Find of the Week: Dave Smith's Unsung Mopho

The name "Mopho" might make people think twice, but the double-entendre was probably what Dave Smith was going for: this underrated beast of a monosynth is our Find of the Week.

Upon its release in 2008, the now-discontinued 32-key modeling synth was met with a divided critical response—some hated it, while others swore by its macro sound in a micro package—but regardless of reception, it has become somewhat of a half-forgotten product when compared to the other hardware Dave Smith Instruments has offered.

That in mind, many see this as DSI's monophonic version of their legendary Prophet 08: it has two oscillators, each with its own sub-oscillator, a noise source, a switchable 2 or 4-pole Curtis low-pass filter that self-oscillates, and an aftertouch on the keybed that allows players to modulate after tapping the keys.

Dave Smith Mopho
Dave Smith Instruments Mopho

Compared to the Mopho module, the Mopho Keys has a few more tricks up its sleeve—for example, a programmable audio feedback control making it easy to mix the output signal back into the filter. It can also be hooked up to other DSI synths like the Tetra, via the poly chain socket to increase the polyphony.

This particular Mopho Keys is at an excellent value for its price at $549. The California-based seller Mustorg has listed it as near-mint condition with clean knobs, buttons, sliders, and outputs. If you're looking for an affordable monosynth with many features, this synth is worth checking out.

DSI Mopho Key demo by Jorb

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