In this video, Sonic State’s Nick Batt takes a look at the MFB Dominion 1 synthesizer.
“I’ll make no secret about it,” says Batt. “I love this synth!”
Check out the video to find out why.
- Programmable Analog Synthesizer with 3 Octave Keyboard
- 2 Ribbon Controls, Arpeggiator/Sequencer, Velocity&Aftertouch
- 3 VCOs with Waveshaping, Analog & Digital Ring modulator
- Dual-Sync and dynamic FM, Noisegenerator
- 12 fold redesigned four stages SED Multimode Filter
- Huge Patchfield to speak with world of Modulars and CV/Gate
- Velocity-Routing matrix with 12 destinations
- 3 LFOs, 2 with One-Shot-Function and Reset
- 3 Envelopes with 70mm Faders
- Intuitive Handling and Quality Hardware, internal Power Supply
- Midi Dump, In, Out, Thru
The MFB Dominion 1 synthesizer is priced at 1380,- Euro. See the MFB site for details.
Note: If you like the end track in the video, it’s available via Bandcamp.
38 thoughts on “MFB Dominion 1 Synthesizer Review”
Sweet synth! Want the font they use on this synth? I use it for programming actually. It is called Glass TTY VT220: http://christfollower.me/misc/glasstty/index.html
He loves it? That means it has PWM, i’m sure.
I’ve got to give it up to MFB for making such a feature laden mono synch. I mean, we have so many mono synths already, it’s nice for a manufacturer to realize that and make one that adds so many filter types, waveshaping, FM, ring mod and 3 VCO’s.
Yeah. And I’d like to use this opportunity to give thumbs up for Waldorf too for their really well endowed Pulse 2!
Pretty damn impressive.
Such a shame the are building these in small quantities and that the wait is crazy right now. MFB could really dominate the mono market with this.
id say these guys have one-upped DSI on potential patch complexity for an analog monosynth
Completely disagree. Specs prove otherwise.
The Pro 2 has much,much beefier specs. More lfos, envelopes, oscillators, effects, more powerful sequencer (not even in the same league), a dual filter with serial AND parallel routing, more versatile oscillators, more modulation sources and destinations, AND a very sophisticated way to integrate the Pro 2 with modular gear.
I’m actually confused as to why that comment got so many likes. No offense intended to you or the Dominion. I actually think it’s an awesome synth. It just doesn’t compare features-wise to the pro2.
Second that about the PRO 2. Though it only has 4 CV outs (plus gate!) any number of possible modulations can be combined and scaled per out. Beats one function per out imho.
I have both, the Pro 2 isn’t as much fun, doesn’t sound so raw and vintage.
This sounds more like what the Pro 2 should have been. The Pro 2 is more like a Mono Prophet 12 on steroids and arguably the Prophet 12 shouldn’t have the Prophet name, it’s more like an Evolver 12.
Of course the pro-2 doesn’t sound vintage, it’s got digital features throughout and is designed to be different from the million other analog synths on the market.
This is a great synthesizer and II hope the company does well making them. It really does sound good and I have never seen as many filter types on a synth.
except on oberheim matrix 12 and expander
Anybody knows how well it implements MIDI? I tried the manual but it isn’t very clear. Since it has patch memory and is digitally controlled it would be nice if it had a complete midi implementation for even more modulation and easier control!:)
MIDI is pretty basic as far as I can tell – no CCs for controls just the usual expression/mod/aftertouch
Sounds wonderful and a very enjoyable review. Thanks.
Is there a cost effective* mini key version?
*AKA crappy build quality
can’t tell if serious, but you might like the dominion-x, it’s like a module version of the dominion-1, minus some features, but with same architecture afaik
mfb offers imo the best bang for the buck and i always liked how his synths sounded.
hope this comes in rack/desktop module format
Check out the MFB dominion x or dominion SED.
those are not sold any more. ebay is the only option and they dont come up.
another great mono synth, I think the price is its only fault. a couple of hundred less and it starts to become a no brainer, and for a couple of hundred more you can get some serious competition.
surely they will make more if they sell like hot cakes?
Sure, let’s make it free, that’d be great. Who cares if it puts the developer out of business, right? They don’t actually have to make a profit, do they?
The price on this is unbelievably competitive. Stop being daft.
Honestly, good, thorough review from Nick as usual. I thought the synth looked pretty cool and really liked the level of control available, but was still feeling like “Yeah, it’s cool, but over a grand for a monosynth? I’ll pass”.
Then he played that patch at the end and all of a sudden I want 10 of them. All playing that one patch. Proper jaw-hits-floor moment.
Don’t forget about the role the eventide reverb had in that sound. Such a lush reverb.
12:50 … mmmmmmmmm….
Great European alternative to the Sub37! Now a new Japanese alternative should be made.
MFB Dominion 1 to me is like a modern day Korg Monopoly cross between an Oxford Oscar, with decent patch bay & memories. It even sounds like an Oscar in places but doesn’t have as powerful sequencer, on the Oscar sequences could be strung together & transposed at will. I like the two different RM & paraphonic capabilities. I like this a heck of a lot & would really b keen to own one, if the bank would help out lol.
Can you sync it to MIDI or analog clock? ARP/SEQ, LFO? If this is possible, than it is a winner!!!
The MFB website says “The inbuild Arpeggiator offers all typical running orders and can be synchronized via Midi or Gate.” It doesn’t say whether the sequencer is the same, but i would imagine so. This is a big thing for me too, as I really want an SH-101 that can store sequences and patches!!
I think it’s time for a Eventide H9 review, Nick!
Damn. That’s thing just sounds so damn good and looks like a lot of fun to use. I hope they’re easier to get in 6 months to a year. I don’t know, for me, it pretty much blows away all other current monos in sound and possibilities.
At Thomann.de it was listed as available in stock just after the review. In the morning today it was 3-5 days wait. Now in the evening it is a 1,5 month wait for it.
great review , and a great sounding synth. been following development on this one for a bit.
well done. i know nick cheezed his pantz with all that pwm.
I get one and the build quality is not so good.
Wooden cheecks are poor quality (and that is the second one I get)
The OS Is not finished, Some people like me get trouble with some features like Man mode to stop the preset mode.
I change my first one because of a key issue and this second item get trouble again with key but not the same kind of.
I do not recommand this, or if you want to spend your time with go and back to the shop.
And the most embarasing stuff, that is no support from MFB. When you send a mail, you get no answer. P*** me off… Really…
good to hear the other side of the story. Nick Batt says in the video that the quality has improved over earlier MFB products like the Dominion X.
Just to clarify, do you own the “One” or the “X”? What are you comparing the quality to? Very curious.
Some one makes a great sounding synth and they fuck it up with bad build quality. They could of made a tone of money . Instead they are looking like fools. And we are suffering. It sounds great.
I get the Dominion 1.
I knew about the improved quality done on the “X” and I bet to get something really finished.
When I see Thomman website stock, I guess they stopped a bit the production in order to improve quality and then get back all bad products. I get mine since october. I hope to get news from MFB. I send a mail 3 weeks ago.