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Dato | DUO


ng the Dato DUO in December 2015 and have been user-testing and improving it ever since. 

The Dato DUO is designed to have fun making music, together! While one player plays a melody on the sequencer side, the other creates its sound and adds percussion on the synthesizer side. By carefully controlling the possible parameters, we designed the DUO so you can’t do anything wrong. The result may be as clean or noisy as you want it to be, but it’ll never be out of tune. If you want to know how it sounds watch our video again – we recorded the soundtrack directly from the output of one Dato DUO.


This is the circular sequencer. It loops the last eight notes that you play. There are further buttons and knobs to change the melody on the fly. You can turn notes on and off, speed up the sequence, play notes at random or change the pitch. 

You play notes into the sequencer using the pentatonic keyboard. Using a pentatonic scale is like only using the black keys on a piano. This makes any combination of notes you play sound in harmony with each other, making it a lot easier for non-musicians to compose catchy tunes. 


This is the synthesizer. We've put the things we like most about other synthesizers into it. Two large sliders control the two digital oscillators and the filter-cutoff frequency, with basic envelope controls to shape the sound. We've added two touch pads – one for percussive bursts of noise and the other for an aggressive bit crusher effect.

What else can you do with the DUO?

The DUO has no screens and menus, so it’s impossible to get lost in settings or presets. What you see is what you get. That doesn’t mean you can’t make serious music with it though. The Duo has plenty of power and potential for musicians, and it feels right at home with most other music gear. You can hook it up to external effects like guitar pedals. We’ve also added a sync input and output, so the DUO plays very well with gear like the Korg Volca or Pocket Operators. Full-size MIDI ports are included as well.

The synthesizer generates sound digitally and has a nice gritty 12-bit sound. We're using Paul Stoffregen's awesome Audio Library for Teensy as the basis for our synthesizer. The DUO's firmware will be released under an open source license.
Engine TypeDigital
Voices (max)1
Engine Detailed2 osc Pulse Variable, Saw Up
Filter (VCF)1 24dB Slope (4-pole), Low Pass, Resonance
Envelope (VCA)DR
Sequencer8-step circular sequencer
Key typeButtons
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


If you like to discuss or talk about synths in all forms (including VST and modular), you are welcome to join the Facebook group "The Hard, The Soft and The Modular".

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