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Showing posts from May, 2013

Random Video: Eurorack Techno: Stress Testing Doepfer's A-132-4 VCA by Skrapadelix

I found this one on YouTube, a very nice subtle techno track by skrapadelix showing off his A-132-4 VCAs and more...

Video: Eurorack Techno: Stress Testing Doepfer's A-132-4 VCA

" I just got a new VCA (well 4 of them actually) in the shape of the Doepfer A-132-4.I'm really impressed with the size (6hp), value for money and the sound - snappy, loud and clean. Here's a test patch with bass, percussion, hats and stab each routed through a separate VCA - and no matter how hot the levels get, the A-132-4 takes it all like a champ.

Patch details:
Kick drum: Analogue Solutions DB99
Bass: Cyclebox II sequenced by A-149 into VCA channel 1
Percussion: Piston Honda sequenced from A-160/A-161/A-138c into VCA channel 2
hats: A-118 into VCA channel 3
Stab: Flame Talking Synth into Pittsburgh delay into A-124 Wasp filter into VCA channel 4
The whole mix routed through the TipTop Audio Z5000 cv'd by the A-143-1.
As usual everything done in the wooden box in realtime with …

Doepfer Gifts - Full Disclosure

Back in January i received an e-mail from Dieter Doepfer himself in reply to a few questions that i had in preparation for a new blogpost.
Doepfer customer service has always been good, and Dieter always tries to personally answer his emails the same day.  He is always willing to help me out with my retro-product-questions.
Besides the answers to my questions, he also had another nice announcement.

" Hello Pierre,
that's really a nice collection of our history products

When I have the time I could scan all the old documents I still have.
I think this will help you to continue the excellent work.
As you agreed that we link to your page I'm willing to offer some compensation for your job.
Publishing these details will also help us because sometimes customers ask for something like that.
Let me know if you are interested e.g. in a free A-100 module or similar."

Thank you, Dieter

...and last week, my package finally arrived. They sent me a beautiful black-and-white Doepfe…

Random Video: Like Forbidden Planet by Yoric Spick

I liked this new video on YouTube.
Sadly it hasn't got much info, but what I see is a nice Eurorack module, controlled by a wooden custom-made (DIY?) controller box with faders, buttons and a joystick.
The video is shot on a mobile phone in portrait-mode and the video isn't very sharp, but I like the sound-effects that are created...

Video: Like Forbidden Planet

" Jeu aux joysticks et faders inspiré par les techniques du GRM. "
" Play with joysticks and faders inspired by the techniques of GRM
Uploaded by yoric spick

BookTip: Vintage Guides from FutureMusic

I have been buying/collecting Future Music Magazine almost since the beginning, i believe it was in 1993 when i first discovered the magazine and bought issue #5 in a Dutch bookshop.
Back then it was a great magazine, i remember that it was around the top of the big retro-hype that was going on in the mid-nineties. One of the main advantages of that was that every month it was filled with lots of reviews of interesting hardware, in contrast to what i see lately whenever i pick one up in the local bookstore.
About half a year after I bought my first FM  issue I got myself a subscription, and I have enjoyed the magazine for almost a decade. I even had a year subscription to the Dutch version of the magazine.

Not only did the Future Music come with a free demo-CD with every issue, sometimes the came with other extras, like these two little books for example.

The '50 Great Second-Hand Buys' booklet (64 pages) came with the April issue of 1994 and featured descriptions and (basic)…

Most Wanted VII: A-1?? Speech Module

Time to get one of my earlier segments off the shelf.
Since i first started to write this blog, i have posted quite a few 'Most Wanted' posts about modules i would really like to see being made by Doepfer.
In some cases i even did some predictions and/or wild guesses which proved to be not that far from what has come out of the hands of Doepfer lately.
For example... Take a look for example at my blogpost from December 2010, and compare it with the details on Doepfer's forthcoming A-190-8 MIDI-to-Sync Interface module.
I really wish i could tell you more about this one too, but i can't... The A-1?? Speech Module was first mentioned in the 2008 A-100 brochure, as a 'synthetic human voice moduled controlled by CV/Gate or MIDI' 
I often wondered what this module would be like, and I have been waiting for more info about it ever since.
My hopes were that it would be a module with a SpeakJet chip inside, just like FLAME's Talking Synth, a module that has always …

Modular Checker by Ladik

Now here's an interesting looking Eurorack test-tool...

Ladik (from the Czech Republic) has now produced a nice device that you can plug into any mini-jack-socket to check if there is any voltage output (positive and negative)

They look quite robust and they are made out of a Quality REAN (Neutrik) connector and has a bright bi-colored LCD (positive = red, negative = green) that starts glowing if it registers a signal of approx 2 Volts.

He hasn't listed them on eBay yet, but expect to find these soon HERE

Video: "Checker" for modular Eurorack synth

"Is an signal in this hole?
3,5mm jack (Rean by Neutrik)
Just checks if in a madular jack is positive or negative voltage over 2 volts." Video uploaded by RuprechtM

Random Video: The Doepfer A-160 Clock Divider As Sequencer

I only recently found out that someone on MuffWiggler has created an impressive list with all kinds of Eurorack video tutorials.  This list is being updated regularly, because i also see some of my own recent videos in the Doepfer section of the list.
One of the more interesting videos i stumbled upon there was a year-old video by hiawogice from YouTube that shows the use of a Doepfer A-160 Clock Divider as a nifty little stand-alone sequencer module.
Module A-160 is a frequency divider for clock/trigger/gate signals, particularly for rhythm uses.
At the outputs, you have access to the sub-divided clock signals, from half the clock frequency down to 1/64.
The Clock Divider can be used in combination with the A-161 Clock Sequencer to produce stepped sequences with a length of from one to eight events. This video shows you can also have a lot of fun without the A-161 module...
Video: Doepfer a160 sequence
" demo of a fun, simple concept: clock divider as sequencer. sorry for camer…

Random Video: Emergence Sea by RockWoofStone

Video: Emergence Sea

" Listen on Soundcloud:
Main track elements:
Reverb: Doepfer A-199
Delay: Echophon, Pittsburgh Delay
Panning: VCAMatrix + Circuit Abbey Invys
Drums: Tip-Top modules + MFB SEQ-01
VCOs: Sychrodyne, Doepfer A-110, Dixie, Rubicon, E340
Arpeggios from the Doepfer Dark Energy (out of shot) using it's built in arpeggiator.
Sequenced bass-line: SympleSEQ Mk II (out of shot) (with a tip of the hat to a certain early 80s track ;-)
Transposition: manually controlled from Pressure Points
Envelopes & main modulation elements from PEG, Maths, Quadra, Doepfer Quad LFO.
Emphasis/modulation of bassline gesture controlled from Doepfer A-178 Theremin (out of shot)."
Uploaded by RockWoofstone

SiteTip: ModularGrid.Net

ModularGrid is a community driven database for modular synthesizers with an intuitive drag and drop rack planner.
Their extensive database supports all common modular formats like Eurorack, Buchla, Dotcom, 5U, Frac and Serge.

The ModularGrid has many features and here are just a few:
- Combined Planner and Module Database
- Unlimited Racks
- Works on iPad
- Rate your favorite modules and find the most popular modules based on user ratings
- Access your Modular Sketches from any computer
- Show off and link to your Modular Sketches from websites or forums

I did write about saving patches and modular planners in previous posts (find them HERE and HERE), and this is a nice alternative. Even if your module is not in their database, you can simply add them yourself. Sketch a Patch is a nifty paintbox feature inside ModularGrid.
With this feature you can draw cables on your screenshots and show the world your awesome patches.
It is also possible to share your whole rack with others on forums…

Ladik M-011 Modular Voltage-meter Module for Eurorack

Now that looks interesting;
If you (just like me) can't get enough of blinking lights in your modular, this might be something for you.

On eBay this Bipolar voltmeter module called Ladik M-011 popped up.
It's a very basic analog VU-meter for modular synthesizers with 3 switchable ranges (front panel switch): -2 to +2V, -4 to +4V, -8 to +8V, and a zero-point in the middle.

It has 4 LEDs/steps for positive and 4 LEDs/steps for negative voltage in the selected ranges and it seems very
handy for checking CV or audio output levels between modules.
There's also an LED for the centrepoint/zero input.

For example - slow LFO will light up alternating bar up and down (depends of waveshape),
symmetric VCO output will light symmetric bars (alternating so fast for eye) which appears like
continuous light in positive and negative range.
Not suitable for exact measuring of CV (tuning check or so). Step spacing is too big for this.
All three panel jacks are parallel (can be used as one…

Acid Reduction by PatchPierre

Video: Acid Reduction by PatchPierre

" PatchPierre live Acid Jam, unscripted and unrehearsed.
- equipment used:
Doepfer A-100 & MAQ16/3, Roland R-8 & TB-303, Elektron Machinedrum,
Captured Live on Ustream at "

Doepfer History: Doepfer MCV1 MIDI-to-CV Converter

In 1986 Doepfer introduced the first in a series of MIDI-to-CV interfaces, the MCV1.
The MCV1 was a monophonic MIDI-to-CV/GATE-Interface that could control other vintage analog synthesizers equipped with CV and Gate/Trigger inputs via MIDI.

MCV1 was equipped with MIDI in and Thru, one CV (control voltage) output to control the VCO's (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) and a Gate/Trigger output to control the Envelope Generators.
It was suitable for synthesizers using standardized V/Octave or Hz/V and gate voltages from +5V to +12V or switched trigger (S-Trig)

The factory setting and adjustment of the CV output was 1.00V/Octave. To change or re-adjust the scale you had to insert a small screw driver into the the hole labeled ADJUST/ or SCALE right of the CV jack and turn the potentiometer setting to the desired value.
The factory setting for the GATE output was +5V voltage gate, and if you wanted to change the setting you had to remove the cover plate.
On the PC board inside you could…

Doepfer A-124 Wasp Filter Tutorial Videos by Raul Pena

A brand new series of Raul Pena's excellent tutorial videos starts today.
This time all about the A-124 Wasp Filter, one of my favorites...

Video 1: Doepfer A124 Wasp Filter Basics

" A short description of the basic features and functions of the Doepfer A124 Wasp filter.Sound demonstrations begin in the following segments. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 2: Doepfer A124 Wasp Filter LP/BP/HP/Notch Demonstrations Part One

" A brief discussion of the sequencer setup for the demonstration. The Bandpass portion of this filter of the Doepfer A124 Wasp Filter is explored. Other filter types will be examined in the following segments. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 3: Doepfer A124 Wasp Filter LP/BP/HP/Notch Demonstrations Part Two
" A continuation of the exploration of the Doepfer A124 Wasp Filter. The Notch, Lowpass, and Highpass portions of the Doepfer A124 Wasp Filter are explored. In the next segment this filter is compared to the Doepfer A121 Mult…