Doepfer Dark Energy II - Analogue Mono Synth

Doepfer Dark Energy II

€428

Doepfer Musikeletronik’s involvement in analogue synth technology stretches all the way back to the late 1970s, but the popularity of the Eurorack modular format over the last few years has raised the company’s profile even higher among synth enthusiasts. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that the company’s all-in-one monosynth offering is a semi-modular design almost begging to be hooked up to modular gear.

As such, the Dark Energy is the perfect synth for anyone considering a move into modular synths but looking for a slightly more user-friendly way to get started than simply ordering a batch of modules and patch cables and jumping in at the deep end. Although the unit features a healthy selection of patch points for interfacing with other gear, it’s a fully functional synth in its own right, straight out of the box.

The Dark Energy’s simple, retro approach to sound design makes it one of the best options for those looking to get to grips with the basics of subtractive synthesis without the distractions of some of the other options on our list. With the VCO, VCF, LFOs and envelope sections neatly laid out in discrete blocks, this is a synth which places all the options in front of you with a dedicated knob for each and lets you explore the fundamentals of synthesis.

It sounds great, it’s well built and it offers a convenient and affordable upgrade path if you choose to expand its capabilities with other modules. It’s also the perfect companion to Doepfer’s analogue step sequencer, the Dark Time.

 

 

28th July, 2014

Comments

  • No love for the Vermona mono lancet? Wicked dual osc mono synth with one of the best square waves around imo

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  • My two cents…. I’ve heard some pretty terrible things about Cyclone Analogic TT-303… and I would personally take a x0xb0x over it any day.

    Also… Korg Monotron? Top ten best analog monosynth? I guess SH-101 and MC-202 were too close to the 303 or what? I agree that the Mono Lancet should be in there, perhaps instead of Monotron. Well, actually there are a bunch of better candidates.

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  • Borg – new synths only in this one, so 101 and 202 don’t qualify.

    As always with our Ten Of The Best features these are our favourite options at a range of price points, listed from cheapest to most expensive.

    We like the Mono Lancet too but as far as modules go the Dark Energy and Pulse 2 get the nod here.

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  • got the bass bot since a while and must say the sound is quite good, creamy and very 303 authentic, the filter is good as well. probably better to test it for yourself than judging on it by “hearing terrible things”. the rest of the list seems to fit as well.

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  • Monotron is my favorite synth of all time. I have plenty of synthesizers (also some which are mentioned in this post).

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  • Future Retro’s XS should be on there too IMO

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  • Analogue Solutions Leipzig S is a killer monosynth !

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  • Can definitely recommend ANYTHING from Studio Electronics.

    SE-1 is a great and cheaper alternative to the minimoog + has an SEM filter in there!

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  • Mono lancet should be there imo

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  • Really surprised the Moog Minitaur didn’t make the list…

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  • For something e little different, check out an Eowave Domino. It has an interesting character

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  • vermona mono lancet, eowave domino, mfb micro/nanozwerg (price is ridiculous) just to name some very strong contenders for this list.

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  • Analogue Solutions Telemark ? Happy the Dark Energy got in their tho

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  • I am surprised not to see the EMS’s Synthi A, or VCS3 on the list. When it comes down to sonic flexibility, those two remain peerless.

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  • No DSI Pro 2???

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  • BASS STATION II …All the way! it’s amazing.

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  • The MicroBrute is made of very solid metal not plastic. And the MiniBrute also has only one oscillator.

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  • lol cool article

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  • x0xbox its better than cyclone!

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  • Waldorf Pulse 2 is the best sounding synth from all of those however it would be beneficial having more knobs. Pulse 2 is proper analog modular synth with the patch memory.

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  • If you think the analogue revival started with the MonoTron you must have just jumped on the bandwagon recently.

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  • Hypersynth Xenophone should be on the list, I would say in place of the Mopho which is bland and undistinguished. Or if you want a DSI, put the Evolver up there, the best monosynth for under a grand. I would put both; remove the Minimoog which is always admirable but overpriced and does not have a place on this list of affordable monosynths.

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