pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby chiasticon » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:15 pm

so i've never played one, only heard it in demos; seems to be more "lively" than the evolver but it's hard to tell from youtube. and i'm wondering, how similar are the two internally? speaking only of the analog sections, of course. is the pro one made with discrete components rather than IC's?

i like the general evolver sound, but i always found it a little too perfect and somewhat lifeless. is the pro one this way? i know a lot of people really like this synth so i'm just curious, if you think it's better than the evo, why is that?
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby steveman » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:39 am

chiasticon wrote:so i've never played one, only heard it in demos; seems to be more "lively" than the evolver but it's hard to tell from youtube. and i'm wondering, how similar are the two internally? speaking only of the analog sections, of course. is the pro one made with discrete components rather than IC's?

i like the general evolver sound, but i always found it a little too perfect and somewhat lifeless. is the pro one this way? i know a lot of people really like this synth so i'm just curious, if you think it's better than the evo, why is that?

The two are pretty different internally. The Evolver is as you know a hybrid, the Pro One all analogue. Evolver's VCOs may in fact be a form of DCO but I'm not sure about this - also it this don't mean they're digital ;) The filter/VCAs are all-in-one chips. It's not possible AFAIR to stay completely analogue as the filter outs go via A/D convertors in the delay/distortion/output hack section.
The Pro One isn't discrete, it uses CEM ICs for the 2 VCOs, the filter, the LFO (!) and the envelopes. Some people argue that discrete synths sound 'better', they just sound different. I'd expect the Pro One to maybe sound 'livelier' if only cause it'll be at least 25 years old.

Had a Pro One and foolishly got rid of it, played one in a store recently really made me regret it. Only played the Evolver in a store, not sure if I get on with the sound personally. I've preferred the demos I've heard of it's digital side. The two do sound quite different to me.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby WhinyLittleRunt » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:17 am

The Pro One sounds very raw compared to the Evolver, which uses DCO's as opposed to the VCO's on the P1. This is from experience; it definitely sounds punchier and can blow your speakers if you're not careful.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby Computer Controlled » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:56 am

The Pro-One is the devil.
The Evolver is Sadam.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby synthshaw » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:15 am

Computer Controlled wrote:The Pro-One is the devil.
The Evolver is Sadam.

That's a good comparison. The pro1 has a very thick, punchy, in your face kind of sound, very buzzy and quite different from the discrete analogs i've got. The discrete synths tend to have a more mellow tone overall IMO. The evolver to me sounds like a tame pro1 with some new features.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby masstronaut » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:32 pm

The Pro-One is a Spitfire.
The Evolver is an F16.

The Pro-One is neat lean mono-synth and can sound nicely raw and unruly, but the Evolver can do amazing things that the Pro-One simply can not. I think you really have to consider a given instrument as a totality and in that sense the Evolver's sequencer, internal effects, dual-filters*, quad-lfos, digital oscs, feedback lines etcetera, etcetera, are obviously a big part of what makes it what it is.

Horses for courses, swings and roundabouts, you takes yer pick...

* not forgetting de high-pass filters, that makes four.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby chiasticon » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:44 pm

that's mainly what i'm looking for is a comparison of their analog parts/sounds. that's interesting that they're both IC-based. i believe they're both curtis chips too, right? pro one definitely seems to be a bit livelier and have more grit and character; which as you said can possibly be attributed to the decay of it's parts, technology and noise floors of older parts, etc.

i like the evo in general but i tend to only like it once i start using the delay(s), bringing in distortion, etc. if i rely on just the analog sections (that are also in the pro-one) then i get bored and it's pretty "flat" to me. i do love the lfo/routing options tho; definitely ahead of the pro-one there.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby masstronaut » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:38 pm

I think if the Evo sounds flatter it's partly because it is literally more 'under control', digitally stabilised. So yeah you might have to get more fruity with modulation, different subtle LFOs on each osc, and so on. In the mix though this kind of controllability can be a good thing. Playing live and battling guitarists or other keys for space then the Pro-One is a good axe.

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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby matia » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:53 pm

Perhaps in a week or two I can do a little A/B of the two. I'll do some basic patches compensated for the offset of the different pot ranges.

The Pro One is very very aggressive in a distinctly analog way. It can be very warm, but then does these really evil sounds (I mean evil). Sub bass is huge.

The Evolver feels ... more electro. I mean ... not sure how to put it exactly, but the Evolver feels slimmer than the Pro One. Not that there is anything wrong with that but if you want to do huge simple sounds (oscillators beating with filter tuned low, drones, simple sub bass ...) the Evolver would not be my first choice.


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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby chiasticon » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:46 pm

@matia: that would be incredible to have a demo of making similar patches. i'd love to hear it.

thanks for all the comments, everyone. i'm getting the impression that basically, even tho they have similar features, designs and designERS...they are still different machines in an obvious way.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby Joey » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:17 pm

yeah the evolver and pro one are very different beasts...

if it was up to me i'd take the evolver, its digital waves, effects, and modulation features remedy any weaknesses posed by the analog side

if i was going to use them as strictly analog synths i'd get a pro one though
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby Herbert West » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:04 am

How about the Pro One compared to the Mopho? I am considering selling my Pro One to fund a Mopho. Anyone think that would be a good idea?
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby masstronaut » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:54 pm

Do you like your Pro-One? If you do I think you should probably wait until you have gathered the funds for a Mopho. The Mopho might be similar in some ways and have an all analogue signal path but it does not have an all analogue control path, or indeed knobs for everything. Even apart from the sound, using the Pro-One is always going to be a different experience.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby BoxPhenom » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:07 pm

The Mopho could be seen as a modern Pro-One that sounds almost as good, does more and has a severely cut-down interface.
I'd keep my Pro-One If I were you, unless you need money, but the Mopho's value is not as good in the long run.
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Re: pro one versus evolver (what makes the pro one so great?)

Postby Joey » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:43 am

keep the pro one, taht would be a stupid trade
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