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Herag Sanbalian
Donny Walls - Evolution
Evolution Presets
Chandelier
Ben R - Evolution
Bit Funk - Evolution
Moduler - Evolution
Regular Joe - Evolution
Tone Operator
Mike Ritchie - Evolution
GilJ - Evolution
Ben R - Evolution Naked
APM - Evolution
Donny Walls - E-Funk

Incredible sound library with ultra flexible routing and effects along with a powerful sequencer make for a truly impressive NKS-ready instrument...

AskAudio (AskAudio )

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Evolution

AskAudio Mag Review - Evolution

AskAudio (AskAudio ) - 04/01/2018

Known for their vast drum libraries and intricate instruments alike, Wave Alchemy have delivered their most ambitious drum programming tool yet: Evolution. Evolution is a fresh approach to layered percussion design, extensive on-board effects, all-new forward-looking sample library, and an even more powerful sequencing system.

Evolutionary Foundations

Built from an immaculate library of more than 28,000 samples that easily lives up to the lofty standards Wave Alchemy has firmly established, Evolution is essentially comprised of 12 drum voices. Each of those voices, in turn, is constructed by three discrete sample engines: Drum, Transient, and Layer. Featuring three main device pages – per-voice XY mix and macro modulation, Mixer, and Sequencer – the currently selected drum voice remains visible along the top of Evolution’s handsome interface throughout all sections.

Ten main categories are available for the primary Drum layer, including the usual suspects: Kick, Snare, Tom, Hat Closed, Hat Open, Cymbal, and Clap, along with Perc Real, Perc Electro, and Perc Glitch. Once the general drum family has been selected from the corresponding buttons at right, up to twelve further contextual sub-categories are available for stylistic expediency on the similar buttons beneath, helping navigate the vast array of available samples in sensible fashion.

Clicking the Drum, Transient or Layer text to the right of the waveform display determines which engine is in focus, while clicking the corresponding dot allows that engine to be soloed for isolated editing. The Transient engine offers five categories to add definition to the impact of any drum voice: Soft, Hard, Clap, Click, or Snare Body. Providing additional texture on the tail end, the Layer engine offers ten classes: Organic, Sub Deep, Sub Mid, Sub Verb, and Sub Bomb for low-end sound design; Live Snare, Prep Snare, and Room Snare for more convincing kit drums; and Clap Tail and Noise for top-end material. A random selection can be drawn from the currently selected sample engine category by clicking the die icon beneath the waveform, easily generating new kits from scratch – or by adjusting the selected layer’s Select knob in the Voice section.

X & Y: Chromosomic

Clicking the X + Y toggle at the top left of Evolution brings us to the XY mix pad and macro controls for whichever voice is currently selected. The XY pad allows for swift, intuitive, and visual mixing between the Drum, Transient, and Layer engines for the selected voice, while the eight macros allow for bespoke Sequencer control – but more on that in a moment. Each macro can be selected from a full drop-down menu of per-voice parameters by clicking its title, while the T, D, and L amounts determine how much that macro controls the Transient, Drum, and Layer engines respectively, allowing for incredibly precise control across any voice’s plentiful parameters. A ring appears around the dial of a parameter assigned to a macro, with a dot in that ring showing the parameter’s true macro-compensated position.

Genetic Sequencing

Evolution can easily be programmed via MIDI in a host DAW, with Drum voices located from C1-B1, but its impressively implemented sequencer is certainly worth wrapping your head around. While whichever voice is currently selected can be sequenced in any view via the vintage sequencer buttons along the bottom of the interface, toggling Evolutions sequencer view via the top left button provides access to far more complex programming.

To make the sequencer even more powerful, clicking the dial symbol in the upper left opens the Parameter Lock sequencer, allowing for powerful per-voice step control of Pitch, Volume, Pan, sends, and whatever parameters have been assigned to a voice’s macro dials. Randomizing here and there, then expanding a Parameter Lock lane for fine-tune editing results in dynamic, intricate patterns difficult to imagine creating through any other means.

Drum-atic Evolution

If the drum library alone isn’t enough to sell you, Evolution’s unique layering of three engines per-voice, impressive effects, intuitive XY mixer, and macro controls should form a convincing combination for anyone seeking a forward-thinking software-based drum instrument.

Even those who might insist on programming via their DAW can still make use of the sequencer, thanks to Evolution’s convenient MIDI Export feature. Combine all this with a wealth of versatile presets and multiple tape-enhanced versions recorded through analog equipment, and everyone from bedroom producers to elite sound designers should find Wave Alchemy’s latest instrument a mighty tool for constructing the rhythms of the future.

Verdict

Incredible sound library with ultra flexible routing and effects along with a powerful sequencer make for a truly impressive NKS-ready instrument.

Read the full review here



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