Edd Butterworth Writes: Starting a modular system is a daunting prospect, with so many options and variations it's sometimes hard to make a start, though if you are considering diving right in, check out our Affordable Modular Case options article.
There are other options however, the Semi Modular is one.
The Semi - (you at the back, stop giggling) generally functions as a standalone synthesizer voice, but with additional patching points to let you change the basic routing, or bring in additional modules for control. You can get started without committing to too much at the start, but beware, it doesn't take long before you crave more patching, and then you're hooked.
Know of some other options? Leave them in the comments below....
Doepfer Dark Energy
Where better to start than with the Dark Energy? One of the first semi-modular systems, released around 5 years ago before the modular world took off.
This little synth can still hold its own against the competition.
As you would expect from Doepfer, the build quality is fantastic. The only downside with this machine is that one oscillator can sometimes leaving you wanting more.
Built in USB MIDI/CV interface makes it easy to connect to your computer and your modular gear alike. Adding a physical keyboard or running it from the DAW of your choice as an external MIDI module.
There are two versions of the Dark Energy; the Mk1 and the Mk2. With are slight differences in each of the models, the main one being that the filter is completely different - due to the discontinuation of the filter chip used, the mk1 features a 24dB Low Pass filter and the Mk2 has a 12dB Multimode filter.
Volt/Oct CV format means it should play nice with most other Eurorack stuff
You can still get lost in synthesis due to Dr. Doepfer's excellent design.
It was one of the first modular synths we reviewed - check it out.
Price: €449 at Schneidersladen
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