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Red Sound Darkstar




redsound darkstar

infoCountry: UK
Weight: 2,5 Kg
Dimensions: 340 (w) x 230 (h) x 50 (d) mm
audio demo trend price : 150€
manual demo video comments

Red Sound Darkstar (1999)
8 voices polyphonic synthesizer


A Dj-oriental synth module made in UK based on virtual sound modeling.

logo dark star
lfo digital

info DESKTOP MODULE optional rackmount kit (5 units) model Rack-02.
The main panel features a segment display, a control joystick, 14 knobs, 8 pads and 19 buttons.

Rear panel terminal connectors are:
- RCA input for external signal processing
- Midi interface
- RCA stereo out.

ac Power supply
is a 9V external PSU +) 800 mA.

editTECH Main core based on H8/3002 family (16/32bits) + dedicated audio DSP ADSP-2185 - Analog Devices. Darkstar synthesis is based on V.A. physical modelling and generates 8 voices polyphony, internal DAC is based on Analog devices AD1881A.

Darkstar STRUCTURE 2 detunable oscillators per voice:
- OSC1: progressive from saw to square waveform with variable width.
- OSC2: is much more complex with same progressive OSC1 waveform plus pecial formant mode.
Oscillators can be ringmodulated in this way: OSC1 > OSC2
Also a noise generator with 3 colors pink/ white/ blue.

progressive waveform

demo Hear formant and sync

demo Hear rectangle width range

demo Hear OSC progressive waveshape

editPERFORMANCE the 8 voices polyphony can be assigned to 5 parts each with individual settings:

- keyboard zone assignment

- Midi channel

- panning stereo

- gain volume

- pitch transpose

- monophonic mode (8 glide modes)

- aftertouch to filter

- aftertouch to LFO

edit VECTOR the joystick can be used to control different parameters in real-time:


- vector mode mixes between volumes section
- filter cutoff and resonance amount
- ringmodulator ratio

demo ringmod


edit FILTER digital 2-poles resonant filter features 3 modes: lowpass, highpass and bandpass.
Special keyboard tracking at 25, 50, 100, 150% of cutoff compensation.

filter demo HEAR FILTER


edit ENVELOPE there are 2 EGs with quite free routing:

  EG1 EG2
OSC1-2 amplitude hardwired -
OSC1-2 pitch yes yes
OSC1-2 width yes yes
filter resonance yes yes


LFO up to 2 interchangeable delayed digital modulators (shapes: ramp, triangle, square, sine, pulse, sample-hold and random). Modulators can be retriggered at notes, synched to external Midi clock at various dividers from 1/8th beat to 4 bars.

LFO - OSC pulse width
- OSC amplitude
- OSC pitch
- stereo panning
- filter resonance


edit EXPANSION a special chip can be installed to add some vocoder functions, it is called the VOCODA - just plug into the dedicated hatch under the machine.

vocoda chip edit For some strange reason, the chip will not work on updated version Dark Star XP2.

edit MIDI all parameters are mapped to Midi CC# and the knobs transmit also this controller.



- 64 RAM slots.
Patches and performances can be only saved to Midi exclusive dump.

resound xp2 mainboard

Left - motherboard

- Click on pic to magnify -



edit EDITOR not much softwares has been released for this module but the "Dark Star Editor".

xp2 editor




darkstar XP2

XP2 updated version with different design and some new features.

Darkstar mk1 vs XP2 differences
Mk1 features RCA instead of Jack, no headphones, lacks the XP2 chorus and special SINEWAVE mode (for OSC2).

redsound elevata ELEVATA is another VA from REDSOUND VIDEO


demo PadLFO
demo Sequence 1
demo Sequence 2 (filter)
demo Sequence 3 (formant)
demo Sequence ALESTE MSX
demo Bass Vintage
demo Pad filtered
demo Robot PWM
demo Bass with LFO
demo Speedup 303esh
demo Bass quite normal
demo Detuned synched
demo Chill chords
demo Drone?
demo House organ
demo Sequence (another)
demo Weird prodigy
demo Weird resonance trick
demo Commercial mellow
demo raw oscillator
demo raw osc ringmodulation
demo raw osc lfo sync
demo raw osc part 2
demo bass droning
demo panning slicer
demo dog darkstar bark
demo pad raw
demo FX bubbling
demo FX ringme
demo FX: Horror panning
demo TEST: 3 noises OSC2
demo TEST: ringmod
demo TEST: rectangle width range
demo TEST: filter
demo TEST: LFO range on pitch + shapes
demo TEST: OSC progressive waveshape
demo TEST : formant and sync


Red Sound Dark Star - examples of sound "Dark Star" Demo (Custom patches) RedSound DarkStar RedSound DarkStar
examples of sound Custom patches demonstration

Company: Red Sound
Model: Darkstar
Class: Synth module
Dates: 1999
Synthesis: Virtual analog
Polyphony: 8 voices
Multitimbric: 5 parts
Oscillator: 2
Filter: BPF / HPF / LPF
Lfo: 2 modulators
Envelope: 2 EGS
Sync: Midi clock
Effect: none
Memory: 64 slots
CPU: H8/3002
DAC: AD1881A
Demo: 41



- Free sample set


reset procedure

Press and hold down the [PROGRAM]
button power on. The main display will show ‘SURE’ to prompt confirmation of the load. Press the
MENU [EDIT] button marked ‘VALUE +’’


darkstar brochure
edit original brochure


darkstar brochure
edit original brochure


darkstar cat
edit editoriginal brochure


Red Sound Darkstar FOR SALE
Red Sound Darkstar FOR SALE









parameters values red logo darkstar cat

poor interface


REVIEW "Interface is awkward and segment display does not help. No support. A lot of strange functions, but stll sounds like a plugin in a box . Anyway if you like it, the Xp2 is a better choice."

manual manual
-joystick mix - display/edit


"The Analogue Synthesiser, mainstay of Seventies' and Eighties' music, is back, reinvented in a new, more reliable
and flexible form". Redsound

"-- most reviled synth" manual

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