This discussion was created from comments split from: New Korg.

I’m waiting for him to do an EP called “Evolution”, made entirely from sounds from the Evolution EVS-1 :wink:

May never happen, though.


I’ve got an EVS-1. I like getting cheap obscure things like that.

Another EVS-1 owner here. The front panel has seen better days so I’m tinkering with the idea of re-housing the main board along with a display etc to make it fully editable on it’s own without the need for a PC or a PC running an ST emulator. The only thing that’s stopping me is that I’m not convinced mine has a good audio path so it might all be a waste of time.

There’s some good demos of it on youtube. Just shows that you can polish a turd :slight_smile:

Wow, I’m surprised to hear other people have EVS-1s. I sold mine many years ago, around the same time I got rid of my Atari.

I never really got my head around any of the many synthesis methods the EVS-1 has, but I used to enjoy mapping the same patch to all 8 parts, panning and detuning them for monstrously fat bass and drones, or just randomly poking around with the parameters in the editor.

I’d probably get another, if I could run the editor on my Mac.


Sound Quest apparently supports it:


Is sound Quest still in active development, though? It looks like something from the 90s…
Doesn’t mention support for any OSes newer than Win8/Yosemite.


Sounds like it might be worth me re-visiting this project. I had two things in mind - either a VST plugin or, given the state of my hardware, replace the front panel completely and use something like a Teansy to drive a small display and menu system to generate the necessary sysex messages then merge them with an external MIDI in to the EVS-1’s MIDI in. The second approach results in a machine that can be used stand alone but the first would be more useful to the bulk of EVS-1 owners. There would be a lot of shared code in both approaches - data structures etc for the EVS sysex message so maybe VST first then stand alone second would be the way forward.

Although we do seem to have hijacked the “New Korg” thread somewhat.

Good question.
Although something like directory opus looks like it was made in the 90ies(wiki actually credits it as being made in January 1990), that’s mostly because it was actually made in the 90ies, and is still seeing something like active development today.
That being said, I don’t recall ever seeing an update to midiquest, it’s been at version 11 for as long as I’ve known about it.
Couple the old school interface with the lack of updates, and a rather steep price, and I’ve never properly tested it. Seems very expensive, but nice if you have enough synths on the supported list, and are willing to put up with the interface.

The New korg isnt that interesting anyway :wink:

@bigsecret we do, don’t we…
Maybe we should start a new thread.


@bigsecret I’d have thought, given the number of parameters involved, that it would be hard to make any kind of useable GUI using a screen small enough to fit within the 1U height of the EVS-1.

That’s assuming you wanted to make a full editor/librarian, of course.

A VST editor would be a better place to start, I think.

Do you reckon you could reverse-engineer the Atari editor by running it and snooping the sysex messages going in both directions? Or maybe it all documented somewhere.


Appears to be documented in this:


Indeed, the PDF was a good place to start but snooping messages indicates it’s not totally correct especially around the content/layout of sound definition messages. I have a little bit of Java that I wrote a while back that will communicate with the EVS and can emulate all the front panel functions plus request patch dumps etc.

@toneburst - totally agree on the form factor issue - The main circuit board takes up hardly any space in the 1U case I was thinking more in terms of converting the whole thing to a desktop unit with a 3 or 4 inch display to allow me to do operator layout, waveform graphics etc plus having an extra CPU on board would obviously lend itself to added librarian functionality.

The fact that I’m not being called completely mad to even consider spending time on it makes me inclined to find the code and have another bash.

Hehe… well, I’m not going to call you mad. Especially as you seem to be on top of the challenges involved.

A desktop unit might be cool, actually. Rack-mount synths seem to have gone out of fashion lately, I guess partly for space reasons, but also because it makes more sense ergonomically for many people to have horizontal, rather than vertical interfaces to music equipment.

How about a touch-screen?

It makes sense to keep any physical controls fairly generic, since the synth uses so many different synthesis methods. How about having a couple of encoders, and/or navigation buttons, plus, say, 4 encoders or pots that could be freely assigned to whatever you wanted? I seem to remember it being possible to assign CCs to lots of things, using the Atari editor.

The real question though, is does the range and quality of the sounds the synth is capable of justify the effort involved, ultimately?

From what I remember, and the few of my own recordings I used it on, it has quite a broad palette of sounds, but, not having owned one for quite a long time, I can’t comment on the 2nd point :wink:


Great, I did some searching for the evs-1 :slight_smile: Here’s a quite impressive tune, apparently made with an evs-1 and probably with lots of additional processing, albeit the drums don’t sound like an evs-1.

Youtube, Alex Bobrov, Evolution EVS-1

I found a slightly less impressive recording of mine from the mid 90s, with lots of EVS-1.



Also, this one.



@toneburst Great! Thank you :slight_smile: