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April 2012: The Third Cabinet is finished / The Dark Quaternity is now extended with two extra cabinets on top of it!

Synthesizer based on the Doepfer Dark Energy

original anouncement september 2011:

Second DIY synthesizer project Custom Synth

Episode 2 (october 2011): The Doepfer Dark Quaternity semi-modular Synthesizer.

(you can send reactions or questions through the gitw form)


The Dark Quaternity is based on 4x Doepfer Dark Energy, therefore this name.

The Fifth Force is based on an extra Dark Energy (A-111-5) which is number 5, therefore its name.

The Sixth Source is based on another extra Dark Energy (A-111-5) which is number 6, therefore its name.

Dark Quaternity Specifications:

Size: (WXDXH) aprox: 1040 x 530 x 410 mm
Weigth: aprox: 33 Kg

Materials: Pinewood, Aluminium, Mahony Red Stain, Varnish, Black Paint.
Hardware: All Doepfer products, except for drums which are MFB and FX from Behringer.
Doepfer Dark Energy (4x)
Doepfer Dark Time (1x)
MFB Schlagzwerg
MFB Drum 08 Claps
Behringer FEX800 (4x)
Doepfer A-100 Modules:

A-174-2 Wheels (1x)
A-174-1 Joystick (1x)
A-198 Ribbon controller (modified with connection at the backside)
A-138b Audio mixer (2x)
A-180 Multiples (4x)
A-182 (Switched Multiples) (2x)
A-178 Theremin (1x)
A-103 Low Pass (TB303) filter (1x)
A-114 Ring Modulator (1x)
Dark Energy Glide Controller (4x) Connected through one multicable
A-180 Desoldered for Patch strips (12x) (expensive solution, but nice)
A-100MNT Miniature Power supply and bus board (3x)
Neutrik XLR Chassis (2x) for audio left/right out
Din 5P (2x) for MIDI in/out
Neutrik Powercon 1x (220V)
5 Octave, 61 keys MIDI Keyboard
new extra modules:

A-148 Sample & Hold
A-118 Noise generator
A-108 LP/BP Filter (Moog ladder)
A-135 Voltage Controlled Mixer

A144 Morphing Controller (A-108, A-135,A-144 are combined in one big module)

Here a picture with the new modules:

Some older (first stage) pictures:

All A-100 Modules where carefully dismanteld, painted black several times, indications painted with white paint, sprayed with transparant paint several times and put together again. The grey knobs were replaced by black ones like on the Dark Time and Dark Energy.

Audio signal path:
The Dark Energy CV4 outputs are changed to audio outputs but not connected yet. Like I said before, decisions will be made after using it a period of time. For now the audio signal path is as followed. Audio patched to the Patchpanel. From the Patchpanel it is patched to the A-138 mixers. From the A-138 mixers the output can be patched to the 4x FX in. So each Dark Energy can have its own effect. The outputs of the effect units are connect to two four channel mixers, one for left audio out and one for right audio out. For now this works fine, but maybe I will add the possibility to patch the outputs of the FX so that they can be put in cascade. Effect over effect and so on.

MIDI: A polyphonic Doepfer synthesizer

For now the only MIDI connection is from the Keyboard to the Dark Energy 1. The other 3 Dark Energy’s are internal connected via MIDI through (jumpers see the addtional technical notes on the Doepfer website) In this way you now can play four note chords. For more info about how it works read the full descripiton in the Dark Trilogy section. All the 4 Doepfer Dark Energy modules combined with the Doepfer Dark Time can be controlled as well as by MIDI as the Doepfer A-100 Moduels.  In this way you have the possiblity to create a Doepfer A-100 Polyphonic synthesizer system.
CV/Gate and other connections:
Every connection on all the units is patchable.

Dark Quaternity: Why this name?
Well, the first synth of course was based on the Dark Energy. As for three units where used and to keep the Dark Tradition, I named it The Dark Trilogy. (It could also be the first of three synthesizers to build).
When the idea was born to build a new one, which has an extra voice (3+1) and the possibilities to create a much Darker sound, I was looking for a name which covered the amount of voices (Dark Energy’s) and has the same charisma. So the number 4 was essential and it should be Dark. So I came up with:

The Dark Quaternity, the cardinal number that is the sum of three and one. In religous terms it stands for a group of four, esp a concept of God/Energy as consisting of four persons/energy’s.

Blueprints/Technical Drawings:

The Dark Quaternity is built "on the fly", which means that the construction was defined during the builiding process. So there are no technical drawings. But when there is enough demand I will consider to make some sketches with measures and technical information.

The Dark Quaternity can still be altered the next couple of months. After using it in the near future some modifications will be done. Now, after filling up the empty spaces, there is no more space left for extra modules. So if more functionality is needed the system has to be expanded on top of it, which will make it almost a Doepfer A-100 modular system. A possible expansion will be a fifth voice, so probably an upper case will be built as a 5th element to the Dark Quaternity :-)

December 2012: Intoduction of "The Fifth Force", a second cabinet on top of The Dark Quaternity:

Click on the picture above to read more info and see more pictures about this second cabinet "The Fifth Force"

April 2012: Introduction of "The Sixth Source", a third cabinet on top of The Dark Quaternity:

Click on the picture above to read more info and see more pictures about this third cabinet "The Sixth"

Previous design: The Dark Trilogy

Please feel free to ask any question or send your remarks/comments via the gitw form

Here a youtube movie of the Dark Quaternity with the Philips BEM 004 as an extra soundgenerator..:

More movies will be found on youtube at the "creativegallerysynth" account

news and projects

More and bigger pics at The Art Gallery

Suggetions? Please get in touch with me! You are very welcome! :-)

Thank you for visiting "The Dark Quaternity" page on te creative gallery website





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