Evolver MEK vs Mopho Keyboard
axm311
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#1
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #1
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Evolver MEK vs Mopho Keyboard

So I know the Mopho keys aren't out yet, but soundwise it will be the same as the module so hope the question still applies.

I did a search but I'm still a little unsure of the differences. By some accounts the evolver is the mopho plus a lot of added digital features. on the other hand the mopho has a sub osc which people say will make it better for bass (which is kinda important as non of the synths I have now are particularly good at bass). aere these the only difference or are their different filters too? I know the MEK is prob $400ish more than the Mopho keyboard will list at too, but both would certainly be overkill in terms of overlap.

other concern is I fear if I get the MEK i'll want to get extra slutty and pick up a PEK later

the desktops are as appealing to me because im only interested in synths with hands on, intuitive interfaces and neither of those fit the bill. anyone have experience with both?

edit, also MEK has 4 oscs two digital and two analog - can these be used simultaneously? or does that mean 4 to select 2 from?

I guess a better question for the thread would be: how does the analog portion of the evolver compare with mopho?
Pym
#2
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #2
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
I did a search but I'm still a little unsure of the differences. By some accounts the evolver is the mopho plus a lot of added digital features. on the other hand the mopho has a sub osc which people say will make it better for bass (which is kinda important as non of the synths I have now are particularly good at bass). aere these the only difference or are their different filters too?
The Analog pathway (oscillators, lowpass filter) is identical with the exception of the analog feedback and the sub oscillators on the Mopho Keyboard. The MEK also technically has two Curtis chips, allowing separate L/R filter processing. The signal pathway is still pretty much the same

Quick comparison to how they differ:

Mopho Keyboard:
Pots and improved encoder response
USB MIDI
Analog Feedback (not tuned)
2 Sub Oscillators - one 1 octave below, 1 two octaves below
FX processor can use the Lowpass filter, sequencers/envelopes and panning as an envelope follower
2.5 Octaves

Mono Evolver Keyboard:
Analog filters can be split (there are 2 separate filters) for the right and left channel
Digital highpass filter
Digital delay which can be tied to the digital feedback circuit
Digital feedback (tuned)
Digital distortion
Digital Output Hack (close to a bit crunch/distortion character)
2x Digital Oscillators - uses waveforms similar to the Prophet VS
Digital Oscillators have frequency modulation (FM) control and you can control the waveform as a parameter with one of the sequencers so you can change it on every step
Digital Oscillators have ring modulation
Slightly more control over the character of the envelopes (linear vs. exponential)
FX processor can use the Lowpass/highpass, panning, sequencers/envelopes and all the digital effects from peak hold or as an envelope follower
3.5 Octaves

The MEK is slightly more difficult to program using a MIDI source if you don't know how to use Sysex but offers more flexibility with the FX and the internal routing.

Quote:
edit, also MEK has 4 oscs two digital and two analog - can these be used simultaneously? or does that mean 4 to select 2 from?
Yep, all 4 simultaneously

Also, just FYI, there will be a Potentiometer version for the Mono Evolver Keyboard being released this summer.

Just let me know if you have any more questions!

Chris
DSI
axm311
Thread Starter
#3
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #3
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Thread Starter
wow this is great, thanks Chris for the detailed reply

I had one question about one of your points:

Quote:
The MEK is slightly more difficult to program using a MIDI source if you don't know how to use Sysex
what does this mean exactly - from a MIDI source? like using the software editor?

I was under the assumption that all the parameters could be accessed through the front panel either via menus or knobs - is this not the case? how will programming the Mopho KB be different?

interesting about the MEK PE edition, I wonder if this means the encodered MEK will drop in price
#4
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #4
Gear addict
 

i have a mopho and a mek and i have to say the mek does insanely rude analog bass even without the sub osc. its got 4 osc!!!!

but the mopho is warm and creamy.. i would like a mopho keyboard too!!
but the evolver is becoming my favorite monosynth ever!!

sooooooo versatile! i just wish i could afford a poly....
#5
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #5
Gear interested
 

Hi Chris,

First , great to see a guy of DSI answering questions, that's awesome

I have a quick one, Dave was talking about an april shipping date, still apply?
I (of course!) pre-ordered my MKB as soon as I saw it ( I already own a Mopho) and I have a gig on may, just wondering if i'll be able to show off..

Cheers!

Nico
Pym
#6
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #6
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
what does this mean exactly - from a MIDI source? like using the software editor?

I was under the assumption that all the parameters could be accessed through the front panel either via menus or knobs - is this not the case? how will programming the Mopho KB be different?
Absolutely all the parameters can be programmed from the front panel!

For most parameters, you can control the Mopho and Evolver using CCs (MIDI Control Change messages). For the lesser used parameters, you need to use Sysex to control the Evolver. If you are using a controller keyboard or automation to control the synth some DAWs and controllers don't support Sysex very well. The Mopho uses NRPNs for the lesser used parameters, which are a little bit more simple than Sysex. Most controllers I've used support NRPNs, but not Sysex.

Quote:
I have a quick one, Dave was talking about an april shipping date, still apply?
As far as I know we are still planning to ship by the end of April. I just finished cleaning up the OS and we're going through bug checking right now (the encoders feel awesome, I think people are gonna be really happy with them this time!). We're waiting on a couple small revisions and as long as the metal and wood guys comes through, we should be shipping mid to late April. As always, can't give 100% firm dates, you always rely on 12 other companies to get something done, but things are chugging along nicely
#7
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #7
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pinkerton's Avatar
 

hey chris@dsi are you the guy that was showing off the mopho at namm on the createdigitalmusic site?

if so, nice hat.
Pym
#8
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #8
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
hey chris@dsi are you the guy that was showing off the mopho at namm on the createdigitalmusic site?

if so, nice hat.
Yep. My hat thanks you, it enjoys attention. It's rather high maintenance
#9
15th March 2010
Old 15th March 2010
  #9
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Ben F's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pym View Post
We're waiting on a couple small revisions and as long as the metal and wood guys comes through, we should be shipping mid to late April. As always, can't give 100% firm dates, you always rely on 12 other companies to get something done, but things are chugging along nicely
Hi Chris,

Can you say if the Mopho Keys will be silver (like at NAMM) or yellow?

I though the silver looked very classy.
Pym
#10
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #10
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Can you say if the Mopho Keys will be silver (like at NAMM) or yellow?
The keyboard will be yellow. However, it will not have the ugly grey overlay like it did at NAMM, the overlay will be yellow as well. It actually looks pretty darned good.
#11
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #11
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Ben F's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pym View Post
The keyboard will be yellow. However, it will not have the ugly grey overlay like it did at NAMM, the overlay will be yellow as well. It actually looks pretty darned good.
Nice!

Dave Smith Instruments. News.
Attached Thumbnails
Evolver MEK vs Mopho Keyboard-fake_mopho_key_sm.jpg  
#12
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #12
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rids's Avatar
 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pym View Post
The keyboard will be yellow. However, it will not have the ugly grey overlay like it did at NAMM, the overlay will be yellow as well. It actually looks pretty darned good.
Thank God, that grey overlay was not working. All yellow will be sweet. thumbsup

I wouldn't mind if the grey part was a different shade of yellow, ind of like what he did with the Evolver keys.
#13
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #13
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cryophonik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Ooh - I like this quote from that article:

Quote:
Enhancements include programmable feedback gain, additional arpeggiator modes, and the ability to set the slew rate separately for individual sequence steps. (Yes, the latter two features will eventually find their way into the other products in the Mopho/Tetra/Prophet family.)
My P08 is going to be a little happier (someday). thumbsup

Back on-topic - I've owned both the MEK and the Mopho. TBH, it would be a tough decision, but I like the MEK for its versatility. It's a very diverse monosynth.

edit: oh yeah, and as far as the color goes, I don't really care. AFAIC all synths fall into one of two color schemes:

1) black/grey/gun-metal blue
2) NOT black/grey/gun-metal blue

Last edited by cryophonik; 16th March 2010 at 05:19 AM.. Reason: because
Pym
#14
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #14
Pym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryophonik View Post
My P08 is going to be a little happier (someday). thumbsup
Yes it will... it will also get the improved encoder response. I have a post on the Prophet 5/08 forum explaining in more detail

The improved arpeggiator modes on the mopho keyboard are actually really fun, more than I was expecting. More octave range (up to +/- 3 octaves now) and a few additional modes (so far up/down and random which affects both pitch and timing)
#15
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #15
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Mike6581's Avatar
 

I think the MEK wins it for me out of the two but if I hadn't already got the Mopho and the Prophet 08, the Mopho Keyboard + Tetra would've been the route I'd taken. Not that I regret the instruments I've got, the Prophet 08 is absolutely wonderful, rapidly becoming my favourite synth, and the Mopho's awesome too. Really getting into the power and flexibility of the DSI sequencers at the moment in the studio, they're just great.

After what I've learnt from properly programming the Prophet and Mopho, the MEK is increasingly tempting me - though the spectre of lust for an Arp Odyssey is looming over my synth choices at the moment.
axm311
Thread Starter
#16
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #16
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Thread Starter
wow mo keys look sweet! semi weighted too...nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike6581 View Post
I think the MEK wins it for me out of the two but if I hadn't already got the Mopho and the Prophet 08, the Mopho Keyboard + Tetra would've been the route I'd taken.
yeah it seems that way but if a PE edition of the MEK is coming out in the summer I think it would be best to wait for that one.

MEK looks a lot deeper too though so it may be better for me to pop my DSI cherry on the mopho first. hard to tell the form factor but looks like it will fit neatly on my desk too without having to add a third tier to my kb stand
#17
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #17
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Mike6581's Avatar
 

I can't recommend the Mopho highly enough. Put it through a decent pre-amp or a decent PA and it'll blow your socks of. The software editor makes creating patches a joy. I just love the little thing.

The MEK looks incredible, it's "on the list" along with the Odyssey and OB-Xa. At some point in the next 12-18 months hopefully I'll get the money for it.
#18
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #18
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hogberto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
looks mighty fine.

but the envelopes are where i'd expect the oscillators to be.

and the filter is where i'd expect the envelopes to be.

and the oscillators are where i'd expect the filter to be.

and i'd also swap the arpeg/sequencer and mixer sections.

but this will be mine. oh yes, it will be mine.
Pym
#19
16th March 2010
Old 16th March 2010
  #19
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
but the envelopes are where i'd expect the oscillators to be.

and the filter is where i'd expect the envelopes to be.

and the oscillators are where i'd expect the filter to be.

and i'd also swap the arpeg/sequencer and mixer sections.
Don't know if this helps but the layout is designed after the signal path on the bottom. The oscillators are first, which are fed into the mixer/feedback path, which is fed into the lowpass filter. The Envelopes and modulators are on top of the main parameters and the sequencer/arp on top of those.
#20
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #20
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ctrlshft's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pym View Post
Don't know if this helps but the layout is designed after the signal path on the bottom. The oscillators are first, which are fed into the mixer/feedback path, which is fed into the lowpass filter. The Envelopes and modulators are on top of the main parameters and the sequencer/arp on top of those.
"Enhancements include programmable feedback gain, additional arpeggiator modes, and the ability to set the slew rate separately for individual sequence steps. (Yes, the latter two features will eventually find their way into the other products in the Mopho/Tetra/Prophet family.) "

I can't express how excited I am about a slew rate feature!! AWESOME!!!! 303-style sequencing here we come! (presuming I'm not jumping the gun on it's functionality.)
Pym
#21
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #21
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrlshft View Post
"Enhancements include programmable feedback gain, additional arpeggiator modes, and the ability to set the slew rate separately for individual sequence steps. (Yes, the latter two features will eventually find their way into the other products in the Mopho/Tetra/Prophet family.) "

I can't express how excited I am about a slew rate feature!! AWESOME!!!! 303-style sequencing here we come! (presuming I'm not jumping the gun on it's functionality.)
It'll be a little unusual to start. You can use one of the sequencer tracks to slew the parameters on another sequencer track. So you could set sequencer 4's parameter to 'slew seq 3' and whatever sequencer 3's parameter is will be slewed by the amount on the sequencer 4 step. There will likely be another couple enhancements to this mode in the future. It's pretty darned neat fooling with it though
#22
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #22
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Ben F's Avatar
Are there LEDs for each sequencer step? It's hard too tell from the picture.
#23
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #23
Gear maniac
 

thanks for all the great info pym! i'm buying a mopho keyboard for sure and plan on saving for a tetra to polychain.. 5 voices would be too damn good.
one question for ya... is the possibility of a vst/au editor dead? :(
#24
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #24
Gear addict
 

I'd say that there aren't sequencer LEDs at all.
Pym
#25
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #25
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wretch View Post
thanks for all the great info pym! i'm buying a mopho keyboard for sure and plan on saving for a tetra to polychain.. 5 voices would be too damn good.
one question for ya... is the possibility of a vst/au editor dead? :(
The possibility isn't dead and in fact we are beta testing a version from Soundtower now. However I am giving no dates as to possible release or what exactly their schedule is. We know how important it is. Making a VST is much more complicated than it should be. Keep watch on the soundtower site for news on the release.


Quote:
I'd say that there aren't sequencer LEDs at all.
This is correct, no LEDs. To make the instruments as wonderfully cost effective as they are a few corners needed to be cut. Just be thankful we're cutting them on the display side and not the sound side =)

Even so... since you guys are so nice I'll see what I can do about working in a new software mode to make controlling the sequencer easier using the LCD for display. One of the many little side projects I will get in my free time. Right. Then again the encoder fix was a little pet project and that came out pretty darned well... so I'd say it's likely sooner or later!
#26
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pym View Post
The possibility isn't dead and in fact we are beta testing a version from Soundtower now. However I am giving no dates as to possible release or what exactly their schedule is. We know how important it is. Making a VST is much more complicated than it should be. Keep watch on the soundtower site for news on the release.




This is correct, no LEDs. To make the instruments as wonderfully cost effective as they are a few corners needed to be cut. Just be thankful we're cutting them on the display side and not the sound side =)

Even so... since you guys are so nice I'll see what I can do about working in a new software mode to make controlling the sequencer easier using the LCD for display. One of the many little side projects I will get in my free time. Right. Then again the encoder fix was a little pet project and that came out pretty darned well... so I'd say it's likely sooner or later!
WOW! Talking about customer support...
#27
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #27
Gear Head
 

mopho keyboard looks nice, kind of wished i waited before i got the desktop module.

i have a few questions though Pym.
-can the tetra and the desktop module of mopho be chained for 5 voices?

-and are you guys aware about the issue with Ableton Live and the mopho when it deals with nrpn and cc messages? i dont know how to describe it, but editing/automating with the knobs of the mopho when live is up is very buggy and glitchy unless i turn off CC and NRPN messages on my mopho. changing cutoff will jump around to resonance and assigning parameters will change and go crazy at times. However, when i turn off nrpn and cc messages, everything is fine.

i downloaded an evaluation version of reaper to test it out and there are no issues with nrpn and cc messages. is this Live's fault? or the mopho? and btw, i am on OS 1.3.
Pym
#28
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #28
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
-can the tetra and the desktop module of mopho be chained for 5 voices?
Absolutely!

Quote:
-and are you guys aware about the issue with Ableton Live and the mopho when it deals with nrpn and cc messages? i dont know how to describe it, but editing/automating with the knobs of the mopho when live is up is very buggy and glitchy unless i turn off CC and NRPN messages on my mopho. changing cutoff will jump around to resonance and assigning parameters will change and go crazy at times. However, when i turn off nrpn and cc messages, everything is fine.

i downloaded an evaluation version of reaper to test it out and there are no issues with nrpn and cc messages. is this Live's fault? or the mopho? and btw, i am on OS 1.3.
I am aware of Ableton's issues with NRPNs as I am an Ableton user myself for my live stuff (Cubase for production). Ableton does not handle NRPNs well right now. I'd really like to see a MaxForLive patch for the Mopho/Tetra get done and am looking into buying the software to see if I can throw one together. If anyone else wants to build one I'd be willing to write the NRPN/Sysex handling code for it.

This could also be due to a MIDI loop. Make sure the MIDI output from the Mopho/Tetra is not being looped back to the MIDI input, this can cause all sorts of really weird timing issues.

I am also considering an alternative method of extending CC control and will put up a poll after the keyboard is released with a couple options to see what people think.
#29
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #29
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digital 1010's Avatar
Pym - Can a MEK or the new pot version of the MEK thats coming join up with an older desktop mopho for dual voice like a MEK and desktop evolver ?



Thanks

Ben
Pym
#30
17th March 2010
Old 17th March 2010
  #30
Pym
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Can a MEK or the new pot version of the MEK thats coming join up with an older desktop mopho for dual voice like a MEK and desktop evolver ?
The Evolver has a much different and more flexible voice structure due to the digital components so it's not supported as a polychain option with a Prophet or Mopho.
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