Monday, August 01, 2011

Doepfer Usergroup Poll: Analog Shift Register

Another new Poll at the  Doepfer A100 Modular System Users Group is up.
This time it is about the idea of realizing a Doepfer Analog Shift Register A-100 module.

A few days ago this was posted:
" ...It has been a while again, so I'll bring it up again. I believe it is time for a Doepfer analogue shift register... Does anyone agree with me?... " (*edited)

To be honest, i had never heard of an Analog (or digital) Shift Register, but a quick search on the web provided some hugely interesting information.
For the basic theory on what a Shift Register does i'd advice you to read the Wikipedia page first.

Shift register working principle  (Source)
For the musical use and a brief history on Analog Shift Register modules there is an excellent post at http://hardsync.blogspot.com, describing most of the known Shift Register modules.

" Ok, so what is an ASR? An ASR module is a sophisticated S&H. It will, at every clock pulse, sample the CV value of the input and makes it available at the first output. So far, it's a basic S&H. The thing is, a ASR has many outputs, and what it does is that at every clock pulse, it shifts the value of output 1 to output 2, and likewise, value of output 2 gets to output 3. So at every clock pulse, the CV values gets' shifted to the next output with the exception of output 1 that samples a new value at every clock. " *

Doepfer does call it's own multifunctional A-152 a "Voltage Addressed Track&Hold / Analog Shift Register (ASR)/ Octal Switch (Multiplexer) ",
but Hardsync writes " I own a Doepfer A-152, and my opinion is that the claimed ASR function of the A-152 will not get you the true ASR results you might expect. The A-152 is a switch. A very powerful and sophisticated one, but it will not push the value of one output into the next. Therefore, not a ASR as we defined."

Dieter Doepfer himself replied to the new poll very quickly;
" Though the A-152 is not a real ASR you can do similar things with this module. The most frequently mentioned application is to distribute a control voltage to the CV inputs of several VCOs.
At the rising edge of the clock signal of the incoming CV is sampled and routed to the next VCO. For this function an ASR is not essential as the VCOs are equivalent.
But there may be applications that require a "real" ASR (I'd be interested in applications where an ASR is required and that cannot be realized with the A-152).
In case that we will develop an ASR we'll go the digital way, i.e. ADC - processor - multiple DAC.
This has a lot of advantages, e.g. no voltage loss of the analog S&H capacitors, included quantizer for VCO pitch applications and some more.
But I'm not sure if the expected sales will justify the development of such a module (especially as we have already the A-152 available).

Update August 3 / Dieter continued;
" We already discussed the chance of multiple functions in the company.
One could treat the ASR as kind of a ring memory that could be "filled" in different ways. E.g. from a CV source via AD conversion (the usual ASR) but also via Midi or USB. The ring memory could be looped or not by means of a simple switch. 
One could combine the module with arpeggiator functions, e.g. fill the memory by playing a chord on a keyboard and then use only one of the CV outputs. 
One may also fill it with several analog CV's and the filling could be triggered by a gate signal (i.e. output of a sequencer or a CV/gate keyboard). That way one could combine several similar functions in one module. From my point of view this would make more sense than a pure ASR. 
One could combine the functions of an ASR, arpeggiator and and a rudimental digital sequencer. For ASR the number of steps could be limited e.g. to 3 or 4, for the arpeggiator and sequencer more steps make sense. A lot of ideas for the long evenings of the upcoming
fall and winter .... :-) "

Find the poll and vote HERE / Please join the Doepfer A100 Modular System Users Group by registering first.

The question in the poll is plain and simple;
Would you want and buy a Doepfer Analogue Shift Register module?
O - Yes!
O - Maybe...
O - No


* Source: http://hardsync.blogspot.com