Dark Energy I vs Dark Energy II, Mano a Mano

This video, via AudioCentralMagazine, offers a quick comparison between the Doepfer Dark Energy Mk I (CEM-based, just lopass w. lin fm) and the Dark Energy Mk II (state variable filter, discrete circuit, etc.).

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Our conclusion? We may need both….

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Doepfer Dark Energy 2 Now Available

Doepfer has announced that the Dark Energy 2 – an update to its popular analog monosynth – is now available.

The Dark Energy II is a monophonic stand-alone synthesizer with USB and Midi interface. The sound generation and all modulation sources are 100% analog, only the USB/Midi interface contains digital components. Dark Energy is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side plates. High quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used and each potentiometer – except the filter mode control – is fixed to the case (no wobbly shafts and knobs).

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Doepfer Dark Energy I vs Dark Energy II

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Ever since the Doepfer Dark Energy II was announced, people have been wondering how the new synth sounds, compared to the original Dark Energy.

This video does an A/B comparison. While both synths sound great, they do have very different sounds.

Here are the key differences between the Dark Energy 1 and Dark Energy 2:
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Dark Energy 2 Synthesizer Offers 100% Analog Sound

Doepfer has updated its site with information on the Dark Energy 2 synthesizer, which is shipping, but the first production series is already completely pre-ordered.

The original Dark Energy had to be discontinued because an important electronic part (CEM3394) is no longer available. The new Dark Energy II looks like the Dark Energy I, but the basic sound of Dark Energy II is different, because of the new circuits for VCO, VCF and VCA.

Dark Energy II is a monophonic stand-alone synthesizer with USB and Midi interface. The sound generation and all modulation sources are 100% analog, only the USB/Midi interface contains digital components. Dark Energy is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side plates. Potentiometers with metal shafts are used and each potentiometer - except the filter mode control - is fixed to the case (no wobbly shafts and knobs). The distance between the controls is a bit wider compared to A-100 modules and knobs with vintage look are used.

Here are the key differences between the Dark Energy I and II:

  • 12dB multimode filter with lowpass, notch, highpass and bandpass (instead of 24dB lowpass of Dark Energy I)
  • the previous LM control of the filter becomes the filter type control Mode (continuous crossfade lowpass – notch – highpass – bandpass)
  • the modulation level control of the filter “XFM” has so-called “polarizer” function. The modulation source (LFO2 or ADSR) selected by the Source switch may affect the filter frequency in a positive (right half of the control range) or negative way (left half of the control range)
  • the waveform switch is used to select between saw and clipped, inverted saw (in the center position the saw is off)
  • the basic waveform of the VCO is saw (not triangle like the Dark Energy I).
  • the VCA has a exponential scale (not the combined linear/exponential scale of Dark Energy I)
  • because of the pure analog circuit and the temperature control it may take up to 20-30 minutes until the VCO is in tune.
  • The sound of the Dark Energy II differs clearly from the Dark Energy I (mainly because of the completely different filter type). If you already own a Dark Energy I, the Dark Energy II can be used as an expansion. But you will not be able to copy sounds of the Dark Energy I with the Dark Energy II (and vice versa).
  • For users with electronic knowledge the Dark Energy II offers much more internal expansion features than the Dark Energy I. For example terminals (pin headers) for these features are available: VCO Hard Sync, linear VCO FM, rectangle and sawtoooth output of the VCO, lowpass/bandpass/highpass output of the VC, Reset/Sync/Direction for each LFO, rectangle and triangle output for each LFO. In addition an improved version of the glide option is is the planning stage that allows to turn on/off the glide function via Midi control change messages.

The Doepfer Dark Energy 2 is priced at Euro 428,00. At current time, the existing stock has been pre-ordered. See the Doepfer site for details on ordering.

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The Doepfer Dark Energy II – New Synth At Musikmesse 2012

Doepfer Dark Energy 2 synthesizer

Doepfer has released preliminary details on the Dark Energy II analog synthesizer:

The Dark Energy (I) has to be discontinued because an important electronic part (CEM3394) is no longer available.

We are working on the redesign of the Dark Energy at full speed. The new Dark Energy II will look like the Dark Energy I at first sight. Only the function of some controls and switches will differ from the Dark Energy I.

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Doepfer Dark Energy Synthesizer, R.I.P.

Doepfer Dark Energy

Dieter Doepfer has announced that the Dark Energy synthesizer will be discontinued, because of unavailability of a rare chip:

The Dark Energy will be discontinued as the CEM3394 is no longer available and the negotiations with the manufacturer (OnChip, the Curtis Electromusic successor) concerning a new productions series of the CEM3394 were not successful so far.

We think about a redesign of the unit (Dark Energy II) but it will be another instrument with a different sound and features (e.g. probably a 12 dB multimode filter with lowpass, highpass, bandpass and notch instead of the 24 dB lowpass).

Now that it’s gone out of production, expect the prices on this much-loved synth to jump, as people realize that they must have a Dark Energy!

via Patch Pierre, Dieter Doepfer