Updating Evolver OS


The downloadable file in the sidebar at the right contains the latest operating system for the Evolver. It also includes installation instructions.

When to Update Your OS

Most OS updates fix only minor bugs that most users never encounter. If you are experiencing a problem with your instrument, please contact our Support Department for help in diagnosing the cause before doing anything else. Unlike on computer, the OS on your instrument can never become corrupted, so re-installing your current OS won’t fix a hardware problem, and is not recommended. In addition, loading an OS improperly could disable your instrument, leaving it in need of servicing. So if you have any questions or are unsure about what you’re doing, please contact us before attempting to update your instrument’s operating system.

Upgrading from version 1 or 2 does add new features, so if you are upgrading from an earlier version, please follow the instructions carefully for a successful install.

If one of the installed OS versions in your Evolver is already the current version, there is no need to reinstall it. For example, if your Evolver is already running DSP OS 3.4, there is no benefit to installing it again.

How to Update Your OS

The Evolver’s operating system is updated via MIDI. You will need a DAW, MIDI utility, or other application capable of opening and sending MIDI System Exclusive (SysEx) messages. MIDI-OX (Windows) and SysEx Librarian (Mac OS) are shareware MIDI utilities that can reliably be used to update DSI instruments. You will also need either a USB cable (Type A to Type B connectors, like a typical USB printer cable) or a MIDI interface to transmit the SysEx file from your computer to the Evolver.

Instructions given below:



The Evolver has two processors, Main (AKA “PIC”) and DSP, and each has its own operating system.

To check the installed versions in your Evolver:

  • Hold the Row 1 button and press Row 2. The Main version is displayed.
  • Hold the Row 1 button and press Row 3. The DSP version is displayed.

This is the only accurate method of determining the installed version. The paper labels on the chips are not to be relied upon and the editor software may not display the correct version.

The current Main operating system version is 3.0. The latest DSP version is 3.4 or 3.5. Version 3.4 can be installed in Evolvers with serial numbers up to and including 1607. DSP version 3.5 is for Evolvers with serial numbers 1608 and above.


DSP version 3 is only compatible with Main version 3. If you have Main version 1 or 2 and are not upgrading the Main processor to version 3, DO NOT INSTALL DSP VERSION 3.


If you have an Evolver with Main version 1.x or 2.x and want to upgrade to version 3, you will need to either return your Evolver to DSI for the upgrade or order the Evolver 3.x Upgrade kit from the DSI online store and install it yourself.

Evolver Upgrade Kit

Version 3 is already installed in all Evolvers serial numbers 1859 and above. Many of the earlier instruments have been upgraded, so you should always check the installed version before ordering an upgrade kit.

Upgrading to version 3 from an earlier version requires that the Main PIC processor be replaced. If you want to return your Evolver for the upgrade, please contact  for return authorization first. Either way, the cost is $25 US. Not sure if you can handle the install? Read the following upgrade instructions for details.


To upgrade from version 1 or 2 to version 3, you will need to load the DSP OS via MIDI and replace Evolver’s Main PIC processor. To do that, you will need a MIDI utility capable of opening and sending MIDI System Exclusive (SysEx) messages, such as SysEx Librarian (Mac OS) or MIDI-OX (Windows). These can be downloaded from:



For more information, see “Using SysEx Librarian.txt” or “Using MIDI-OX.txt” included with this document.

You will also need a MIDI interface to connect your computer to Evolver. And you’ll need the Evolver 3.x Upgrade kit.


It is VERY IMPORTANT that the installation procedure is performed in the order listed. Do not install the PIC processor until AFTER the DSP has been updated.

  1. Update the DSP. To do this, transmit the DSP SysEx to Evolver via MIDI using a MIDI utility or DAW capable of opening and transmitting SysEx files. For serial numbers up to and including 1607, use Evolver_to1607_DSP_3.4.syx; for serial numbers 1608 and above, use Evolver_DSP_3.5.syx. Evolver’s display will count down from 59 to zero during the SysEx download. During this time if you stop the download or turn off Evolver, there will be no changes. After this first countdown, the display will then count down from 10 to 0 while actually writing to the internal memory. DO NOT power down during this second countdown or your DSP memory will be destroyed and you will need to buy a programmed flash memory chip to revive your Evolver! When the write is complete, check that the DSP version is now 3.4 or 3.5.
  2. Unplug the power supply.
  3. Pull straight up on the knobs to remove them.
  4. Remove the 6 black screws from the enclosure and remove the bottom panel.
  5. Remove the 6 screws from the circuit board and remove the board. You should avoid static electricity when handling the board. Try touching some metal that is grounded before handling the internal circuit board. DO NOT remove the smaller silver screw with the nut on it attached to the regulator on the top side of the board.
  6. Note the orientation of the processor. The notch in the end is facing up, and the little dimple for pin 1 is next to the “U7” designator on the board.
  7. Remove the old processor. With a flat-blade screwdriver, carefully pry the old processor from its socket by sliding the screwdriver under the processor and lifting up slightly, alternating from one side to the other
  8. Place the new processor in the socket. Make sure the orientation is correct. The notch should be up. Also make sure there are no bent pins and that all pins are securely in the socket and the IC is fully seated in the socket.
  9. Re-fasten the circuit board to the enclosure. Make sure the LEDs are properly aligned with the holes.
  10. Reassemble.

See section V for a list of changes.


If your Evolver already has main version 3, but the DSP is version 3.0 through 3.3, you can simply update the DSP using the appropriate SysEx file included with this download. It is not necessary to buy the upgrade kit. Follow the instructions in the previous section for updating the DSP (step 1).


Version 2 was originally installed in all Evolvers from serial number 1095 to 1858 and

  • Bank 4, for a total of 512 Programs.
  • New modulation destinations, including individual Left and Right Filter Cutoff and Resonance, Envelope Decay and Release, and Distortion.
  • Synchronous Program changing while the Sequencer is running.
  • New Sequence modulation destinations, including Clock speed, MIDI note transmission, and MIDI controller transmission.
  • New Sequencer clock mode that allows each MIDI note to advance the Sequencer one step.
  • Split signal mode that allows one mono audio input to be controlled by a second mono control signal.
  • Tap Tempo.
  • MIDI input indicator (decimal point).
  • Six new Delay syncs.
  • Longer Envelope rates.
  • New Glide mode that only glides when more than one key is held.
  • New Trigger mode that plays a sequence a single time on each MIDI note.

Version 3 went into production with serial number 1859 and was primarily to make the desktop Evolver fully compatible with the new (at the time) Poly Evolver.

Added features include:

  • MIDI CCs; these are active for MIDI input only and only the SysEx parameters are transmitted.
  • Auto-sequence implemented; for some trigger modes, such as MIDI gated, the sequencer will automatically turn on when the program is selected. This means you no longer have to first hit the Start button for programs with these modes when playing from a keyboard.
  • LFO sync feature has been added; turn the LFO amount over 100 and LFO sync will be on.
  • Main parameter reset; press row 1 and 4 buttons at the same time, and the Main parameters will be re-initialized.
  • Two MIDI clock modes, Ext In Step and Key Step, have been moved from Main parameters to Program parameters, so there are now two additional Trigger Modes available. There will be some minor differences in programs made with versions 1 and 2 and version 3. In versions 1 and 2, when a program is selected, the values in the first sequence steps were active, even if the sequencer was not running. In version 3, they are not active when the sequencer is stopped (to match the keyboard). For example, if sequence 1 is routed to Osc All, and the value in step 1 is 24 (up one octave), the older versions will play an octave higher than version 3. For this reason you will want to load the 3.0 version of the factory programs, included in the zip file.

We have also included the Evolver keyboard programs if you’d like to check them out (Key_Programs_1.01.syx, also in the zip file).

If you have upgraded from version 1 or 2, we highly recommend downloading the latest Evolver Operation Manual from the DSI Web site. It has details about all the changes, including a list of recognized MIDI CC messages.