Got a DSI MEK today.

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Got a DSI MEK today.

Post by dkcg » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:48 pm

I got the week off, and missed out on a MEK earlier this year. Got an encoder version in great shape with no flaky encoders. I had a desktop before, but the keyboard is great, especially velocity and aftertouch.

The polyvolvers are always too rich for my blood, but it's nice getting something that I could theoretically expand into a poly synth. DSI should have never stopped making them.

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Re: Got a DSI MEK today.

Post by Sinamsis » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:21 pm

dkcg wrote:I got the week off, and missed out on a MEK earlier this year. Got an encoder version in great shape with no flaky encoders. I had a desktop before, but the keyboard is great, especially velocity and aftertouch.

The polyvolvers are always too rich for my blood, but it's nice getting something that I could theoretically expand into a poly synth. DSI should have never stopped making them.
Congrats, it's a wonderful synth. I really enjoyed the keybed on it too (I've owned both the encoder and PE). I did eventually expand it with a PolyEvolver rack.... because the MEK sounds great, but more voices sounds more better...

That said, the Evolver line was great, but the Prophet 12 to me seems to be the next step in the evolution. It's missing some things but gains others. To me, I find the the analog based waveforms on the Prophet 12 are pretty convincing. No step sequencer though. And the "character" section is a little meh for me (except for the bit crushing, love that stuff). Ha, this is making me want an Evlolver again!

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Post by dkcg » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:35 pm

There's only one thing wrong with the MEK, it's not a PEK. :lol:

I'm still going through the sounds in the machine, but some of those sounds makes me wish I could use a couple more fingers to fill out a chord. A few of the patches have the sequencer running into the oscillators differently ending up in a duophonic sound. I totally forgot the Evolver could do that until I was like, "Where the hell is that melody coming from??" I thought sound was leaking from my buchla, even though it's not powered up. :nana:

MEK is beauty, PEK has to be heaven. Gonna start keeping my eyes peeled for cheap used evolvers, even if they got flaky encoders...

BTW, this is my first real non-controller synth (excluding the MS20mini) since I had a cheap roland D5 back in 1989. I was thinking about spllurging for the prophet or other DSI or even a minimoog, but this has a perfect cost to happiness ratio.

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Post by Unborn Gore » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:43 pm

I have earmarked some funds for an MEK. Not quite there yet, but I’m also curious about the Soulsby Atmultitron. By the time I have the $$, I’m hoping to be able to check that one out first. If I’m not wowed, then I will definitely get the MEK. Been longing for that thing for a long time.

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Post by dkcg » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:34 pm

There was a 4 voice Analog Keys for about $100 more than what I paid for the MEK a couple weeks ago at GC. I was close, until I tried it out. Didn't sound that great, and was odd to use (as per Elektron). The OT and the MDMk2UW are enough interface for me. A lot of the evolver's interface is coming back to me, especially since there's more than one row of knobs. Found the arpeggiator. Damn I love this thing. I think I could write more songs on it in a month than I have yet with my Buchla. :party:

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Post by MindMachine » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:32 am

I only ever played one once at Noisebug/Analog Haven when they came out. I was blown away at the versatility and sound. A very unique instrument.

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Post by joey » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:35 am

had a PEK for many years, which I upgraded to a PRO2. the PEK is an incredibly amazing instrument, even though the PRO2 is technically 'better', I didn't enjoy it as much, not sure why. The evolver is ROUGH. I miss it

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:37 am

dkcg wrote:There's only one thing wrong with the MEK, it's not a PEK. :lol:

I'm still going through the sounds in the machine, but some of those sounds makes me wish I could use a couple more fingers to fill out a chord. A few of the patches have the sequencer running into the oscillators differently ending up in a duophonic sound. I totally forgot the Evolver could do that until I was like, "Where the hell is that melody coming from??" I thought sound was leaking from my buchla, even though it's not powered up. :nana:

MEK is beauty, PEK has to be heaven. Gonna start keeping my eyes peeled for cheap used evolvers, even if they got flaky encoders...

BTW, this is my first real non-controller synth (excluding the MS20mini) since I had a cheap roland D5 back in 1989. I was thinking about spllurging for the prophet or other DSI or even a minimoog, but this has a perfect cost to happiness ratio.
i always liked the evolver series. i had a pek for a few days, but returned it. I had a great time setting up 4 separate sequences on it, with 4 different monosynths - the ads for it said that it was basically 4 evolvers. But then I went to save and it all got wiped out. DS had programmed it so that you couldn't save individual patches from within multimode because he thought that users would get confused. But that was what I had bought it for.

looking back on it - maybe one day I'd like to try it again, if the price was right on one. I'd love the upgrade (which never took place) to allow you to save from multimode, but i think I'd love essentially what is a 4 voice evolver. And also just messing with 4 separate sequencers, and losing my work at the end.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:41 am

dkcg wrote:There was a 4 voice Analog Keys for about $100 more than what I paid for the MEK a couple weeks ago at GC. I was close, until I tried it out. Didn't sound that great, and was odd to use (as per Elektron). The OT and the MDMk2UW are enough interface for me. A lot of the evolver's interface is coming back to me, especially since there's more than one row of knobs. Found the arpeggiator. Damn I love this thing. I think I could write more songs on it in a month than I have yet with my Buchla. :party:
btw, that was my reaction to the original a4, but (fighting holiday depression) bought one of the new ones to forestall the depression until my debt sunk in...

i think that the new one is great. Seems to sound a lot stronger, and I'm just having the grandest time using the parameter locks with the fx section combined with the synth, and the external inputs.

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Post by thevegasnerve » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:55 am

I had a desktop version and really dug it but in a moment of stupidity, sold it for something else shiny and new. Also, I just saw a monoevolver in person recently, it is a nice looking synth vs the desktop. But I keep thinking a Pro2 may be a better option.

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Post by booger » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:57 am

I'm on my third desktop Evolver (and will never sell it again). I think the Evolver series will definitely be recognized as classics for their workflow and unique sound.

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Post by stikygum » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:35 pm

thevegasnerve wrote:I had a desktop version and really dug it but in a moment of stupidity, sold it for something else shiny and new. Also, I just saw a monoevolver in person recently, it is a nice looking synth vs the desktop. But I keep thinking a Pro2 may be a better option.
The Pro 2 and Evolver sound vastly different to me. I've owned the whole line of Evolvers except the poly rack and have a Pro 2. They have similarities, but the paraphony adds a lot of creativity, allowing you to 'cycle' between waveforms when playing single notes. It also allows you to cycle what wave plays on which note of a chord if say you play 3 note chords. Then a new wave will play on different notes of the chord each time you play a chord. The sequencer is really fun too, much more fun than the Evolver for me, mainly because I see exactly what value is on each step, which is hard with the Evolver. Also you have between 8 to 16 sequencer lines instead of just 4 on the Evolver.

However, I think the Evolver VS waves really sparkle nicely. I like the Pro 2 waves, but in a different way. The Pro 2 is a chameleon because it can indeed sound like a VA 'if' you use the Supersaw waveform. That's why you hear people say it sounds like a soft synth or something. The other waves not so much, but some people might think so. But I think the same could be said of the Evolver waves maybe when used simply without much modulation. When you start modulating stuff, which DSI synths are known for, then the magic pops out. The sequencer is a ton of fun on the Pro 2.

I think the Pro 2 and Evolver are two completely different synths, in the same family. The feedback sound on both synths are very recognizable DSI feedback btw. That's good because it has lots of character.

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Post by stikygum » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:41 pm

booger wrote:I'm on my third desktop Evolver (and will never sell it again). I think the Evolver series will definitely be recognized as classics for their workflow and unique sound.
I've been close to buying another Evolver, but am finding some of that desire being quenched by the Tempest. Pretty fun sequencing VS waves along side drum sounds in the Tempest and you can still sequence parameter tweaks. The thing I miss in the Tempest are the delay lines of the Evolver though, so it's not a complete substitute. Those delay lines are what 'makes' the Evolver for me and really speaks to it's name.

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Post by thevegasnerve » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:59 pm

stikygum wrote:
thevegasnerve wrote:I had a desktop version and really dug it but in a moment of stupidity, sold it for something else shiny and new. Also, I just saw a monoevolver in person recently, it is a nice looking synth vs the desktop. But I keep thinking a Pro2 may be a better option.
The Pro 2 and Evolver sound vastly different to me. I've owned the whole line of Evolvers except the poly rack and have a Pro 2. They have similarities, but the paraphony adds a lot of creativity, allowing you to 'cycle' between waveforms when playing single notes. It also allows you to cycle what wave plays on which note of a chord if say you play 3 note chords. Then a new wave will play on different notes of the chord each time you play a chord. The sequencer is really fun too, much more fun than the Evolver for me, mainly because I see exactly what value is on each step, which is hard with the Evolver. Also you have between 8 to 16 sequencer lines instead of just 4 on the Evolver.

However, I think the Evolver VS waves really sparkle nicely. I like the Pro 2 waves, but in a different way. The Pro 2 is a chameleon because it can indeed sound like a VA 'if' you use the Supersaw waveform. That's why you hear people say it sounds like a soft synth or something. The other waves not so much, but some people might think so. But I think the same could be said of the Evolver waves maybe when used simply without much modulation. When you start modulating stuff, which DSI synths are known for, then the magic pops out. The sequencer is a ton of fun on the Pro 2.

I think the Pro 2 and Evolver are two completely different synths, in the same family. The feedback sound on both synths are very recognizable DSI feedback btw. That's good because it has lots of character.
Thanks for that comparison. Yes I remember the feedback on the Evolver being great, and it made me appreciate what complex modulation could
achieve. I think a Pro2 would be worth trying next.

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Post by dkcg » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:09 pm

stikygum wrote:
booger wrote:I'm on my third desktop Evolver (and will never sell it again). I think the Evolver series will definitely be recognized as classics for their workflow and unique sound.
I've been close to buying another Evolver, but am finding some of that desire being quenched by the Tempest. Pretty fun sequencing VS waves along side drum sounds in the Tempest and you can still sequence parameter tweaks. The thing I miss in the Tempest are the delay lines of the Evolver though, so it's not a complete substitute. Those delay lines are what 'makes' the Evolver for me and really speaks to it's name.
I haven't touched them much yet, but I really love the feedback with the delay, there's definitely a sound to the evolver to me, and a lot of it has to do with the feedback, delay, and those digital oscillators.

I've been itching for a decent mono keyboard, like a moog subsequent, pro2, modal001, etc. But didn't want to spend that much money. And the evolver came back into my life.

But I'm afraid now I'll want a nice poly synth. Hopefully, I don't play chords often enough to get polykey gas...that's some expensive gas. Software will have to do for poly keys. Plus the space, the MEK is a nice compact size.

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Post by Sinamsis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:25 pm

dkcg wrote:
stikygum wrote:
booger wrote:I'm on my third desktop Evolver (and will never sell it again). I think the Evolver series will definitely be recognized as classics for their workflow and unique sound.
I've been close to buying another Evolver, but am finding some of that desire being quenched by the Tempest. Pretty fun sequencing VS waves along side drum sounds in the Tempest and you can still sequence parameter tweaks. The thing I miss in the Tempest are the delay lines of the Evolver though, so it's not a complete substitute. Those delay lines are what 'makes' the Evolver for me and really speaks to it's name.
I haven't touched them much yet, but I really love the feedback with the delay, there's definitely a sound to the evolver to me, and a lot of it has to do with the feedback, delay, and those digital oscillators.

I've been itching for a decent mono keyboard, like a moog subsequent, pro2, modal001, etc. But didn't want to spend that much money. And the evolver came back into my life.

But I'm afraid now I'll want a nice poly synth. Hopefully, I don't play chords often enough to get polykey gas...that's some expensive gas. Software will have to do for poly keys. Plus the space, the MEK is a nice compact size.
Dude, this is the age of affordable decent quality polysynths. From the Behringer offerings, DIY (Ambika) to the Peak and more (Modor NF-1). If you don't want a keyboard, there are still a ton of options.

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Post by dkcg » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:13 pm

I forgot about the Behringer poly. I just always feel like Behringer stuff is like the Bic lighter of instruments. I can safely assume that the noise source will be there. whether you want it or not. Hehe :D

The main reason I got MEK though is previous experience. Some of those patches makes me want a PEK or the rack.

I've been in waveshape/additive land so long, I had forgotten the joys of a nice resonant overdriven acid sequence. The MEK delivers on that, it's not a 303, but my gas for anything like a 303 is gone, along with moog gas.

But a case seems hard to find w/o going hard flight case, which I don't need. Wish momo made a bag that fit.

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Post by dkcg » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:17 pm

Speaking of DSI feedback, I wonder if this euro modules is basically some sort of insert type module to get similar feedback lines/character.

https://www.davesmithinstruments.com/pr ... ck-module/

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Post by stikygum » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:29 am

dkcg wrote:I forgot about the Behringer poly. I just always feel like Behringer stuff is like the Bic lighter of instruments. I can safely assume that the noise source will be there. whether you want it or not. Hehe :D

The main reason I got MEK though is previous experience. Some of those patches makes me want a PEK or the rack.
Wasn't that into the Deepmind. Thought the best thing about them were the FX onboard, but that's mainly what I enjoyed about it is I could get some spacey stuff.

If you want a poly, but don't want to spend on a PEK, then a used Tempest is a good option because it doubles as a 6 voice poly and it sounds really nice. Very flexible machine. You get an analog + digital Oscillator, analog synth, which can be used as a sampled based or analog drum machine. And it has some nice tricks up it's sleeve. The Deepmind is pretty generic imo, but some people seem to like it for that reason.

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Post by jabberwalky » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:30 am

Ahhh, making me miss it....for the 3rd time!

The MEK was a dream around 2007. This entire resurgence really wasn't a thing yet. You had some VA synths around like the Korg Ms2000, An1x, Virus, Nord, MFOS & Paia stuff......or vintage.

Dave Smith opened the gates in 2004, and for that he made history twice!

It took a long time until I could finally afford an MEK and, as it was an early initial run model, I had to use DeOxit on it a number of times. Sort of ruined the experience. Eventually traded it for an Sh101....oops.

2nd one was years later (many synths later) and I guess I just didn't connect with it as well, perhaps because it was sitting there next to a Pro-One, Octave Kitten, and a Minikorg700s. It didn't really sound analog. It could kind of get there, but it's not a vintage synth and trying to put it in that box was a huge mistake.

Now most of the vintage stuff is gone, I'm about to get deeper into modular, I'm sick of your old VCO-VCF-VCA synths....and I miss it again!
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Post by tIB » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:37 am

Big fan of the evolver here, though preferred the desktop to the keyboard strangely - always mean to grab another but they seem to have risen in price since I sold mine.

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Post by booger » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:47 am

dkcg wrote:
stikygum wrote:
booger wrote:I'm on my third desktop Evolver (and will never sell it again). I think the Evolver series will definitely be recognized as classics for their workflow and unique sound.
I've been close to buying another Evolver, but am finding some of that desire being quenched by the Tempest. Pretty fun sequencing VS waves along side drum sounds in the Tempest and you can still sequence parameter tweaks. The thing I miss in the Tempest are the delay lines of the Evolver though, so it's not a complete substitute. Those delay lines are what 'makes' the Evolver for me and really speaks to it's name.
I haven't touched them much yet, but I really love the feedback with the delay, there's definitely a sound to the evolver to me, and a lot of it has to do with the feedback, delay, and those digital oscillators.

I've been itching for a decent mono keyboard, like a moog subsequent, pro2, modal001, etc. But didn't want to spend that much money. And the evolver came back into my life.

But I'm afraid now I'll want a nice poly synth. Hopefully, I don't play chords often enough to get polykey gas...that's some expensive gas. Software will have to do for poly keys. Plus the space, the MEK is a nice compact size.
I've had the privilege of owning a PEK and did not like it at all. There was just too much going in IMO. I like the sound and programming on my desktop but doing it four times to create an ultra-complex chord was a bit more than what I wanted in a polysynth. It also did not allow for changing the patch/sequence while staying in time with MIDI-sync. (I actually believe that the desktop Evolver is the only version that can toggle between patches while maintaining the sync clock.) Plus, I hated the lights on the PEK. I'm not a fan of blue LEDs and that unit has lots of them.

That all being said, I'm sure there is someone with the interest and patience to create some insane sounds on the PEK. The level of deep synth programming available is probably comparable to many modular systems.

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Post by dkcg » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:17 pm

booger wrote:I've had the privilege of owning a PEK and did not like it at all. There was just too much going in IMO. I like the sound and programming on my desktop but doing it four times to create an ultra-complex chord was a bit more than what I wanted in a polysynth. It also did not allow for changing the patch/sequence while staying in time with MIDI-sync. (I actually believe that the desktop Evolver is the only version that can toggle between patches while maintaining the sync clock.) Plus, I hated the lights on the PEK. I'm not a fan of blue LEDs and that unit has lots of them.

That all being said, I'm sure there is someone with the interest and patience to create some insane sounds on the PEK. The level of deep synth programming available is probably comparable to many modular systems.
I could see the complexities getting out of hand. Especially with someone like Nelson. I wonder if it could run out of memory with enough pushing...

I've been tinkering with it and a machine drum, but finaly managed to get something with the buchla.

https://soundcloud.com/ibdk/evolver-sax

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:35 pm

dkcg wrote:
booger wrote:I've had the privilege of owning a PEK and did not like it at all. There was just too much going in IMO. I like the sound and programming on my desktop but doing it four times to create an ultra-complex chord was a bit more than what I wanted in a polysynth. It also did not allow for changing the patch/sequence while staying in time with MIDI-sync. (I actually believe that the desktop Evolver is the only version that can toggle between patches while maintaining the sync clock.) Plus, I hated the lights on the PEK. I'm not a fan of blue LEDs and that unit has lots of them.

That all being said, I'm sure there is someone with the interest and patience to create some insane sounds on the PEK. The level of deep synth programming available is probably comparable to many modular systems.
I could see the complexities getting out of hand. Especially with someone like Nelson. I wonder if it could run out of memory with enough pushing...

I've been tinkering with it and a machine drum, but finaly managed to get something with the buchla.

https://soundcloud.com/ibdk/evolver-sax
just to be clear - i wasn't complaining about the complexities, only that the technology was there to work on 4 separate voices/sequences, but wasn't fully implemented.

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Post by dkcg » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:40 pm

I meant quite the opposite. That it wasn't deep enough in the complexities for how a very experimental user would use it. I think if the PEK did what you wanted, I'd have almost no time left for any other synths with all the voices and subsets of control within the voices.

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