Doepfer Dark Energy III


The Dark Energy III is a compact synthesizer with fully analog signal flow and MIDI / CV interface. The instrument features a classic VCO / VCF / VCA structure plus ADSR envelope and two LFOs. Compared to its predecessor, the stability and frequency range of the oscillator have been optimized. True to the first Dark Energy, there’s now a triangle wave. Other new features include reset inputs for the LFOs and a revised envelope design. Fans of soldering can look forward to access points on the circuit board, which are usable to add lots of sockets and functions.



Oscillator with triangle core, tune potentiometer and octave switch (-1 / 0 / +1 octave). The VCO can be played over a range of ten octaves. Furthermore, there is a FM switch with selectable modulation source (LFO1 / off / ADSR). The oscillator generates a pulse wave with variable width. A switch can be used to add saw or triangle waveforms. The pulse wave may be disabled by turning the pulse width control down completely. Pulse width modulation is possible via LFO2 or the ADSR.
While the predecessor’s oscillator needed about 30 minutes of warm-up to maintain tuning stability, the Dark Energy III is immediately ready for use.

Analog multimode filter with a slope of -12 dB per octave. You can crossfade from low pass to notch, high pass and band pass. Filter tracking with an intensity of 50% or 100% may be activated via a switch. High resonance values lead to self-oscillation of the filter. The bipolar XFM knob allows for exponential cutoff modulation via LFO1 or the ADSR envelope. Thanks to the audio input, the Dark Energy III can be used as a filter bank.

Analog VCA with exponential characteristic. The circuit can be modulated via LFO1 or the ADSR envelope. It is possible to open the VCA manually via a potentiometer. This is useful for using the Dark Energy III as a filter bank or drone generator.

For modulation purposes, there are two LFOs with selectable frequency ranges (up to audio range), selectable waveforms (triangle / off / rectangle) and reset inputs. There is also an ADSR envelope featuring an overhauled circuit design.

The Dark Energy III comes equipped with a MIDI / CV interface, which not only controls the synth internally, but also emits CV and gate signals at dedicated outputs. Thus, it is possible to employ the instrument as a MIDI / CV converter. CV1 outputs pitch signals (1v / octave). CV2 emits pitch-bend voltages. CV3 outputs velocity signals. For CV4, a MIDI CC number can be defined. Programming the MIDI / CV interface is done via a learn function.

Expand the synthesizer with the glide option (sold separately) to create portamento effects. For musicians with soldering skills, there are lots of access points on the circuit board. Please note: Modifications like this will void the warranty.

Here are some examples for DIY expansions:

  • Individual outputs for the VCO waveforms (Triangle, saw tooth, pulse wave with variable width)
  • Hard and soft sync inputs
  • Linear FM input
  • VCF outputs for high-pass, band-pass and low-pass
  • ADSR output
  • CV inputs for attack, decay, sustain and release stages
  • LFO outputs (Triangle and square wave)

MIDI input, USB input
15 V DC input
Four CV and a gate input
Audio input and output
CV inputs for VCO frequency, pulse width and filter frequency
Gate inputs for envelope and LFO reset 1 / LFO reset 2


ca. 185 x 145 x 75 mm

2.0 kg
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€ 19% VAT excl. €402.52 € 19% VAT incl. €479.00
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