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Dave Smith Instruments Poly Evolver PE Keyboard Synthesizer

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Product 423003
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The one of a kind sound, and nearly knob-per-knob functionality of the Poly Evolver PE Keyboard Synthesizer, marks it as the flagship of Dave Smith I...Click To Read More About This Product

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An analog/digital hybrid synth that gives you direct access to 512 fully editable programs.

The one of a kind sound, and nearly knob-per-knob functionality of the Poly Evolver PE Keyboard Synthesizer, marks it as the flagship of Dave Smith Instruments synthesizers. The Poly Evolver PE allows you to cut through the hassle of endless programming menus by utilizing 58 buttons and 78 knobs (60 of which are potentiometers) as well as a keypad to directly access PE' programs. The four-voice Poly Evolver PE is an analog/digital hybrid featuring four oscillators per voice (two analog and two digital) within an innovative stereo voice architecture which includes one real Curtis analog low-pass filter per channel. The PE is also multitimbral and able to play up to four parts at the same time through separate stereo outputs. The digital processing found in the Poly Evolver PE is not only for adding effects at the finish of the signal chain but is a cohesive component of the analog electronics used to manage distortion, tuned feedback, synced delays, and bit crushing. The PE offers individual stereo outputs for each voice and has the ability to process external audio.Sounds extending from classic analog to edgy and bold digital can all be produced on the Dave Smith Instruments Poly Evolver PE keyboard.

  • Each voice is a complete Evolver with four oscillators per voice (two analog and two digital).
  • True stereo signal path with separate Curtis analog low-pass filters in each channel for each voice. Each voice has its own independent effects (feedback, delay, distortion, high-pass filter, etc.).
  • Highly accessible sound control for easy, intuitive operation: 78 knobs and 58 switches.
  • Clocked, pulsing blue LEDs and hardwood end-panels.
  • Each voice has an independent 16 x 4 step sequencer. Everything (sequencer, LFOs, and delay) syncs perfectly to MIDI.
  • In Program mode, all four voices play the same sound. In Combo mode, voices can be allocated however desired: stack all 4 for a huge unison sound, split or layer the keyboard in any configuration, and/or play one or all sequences at the same time. Each voice can respond to a different MIDI channel.
  • Each voice has its own stereo output in addition to the mix and headphones outputs.
  • Stereo audio input that can be routed to any or all of the voices, enabling parallel audio processing of external stereo or mono signals. The output of one voice can be routed to the input of another for interesting double-processing effects.
  • 5-octave, semi-weighted keyboard action with velocity and aftertouch
  • Spring-loaded pitch wheel and assignable mod wheel
  • 512 fully editable Programs (4 banks of 128) and 384 Combos (3 banks of 128)
  • Numeric keypad for direct access of Programs and Combos
  • Oscillators per voice: 2 digitally controlled analog oscillators (DCOs) with selectable sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle mix, and pulse waves (with pulse-width modulation), and hard sync; 2 digital wavetable oscillators with Prophet VS waves and wave sequencing capability, FM and ring modulation
  • White noise generator
  • 2 low-pass filters per voice: 1 analog Curtis filter per channel, selectable 2- and 4-pole operation (self-resonating in 4-pole mode)
  • 3 Envelope Generators per voice: filter, VCA, and assignable (four-stage ADSR).
  • 4 LFOs per voice
  • Glide (portamento): separate rates per oscillator
  • Analog VCAs
  • Digital high-pass filter
  • Digital delays: 3 separate, syncable, stereo delay lines per voice
  • Tuned feedback with "Grunge": use feedback as a pitched sound source
  • Distortion and "Output Hack"
  • 16 x 4 step sequencer per voice
  • Power supply: for 110V - 240V AC operation (15 VDC, 1300 mA)
  • Dimensions: 5.09" H (2.84" at front edge, and the keyboard's feet account for 0.625" of the total height) x 14" W x 38-1/2" D
  • Weight: approximately 28 lb.
  • Ins and outs:
  • MIDI In, Out, Thru, and Poly Chain
  • Stereo audio input: 1/4" unbalanced
  • Main stereo audio output: 1/4" unbalanced
  • Separate stereo outputs (per voice): 1/4" unbalanced
  • Sustain pedal input: accepts normally on or normally off momentary footswitch
  • Pedal/CV1 and Pedal/CV2 inputs: responds to expression pedals or control voltages ranging from 0 to 5 VDC (protected against higher or negative voltages)
  • Headphone output: 1/4" stereo phone jack

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Dave Smith InstrumentsPoly Evolver PE Keyboard Synthesizer

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Finally - A Review For This Synth!

By Steve M.

from Atlanta, Ga.

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews


  • Duhh Its Analog
  • Fantastic sound
  • Great Filters
  • Responsive / Good Action
  • Top Quality Build
  • Top Quality Sound
  • Touch Sensitive Keys


  • Lacks Software Editor
  • Terrible Manual

Best Uses

  • Accompaniment
  • Concerts
  • Electronic Music
  • Fat Sequences
  • Pro Keyboardist
  • Pro Studio
  • Synth Leads

Comments about Dave Smith Instruments Poly Evolver PE Keyboard Synthesizer:

The Manual is TERRIBLE, it BARELY describes operation.

The manual also does NOT list what the waveforms are, it just states that they are the same as used in the Sequential Circuits Prophet V... gee thanks, that synth has not been made since 1984!

Search the Web for "The Definitave Guide To Evolver" and download the manual written by Anu Kirk - solves this problem.

Also, there is NO Patch Edit Software included, so there is no way to back up your programs and combos!

There is one made by a third party and can be purchased for about fifty. Sadly the software is not by SoundQuest, it is another company, so while lacking features, it does the basic job of backup/restore patches, and patch editing.


This synth ROCKS! The keys are fantastic, the sounds you can make are awesome, and the sequencer is VERY versitile.

If you are an experienced synth programmer/player, you will love this machine - TOP Quality all the way!

If you are a novice, learn synths on a free VST download type synth and see if you really want to take the time to learn how synths work and what they can do.

Remember this is NOT a workstation pre-loaded with sampled sounds like piano's and cello's, etc.
This is a true synthesiser.

Bottom Line: Synth Professionals - BUY ONE - it's a Blast!

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