BUILDER PROFILE: Doepfer Musikelektronik

Dark_Energy_II_obliqueDoepfer is a German audio hardware manufacturer specializing in synthesizers and MIDI controllers. Dieter Döpfer began the company in 1979 and it has since grown into one of the most respected electronics makers in the world. In 1995, Doepfer released the A-100 modular system, a format allowing musicians to connect small, inexpensive modules in whatever way they want to create a unique synthesis system. Doepfer’s original module format caught on with other designers and has led to a renaissance of modular synthesis among many electronic musicians. The format, now commonly known as the ‘Eurorack system’, has become the industry standard and has spawned a multitude of companies designing compatible modules. Doepfer has been at the forefront of new analog systems that create sounds still unmatched by their software counterparts, while still being able to interact with computer interfaces via MIDI and USB. All products are manufactured in Germany. [English version]

Dark Energy II – $625

Doepfer’s Dark Energy II is an all analogue, monophonic stand-alone synthesizer. Beloved for its rich sound and sonic range, the Dark Energy II specializes warm, round bass, blippy leads, and bouncy rhythmic lines. This synthesizer is great for sonic exploration with FM, AM, and PWM control; two routable LFOs and an ADSR envelope; 12 dB multi-mode filter (lowpass, notch, highpass, and bandpass); and patch inputs for CV use. Controllable via USB or MIDI, it is easy to get started with but infinitely deep to dig into. The Dark Energy II is made with high-quality potentiometers and is built into a sturdy black metal case with retro-inspired wooden side plates.

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