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The new Evolver keyboard! This is a one-voice Evolver, with lots of knobs in a small package. Same powerful sound; and like all Evolvers it can be chained together for more voices.
The Mono Evolver Keyboard takes the exact same architecture as the rest of the Evolver series for total compatibillity with the range. Featuring a four oscillator structure, two analog and two digital. Of course, the legendary Curtis filter chips are a big factor in giving (Dave has a personal and exclusive supply from source) the MEK it's unique sound.
Is It Retro???
Well, that's not my intention, though I suppose anything with real voltage-controlled analog filters would certainly fit in that category. I've received many requests over the years to re-do old Sequential gear, and later to design software versions of old products. As a synth designer, I really have no desire to re-do a product. If you want the old stuff, it's still around. I like new stuff. New sounds. And, most importantly, instruments with personality!
The concept of Evolver is to generate new sounds that, well, evolve. Sounds that change, subtly or dramatically. Look back at the Prophet-VS and Korg Wavestation as previous examples of instruments that are never static. And, I have to admit, analog still has a warmer, more natural sound, partially because it is never perfect; it has that natural slop. Yes, there are some very cool digital synths out there also; even some that mathematically emulate analog synths have a nice edge to them. I don't think analog is always better, or that digital is always better; they're just different.
So, Evolver has the analog components, and also some digital components. I'm trying to generate new sounds via the interaction of analog and digital electronics. Best of both worlds. I've always liked feedback in synths, so there is extensive use of tunable feedback in Evolver, interconnecting the digital feedback loops with the analog electronics. I like sounds that blow up, predictably or not. When sounds blow up digitally, it can hurt your ears - I've done that enough times designing the soft synths! However, when Evolver goes ape, the analog circuitry actually keeps the signal in line just enough that the result is wild sounds, not pain. Plus, the feedback constantly moves, and differently in each channel (each channel has their own independant feedback path), giving some very cool stereo ambience to the sounds.
In fact, the product name came from playing with the synth. Originally the product name was Noise, just because I've always wanted to design a synth with that name. But, a day before the NAMM show in mid-January, I stopped development long enough to make a few sounds for the show, and was blown away by the organic nature of the synth. Organic is a stupid word to use most of the time, so the name Evolver popped up (thanks Denise!).
Why a monophonic synth? Why a low-cost, small, desk-top instrument? Well, simpler products can be designed faster, easier, and cheaper. Plus, mono synths can be a lot of fun - there are benefits when you eliminate all the polyphonic baggage. You'd also be surprised how much sound you can get out of one voice, especially with four oscillators. It also allows using the synth as an effects processor with stereo inputs and outputs. Overall, we're talking bang-for-the-buck.