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only sound you will get from Evolution is a simple sine wave. So how easy is it to load a pre-set? Well it's as simple as clicking on the "Tick" which is second in the list of buttons under the main interface, sandwiched between the left and right arrows. Upon clicking this the main interface displays options as to what kind of pre-set you would like to load. Choices are Synth, Bass, String, Piano, Pad or Other. Right, let's start at the beginning, with a Synth, so I click on the synth option and I am now into the pre-set list.

Firstly, I click on the oscillator (OSC) tab which is below-left of the main interface, to open Evolution's oscillators. All four are switched on, using sawtooth waveforms, each one detuned and transposed to create the Euro Lead sound. Moving to the ROM tab, I can see that this ROM consists of 4 layers, 4 samples, and that each layer has different volume, transposition and fine tune settings. Moving to the modulation (MOD) tab brings up the envelope options, of which there are two, and the modulation matrix. Both are empty, so I have plenty of scope to introduce There are loads of pre-sets available in options here. Moving to the next tab the synth section, anything from a brings up the Low Frequency 303 emulation to a trance pluck to full Oscillator options (LFO); both are set dance lead. to off, so are not being used, again allowing me the ability to introduce The first pre-set I load is called them. The next tab is the effects (FX) Brassed Down – Trumpet Brass Synth section, where you can choose from 80's. Quickly playing a few notes on Chorus, Decimator, EQ, Distortion, my midi controller, I am struck by the Reverb or Delay, or you can set high quality of this sound. It reminds Evolution's main filter type here. me of the Van Halen "Jump" synth These consist of Low Pass, High Pass and is instantly playable. I have to and Band Pass, and then Low PassII, force myself from playing as I do tend High PassII, and Band PassII which to get carried away with ideas, and I can only mean that CubicAudio have load another pre-set. This time I try their own types of filter. The final tab Broken Sound – Metal Lead Sound is the options (OPT) tab where you and again I am struck by the quality can set the quality of the ROM used, of this sound, indeed very metallic and the number of voices Evolution and crystal clear. Very impressive uses too. I set these both to once again, and I am forced to pry maximum for testing purposes to see myself off this pre-set and try another, how CPU hungry Evolution is. this time I am going to alter it myself. Back to the oscillator section. I I decided on Euro Lead 2 by Alan changed all the waveforms, altered Hinton. A very nice, clear lead which the octaves and fine tuning and the would be acceptable in any Euro-core panning of each oscillator. I then or even Hard style track. The pre-set moved to the Modulation Matrix and is very usable in its original state, but set Modulation Envelope 1 to the can I add a little something using global pitch and created an envelope Evolutions additional options? to alter it. I also introduced an LFO to control the filter cut-off, and changed the values in the LFO section. I then May 2011

added an EQ to tame the highs. I then adjusted the main Delay and Reverb controls to suit, and started to play back what I have created. What became apparent is that I'm not going to win any sound design awards, but I did what I wanted to do, and that was to create an extreme pre-set to stress test Evolution, to see how it would cope with a lot of different things going on. The result? Amazing--it was a lot lower than the 25% threshold I normally set for a synth under such stress, it came through with flying colours at 11% ASIO/CPU use (depends on your point of view about meters in DAWs regarding this.) I am very impressed with this performance, considering I also set ROM quality to very high and used the maximum 128 voices, which was pure overkill. Evolution stands up well in performance vs quality statistics. All synths consume CPU, some more than others, but that's the price to pay for quality sounds. I am extremely pleased with the way Evolution performs and I can see the ROM system paying dividends. I loaded a fresh pre-set into Evolution, this time I chose the 303 Acid – 303 type emulation. Straight away you can tell the distinct acid sound, and with a quick adjustment of the Filter's ADSR, which is another great feature, I was able to modulate the Acid sound further, sparking many ideas on how I can use it. What has become apparent to me is that Evolution, as with many ROMpler style plug-ins, has the ability to introduce ideas through the preprogrammed sounds, without the headache of learning synthesis, and then gives you the option to expand on your ideas, by making each pre-set


May 2011  

Wsm May 2011

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