Doepfer MS-404

Doepfer MS-404 Image

The Doepfer MS-404 is basically a TB-303 emulator. It's analog, monophonic, has a nice 24dB/oct VCF (filter), a simple envelope and the bonus of two LFOs. As with any 303 emulator, the MS-404 has the typical 303 controls you would expect for the filter and envelope. However the two added LFOs add a whole new dimension to the 303 sound. This is because they can modulate the VCOs! Other common 303 emulator features also found on the MS-404 include an external filter input, CV/GATE interfacing, MIDI implementation and a glide effect. All parameters are MIDI controllable. The slide and accent effects from the 303 are possible on the MS-404 from the glide control and MIDI velocity for accent. The MS-404 ranks high among the 303 emulators under $500, and it sounds pretty darn good too. It has been used by Hardfloor and Josh Wink.

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15 Visitor comments
D. McCullough
November 14, 2013 @ 7:58 am
If I am not mistaken, this thing is all over KMFDM's Symbols album....
sir squelch alot
September 6, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
Do not be fooled by the basic look and design; this little synth packs a punch! the sound is some where in the vicinity of a pro one and a roland. Really it is it's own beast. The envelopes are very fast and the lfo's can seriously haul [beep] compared to most slow pokes of today. The waveforms are rich, especially the square, with pulse width and fm going on add in some accent action, and you've got a wicked synthbass!
May 9, 2013 @ 7:48 pm
1 VCO but BEAST! If you are looking for that pure analog feeling, 404 IS a choice. What seems like a normal mono-synth comes out as perfectly designed, self-fertalizing ultra-potent machine. And what you experience is a kind of introduction to doepfer-style.

I own 2 of them. Doepfer has given schematics to connect both, to create ONE synth out of them. Has anyone experience with doing that "hand-job"?
June 22, 2012 @ 7:39 am
Actually, it's not a true emulator of the 303. It's based on some schematics and designs of the 303, but it doesn't sound like the 303. A big part of the 303 is the timing and internal clock (or when it's slaved to an 808, etc). The two are completely different, but great in their own regard...
April 1, 2012 @ 11:11 am
Sounds pretty much nothing like a 303. But it is a very nice analogue monosynth in it's own right.
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Rated 3.71 (241 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO (sawtooth, pulse, PWM, noise)
  • LFO - Triangle wave (0.003Hz to 5kHz)
  • Filter - 24 dB/Oct resonant filter (w/ independent LFO)
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - None
  • Control - MIDI, CV / GATE
  • Date Produced - 1994

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