The Doepfer Dark Time Sequencer

Here’s a demo of the Doepfer Dark Time step sequencer, from Musikmesse 2011.

The Doepfer Dark Time is an analog sequencer, designed as an add-on for the Dark Energy synthesizer, but also to be used with other MIDI, USB or CV/gate equipment.

While the Dark Time step sequencer has been out a while, this video, via Sonic State, captures Dieter Doepfer himself explaining the details of its functions.

Details on the Dark Time below. More info at

Doepfer Dark Time Step Sequencer

Dark Time is an 2 x8 steps analog sequencer with CV/Gate, USB and Midi interface. It is planned in the first place as an add-on for the Dark Energy but may be used even in combination with other Midi, USB or CV/Gate equipment too.


  • two rows with 8 controls each
  • for each step:
    • rotary control (same knob type as Dark Energy)
    • red LED
    • three-position switch On/Off/Skip
      • On = trigger signal is active for this step
      • Off = no trigger for this step
      • Skip = step is skipped
    • three-position switch Stop/Continue/Jump
      • Stop = sequence stops here
      • Continue = sequence continues
      • Jump/Reset:
        • If only one of the 16 toggle switches is in the Jump position a Reset is carried out (i.e. sequence jumps to stage 1)
        • If two or more of the switches are in the Jump position the sequence jumps to the next step with the switch in the Jump position and then continues from this position (until another step with the switch in the Jump position is reached and then the same procedure is carried out again)
  • several operating modes:
    • 1×16 (i.e. the two rows are daisy-chained)
    • 2×8 (i.e. both rows run in parallel)
  • custom mode (e.g. three times row 1 and the once row 2, not yet available in the first firmware version)
    • several running directions:
    • forward
    • backward
    • random
  • several voltage / tuning ranges: 1V, 2V, 5V (corresponding to 1/2/5 octaves)
  • quantization on/off/custom scale (custom scale not yet available in the first firmware version)
  • when quantization is “off” the resolution is still 10 bit (i.e. 1024 steps over the full rotating range of each potentiometer), from this the term “quantization off” is not fully correct, with quantization “on” the resolution is 13/25/61 steps for 1/2/5 octaves
  • transpose via switch (-1/0/+1 octave), Midi/USB or external CV input
  • timing control, selected by a three position switch:
    • internal via built-in clock oscillator with frequency and pulsewidth controls
    • external via Midi/USB
    • external via analog clock/start/stop
  • analog interface for CV/gate/clock/Start-Stop (inputs and outputs, 3.5 mm miniature jack sockets)
  • Midi interface
  • USB interface (power supply via USB is not possible)
  • basic parameters are set in the configuration mode (e.g. Midi channel for row 1, Midi channel for row 2, Midi clock dividing factor, custom scale, custom running mode)
  • optically adapted to Dark Energy (same knobs, same depth and height, same wooden side plates and so on)
  • Powered via external power supply (12 AC/min. 400mA) for 230V
  • powering the device via USB is not possible, because the analog circuits require a dual voltage (+/-12V).

Additional remarks and specs:

  • Distance between the knobs (center – center): ~ 25 mm, diameter of the knobs: ~ 16 mm
  • Distance between the toggle switches (center – center): ~ 12.5 mm
  • Distance between knobs and switches (center – center): ~ 20 mm
  • The metal case is made of 1 mm steel, black coated with white printing
  • Overall dimensions: about 248 x 145 x 75 mm
  • Dimension of the metal case only (without side plates and knobs): about 223 x 135 x 55 mm
  • Side plates dimensions: about 145 x 65 x 12.5 mm (same as Dark Energy)
  • Weight: about 1.5 kg (without power supply)
  • The wooden side plates can be removed if desired. They are mounted by means of two screws to the metal box. The holes in the metal box can be used also to mount several devices together (e.g. with common wooden side plates on both ends) or to mount the Dark Time to one or two Dark Energy.
  • The device can be positioned horizontal (desk top) or vertical
  • These parts are included: power supply (12V AC/min. 400mA) for 230V mains voltage with European mains plug, one USB cable (type A-B, 2 m length) and four A-100 patch cables (two 50 cm length and two 80 cm length)
  • Powering the device via USB is not possible, because the analog circuits require a dual voltage (+/-12V).


  • Euro 450.00 (version with red LEDs)
  • Euro 475.00 (version with 17 blue and 4 white LEDs)

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