Friday, January 10, 2020

Doepfer Announcements for NAMM2020

Great news, Doepfer will be at NAMM 2020 again from January 16-19, 2020 at booth # 10302 of their international distributor Alex4. \

Among the brand new A-111-6 mini synth module they will show the prototypes of some planned new modules:

Joystick module A-174-4 outputs three control voltages generated by a spring-loaded X/Y cross potentiometer (so-called joy stick) and a Gate signal. 
The control voltages for X and Y are controlled by the X and Y position of the joystick in the usual way. The third control voltage Z is controlled by the rotation of the spring-loaded joystick knob. 
The offset voltages which are added to the inverting outputs can be adjusted by means of three small potentiometers. That way different kinds of control voltage ranges are possible. 
On top of this the four quadrant voltages Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 are available. A quadrant voltage becomes positive when the joystick is positioned in the quadrant in question. Each CV output is equipped with an LED that displays the present voltage

Module A-130-8 contains eight linear voltage controlled amplifiers (VCAs). Each VCA features a control voltage input, a signal input and a signal output. In addition three mixers are included for the sum of the output signal 1-4, 5-8 and 1-8.  

Typical applications • any kind of VCA application (e.g. voltage controlled attenuation of audio or control voltage signals) • two voltage controlled mixers with four channels each • voltage controlled stereo mixer with four channels each, for this the control voltage inputs have to be correspondingly patched or internally normalled: CV1=CV5 /CV 2=CV6 / CV3=CV7 / CV4=CV8 • voltage controlled mixer with eight channels • add-on for the planned Joystick module A-174-4

A-133-2 Dual VC VCA/Polarizer/Inverter/Ring Modulator is the slim version of the A-133 but has some additional features and improvements available compared to the A-133.
Module A-133-2 can be used for many applications: e.g. VCA, VC polarizer/attuverter, VC inverter or ring modulator. The module contains special VCAs that allow both positive and negative amplification. 

The overall amplification is defined by the sum of the voltage generated by the Man control, the external control voltage CV and the position of the CV control which works as an attenuator for the external control voltage. 
By means of the external control voltage CV the manually adjusted amplification can be modulated. CV can be both positive or negative to obtain positive or negative amplification values. 
In addition the CV signal can be modulated via the modulation control input Mod by means of another control voltage. '

The current amplification is displayed by a dual color LED Application examples: • voltage controlled amplifier (VCA) • voltage controlled inverter • voltage controlled polarizer/attuverter • DC coupled ring modulator with offset feature, the "classical" ring modulator corresponds to Man=0 and symmetrical audio signals for In and CV • additional effects by means of the modulation feature of the CV signal (using the Mod input)

Module A-183-4 is a fourfold level shifter.
A level shifter is required if the level of a digital control signal has to be increased or decreased. A typical application is the conversion of a gate, trigger or clock signal with +5V voltage level to +12 level.
The output level can be set by means of a jumper to +12V or +5V. The four output signals are displayed by means of LEDs. The outputs and inputs are normalled: the output signal of the upper unit is used as input signal of the unit below provided that no patch cable is inserted into the input socket of the lower unit. That way the module can be used also as clock/trigger/gate buffer or buffered multiple for digital signals. For this the signal that has to be buffered is connected to input 1. The buffered (and possible level shifted) signal appears then at all four outputs. Input voltages below +0,8 V are treated as "low", voltages above +3 V as "high"

Typical applications • Converting the levels of digital control signals (e.g. gate, trigger, clock) to another voltage level (+12V or +5V) • buffering and duplicating digital control signals (e.g. gate, trigger, clock)
It is not yet certain if the module will be manufactured in the 2 HP or 4 HP version (probably 2 HP).
Release dates: spring 2020 (without obligation)

Source:, and their NAMM brochure (PDF)

Friday, May 03, 2019

Doepfer Superbooth 2019 Slim Line Announcements

This year Superbooth takes place again in Berlin from May 9-11th.
As promised in a recent interview with Dieter Doepfer, the company will be focussing on the public demand for smaller modules this year.
Especially the live Eurorack performers would love to see these new modules, which are basically smaller versions and re-designs of Doepfer's 'greatest hits'.

The first batch of Slim Line modules will include:
A-111-6, a miniature Synth Voice, quite similar to the A-111-5 and Dark Energy in just a 10 HP wide panel, and the following 4HP wide modules;

A-118-2 Noise Generator/Random/Sample and Hold module
A-121-3 12dB Multimode filter (a la A-121-2 but with smaller knobs))
A-130-2 Dual Liniar VCA
A-138i Interrupting mixer, a four channel mixer with an additional mute switch for each input
A-138n Nano Mixer, a simple four channel mixer, which can be used with either control voltages or audio signals.
A-145-4 Quad LFOs can be treated as a slimmed version of the quad LFO A-143-3 as it has similar features available
and the A-182-2 Quad Switch, a passive module that contains four changeover switches.

More details at
or check the Superbooth PDF

Friday, April 19, 2019

The History and Future of Eurorack Modular Synths with Doepfer by @DivKid and @Flixxx

Early contributors to this blog DivKid and Felix from the Tuesday Night Machine finally had the time to have a talk with Dieter Doepfer at a  recent Thomann event... 

" A rare moment of free time and having great people in the right place at the right time here's an interview with Felix of Tuesday Night Machines talking to Dieter Doepfer, THE CREATOR OF EURORACK at the Thomann Synth Reactor #TSR19 event. 

Felix and I wanted to chat to Doepfer about both his history (the history or Eurorack), his current polyphonic modules, future module sand ideas and a quick look at what the future of the Eurorack might be. 
We also talk about the Elektor Formant DIY synth, the new Frequency Shifter module coming later this year, CV controlled LED lighting, Dieter was also the EU distributor for Doug Curtis' Curtis chips/components, Raul's World of Synths, favourite Doepfer modules and plenty more. "

Check these people out - 
Subscribe for more DivKid videos: 
Be awesome! Support DivKid on Patreon - 

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Doepfer Polyphonic Modules - a conversation with Dieter Doepfer #TSR19 by MoltenMusicTech

Robin Vincent of MoltenModular had the opportunity to sit down with Dieter Doepfer, the inventor of the Eurorack format, and chat about modular with a specific focus on his new polyphonic range of modules. 

" Thomann took a bunch of YouTubers to their shop and told us to go play and make videos. 
So we did. 
This is straight to camera, one take, off-the-cuff, honest and fabulous. 
Thanks to Thomann for the opportunity and thanks to Moog for the loan of the ONE (that I then had to give back). 
Search for #TSR19 for more fantastic videos from fabulous synthesizer YouTubers. "

Molten Modular - 
Molten Music Tech on YouTube (subscribe!) 

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Doepfer - Kraftwerk Connection

German Krautrock legends Kraftwerk and Dieter Doepfer have worked together for a long time.
As the only one in its industry Dieter Doepfer even may use their name for advertising purposes.

Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk) and Dieter
Dieter: One day i got a call from a Mr. Schneider who wanted to know if we could rebuild a special keyboard into a MIDI keyboard.
The caller was Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk. Schneider experimented much with speech synthesis, and had found a keyboard that was triggering speech sounds (phonemes) in place of letters.

Doepfer's miniature MMK2 keyboard for Kraftwerk
After the modification by Doepfer, Schneider was able to send signals to a sampler in which the sounds were stored.
In the end, the Kraftwerk operator could connect the phonemes with a sequencer into sentences.
Until it worked, Schneider had come several times to Munich, where they got to know eachother better.
Around that time, Dieter installed a MIDI-retrofit on their old EMS vocoder.
Also in the construction of the MAQ 16/3 analog sequencer with MIDI output, the company worked with the musicians.
Florian Schneider was apparently quite involved with the development of the 16/3, being regularly sent updates to the operating system and giving his comments in return.

Dieter: "Since then, we are allowed to use the name Kraftwerk to the device. But we do not want to overdo things"
In 1996 Florian Schneider also wrote a review for a German music magazine 'Keys' about one of the Doepfer company's newest items, the A-100 vocoder module and even contributed a short demonstration of the units capabilities on the free CD that accompanied the magazine.

During 2001-2002 Morgan Karlsson asked Dieter Doepfer about his collaboration with KRAFTWERK:

" Our collaboration with Kraftwerk started many years ago as we made some special designs for them (e.g. the miniature keyboards they use on stage for Taschenrechner/Pocket Calculator and a special phonetic keyboard for voice synthesis).

"Designed in cooperation with the
German Band KRAFTWERK"
The first unit we built in cooperation with Florian Schneider was the MAQ16/3. We built some prototypes and Florian tested them and told us what we would improve and which features are not required.
So we went many times to the KlingKlang studio in Dusseldorf until the final version of the MAQ was complete.

A similar cooperation - but not as close as with MAQ - was made for the SCHALTWERK.
(Kraftwerk also used/tested with a Doepfer MOGLI on stage around that time *PP)

Rumors are that the Doepfer logo was (partly) inspired
 by this 1983 Kraftwerk album font

The next cooperation was the A-100 vocoder.
We tested all of the vocoders of Florian (and that's a lot) and compared them to our A-100 vocoder prototypes (the first versions with different filter designs in quantity and filter response types, e.g. 10 band passes, 8 band passes and high/low pass, 13 band passes and the final version with 13 band passes and high/low pass).
And so we found a very good compromise between price and sound.
Even the very high priced vocoders sounded not significant better than the final A-129.

We learned a lot about vocoders e.g. that a treble boost of the incoming speech signal is very
important for a good vocoder effect (is now included in the A-129-5).
All high priced vocoders imply such a treble boost but the customers is not aware of this detail as there is sometimes no remark in the user manuals.
We experimented together with Florian with a 32 band graphic equalizer to find the best treble boost for good speech recognition and implemented it into the A-129-5."
Morgan Karlsson
Doepfer Keys interview (by the same Florian Schneider)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Video: The Secret Doepfer Files

I recently found these 2 older videos with Dieter Doepfer from video collective "Open Video Medien Labor", an open non commercial platform for video art.
As far as I know it is an open project - step by step - which could possibly finish with a Doepfer movie.
I like the way it is filmed anyway... but i have the feeling that it might become a looooong project.
I contacted the makers and hope to follow-up this blogpost with more info.

#07 Interview with HANS ZIMMER - A private conversation with Hans Zimmer and Dieter Döpfer
The Secret Doepfer Files from Open Video Medien Labor on Vimeo.
Hans Zimmer: "The reason why I like 'playing music' is because the word 'play' is there."

#08 Backstage Talk with JEAN MICHEL JARRE - after his concert at Philharmonie, Gasteig Culture Centrum in Munich 22.03.2008"
The Secret Doepfer Files 08 - Dieter and Jean Michel Jarre from Open Video Medien Labor on Vimeo.
Dieter Doepfer: "All the bread-and-butter analogue modules are done... most what can be done with analogue circuits is (already) available"

Monday, January 07, 2019

Dieter Doepfer Live at SchneidersLaden/ Berlin

    Dieter baked cookies (yes), gave a modular beginner workshop, did a presentation of his latest products and performed an interesting liveset. 
You can see the  A-197-3 VCO controlled RGB LED prototype in this video too (the dynamic LED control start about at 6:40)

Schneidersladen uploaded four videos of the evening - all worth checking out!