the review of it in <i>Keyboard</i> magazine, I went to demo it. Seriously, I thought the price was a typo.

Don't wait to pick one up used.....because nobody who buys this guy is going to want to sell it. An instant classic, an instant must-buy, from one of the most prestigious designers in the synth industry. Can I give this thing a 6?


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-15-2003 at 13:29
LoHr a part-time user from usa writes:
OMG!!! for years i have been waiting for a truely MEAN sounding synth to match my brand of digital hardcore/gabber/death metal music. talk about loud evil psycho distortion feedback!!! this is THE synth for ANY musician into the harder aspect of music. shure u can use it for ur boring originality-lacking wimpy trance electronica junk.. but this is much better suited for the hardcore electronic musician (aka: industrial, gabber, digital hardcore) and an exelent addition 2 put a little spice into the very stagnant thrash/death metal bands.. im even thin about buying another one and chaining em together!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-17-2003 at 11:39
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