Synth Site: Doepfer: MS 404: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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LoHr from usa writes:
just plain awesome. exells at really weird freaky sci-fi noises, thats all im really intending on using it for. i guess it has some nice bass and stuff too, but i already have a multitude of other synths for bass's and leads.

i just got this the other day off the sonic classifieds, and im very impressed with it. its built very tuff (the face plate is VERY thick, so if you have relatively short rack screws you might have difficulty screwing it to your rack!) it's impossible to end up with bent rack ears on this baby. the knobs are a little loose tho, but not as bad as some other gear i have used (korg = krap).

if you want tripped out sci-fi sound effects this bad boy is the beast to have. i wouldnt consider it an alternative to a tb-303 or a bass station tho... this has a sound all it's own..

it looks pretty cool too..

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jun-23-2003 at 19:09
Rob World a professional user from Germany writes:
The ms-404 is a great monosynth. Although it has only one VCO you can get a big pwm-sound of it. And the most important thing: the 24dB LP-VCF sounds really individual. This little machine has also jumpers to change different things, some might be interesting: 24dB can be switched to 12dB LPF, Accent switched to Volume,and LFO switched to pulse, ... I think the ms-404 sounds more european. Either u like the sound or not. It's not a TB-303 nor a SH-101, but a real individual pure analogsynth with charme and built for the next 100 years. Only 4000 where sold over the years. I am one of the lucky ones, and I love it for its bass and lead-sounds although I am equiped with real legends like Rolands Juno60 and hi-end virtual analog synths like the nord modular. German sound & quality rules.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-14-2003 at 18:17
Brett Kaplan a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I have a 404 and like it, but make no mistake: It is not a Roland emulator of any type, although it was marketed that way. Compared with an SH-101, which I also have, the 404 produces a much thinner sound overall. Yes, it's filter self-oscillates, but it very much lacks the punchy, "grippy," and ballsy sound of the 101's filter. The only way to lend unique character to the 404's sound is through the two wide-ranging LFOs, the synth's best and most useful feature.

Marketed in 1995 as a cheap alternative to the expensive, out-of-production, non-MIDI-controllable TB303, the MIDI-controllable MS-404 was a reasonable alternative at the time, but there are reasons why it didn't catch on:

1) its unimpressive sound, 2) its very limited MIDI implementation (basically, the filter was the only musical parameter that could be controlled externally, and it responded very crudely to controller messages, creating that "zipper" effect), and 3) virtual synth modeling, which was introduced in the same year as the 404.

Even at these sub-$300 prices for used units, they are not a bargain. You can buy Reason for that much and get infinitely more.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-03-2002 at 22:34
Dirk-Angermann a hobbyist user from Germany writes:
There are so many sounds you can get out of this little machine. I really love this one. I have a SH-101, well - sounds very good too, but you can get much more sounds out of the 404. Very fast envelopes; high LFO-rates; very good sounding filter, one osc is enough for this one. My favorite mono-synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-21-2001 at 14:37
mr. rob from usa writes:
This thing aint too shabby. its not quite a 303, it has a few more things than that and its filter does not sound like a roland. What can I say, its cheap, and it works. Realise though, that is has but 1 VCO, so this is what it is.And itsnot quite an sh 101, thats for sure. But it has made me some interesting sounds.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-09-2001 at 23:56
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