Dave Smith Instruments Mopho x4

Synthesiser

  • 4 Voice polyphony
  • 44 Semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys
  • Aftertouch
  • 100% Analogue signal path
  • Two oscillators
  • 1 classic Curtis Low-Pass filter (switchable 2- or 4-pole)
  • Analogue VCAs
  • Three envelope generators (ADSR plus delay)
  • Two Sub-Octave generators
  • Four assignable performance controllers per program
  • Gated 16 x 4 step sequencer
  • Arpeggiator
  • Fully programmable (free software editor for Mac OS and Windows can be downloaded)
  • 1024 programs (512 factory presets + 512 user presets)
  • MIDI In / Out / Thru and Poly Chain
  • Left and Right Audio Out
  • Headphone output
  • USB (MIDI)
No JavaScript? No Audio Samples! :-(

Audio Examples

 
0:00
  • Arp 1
  • Arp 2
  • Filtering

Further Information

Number Of Keys 32
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel Yes
Amount of simultaneous tones 4
Sound Engine Analogue
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Storage Medium None
USB-port No
Effects None
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 2
Digital Output No
Display Yes
44 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.8 / 5.0
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
27 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
handling
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Great and versatile analog polysynth

Ben Z., 16.08.2013
I found this one while looking for an analog poysynth. I started out using softsynths and virtual analogs and wanted to expand my setup with analog hardware.
I quickly found out that it was easy to recreate the sounds I had made on softsynths on this one and it sounded much better.
I had for some time been interested in the Prophet 08 but the price point of this one and the added features such as the feedback loop and the sub oscillators made it an easy decision. The option to polychain this one with another Mopho or a Tetra for more voices or for layering is very compelling and is something I consider at a later point. However, so far I have had good results multitracking it for layering and it sounds really well.
The sound is clear and distinct so it is good for lead sounds, pads, effects, percussion and quite mellow all the way to harsher bass sounds. Do not expect deep, smooth Moog sounds from this but this is not what it is designed for and in my opinion the two characters complement each other really well in a mix with each having their own identity.


What is does really well:

Modulation. The modulation options for this are very good and with 4 LFO's, 3 envelopes, 4 track step sequencer, 4 additional modulation slots and probably more that I have forgotten to mention are plenty enough for creating complex and dynamic patches.

Sequencer. Although the manual states that each step will retrigger the envelopes, this can be easily disabled so you can use it to only modulate what you want which was a great surprise.

The Oscillators. They are very stable and good sounding. The available waveforms are good for this type of synth and the added Triangle-Sawtooth hybrid sounds cool. Only missing is a sine wave.

Sub oscillators. I use these mostly for pads actually and find that they work well for it if played quite high in the registers. They add a rich tone and full tone while the regular oscillators create nice overtones.

The Filter. I really like the sound of it. The option to switch between 2 and 4 pole is good to have. The resonance on the 2 pole mode is very subtle but the 4 pole can be driven to self oscillation with full resonance. This way it can be used as an oscillator to good effect for whistling sounds and similar. With filter modulation applied, you can get rather good FM-effects and create nice bells or just random weirdness. One thing I found out is with keytracking turned off, it does not open up fully but once turned up you can get really nice and buzzy sounds when desired so that could be something to look for.

The Keyboard. I like the 3 and a half octave size (F-C). The keys feel nice and the addition of aftertouch makes it very expressive to play.

The Controls. The layout is logical and the number of knobs are enough to control most thing so the hands-on experience is very good and although there is an editor available it is not a must have for sound creation. One thing the editor is really useful for is creating sequences since that is a little bit tricky on the unit itself. However I do not see how they can make it easier to do this on the hardware without adding dedicated controls for it, which would not be worth it in my opinion. Also, there is not much need for menu-diving and when you need to the menu is layed out pretty ok. The build quality seems very good as well and does not feel cheap in any way.

What could be improved:
The feedback is cool for weird effects, but it is difficult to use that for adding a good melodic overdrive. It goes quickly from subtle to too much and when it's too much, it looses pitch easily. Using it on quite static sound works well but with modulation of filter or amplitude it easily overdrives to a droning noise. It takes a while to get to know how to handle it well. It is still very useful, though.

In summary I would really recommend this to anyone who wants an all analog polysynth. The option to expand it makes it a good starting point. I like the sound of it a lot and I feel that it is easy the create your own sounds on it and it covers a lot of ground.
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Cool synthesizer with amazing sound

maxwellmurder, 31.07.2018
It's been 2 years since I started to use this synth and recorded one EP and one full album with it. So I think now is a good time to speak about it.
When I bought Mopho x4 my main aim was to use it both for bass/lead department and pad department. So far it was amazing in both types. Stabil DCO's are really "fat" sounding just like any VCO and sub oscillator for both two DCO's is a really nice addition. I think there is nothing you can't do with good sounding and full range DCO paired with sub oscillators. So Mopho X4 (like any other DSI product in the last decade) is a winner in the sound department easily.
I am also using/used similar and cheaper and more expensive products like Behringer Deepmind 12 and Prophet family (8 and Rev2). You can really get very very similar results (soundwise) with Prophets, I MEAN REALLY SIMILAR results. If 4 note polyphony is not a problem go for Mopho X4, you won't regret it. And if you compare it with the likes of Deepmind you can easily spot the sound difference and hell yeah it is not even a competition!
So go for it mate!
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