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Sonic LAB: Doepfer Dark Energy Analog Synthesizer
  17-Jul-09
22 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
s r dhain    Said...

i was fortunate enough to get all my analog gear at a pretty reasonable price - its all ridiculous now- so i can wholeheartedly recommend something like this. You can buy TWO of these, and you have something that is more powerful, versatile and midi/usb interface-able (ahem) than a system 100 with expander, for about A THIRD of the price.

Great review, Nick, and i hope doepfer does come out with mroe stuff. Imagine...one of these AND a tom oberheim SEM, or two with a SEM, or a TELEMARK and..

17-Jul-09 06:14 AM


Marc JX8P    Said...

Already ordered mine, getting it today! :-)

17-Jul-09 06:42 AM


Marc JX8P    Said...

Well, I just got it, played around with it for an hour (or two hours, time flies...) and it's indeed a fun little synth with an amazing amount of possibilities in such a little box. Even cooler is how direct it is, everything is just there to tweak and patch and have fun with. Also, a big compliment on the video Nick which is really well produced and shows the Dark Energy really well. Love that section with the Korg btw.!

17-Jul-09 11:48 AM


I Love Analogue Robbie Ryan    Said...

Very thorough and honest review. It looks like a lot of fun. And the dance moves were hype-tastic. Can you get it to do an M1 House Piano sound? LOL.

17-Jul-09 05:14 PM


Oliver Chesler    Said...

Great review NIck.. it makes me want one of these.

17-Jul-09 10:05 PM


The Guvnor    Said...

Excellent review!!! The thing is a lot more feature-packed than it appears to be. Thanks for going in-depth for us tech-heads

I wish the thing had 2 oscillators, although that would have ratcheted up the price.

We want more of Nick throwing those crazy shapes!!! Awesome!

18-Jul-09 05:17 PM


Derek    Said...

Thanks for the detailed review. :) Bravo!

19-Jul-09 04:59 PM


Nick Bq    Said...

Thanks folks, glad you enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to work on as it was so immediate.

20-Jul-09 05:58 AM


Benedict Johnson    Said...

This just proves that I don't know ANYTHING about analogue synthesizers. However, I'd like to own something as delicious as the Dark Energy, but fitted with an imbecile-proof Koassillator-style interface!

20-Jul-09 06:48 AM


d/a man    Said...

well, you COULD try to team it up with the KP3...?

20-Jul-09 02:39 PM


L56    Said...

Great display of shirt continuity.

(hey, you gave it away in the podcast ;)

Great review. Great little synth: want one!

23-Jul-09 02:06 PM


CV!    Said...

Great review, great facial hair continuity as well ;)

The MIDI CV interface still looks pretty complete, most dedicated converters do less than that.

It should work with the majority of synths since it uses the most standard scaling.

Sadly us poor Ms-20 users will have look else where ;)

I suggest the Encore Expressionist, works great for me.

25-Jul-09 07:22 PM


Nick B    Said...

I think the MIDI CV part is really best for driving itself, I wouldnt say that it was complete if one wanted it to drive some older analog gear.

The Kenton ProSOLO now available as USB device, does better, scaling (for out of tune osc's) different format outputs for hz/volt and Oct/Volt make it more suitable. But the MIDI CV is not the real USP anyhow, the synth is great.

29-Jul-09 08:21 AM


Trabant    Said...

Dark energy is nothing more then a Sixtrak voice, CEM3394 modularized.

I remember the glory days of early mid 1980ies, and how every music mag on the planet racketed down on the Sixtrak, Multitrak, Spliteight etc for its cheesy sound, wimpy filters, rubbery buttons well back in those days the CEM3394 was a piece of shit frankly, nowadays its hype! Cheers! :)

18-Aug-09 01:04 AM


Barakuia    Said...

it's too simple and too expensive . Don't pay more than 300 bucks for it.

23-Aug-09 12:50 PM


sensien    Said...

great synth ! I posted a short multitracked demo toady at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKqSASzrfKM

I was sold on one since your messe coverage :)

09-Sep-09 09:25 AM


CV!    Said...

@ Trabant

This unit doesn't have the summing issues of the Six-trak, which conntributed to the dull sound. It also has radically different envelopes for a much punchier sound. Nowadays it's not hype, just a proper use of a great chip.

09-Sep-09 10:27 AM


Dr.Detroit    Said...

Only 1 VCO and 1 ADSR ! It's made only for acid-lines or FX-sounds.It's a very boring machine because of the lack of a second VCO and ADSR. The high speed of the LFO's don't help much. So 400 Euro is too much.

13-Sep-09 09:41 AM


Dark Tube    Said...

Why sells Doepfer such a little synth now ? Maybe they have problems to sell their modularsystems. It can be a very fat combination with a MS 404.

13-Sep-09 09:54 AM


Modular Maniac    Said...

The MS-20 uses a totally different HZ/CV scaling so it is not correct to say that the Dark Energy does not properly give out 1v/Oct CV scaling. It's the KORG at issue. The Dark Energy will work with pretty much every other modular on the planet that takes 1V/Oct.

You can buy an adapter (which is as old as the Ms-20) which converts the Hz to Volts signal.

22-Nov-09 01:43 AM


German Bohlen    Said...

i bought it and after only 3 days i tunrned it back to the shop.it was very disappointing and sounds very boring and Crap. there is no earth shaking bass.the only good thing is the fast attack. this toy is a joke and overhyped.

22-Dec-09 06:38 AM


Jimmy    Said...

When I play my dark energy through USB the note holds until I trigger the next one unlike the video. Does anyone know why this might be? I do not have any patch cables plugged in.

12-Jan-11 11:01 PM


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