Dave Smith Instruments Mopho Desktop Review


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Today we have more options for purchasing modern analog synths for a decent price. Lately other manufacturers have thrown their brand of analog synths in the pot and the landscape is getting more competitive. When Dave Smith first introduced the Mopho to the public, there was little to no competition. Now new affordable analog synths are coming out left and right so I’m wondering how the Mopho stacks up. Dave Smith paved the way for an affordable modern analog synth that does more than classic synths made decades before. For years I’ve hungered for vintage analog synths but could not afford one until now.



The Mopho is a small yellow metal box with knobs. It’s not sexy but very well made. The 2 line LCD display gives the user access to all the features. On the back you can find a headphone jack, audio left & right output, audio in and dc port for power. The Mopho layout is simple with cutoff, resonance, attack and decay/release knobs on the bottom for easy access. The next sets of 4 knobs above are assignable to any parameter. You also get a program knob, volume and pitch to do most of the basic functions. The “Push It” button is what it says. Press it and it will trigger any current preset assigned at the moment. I can’t really find a use for it. If you want to do more advance functions, you can use the software editor to get to all the features. The Mopho lacks knobs to do more complex sound design but a person can easily configured a controller to get more hands on control.


The Sound

The Mopho sounds amazing. Even though the Mopho is monophonic, the sound textures are so complex and with the two oscillators gives the listener the impression of more voices. The Mopho also has two Sub Oscillators. You can get some serious lows from this box. The Mopho also has the Curtis Filter which I’m not a fan of. The Mopho is a super slimed down version of the Prophet 8 so you get those sounds but for just one voice. Everything sounds electric and big. I believe you can score a science fiction movie with this box or make crazy sound effects. The sky’s the limit with this box. With all the software plugins you can get today, software can never recreate this analog sound. Analog has a soul to me and conveys so much to the listener and the Mopho has done just that. The Mopho also has an arpeggiator and 4 X 16 Step Sequencer. For my Boom Bap enthusiasts, this thing will work for hip hop or any genre. This box packs a lot of punch.

Is It Worth It?

Yes. You won’t find a better deal or sound for the price these things go for. Actually this is a no brainer. Dave Smith Instruments also released two different versions of the Mopho. The Mophokey and Mopho X4 are more expensive but the Mopho Desktop can be had for as little as $339. This is real analog and not the fake virtual analog stuff you see today. I commend Dave Smith for making analog synths and improving the technology. These synths are the future now go buy one and score the next Blade Runner film. Check out what I made with the Mopho below. Most of the sounds are from the Mopho except drums and one synth part from Arturia Analog Factory


[starreviewmulti id=1 tpl=31 average_stars=’starscape’ average_size=’24’]

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