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
Eric B
September 24, 2010 @ 12:33 pm
This is a wonderful monosynth. It is definitely an instrument that has a sound of its own. The LFOs help set it apart from the different 303 emulators. The square wave is big and fat, the saw wave is nice and buzzy, but still a lot fatter than a bunch of other synths like this. The filter is simply great. The only thing that can be kind of a drag while programming it is that there are not separate EGs for the amp and filter envelopes. No big deal, though. It is a huge sounding analog synth that fits in to just about any mix. It has quickly become one of my favorite synths. If you need something for solid basses or leads, track one of these down. Definitely worth it.
Daniel Fletcher of D a z z - S y n t h
November 18, 2009 @ 11:11 am
MS 404 has also bin used by Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM
September 16, 2009 @ 8:02 pm
A great machine. It does NOT sound like a TB303 nor like an emulation. Yes, it's a monophonic analog synth, but sounds diffenrent to a TB303, but has similar controls. AND about 3 parameters are midi controllable, not all! But all in all it's bargain for the price. Definitely you'll get a piece of quality with a touch of the 70's synths. BTW: Easily a couple of mods can be done for this gorgeous synth.
May 16, 2009 @ 6:06 am
Love this synth. The quality is great and it has a great sound. It has some fun LFO's as well for osc mod etc. Would be nice with a second oscilator though for a more complex sounds. O well... Nice anyways.
Ruslan Bozhok
September 30, 2008 @ 10:05 am
Very good synth, very good filter!
VSE Rating


User Rating

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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