Synth Site: Miscellaneous: Darkstar: User reviews Add review


Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
duster a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I own several different synth modules (sh-32, an200, dx200) and the xp2 of course. I just wasn't to satisified by the sound of this thing. I think the sounds are thin and transparent, and that the response of control still isn't as sensitive as other modules. Maybe I need to get under the hood of this thing some more. I bought mine for $45.00 not bad for the dollor. Sh-32 blows it away....or just go with micro korg.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-29-2004 at 04:38
mcm a professional user from New York writes:
It's quite a treasure just waiting to be tweaked. I used to to create sounds rather than perform, as it has some delay in switching patches and some minor noise, which is easily gated away. For the price, it is quite impressive.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-20-2004 at 16:37
richard byerly a part-time user from usa writes:
this is one wicked sob!i was pulling hairs trying to decide how big a pile of analogue synths to buy,which i didn't have room for.this puppy takes care of most of them.great lows and monster filter sweeps to bug the hell out of my neighbors!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-01-2003 at 01:32
Ringmod76 a part-time user from planet Earth writes:
Good: 8 voices, very strong (and unique-sounding) multi-mode filter, several waveforms on OSC2, good modulation possibilities, built like a brick sh**house, CHEAP!

Bad: Plastic buttons, useless presets, noisy output, arbitrary selection of what parameters are on front panel vs. buried in menus, programming is cumbersome (at least at first).

Ugly: Mine crashed 10 minutes out of the box - seems some units don't play nice with MIDI. However, my problem is quite fixed now. Also, the manual is one of the worst I've seen.

Overall: it ain't perfect, but at the price ($150 new), it kicks ass. The sound is unique (and there's ample amounts of it) and holds its own in a mix with a Nord Mod and an MS-2000. Sonically, it blows away my other budget synth (EA-1). I've already gotten some great Oberheim-ish pads and aggressive de-tuned lead sounds with it, and I already have lots of other ideas of what to do with it. Very good addition to my band's setup.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-10-2003 at 13:16
sinepost a professional user from oregon writes:
ok, after my drunken gushing over this unit on harmony-central here is my sober review of the darkstar xp2. $129 new from MF, which i'm still grinning about. 8-voice polyphonic VA, multi-timbral over 5 parts per program, 2-OSC/LFO/ENV per voice. out of the box i was quite impressed until i gradually noticed a DX-sounding similarity to all of the sounds, but i was only messing with the presets. the big surprise was just HOW much better i could make this thing sound with a little layering and programming. i REALLY like this filter. even though it's only 12db, it is smooth and has a bright and unique sound. i wouldn't compare it exactly to any particular analog, but it's sound leans toward older roland and oberheim poly synths, as long as you don't abuse the resonance. by sending a constant MIDI note into the unit you can filter any external audio quite nicely. if you use the copy/layer feature of the darkstar you can get mad lfo-fx or oscillator stacks that will blow your mind. it has a nice chorus that really fattens up the bass (somewhat juno-esque). also, the attack of the envelopes on this this thing are really quick, which makes for really tight tonal percussive sounds/drums/etc. one thing i'm surprised about is that people have such a hard time with the user-interface, i think it's intuitive and easy to get around...given the number of available knobs it's actually quite brilliant. the one feature i do wish it had (and correct me if it exists) is the ability to share one filter over the 5 parts. otherwise it's a little tiring to match the filter settings over the different parts. anyway, i'm very pleasantly surprised with the dark star and you really can't go wrong considering what they're asking for it now.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-17-2003 at 15:31
a professional user from usa writes:
for 129.00 this thing is a steal...a knob for every function (almost) makes this the most accurate virtual analog synth available right now...and a darn sight better than most others in the 500.00 and up range. not as expressive as the jp8000, but still a nice feel, kind of like a polyphonic sh101. brit company, american know how are a good combination. as for frankendump, who are the brilliant ones--- are they turntable touchers?

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-10-2003 at 15:03
Ejam Boski a professional user from London writes:
I love this little jam box. You can't beat the price - $129.00 usd amazing! For this price you won't hear me crybabyin' over some bs that this doesn't sound analog. It simulates analog just fine! It's loads cheaper than an decent Korg product and is built solidly. Don't listn to these analog purists. These units are cheap and they won't be around forever. I junst bought a second one!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jun-02-2003 at 17:52
Patrick a part-time user from USA writes:
It's amazing how this little synth can cause such angry debates. Guys (and gals), it's just a synth. State why you do or don't like it and state the reasons, this isn't politics.

Personally, I do like it. A friend of mine lent me his to fix because it supposedly was turning itself off randomly. Ended up just being bad PS and, replacing that, I had about 2 weeks solid to experiment with it before I had to return it. Now, I've owned my share of real analog boards (Polysix, Juno, v/a Arps, CS-5, SK-30, and on..) and played with even more. I've also played with most VA's out there and owned a couple too. That being said, no, the Darkstar does not sound analog. It will never replace your old Roland SH-101, and bears very little in relation to a SCI P600, as one fan claimed. It sounds very digital...a bit like a DX combined with a Casio CZ series. But, that doesn't mean it sounds BAD. Yes, the presets ARE bad (waaay too wanky for me), but once you get around them and the admittedly awkward interface and become comfortable with making your own, some really nice tones can come out of it. I do electro-industrial and it naturally supplies that grit and grime I need. People looking to do new age or pop with it are not going to be happy because of this, but I think other genres, like industrial, Dn'B, hard techno, or EBM can definitely make use out of the Darkstar. I was able to, within minutes, whip out some funky bass and lead sounds with a voice or so to spare for FX. I've since returned it to my friend, but in the meantime bought one for myself. For me, it's all a matter of use. I'm not looking for something to wank endlessly on. I want something I can work out some sounds quickly on, use easily in a multitimbral setup, and enchance my songwriting process and the Darkstar has done that for me in spades. Again, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but for those who are willing to give it a chance and go into it NOT expecting "real analogue" tone, there is a decent board to be had.


Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-08-2003 at 15:20
buck rogers from 25th century writes:
That's not a 'problem', Woofa; you can only alter the pulsewidth of a square wave. The waveform knob only applies to the 'normal' wave which is a saw from 0-63, and a square from 64-127. So that means the pulse width knob only works if Osc1 or 2 is set to 'normal' from 64-127. Read the manual, dude!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-16-2003 at 06:16
WoofaWaafa a professional user from California writes:
Not bad Red Sound.For $200 you can't beat it .I picked up a D.S XP2 03-10-03. It sounds alot like a prophet 600 without the poly mod or the arp/seq and the filter wont self oscillate like a real analog filter does without an oscillator being on . Granted the 600 defenitely has its own killer sound but the DS does a good job of imatating a two OSC subtractive analog synth . The DS has way beter modulation abilty's and a better LFO's and way way better MIDI than most older analog synth's. I like its dark dirty sound however I have found a little problem . when you set OSC2 on sine the waveform knob and the pulse width knob dont do nothin damnit.All and all if you know how to program analog this thang is a peace of cake .So talk all the crap you want and see how far 200 buck goes towards a clean vintage analog synth .

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-16-2003 at 01:20
Lars a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I read so many negative reviews on the Darkstar that I thought I would never own one....well, two things changed that-I noticed a lot of people who are turning out good music are using them.. and I got one at a good price...I love it!

I have been playing synths since the mid 80's, and have owned a lot of gear, including the Yamaha AN200(which I promptly didn't suit me.. I don't do dance/techno).

The DS is great if:

1.It is not your only sound module..I layer the DarkStar sounds with my Virus C and my Karma.

2.You have effects to route the DS sound thru.. it is rather raw on its own.

I like this so much, I am considering buying another one.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-08-2003 at 12:15
Immon Talebian a hobbyist user from england writes:
Derteeeeee! On balance this is a pretty digable machine. I bought this after selling my K station , because to me this sounds better!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-23-2002 at 20:32
a professional user writes:
The joystick makes this a barrel of FUN!! I only wish all synths had em. With joystick you can do things that are not very easy to do without one. For an experimenter like me, its an awesome feature. That's why I bought the darkstar and I still love it. Get the vocoda chip too!! Its worth it!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-17-2002 at 14:57
c-spam a professional user writes:
This is a kinda long review, sorry. I have a lot to say about the DarkStar cos I feel some of the opinions here have been very misrepresentative.

I am obsessed with 1970s/80s analogue synths (have owned twelve in total) and within five minutes of switching the DarkStar on I made amazing sounds which I have NEVER been able to create on any of my other machines. The first time I touched it, I made the most amazing warm, fat slow-sweeping tone which gradually disintegrated into amazing random bubbling and crackling. It took about two minutes before two fellow analogue-lovers came over to have a go, and pretty soon there were three of us fighting over it/playing it at the same time.

Addressing a few previous comments...

1. It's only digital-sounding if you want it to be, or you don't know how to manipulate the sound. You just can't make assumptions on first impressions, especially if you're not prepared to play with it. Presets are for demonstration, you're not actually obliged to use them!

2. Compared to other virtual analogues, including the Novation K-Station, the DarkStar *honestly* does so much more and is much more loyal to its predecessors, sound-wise, despite the K looking better on paper. If I had the choice I would buy another DS over a K (the only thing I would miss is the arpeggiator). Novation is trying to convert the analogue lovers to its' (very good) modern equivalents, and until I got this instrument I thought they were the be-all and end-all of VAs just because of the 'proper keyboard'. But I am now a total convert. I have no vested interest in dissing Novation, I just think the DarkStar is a better product for the same RRP.

3. No problems at all with noisy outputs or hiss, even through a cheap amp with no EQ. Maybe those units were faulty??

4. The controls are not as immediate as a less compact synth, because so much is crammed in to one space. You need to read the paperwork before you dive in, that's to be expected. If you buy one without a manual you might struggle with the more complex functions but the process of creating a sound should be obvious.

5. If I had paid the RRP of £395 for this I would have been disappointed in the display... it does not do the unit justice and makes the learning curve quite steep. But I paid £180, which I would consider cheap (and US$200 would be an absolute STEAL - if you see them at $200, PLEASE buy two... or buy three and send me one of 'em!). For £180 it's totally value for money, and the build quality and size suggests it's rugged enough to be toured (another reason why it's better than the K Station).

Finally, Mr/Miss "no one" (below) is talking absolute crap when s/he implies that anyone "serious about making music" would not want a DarkStar. How patronising!! This is the one and only problem with the synth reviews on SonicState - the high number of lesser-known synths that are damned by those who only care about having the most fashionable collection of numbers and letters on their equipment. I've never even heard of RedSound before - I just know a good synth burble when I hear one and my first impressions of the DarkStar tell me it's one of the best burble-makers I've ever heard... my SH09 is sitting lonely in the corner right now. If you're interested in a unit like this, you NEED to go out and try one through a quality amp... don't rely on what other people say... I nearly did, and I could have missed out on an amazing piece of kit. And besides, you have to see it in action just to witness the booting sequence (makes the thing look like a flight deck!) and the Knight Rider-style edit lights.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-17-2002 at 06:12
Jason Vine a professional user from London writes:
Bought one of these yesterday, after spending over an hour playing one in London's Turnkey music store. (They've got one permanently wired up so you can try before buying.)

As with anything, it's not only about what is does out of the box, but also about what you can bend and shape it to do. With a little tweaking I had some fantastic trance style basses, chords and thwips (yes, thwips is a word !) and even a pretty close CR78 sound alike drum kit.

Of course the real clincher is the price £199, which is a bit of a bargain.

Still, don't take my word for it, try one for yourselves. (Then get out your credit cards !)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-13-2002 at 08:28
theo mondle a professional user from los angeles, California. writes:
People who complain about the Darkstar being a bitch to create sounds and the unit being Hissy, I think they need to LEARN how to create Sounds and program a synth in the first place. I've been programming and creating sounds on Synths since the early 70s and I am Amazed with what can be done with the Darkstar. All the Noise patches that are heard on a Moog, not only have I created them, but also saved them in the synth memory banks, all within 40 minutes. For the price and the ease of programming, NO ONE should have any complains about the Darksound. Can't wait to try out the Vocoda chip. WELL DONE "REDSOUND" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-12-2002 at 11:59
a professional user writes:
for this price, complaining is moot.

if you cant get $200 worth out of this little beauty then, well....good luck to you

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-23-2002 at 16:53
Rip a part-time user from USA writes:
Darkstar is fun to play with and the Vocoda chip will get you some extra miles for sure. Hope Red Sound will follow thru on the other upgrades for this beauty. I think when they use a "promise" of upgrade chips to sell synths if they dont come thru, then they lose face and $ in the market because they lose their credibility and nobody believes any future promises. Trust is a valuable thing. We hope Red Sound doesnt blow it. We trust you to follow thru on your promise and thank you in advance RedSound for your integrity on this matter. Keep up the great work!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-08-2002 at 19:53
Biomech a part-time user from Pittsburgh, PA writes:
After owning the DarkStar since it's initial release (purchased for $400 USD), I thought it was time for me to write a review. I wish I could be kinder but I feel the DS was a waste of my money. The sound quality on the synth is horrible. It has so much hiss, I have to keep its mixer channel muted when it's not in use. If you want to really tear your hair out, try running it through an expensive effect processor (I’m using TC Electronic’s M-One) only to have the hiss amplified.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I can not stand the hiss. I've owned two DarkStars (I thought the hiss on the first one might have been a fluke) and both of them sound the same.

I’m also disappointed that we have yet to see the Mono Synth upgrade. The possibility of this upgrade is the only thing that’s keeping me from tossing it in the trash.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-23-2002 at 14:11
Bob a hobbyist user from Earth writes:
The DarkStar is quite a bargain. It's ultra-simple to program and it has a sound quality all its own. No, it can't really compare to the MS2000R (which I also own), but it wasn't deisgned to do that, either. For $200 (new), it's a great deal!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-14-2002 at 10:11
pxli a part-time user from sthlm writes:
baught one for 150$, second hand, altough never used in box. i like it. it is small, cheap and multitimbral. lots of sound on a little space, and i have barely any room for more synths.. (now that's a luxury problem). weak filter, but hey, im happy anyways

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-May-13-2002 at 06:57
N8 from CANADA writes:
This is a great synth for the money. I wouldn't use this as a stand alone, but with a good effects unit and a sequencer, you will make sounds that other synths much more expensive couldn't do at twice the cost. I would say this is more of a trancelead/fx synth than a bass engine like the 106 or Nord. The cost of a FX unit to enhance the sound could make it a problem for ppl on budgets, but since most ppl are recording and using the effect units on all there equiptment, it will do fine. There is an intuitive way to the synth paremeters that could be descibed as weird.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-12-2002 at 02:31
Richard C. Balzer a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I've had my RedSound Darkstar for about a year now. I agree that the factory presets are just absolute dreck. However, reprogramming the instrument isn't that hard, not any worse than working with my Roland workstation. Even though it has thirteen knobs, I'd have preferred it had they also added a two or three line data display rather than just the three digit numeric display. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to grasp what function page you are on and a good display would make that easier to deal with. It isn't as easy to work with as say my Korg Electibes or Quasimidi Polymorph, but as an adjunct to my studio I feel it was a good deal for the money. I only paid $325; and I got it from the sponsors site, Musician's Friend.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-22-2002 at 11:06
Sid a part-time user from USA writes:
Very fine machine for those who are looking for unique and unusual sounds that you have not heard before. Just tweek this thing and you head into pure original sonic wonder. One of the best bargains I have ever found!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-16-2002 at 21:43
Rhonda a part-time user from CA writes:
This is one of the best bargains I have ever found.....and is it a blast to play or what?? Its full of unique and unusual sound making possibilites. I love it!! The joystik looked cheesy till I learned how to use it and whoah!...what a cool extra feature!! This Darkstar will keep me busy with new explorations. I got the Vocoda chip too!! Very cool concept and they are coming out with more conversion chips too, so I hear. This think is just AWESOME!! I LOVE IT and I cant believe I only paid $200 for it!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-07-2002 at 05:39
Iggie a part-time user from USA writes:
I just got my Darkstar from the friend and I will tell ya for $199 this thing kicks some immortal ass..I have messed with older units like Moogs and Arps as well as Oberhiems, although I will not compare the darkstar to these units equally, but I must say that it definitly holds its own.. This little black beast has quite a few tricks up its sleeve. It is as close to old school that I have found for the money. Don't let the $199 price tag fool ya ...(Remember fellas the old school units did not have all those lovely FX and all the bells and whistles)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Feb-02-2002 at 19:45
Lord D a part-time user from USA writes:
I agree some of the factory presets suck and the interface (4 digit display) sucks as well , but come on, this is a physical modeling synth - oldstyle and old school, so if you whant to get some cool sounds out of it, just spend some time working the knobs, and connect some nice effect box, it will make a lot of difference. Final Verdict: It's cool, so get it while it lasts, cause for $199, you won't find anything that comes close to DarkStar

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-14-2001 at 12:49
mischa a hobbyist user from chicago, USA writes:
for 200 im not disappointed...

but if i paid 500 i would be bitter, the thing takes like 15 seconds to boot? no idea why. The interface is terrible, best they could do since the darkstar is basicly crammed into a federation effects unit. the filter is thin, and most the presets suck. but some of the sounds this little box produces are amazing. really. buy if for 200, you wont be disapointed as long as you know of its weaknesses before hand. and if you dont like it you can turn it into a vocoder for just $50 more.

very digital sounding.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-12-2001 at 14:26
Victor writes:
Been using the Darkstar for about a year and a half now (I ordered one from Red before they even established a presence in the U.S.). Sad to say that with only studio-use the Cutoff knob is already getting a little loose. Other than that, it's some of the best $500 I ever spent.

Review time... Yes, the interface is lousy compared to most analog modellers, but Darkstar offers a ton of modulation and routing possibilities, so if you're already comfortable with subtractive synthesis and you prefer planning ahead to twiddling, it's really quite good...

Weak filter, unconvincing as a true analog modeller. Won't replace my Juno any time soon. Warm and fat it's not, but what it lacks in warmth it can make up in, uh, grunge... Playing it next to a real analog always reminds me of the difference between an overdriven tube amp and solid-state distortion. It doesnt sound cold and thin like an old-school digital synth (DX7/CZ101), just... flat, I guess. Like there's not enough sloppy harmonic distortion. But it's got it's own sound which you may or may not like. Try before you buy, for sure.

Final verdict, in my opinion? If you're still worried about not getting multiple outputs or a fat sound, you can buy six of these for the price of a JP-8000. Then you can stack-and-deture your way to more fatness than you have frequency spectrum, not to mention that you'd get TEN outputs, and FORTY voices. You do the math.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-29-2001 at 02:16
Cocomoj a professional user from The One and Only U.S.A writes:
So I find this deal on a Red Sound Darkstar on for $199.00, and get the vocoda upgrade for 39.99 more. I then proceed to try to play with the thing for a while and have one hell of a time trying to figure this thing out, then this great idea pops into my head to read the owners manual, which usually never happens, THEN -- I UNDERSTOOD!!!!! I have to hand it to the British fellows who came up with this thing, now I know why E-MU distributes for you guys in the States, because it fucking KICKS, okay!!! They state exactly what it is, and does everything they say and more. I've played a lot of analog modelers in my days, but fuckin' A, for $200.00 U.S., how can you complain about this thing. Thanks Red Sound !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-15-2001 at 22:56
Tim Baier a part-time user from Baltimore MD USA writes:
For the money, this is a great sounding synth but it takes a little getting used to the less than stellar interface to get it to behave as such.

First off, the factory patches are range from being really good to total crap, most of them falling in the semi-crap category. While I'm not one to judge a synth by its presets, its often a good way of quickly judging what the designers were thinking when they made it and perusing the capabilities of the machine. Unfortunately, I think some of these patches were made up by RedSound's deaf accountant.

On to the sound. Its got all the major stuff you'll find in much more expensive units. Plenty of routing versatility and good MIDI support, so you can do pretty much anything you dream up on it. Some people lament the fact that there are no onboard effects, but then again, a Minimoog doesn't have any and nobody complains about that! Anyway, I've never heard any onboard effects that were so thrilling that I couldn't get something better in a stomp box or rack unit. The filter sounds really cool and the joystick is a neat addition that has seen more use than I thought it would on my unit - it has the ability to take a sound you're working on and totally transform it (in a very good way). THe one downside I can think of is the versatility of the oscillators. They seem to hover around one realm of sounds. But that said, they do sound kind of individual to me, which is a good thing. In fact, I'd say that this is a synth that is cut out from many in the pack because it's strong suit isn't strict emulation of the "classics". I'm not saying its going to be a classic itself, but its got its own thing.

The "thinned up" interface gets plus points for its multiple use pots (depending on various "shift" button states) but minuses for the other functions packed away in the button bank at the bottom and the flip flopping LEDs. Actually, the more I use it and become accustomed to where everything is in those menus, its not as bad as it first seemed, but its not a synth I would venture into without the manual! But since so many features and switches are hidden a level or two deep, this isn't the greatest unit to just "twiddle around" on. (You know those times when your creativity is lacking so you just start turning knobs and looking for something new/cool.) For this reason, I think a lot of people might be initially turned off by the Darkstar and turned on by something like the Korg MS2000. As they say, the Korg "gives good demo", but really, the Darkstar has more features where it counts than the Korg. 8 polyphony/ 5 part multi-timbral as opposed to 4/4 (I think). To continue with that comparison, the Korg is an excellent unit for doing a 1 man, 1 synth ambient/house sort of thing very quickly and easily. But, while that might sound cool to you, you'll wind up sounding like everyone else. The Korg is a very smooth sounding synth (most of theirs in the past have been) and great for "spacey" stuff, while the Darkstar has a little bit more "balls". More growl. A little closer to older monophonics like the SCI Pro-One or Moog Rogue. In fact all of my favorite patches that I've made thusfar are either monophonic or duophonic. I hear that RedSound is planning another upgrade chip that will turn the Darkstar into some sort of "mega monosynth". As it is, I think its pretty decent so I'm dying to hear what this could possibly be!

In closing, I bought mine used with the Vocoda chip for $300 which is a ridiculous bargain for what you get. Its not the flashiest or easiest synth to use, but it can sound excellent with a little patience and knowledge. If you're a first timer, you might want to look elsewhere to learn synth basics. Apparently its about $399 new. There's nothing even close in that price range.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-21-2001 at 16:10
Johan Royen Larsson a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I'd been thinking about buying a Darkstar for quite some time before I finally went out and bought one (partially because it's cheap, I got mine for about $300). Now, of course it's not close to any of the big VA's, it's only got two waveforms, no FX, interface is annoying, only two OUTs etc, but it's still a lot of synth for the money. It does just about anything you like, I've made 303-ish bass sounds, digital sounding basses, fat trance leads, weird brass sounds, lush pads etc. And saying the Darkstar sounds weak is about as close to the truth as it is to say that an Andromeda A6 is cheap. I can generate bass-rumbles in a pair of crappy earphones with this. Anyway, I think you should try it out before you buy it, and get some outboard FX while you're at it...

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-15-2001 at 19:12
Andreas Nordenstam a part-time user from Norway writes:
This synth is a little dark beast. Unlike most other not-so-analogues it realy does the trick. Have you ever played with some real analogues? They mostly sound thin, booring og nothing like fat - until they are properly twisted and fucked with FX.

This synth fills the bill nicely, and as someone noted it got large amounts of charm and a sound of its own. While the TB have a tendency to make canine sounds this box is more feline. Lots of weird and involving sounds comes spurting out the loudspeakers, and especially worth to notice is the pitchmod'y and noisy sounds - think it's hard to beat them on other synths.

Hate the so called "analogues" with wavetables and cumbersome menus, but realy likes this little beauty! Pitty though that they didn't include the BPM-engine RedSound have been renowned for.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-05-2000 at 06:04
Nick Hladek a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Listen: just program this thing and start to play with it and you'll realize that it has an incredible amount of presence. I'm still fooling with it, but I'm already extremely impressed. It holds its own next to my JP-8000, and it really is a welcome addition to my family of real analogs (Juno-6, SCi SixTrack) and my digital beast, the SidStation. Plus it SOOOO cheap! I bought mine from NovaMusik, and you get the Darkstar and the Vocoda expansion chip for $379!!! That's amazing! I would say it's clearly one of the better pieces I have in my repertoire, if not for pure versatility alone.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-11-2000 at 14:23
Esotera a part-time user from USA writes:
This bit of kit has found it's place in my studio quite nicely. Is got killer bottom end and the filters sweep smoothly with no digital aliasing. The modulation routing possibilities are surprisingly comprehensive as well as the MIDI implementation. The controls are tight (feel good squishy knobz) and the overall ergonomics are well thought out. The OSC's sound fat and PWM tweaks are decent. Out of the box it it sounds a bit dry do to the factory pre's but tweak it a bit and hear it come alive. The overall sound of this unit tends to be on the aggressive side compared to say, the Nova. It's certainly not a mainstay syth but put it next to my E4XT Ultra and MPC and let the DrumZ and the Bass roll! Big Ups to Redsound!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-06-2000 at 13:42
Ellsworth Hall a professional user from USA writes:
I bought mine a few months ago and just got the 1.06 upgrade. I love it, it does a great deal if you are willing to dive into programming it. I like the multitimblral stacking ability. I've programmed some really nice leads and fat poly patches and even a decent acoustic guitar sound. I've used it live and even managed to get it on a soundtrack I did shortly after I bought it. Redsound has excellent customer support too and on top of that, this box looks cool, too! Its red and black look go with my red AX-1 which I use to control it. It's a treat to use it with my old real analog synth, a Korg Polysix.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-31-2000 at 13:40
Vincent van der Leun a hobbyist user from Hardinxveld-Giessendam, The Netherlands writes:
I got my DarkStar last Friday and I'm extremely happy with it.

I recommend this synth especially if you like me just owned a sample-playback synth (like my CS1x, which I still love by the way)... The sounds you can make with the DarkStar is simply amazing, especially if you compare prices of some competitors.

Now that I have played with it non-stop for 3 days, I think I can conclude that it was the synth I was looking for.

As I get more experience, I will post a real review.

It is a synth you really need to put some time in, that is one thing I know for sure at the moment... and that's a very good thing IMHO.

My first conclusion is simply that it's EXCELLENT for my purposes, so I will give it a 5 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-May-28-2000 at 16:37
konsu a professional user from usa writes:
true,it's no dream machine, but it does almost anything you want from an analouge emulator. i've had mine for months now. and i have noticed it's unique qualities, in particular its sizzling sort of 303ish sounds are like nothing else. this puppy realllly stands out from the rest of the em-boxes. and at $500? you can't go sound are on your team youngsters.....make music.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-04-2000 at 10:30
Jigga McNigga a hobbyist user writes:
Granted ... it's no Access Virus or Novation nova.. but it holds it's own against the JP 8080 and Nordlead... I think in terms of sounds it beats the An1x easily... and at the same price... I thinks it's neck to neck with the nord lead and competes well with the JP 8080... the thing is you have to dig into to it to program it can get some fat bass... great pads..lush stringas.. great all around.. the demos at the web site are terrible.. don't listen to them.. and the presets are shit as well.. for 500 get one.. worth at least 2 times the price....

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-03-2000 at 21:54

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