Doepfer Intros Dark Energy III Analog Synthesizer

Ahead of the 2018 NAMM Show, Doepfer has announced the Dark Energy III, the latest in their Dark Energy series of analog synthesizers.

The Dark Energy III 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. It is built into a rugged black metal case with wooden side plates. High quality potentiometers with metal shafts are used and each potentiometer is fixed to the case (no wobbly shafts and knobs).

The company says that the main differences between II and III are an improved VCO (no warm-up period, additional triangle waveform, wider frequency range), resettable LFOs, improved ADSR and a lot of internal access points for DIYers.



  • Triangle based, 10 octaves frequency range
  • Tune control and Octave switch – 1 / 0 / +1 octave
  • FM input with selectable source (ADSR / off / LFO1)
  • Manual PW control and PWM with selectable source (ADSR / off / LFO2) for rectangle wave
  • Waveform switch
  • Additional external CV inputs for frequency and pulsewidth of the rectangle?


  • 12dB Multimode VCF with continuous mode control (lowpass – notch – highpass – bandpass)
  • Manual Frequency control and FM with selectable source (ADSR / off / LFO2)
  • Resonance control, up to self oscillation
  • Additional external CV and external audio input?


  • Linear control scale
  • Manual Amplitude control and AM with selectable source (ADSR / off / LFO1)
  • Additional external CV input?


  • Improved ADSR type with 3-position range switch
  • Additional external gate input
  • Control LED?


  • Two resettable LFOs (external Reset inputs)
  • manual frequency control and 3-position range switches
  • Waveform switches triangle/square
  • LED controls

Doepfer adds that there are lots of internal access points for DIY applications or modification of the socket functions (e.g. VCO outputs triangle, sawtooth, rectangle, hardsync, softsync, linear FM, VCF outputs L/H/B, ADSR output and A/D/S/R CV inputs, LFO outputs triangle and square).

See the Doepfer site for more info.

10 thoughts on “Doepfer Intros Dark Energy III Analog Synthesizer

    1. You could always self-resonate the filter for a pure sine or roll off highs of the triangle wave to fake it. I don’t see very many of these small table-top synths that offer a pure sine if the filter self-resonates.

      1. You are right there but i find it not reason enough to do one thing others can`t especially something i don`t find that useful (for me) unless i get contract with doctor dre …:-)

  1. This looks so!!!….. familiar …. πŸ™‚ I wish they would have at leas expanded it a bit. like with a 2nd Osc or something. This feels a bit of the same thing cooked in a different way. I had one Mk1 10 years ago and it sounded sweet. Had to sell it in bad times. Now that i see this and think it will be 400-500 i think there is a lot of competition now.

  2. Wish they figured out how to do the AWESOME DE1 24db filter sound again. I’ve know they were old chip stock… But we can’t get close with smd or something? How long does a minimoog patent last, just start tweaking there lol!

    So I see a lot of CV in, no CV out?

    Like, isn’t that missing literally half the point of modular?

    It’s literally super easy to have internally wired “defaults” between units that unwire when there’s a jack… It’s on every jacks data sheet.

    At least “diy internal points are ID’d.

    There are so many $500-700 little standalone “modulars” (dark energy, mother 32, 0 coast, Pittsburgh SV1 or earlier system, etc) that all just…

    DE is really an analog desktop mono synth.
    0 coast does grunge waveshape super well, instead of other stuff
    M32 has a really cool sequencer but then a really minimal synth
    SV1 is cool, but really needs the other module (and Pittsburgh gives zero $hits about condensed module.. simple 2 vca that’ll be 8hp.. like dotcom format cut into a Euro height?) Simple stuff, but kinda like a Doepfer in a way.

    And the arturia stuff “seems” cool, but terrible reliability, bad customer service, lots of CV ”oddness”.

    Wish for a Erebus but CV I guess.

    Super excited to see what the DIY guys do, I mean they made those korg toy monotrons full modular units and built crazy controls and sequencers for the werkstatt etc.

    1. It has Cv-1,2,3,4 Out at the back of the device. Ah yes the old chip. They ran out of it. I wonder though now that Behringer is reproducing the old chips if there is a chance that the one of the DE1 is among them ? πŸ™‚ It`s possible to manufacture thats for sure. Other than that, i am having a hard time re-buying it apart from the sentimental value. What do you mean about the Erebus with “cv i guess” ? It has cv in and out and also midi in and through

  3. A pity about only 1 VCO with no sub-oscillator.

    The original Dark Energy was based on a CEM (Curtis Electro Music) chip.
    The Dark Energy II was based on discreet analog components.
    I wonder what this ‘III’ manifestation is based on ?

    1. Hmm. From what i remember the Mk1 had only 1 osc too but sounded VERY FAT if you wanted to. Just with the restrictions of having one Osc.

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