Dave Smith Intros New Mopho SE Keyboard


Dave Smith Instruments today introduced the Mopho SE – a ‘bigger, badder’ take on their monophonic Mopho synthesizer.

The Mopho SE is based on the same architecture as the Mopho Keyboard, but it’s been updated with a larger 44-note keyboard and design that’s closer to the Prophet synths than the original Mopho.

Here are the details…..

The Mopho SE

The Mopho SE voice is composed of two analog oscillators, two sub octave generators, selectable 2- or 4-pole famed Curtis low-pass filter, three 5-stage envelope generators, four LFOs, a re-latchable arpeggiator, and a 16 x 4 step sequencer. Its voice also comes packed with 20 modulation sources and almost 50 destinations.

The SE’s full sized 44-note semi-weighted keyboard has aftertouch and velocity sensitivity. The sturdy full sized pitch and mod wheels are freely assignable.

You can expand the Mopho SE’s polyphony using it’s Poly Chain port. Mopho, Tetra, and Prophet ’08 can all be connected to the SE to increase its voice count.


  • 100% analog signal path
  • Two oscillators capable of producing sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle, and variable pulse width square waves, with hard sync
  • Two sub-octave generators (one octave below oscillator 1 and two octaves below oscillator 2)
  • One classic Curtis low-pass filter (switchable 2- or 4-pole) with audio rate modulation, self-oscillating in 4-pole mode
  • Analog VCA
  • Three envelope generators (ADSR plus delay)
  • Feedback loop with programmable level and gain
  • White noise generator
  • 4 LFOs
  • Gated 16 x 4 step sequencer (one sequence per program)
  • Arpeggiator
  • Glide (portamento): separate rates per oscillator
  • Full-sized, 44-note (F to C), semi-weighted keyboard action with velocity and aftertouch
  • Full-sized modulation wheel and spring-loaded pitch wheel
  • Fully programmable with 3 banks of 128 user programs (384 total)


  • USB type B receptacle
  • MIDI In, Out/Thru, and Poly Chain
  • Left and Right audio outputs: 1/4″ phone jack (unbalanced)
  • Audio Input: 1/4″ phone jack (unbalanced)
  • Sustain pedal input (accepts normally on or off momentary footswitch with 1/4″ phone plug)
  • Expression pedal/control voltage (3.3 VDC max.) input (1/4″ TRS phone jack)
  • Headphone output: 1/4″ TRS stereo phone jack

Physical Specs

  • Dimensions: approximately 25.2″ L x 11.1″ W x 3.6″ H (64 cm x 28.2 cm x 9.1 cm)
  • Weight: 13.25 Lbs


  • Power supply for 100V – 240V AC operation
  • Operation manual
  • Free downloadable software editor for Mac OS and Windows

Pricing and Availability:

The Mopho SE is priced at $949 and is expected to ship at the end of October. See the DSI site for more info.

Check it out and let us know what you think of it!


33 thoughts on “Dave Smith Intros New Mopho SE Keyboard

  1. So this looks like the Mopho, but with a more classic design and bigger keyboard. Is anything different on it is a synthesizer?

  2. Finally that godawful design is being phased out and dsi is building a new look.
    Thatprice tho…so many more interesting alternatives to mopho.

  3. The price seems fair for what you get.

    If you want a cheap monosynth, there are now a lot of options. But they aren’t going to four oscillators, a multimode filter, three EG’s, four LFOs, a step sequencer, a life-size keyboard that doesn’t suck, knobs that aren’t cheezy,…..

    This thing will run circles around just about any monosynth out there. The only real competition is from Moog.

    1. Agree. Plus having storage for 384 presets/sounds – think of MiniBrute (0), Bass Station II (64 user editable, 64 presets), SubPhatty (20)…

      1. Allow me to be pedantic for a moment: The Sub Phatty actually has only 16 on-board preset slots, however it’s essentially infinity if you use the editor/librarian software.

  4. I’m a big dsi fan and have owned every one of his synths at one time or another. Not sure I really get this one since you can pick up a mopho x4 for a similar price used or a b stock for $150 more. Again I like the idea just don’t think it makes sense for the price.

  5. I appreciate the design, and the little extras like USB, added control, etc. but considering the desktop version of this is £250, that pricetag seems rather excessive. I’m not sure who this will appeal to, considering the Mopho X4 and Tetra synths are around that pricepoint too.

    DSI should have gone the other way, and tried to design a cheaper-to-produce/plastic version of the smaller MoPho keyboard – which I think would strongly compete with all the other low price analogue keyboards popping up at the moment.

    1. Maybe, DSI just do not want to compete on the cheap plastic devices market? That’s what Casio, Roland and Korg are there for, aren’t they?

    2. I don’t think Dave Smith, or Moog for that matter, are ever going to be making cheap plastic synths. They’re not going to be able to compete with companies like Korg at the low end and they’ve done a pretty good job of staking out their own territory making mid-range and high-end analog synths.

      The more I think about the Mopho SE, though, the better the X4 looks. Is $950 the street price? If so, it makes the X4 look like a better deal.

  6. Not sure why everybody is moaning about the price. The 25-key Mopho sells for $849, the X4 sells for $1299, the desktop is on sale for $399 – all as per DSI’s own website store today. So, $949 seems pretty decent for an upgrade in design (probably the same housing as the X4) with new knobs and more keys.
    Sure, it won’t come at the same price as the Bass Station or MiniBrute. But compared to the SubPhatty ($1099 at moogmusic.com), it is still pretty well priced, I’d say.

  7. d$i goes wrong , perhaps this guy believes hold all the synth knowledge better others ???
    even if he rationalize the product chain it is defenitely too expensive!
    why abandon the MEK who got more personnality than mopho and P8/P12 ???
    PEK was really original now the dsi flavour seems insipid !

    1. You have to give Smith credit for being one of the synths gods – he helped pioneer polyphonic synths, MIDI and a lot more. And he and Bob Moog were the ones that really brought back analog synths, making analogs and digital/analog hybrids when all the big companies were making digital synths.

      Smith has to make what people will buy – and it’s pretty clear that people want him to make synths in the tradition of his Prophets.

      1. “Smith has to make what people will buy – and it’s pretty clear that people want him to make synths in the tradition of his Prophets.”

        It’s pretty obvious from sales that an exponential number of actual synth buyers make purchases under $999 than above, and a similarly large factor buy synths under $600. (Hence the record-holding sales on the MicroKorg line.)

        1. “It’s pretty obvious from sales that an exponential number of actual synth buyers make purchases under $999 than above, and a similarly large factor buy synths under $600. (Hence the record-holding sales on the MicroKorg line.)”

          Nobody wants Dave Smith to make the next MicroKorg. We want him to continue to make great synths that are worth paying a little more for.

  8. Am I the only only one who is sad to see the super garish yellow go? I understand though. My only thought is that for 300 bucks more you can get the mopho X4 and I don’t really understand why you’d spend a grand on a mono when for 1300 you can make it 4 voice poly. I love the expanding range though and I love that you can add modules for more polyphony. It would be cool to see a dedicated micro mixer specifically made by dsi for expanding the mopho/tetra voices.

    1. Well, that yellow skin is hideous… Ok, for my taste it is. But apart from that: The Mopho X4 is IMHO the worst deal of them all, because it is a pretend-to-be Tetra, just minus the multitimbral capability. And that for me is the big bummer with the X4. I’d love to see the Tetra 33-keys thing coming anytime soon!

  9. Yawn – another DCO, and expensive semi-analog synth. So many better sounding (true analog VCO) alternatives out there. Plus it is not just “based” on the previous mopho, it IS the same as the yellow mopho from 2010, but with a larger keyboard/chassis and upgraded knobs. Why on earth would anyone choose this over the comparably priced Sub Phatty, or 2 Minibrutes, or 3 Microbrutes, or an MS-20 Mini plus Microbrute plus Volca Keys, etc etc.

    1. Because DCO’s are more stable, more flexible, more powerful and provide a great alternative if you’ve already got something like a Sub Phatty.

  10. Since DSI did some price cuts last year (2015), this particular board got knocked down to a killer price range. I just picked one up after xmas for $499 out the door. While I wouldnt necessarily be tempted to buy a 4 voice poly, the outstanding price makes it a MUST buy. Just got it and it just reeks pure quality. Having used the Evolver before and knowing it’s vast potential, and getting an idea of the genetics of DSI products in general, this is no let down and is reminiscient of that as it has a huge sound and can get really really freaky very fast.. It is now the center of my studio and the possibilities are endless esp. with the billion routing options. The only downside as I see it is that it requires some menu diving and also has some negative space on the right side of the controls. Anyway at the regular price ($949) it would make more sense to buy a mopho x4 keys or go with perhaps a different poly from DSI or Elektron for a few more bucks, but as said I couldnt pass this up. Not only is it excellent quality and insanely fat sounding, the build quality is top notch and DSI support is well known to be excellent. In a landscape filled with toys these days, it’s nice to be able to achieve a DSI product at a price like this.

    1. *edit to comment above : meant to say – in a landscape filled with toys its nice to find a real synth of substantive build and lineage rather than a toys r us special emulating whats already been done and gone – and achieve a DSI product at this price.

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