The Evolver series marked Dave’s Smith’s triumphant return to hardware synths and still sets the standard for sheer sonic ferocity. The Poly Evolver Keyboard features a plethora of Dave’s best ideas packed into a monstrously powerful instrument with 4-voice polyphony and a sound like no other.
An analog/digital hybrid, the four-voice Poly Evolver Keyboard features four oscillators per voice—two analog and two digital (the digital oscillators feature the waves from the legendary Prophet VS). Classic Curtis analog low-pass filters and real analog VCAs add ample warmth and girth to the analog section while the digital high-pass filter, tuned feedback, and digital distortion provide sizzle and grit.
But what really sets the Poly Evolver Keyboard apart is the way in which the analog and digital sides of its personality mesh—the digital processing doesn’t simply add effects at the end of the signal chain, but is tightly integrated with the analog electronics in a true stereo signal path with tuned feedback, distortion, bit crushing, and synced delays. It can also process external audio and has separate stereo outputs for each voice. Massive doesn’t even begin to describe its sound.
Imagine being able to move effortlessly from thick analog smoothness to crisp digital edge—or anywhere in between—and you begin to get the picture. The LFOs, step sequencer, and three separate delays can all be synced for complex, evolving, rhythmic, time-based effects in true stereo.
It’s a sound designer’s dream that can go from ultra creamy to ultra aggressive with the turn of a knob. If you need convincing, just listen to the demos.
Each voice is a complete Evolver with four oscillators per voice, two analog and two digital.
True stereo signal path with separate Curtis analog low-pass filters in each channel for each voice. Each voice has its own independent effects (feedback, delay, distortion, high-pass filter, etc.).
Highly accessible sound control for easy, intuitive operation: 78 knobs and 58 switches.
Clocked, pulsing blue LEDs and hardwood end-panels.
Each voice has an independent 16 x 4 step sequencer. Everything (sequencer, LFOs, and delay) syncs perfectly to MIDI.
In Program mode, all four voices play the same sound. In Combo mode, voices can be allocated however desired: stack all 4 for a huge unison sound, split or layer the keyboard in any configuration, and/or play one or all sequences at the same time. Each voice can respond to a different MIDI channel.
Each voice has its own stereo output in addition to the mix and headphones outputs.
Stereo audio input that can be routed to any or all of the voices, enabling parallel audio processing of external stereo or mono signals. The output of one voice can be routed to the input of another for interesting double-processing effects.
Type: Analog, Digital
Synthesis: Frequency Modulation, Subtractive, Wave Table
Waveforms: Pulse, Saw Up, Triangle, Wave Table
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Glide / Portamento, Input, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Oscillator, Pitch Wheel, Sync Hard, Velocity
+ Digitally Controlled
+ Hard sync
+ Prophet VS waves
+ Wave sequencing
+ Ring modulation
Evelope Paramerters: Delay, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), 24dB Slope (4-pole), High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance
Filter Modulation: Envelope, Keyboard, Knob, LFO, Mod Wheel, Velocity
LFO Parameters: Noise, Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Square, Clocked, Key Sync
Separate rates per oscillator.
Polyphony & Tuning
Patches RAM: 512
Multipatches RAM: 384
Storage: Internal, USB
Editing: MIDI, USB
Step sequencer provides up to 16 steps per sequence and up to 4 tracks. Supports real-time input, rests, and variable-length sequences. Syncs to MIDI clock and external audio. Sequences can control not only oscillator pitch but any parameter in the modulation matrix.
Keyboard: 61 keys, Non-weighted, Plastic
Controls: Velocity, Buttons, Knobs, Mod - Wheel, Pitch -Wheel, Tempo Knob, Sequencer
Display Type: LCD, LED, Backlit
Display Count H: 24
Display Count V: 2
Dimensions (WxDxH): 38.5 x 14.00 x 5.09 inches / 97.79 x 35.56 x 12.95 cm
Weight: 28 lbs. / 12.7 kg
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo 2, Stereo Headphone
Audio Output Count: 6
Inputs: 2 x 1/4" TR
MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU
CV Ports: CV IN
DAC Bits: 24
DAC Frequency Rate: 48
Power: 15 VDC, 1300 mA
Year Released: 2005
Year Discontinued: 2014
Manuals & Documents
Retail Street Price
: $2,399 - convert
: $1,600 - $2,000 - convert
References & Sources