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Dave Smith Mopho Question! Electric Guitar
Old 26th February 2012
  #1
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Dave Smith Mopho Question!

3 Mopho questions, much appreciated if I could get some answers!

1-Is it possible to control the Mopho with both a midi keyboard, AND another midi controller (say, the APC40) at the same time?
I mean specifically the module version, not the keyboard version :

Mopho Monophonic Analog Synthesizer. Overview.


2-Can I send audio into it? Say, from a digital radio, for example?

3-I'd then want to have a couple of effects after the synth. Probably a delay pedal and chorus. Can this be done?


Please explain aaaaaaallllllllll to a synth newbie here!
Old 26th February 2012
  #2
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The answers to 1 and 3 aren't very specific to Mopho.
.
1. Yes, you can have multiple controllers, but their outputs have to be merged together into a single input for the synth. Some controllers will merge their MIDI input into their MIDI Out or Thru; otherwise you'll need a MIDI merger.

2. The Mopho has an audio input. In the patch you have control over the level of this input. It's mixed with the audio from the two oscillators, their suboscillators, and a noise source. This mix is the input to the filter.

3. Yes, you can put effects in the audio chain after the synth. Mopho has two audio outputs (you can control the pan position of the synth output between them). Each of these is a line level output.
Old 26th February 2012
  #3
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Originally Posted by Rimwolf View Post
The answers to 1 and 3 aren't very specific to Mopho.
.
1. Yes, you can have multiple controllers, but their outputs have to be merged together into a single input for the synth. Some controllers will merge their MIDI input into their MIDI Out or Thru; otherwise you'll need a MIDI merger.

2. The Mopho has an audio input. In the patch you have control over the level of this input. It's mixed with the audio from the two oscillators, their suboscillators, and a noise source. This mix is the input to the filter.

3. Yes, you can put effects in the audio chain after the synth. Mopho has two audio outputs (you can control the pan position of the synth output between them). Each of these is a line level output.

Thanks for that. The APC40 is a midi controller, but has a usb out for the midi. That'd be no use for the Mopho then, darn....What would you recommend for a midi merger (if I get a different controller than the APC)?

Anything that would be a strong rival to the Mopho?
Old 26th February 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
3 Mopho questions, much appreciated if I could get some answers!

1-Is it possible to control the Mopho with both a midi keyboard, AND another midi controller (say, the APC40) at the same time?
I mean specifically the module version, not the keyboard version :

Mopho Monophonic Analog Synthesizer. Overview.


2-Can I send audio into it? Say, from a digital radio, for example?

3-I'd then want to have a couple of effects after the synth. Probably a delay pedal and chorus. Can this be done?


Please explain aaaaaaallllllllll to a synth newbie here!
A few further bits of info -

1. You can, but as a mono synth it only has one voice (one note at a time) - but you are able to sequence each oscillator individually, so you can have 4 sequences of simple sounds happening at once.

2. It's built to do it, you can overdrive and filter external audio, like a guitar for instance.

3. This can be done with anything that has TRS jacks (the basic plug used by guitars or large headphones or speakrs).


Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Thanks for that. The APC40 is a midi controller, but has a usb out for the midi. That'd be no use for the Mopho then, darn....What would you recommend for a midi merger (if I get a different controller than the APC)?
You can get a USB to MIDI converter for like $15.
Old 26th February 2012
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveFromKyoto View Post
A few further bits of info -

1. You can, but as a mono synth it only has one voice (one note at a time) - but you are able to sequence each oscillator individually, so you can have 4 sequences of simple sounds happening at once.
Ace! No way of getting the APC40 to control it though? I'd be wanting 1 keyboard controller for the notes, another for knob controlling (not two commands to play notes, for example!). Suppose then I need a different midi keyboard controller with more knobs!
Old 26th February 2012
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Thanks for that. The APC40 is a midi controller, but has a usb out for the midi. That'd be no use for the Mopho then, darn....What would you recommend for a midi merger (if I get a different controller than the APC)?

Anything that would be a strong rival to the Mopho?
I don't understand what you intended to do with the APC40, so I'm not quite sure what capability you're trying to achieve. My understanding is that the APC40 is purpose-designed to control the Ableton Live software, but you said in your other thread that you weren't using a laptop. What is it you want the synth to do, other than play notes from a keyboard and modify audio input?

(MIDI Solutions makes a nice small merger.)

Similar issue with the Mopho. It's an economical monophonic* analog synth module, and good value for the money. You can listen to demos to decide if you like the kinds of sounds it makes. (I have one and like it.) And it does have an audio input that feeds the filter. Does this match what you want?

* Monophonic for synthesizers means single voice, 1 note at a time, so you can't play chords on it.
Old 26th February 2012
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
I'd be wanting 1 keyboard controller for the notes, another for knob controlling (not two commands to play notes, for example!). Suppose then I need a different midi keyboard controller with more knobs!
Mopho does have a bunch of knobs itself, including 4 that you can assign to different functions per preset. That might be all you need.
Old 26th February 2012
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimwolf View Post
Mopho does have a bunch of knobs itself, including 4 that you can assign to different functions per preset. That might be all you need.
Thanks for all your help, it's really been useful for me in deciding what synth to choose.
When I was asking about additional midi controllers, I think I'm just a bit concerned about getting as much control over the mopho as possible.

What I'm trying to do is find me a synth that I can use without my laptop/Ableton for gigs. I'm usually a guitarist, and by no means a synth player! I'd like to get the most out of a synth in terms of knob-twiddling, so that's why I was asking about midi controllers and the like.

From what I've been researching, not all synths will allow for audio to filter through them (an SH101, for example). The reason I seem to be obsessing over that side of things is that I'd like to still have the wacky experimental side to play about with! Rather than feeding audio through a load of effects, it'd be easier for me to filter it through the synth, then the effects. But I do still want the synth to be a synth, hence the midi keyboard.

Do you think there's a way for me to utilize my APC40 as a controller (without a laptop involved)? It would just save me having to get another twiddly-knob midi controller. And does it actually pay off to have more twiddly knobs with the Mopho?

Oh - one more thing.... I see plenty of Mopho vs Doepfer Dark Energy talk. If you had to be totally unbiased (and if you've used the DE), which would you choose?

I'll know for sure by the end of the day I'd say which way I'll be going with this!
Old 26th February 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
When I was asking about additional midi controllers, I think I'm just a bit concerned about getting as much control over the mopho as possible.

What I'm trying to do is find me a synth that I can use without my laptop/Ableton for gigs. I'm usually a guitarist, and by no means a synth player! I'd like to get the most out of a synth in terms of knob-twiddling, so that's why I was asking about midi controllers and the like.
Do you think there's a way for me to utilize my APC40 as a controller (without a laptop involved)? It would just save me having to get another twiddly-knob midi controller. And does it actually pay off to have more twiddly knobs with the Mopho?
There are probably ways to use the APC40 to control something like a Mopho, but I can't offhand think of a simple way to do it, what with the previously mentioned issues of USB/MIDI and MIDI merge. Even assuming you figure that all out, it's likely a couple of extra boxes, extra MIDI and USB cables, maybe extra power supplies: your setup time gets that much longer, and there's that many more things that can go wrong. (And you have that much more to carry.)

Since you're apparently in the market for a MIDI keyboard anyway, you should look at ones that have extra knobs and sliders. That will pay off with whatever synths, hardware or soft, that you end up with. Fewer boxes, fewer cables...

There are almost enough knobs on the Mopho; for some presets I find I wish I had one or two more, but for many it's more than enough.

Quote:
Oh - one more thing.... I see plenty of Mopho vs Doepfer Dark Energy talk. If you had to be totally unbiased (and if you've used the DE), which would you choose?
I want to get an electric guitar. How many pickups should I get? Does single wind coils make a difference? Solid body or hollow? Do I need a whammy bar? Which is better, a Fender Squier or a Hagstrom Swede? And what about amps and effects?

I'm not mocking you! But I'm sure your answers to such questions would be "it depends on what you want to do." And most guitarists I know don't play the first guitar they ever bought.

The Mopho (which I own) and the Dark Energy (which I don't) both seem like good synths, in very different ways, and both would make good first monophonic synths, depending.

The DE has the immediacy of a knob per function, and (from what I've heard) a very different tonal character. The Mopho is, I believe, much more flexible in terms of modulation routings (which was an important factor for me), has patch/preset memory, and has some nice extra features (which I don't use) like arpeggiator and built-in step sequencers. Fewer knobs -- the software editor for the Mopho has something like 50 knobs and about as many multi-position switches, and that's not counting the sequencer section.

Maybe the best comparison would be a pedalboard vs. a multi-effects unit. With the pedalboard what you see is what you get -- a knob for every function. But with the multi-effects you can call up program 7 and get the exact settings you wanted, and maybe be able to tweak them a little.
Old 26th February 2012
  #10
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LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolalola View Post
Ace! No way of getting the APC40 to control it though? I'd be wanting 1 keyboard controller for the notes, another for knob controlling (not two commands to play notes, for example!). Suppose then I need a different midi keyboard controller with more knobs!
I don't see why not, the APC sends MIDI, the MoPho receives MIDI. It's just a matter of putting a template toegether.

Quote:
Oh - one more thing.... I see plenty of Mopho vs Doepfer Dark Energy talk. If you had to be totally unbiased (and if you've used the DE), which would you choose?
I kind of don't get the big deal about the Dark Energy. It's a single oscillator, single envelope synth, it's about as simple as things come but is priced well beyond its feature list. About the only thing remarkable about it is its full voltage controled signal path and its semi-modularity.

Fundamental tone is of course the main deciding factor here, but in terms of ground covered, features & functionality the MoPho blows it away, and the keyboard version can be had for about the same price as the DE desktop.
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