This patch shows a bit of the caustic side of the Poly Evolver. With the filter mostly closed, even the most metallic-sounding digital wave shapes can seem fairly soft and sweet. But when the filter is opened – regardless of whatever help the analog side might be offering the patch – the Evolver’s famous harshness is undeniable and its reputation is shown to be well-deserved. I don’t often wander into this sonic range of the instrument, except to create an occasional tragic but text-less tone painting.
The patch makes use of all four oscillators, pulse width modulation, and a slight amount of slow LFO-generated filter modulation which, even in the softer sections, pushes the digital oscillators slightly into their discordant timbre.
The photograph is of the Alcott barn in Concord, Massachusetts, USA.
A musical glimpse into the mind of Judas Iscariot the betrayer – erratic, dissonant, tormented, lost.
This improvisation is 100% Evolver. The nature of the subject demanded a harsh digital waveshape, and so it had to be performed on a Poly Evolver Keyboard. The main pad uses an envelope having a slow attack and long release. Nearly the entire piece is played as an elaborate series of steadily moving played arpeggios, with only the highest note sustained. This is meant to give the music a confused restlessness. The filter is opened by means of the modulation wheel.
A second Poly Evolver Keyboard is used for the eerie bending note. A note or chord is sustained on the lower PEK by means of the VCA Level – a tremendously handy parameter for a one-man ensemble. Meanwhile, on the upper PEK, a single note is held in which the filter is slowly opened and closed by means of keyboard pressure and the pitch is simultaneously bent using the pitch wheel. At the point at which the filter is fully open, the tone is full of caustic digital aliasing.