Dave Smith Instruments Poly Evolver Rack
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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 Rack 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 Rack 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 Rack 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.
- 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.
• 512 fully editable Programs (4 banks of 128) and 384 Combos (3 banks of 128).
• Oscillators per voice: 2 digitally controlled analog oscillators (DCOs) with selectable sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle mix, and pulse waves (with pulse-width modulation), and hard sync; 2 digital wavetable oscillators with Prophet VS waves and wave sequencing capability, FM and ring modulation.
• White noise generator.
• 2 Low-pass filters per voice: 1 analog Curtis filter per channel, selectable 2- and 4-pole operation (self-resonating in 4-pole mode).
• 3 Envelope Generators per voice: filter, VCA, and assignable (four-stage ADSR).
• 4 LFOs per voice.
• Glide (portamento): separate rates per oscillator.
• Analog VCAs.
• Digital high-pass filter.
• Digital delays: 3 separate, syncable, stereo delay lines per voice.
• Tuned feedback with “Grunge”: use feedback as a pitched sound source.
• Distortion and “Output Hack.”
• 16 x 4 step sequencer per voice.
Ins and Outs
• MIDI In, Out, Thru, and Poly Chain.
• Stereo audio input: 1/4″ unbalanced.
• Main stereo audio output: 1/4″ unbalanced.
• Separate stereo outputs (per voice): 1/4″ unbalanced
• Sustain pedal input: accepts normally on or normally off momentary footswitch.
• Pedal/CV1 and Pedal/CV2 inputs: responds to expression pedals or control voltages ranging from 0 to 5 VDC (protected against higher or negative voltages).
• Headphone output: 1/4″ stereo phone jack.
Dave Smith Instruments Poly Evolver Rack Manual