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
lightman
January 22, 2012 @ 3:06 pm
Ah yes, the tired old 303 emu cliché... the name of the 404 alone tells us that Doepfer also jumped on this bandwagon, despite the fact that the machine can do much more than just acid-ish basslines.

Here's an excellent YouTube example for what the 404 is capable of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UImUf6zj1_w .

Try that with a 303... ;-)

Anyway, I never got this 303 emu hype. If you want authentic 303 sound, buy a 303 and be done with it, there is no other way. The x0xb0x comes very, very close but still is not the real deal.
Lindsay
December 4, 2011 @ 5:27 pm
There is a serious lack of Doepfer gear on this sit. Dark Energy anyone???
Carl
December 1, 2011 @ 12:02 pm
A great, classic 1u mono synth. using all the time!
crustypaul
August 15, 2011 @ 8:13 am
Have the people that write these descriptions ever actually seen the bits of kit they are describing? The MS404 is absolutely nothing like a 303 emulator, nor was it intended to be. If anything its a LOT more like a rackmount SH101 with the bonus of 2 LFO's, but the drawback of only having triangle waveforms available for them.
This thing has an excellent squelchy filter and the PWM sounds are pretty good, although i'd probably still go for a Deep Bass Nine for really meaty analogue bass. Having said that, the MS404 isn't just limited to bass like a lot of similar units.
Suicide Sushi
March 20, 2011 @ 12:00 pm
This synth is very warm sounding. It's a great little synth and it has a very fast envelope allowing it to do some very percussive sounds. Higly recommendable synth - which does not sound like a TB 303 to me at all.
 
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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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