Sunday, April 29, 2012

Raul Pena's A-149 Random Controlled Voltages Tutorials

Raul Pena is back once again with some very interesting tutorials on the Doepfer A-149 RCV module.

Video 1: Doepfer A149-1 RCV Quantized Random Voltages

" Description and Demonstration of the Doepfer A149-1 RCV Quantized Random Voltages.Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 2: Doepfer A 149 RCV Stored Random Voltages

" Part Two in the Doepfer A149-1 RCV Series.Exploration and Demonstration of the Stored Random Voltages section of the Doepfer A149-1 RCV. Sound and Description by Raul Pena."

Video 3: Doepfer A 149 RCV Modulation of Quantized and Stored Random Voltages

" Part three in the Doepfer A149-1 RCV series. Explanation and Demonstration of Modulation in the Quantized and Stored Random voltages sections."

As soon as more episode appear online i will add them to this blogpost
Don't forget to check out Raul's site at

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dieter Doepfer Interview From Totally Wired

I know, this next one is not new, but interesting enough to re-post here on my blog.
It's an interview with Dieter Doepfer, from 'Totally Wired' a documentary film by Niamh Guckian about Andreas Schneider's infamous 'Schneider's Buero', the boutique electronic musical instrument shop in Berlin.

The documentary was made in 2009 and "explores one man's electric evangelism, and the interface he has built to connect analogue instrument inventors with their end-users.", according to the maker.
" The film features an informed selection of inventors and artists alike, including Dieter Doepfer, Junior Boys, Ken MacBeth, Anthony Rother, Jessica Rylan, Daniel Miller, Wowa Cwejman, Per Salzwedel, Ricardo Villalobos, Magda, Marc Houle and many more."

Video: Doepfer Sneak Peek

Doepfer Sneak Peek from Niamh Guckian on Vimeo.
" An interview with the great man himself, taken from the documentary 'Totally Wired'. Dieter talks about the inspiration for the A100 series, his collaborations with Kraftwerk, and the future of modular. Unmissable!
'Totally Wired' is available on DVD from "

Please visit the blog for more
Watch the trailer HERE

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bus Board Connections

I wrote about the busboard access that several A-100 modules have earlier in this blog.
All modules that can read and/or write to the A-100's internal busboard are mentioned in THIS post.

I did forget to mention a few things in my earlier post, and thanks to the Yahoo Doepfer Usergroup i stumbled upon the A-100BC (CV/Gate bus connection cable) that can be used if the CV and/or gate signals of two bus boards have to be connected internally.

For this the CV or gate corresponding connection jumper in the middle of the bus board is removed and replaced by the connector of the (20 cm. long) A-100BC cable. 
It is possible to connect the CV and gate lines of two bus boards independently (i.e. only CV or only gate or both). 
The cable is made of two wires with suitable connectors on each side. 
Usually one wire is used for CV, the other for gate, but the wires can be ripped up and used separately. 

Dieter himself did a great post in the Doepfer Usergroup that nicely explained how the internal busboard connections work:

" The main function of the bus is the power supply of the A-100 modules (-12V, GND, +12V and additional +5V for a few modules) - In addition a CV and Gate line are available
- Some modules can pick-up the CV signal (e.g. A-110, A-111-1, A-111-5, A-143-4) from the bus depending on the jumper setting on the module (full list HERE /PP)
- Some modules can pick-up the gate CV signal (e.g. A-140) from the bus depending on the jumper setting on the module (full list HERE /PP), but most of the A-100 modules have no access to the CV or Gate signal of the bus

- Other modules may work as transmitter for the CV signal to the bus (e.g. A-190-x, A-185-x) depending on the jumper setting on the module (full list HERE /PP)

- Other modules may work as transmitter for the gate signal to the bus (e.g. A-190-x, A-185-1, A-164-1) depending on the jumper setting on the module (full list HERE /PP)
A-100 BC cable

- Pay attention that only ONE transmitter for CV and ONE transmitter for gate are allowed (otherwise modules may be damaged)

- Using the internal CV and Gate lines of the bus is optional (one may also patch the required connections via the sockets at the front panels), but using the internal CV and Gate lines may simplify the patching at the front panels (e.g. if several VCOs have to be controlled by the same CV, in this case the A-185-2 is recommended as CV transmitter to the bus, the A-185-2 allows also common octave switching and common frequency modulation of all VCOs as well as CV summing, e.g. from a sequencer and CV keyboard or Midi-to-CV interface)

- Both the CV and the Gate line can be interrupted in the middle of the bus board to establish two different CV/Gate areas.
For this the corresponding jumper in the middle of the bus board has to be removed.

- A special CV/Gate bus connection cable A-100BC is available.
This cable can be used to connect the CV and/or Gate lines of two different bus boards.
To connect the two boards the same pin headers of the two bus boards may be used that also interrupt the CV and/or Gate lines, but it is also possible to connect the corresponding pins (Gate and/or CV) of other unused bus connectors (i.e. one of the 14 16 pin connectors) "

Source: Yahoo Doepfer A-100 Usergroup

Monday, April 16, 2012

Video: I Ran Out Of Cables

Hawklord2112's modular rack
A new video by 'friend of the blog' Hawklord2112 popped up on YouTube today.

An exciting abstract track , made with his big modular that  mainly consists of Doepfer modules.
He was also kind enough to send me an overview of his setup...
Click on the picture on the right to take a look.

It all sounds and looks very impressive!

Setup overview made with

Video: I Ran Out Of Cables
" - zen modular again, nearly both kinds!
unfortunately you can't see the fourth row of modules.
the only ones *not* used in this patch are my TheAbsent feedback loop, A114 Ring Modulator and A164.1 manual gate.
and even then only because i ran out of cables.
- more should be arriving shortly."

Don't forget to follow him on Twitter and/or subscribe to his YouTube channel

Friday, April 13, 2012

Video: Ribbon in Minor Key

Here's a video that i recorded last week, mainly to demonstrate the A-198 Ribbon controller in combination with the A-156 Quantizer.
A great combo IMO, but i already wrote about that earlier.

As usual a slightly unprepared and unedited jam, featuring my trusty Elektron Machinedrum, the TB-303 and a A-100 / MAQ16/3 combo.
It starts with the drums and a simple 303-line, an even simpler bassline drops in a bit later (A-120 filter) that gets modulated by an envelope with a slow attack halfway into the track.

The solo sound (played on the Ribbon Controller) is a saw wave that goes through my favorite A-127 filter.
Ribbon pressure is sent to the filter cut-off.
I added a second layer around the 4:00 point, a pulse wave through the WASP filter and through the Wave Multiplier, but you can hardly hear it...

Playing the ribbon is a piece of cake this way, i can even play this tune with my theremin modules, i might do a video from that too...
The A-156 was set to Minor Chord with an added 7th. favorite scale i guess.
That might make it sound a bit depressive, but i kinda liked it that way.
It did represent a mood that i was in, enjoy!

Video: Ribbon in Minor Key

" NetPierre Live, unedited as usual. Totally unprepared and perhaps slightly boring minijam with my Doepfer A-100 system and it's A-198 Ribbon Controller in a simple minor key.
Quantising is done by the A-156
Drums provided by an Elektron Machinedrum "

Find more of my own videos at

Monday, April 09, 2012

Doepfer MSY-1

MIDI-to-SYNC interface MSY1 
In 1994 Doepfer released a MIDI-to-SYNC interface called MSY1
The MSY1 was an interface that could convert MIDI realtime events CLOCK, START and STOP into the corresponding signals CLOCK and START/STOP of the SYNC standard.

The MSY1 was a nice little grey box, with only a few connections (MIDI in-Thru, SYNC out, Clock Out and Start/Stop out) and it had two LEDs that lit up when active.
It did not have a built-in power supply or an on/off switch, instead it used a simple plug-in type external power supply.

The SYNC standard (or DIN sync or sync24) was used in vintage drum computers or sequencers such as the Roland TR808 rhythm composer and the Roland TB303 bass line.

SYNC-START/STOP is a signal that indicates on the 2 possible states: START = +5V, STOP = 0V. MSY1 enables the 1:1 conversion of MIDI CLOCK to SYNC CLOCK i.e. 1 MIDI clock triggers 1 SYNC clock pulse, as well as the reduction of the tempo by dividing the incoming MIDI clock frequency by an integer factor.

SYNC-CLOCK is a periodic TTL signal (0/+5V) representing the tempo.
Inside the MSY-1 you find a 8 pole DIP switch or 8 jumpers depending upon to the type of MSY1.
With jumper 1-7 the dividing factor can be set to any value between 1 and 128.
1 corresponds to the 1:1 conversion, 128 is the maximum of frequency reduction, i.e. after 128 MIDI clocks 1 SYNC clock appears.
The last one of the 8 switches/jumpers changes the clock polarity.

The SYNC standard uses the same type of 5 pole 180ø DIN connectors as MIDI. 
But the standards do not fit as other pins are used and the signals are completely different!
So you always have to distinguish between the MIDI and SYNC connectors. 
Using a suitable cable (e.g. 5 pin DIN plug -> two 1/4" mono jack plugs) the CLOCK and/or START/STOP outputs of the MSY1 can also be used to control arpeggio, gate, trigger or other +5V/TTL controlled events of analog synthesizers via MIDI.

Find the MSY-1 manual HERE (txt)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Quotes XII : Bob Moog

" The synthesizer was always a source of new sounds that musicians could use to expand the range of possibilities. "

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Doepfer A-110-2 Low-Cost VCO Announced

A-110-2 Basic VCO
Always nice, those unexpected new module announcements.

Doepfer announced the A-110-2 on their site recently, a low cost VCO, similar to A-110, but sawtooth, triangle and rectangle with PWM only.
The module will have a 3-position octave switch (instead of the rotary switch of A-110), Soft and Hard Sync inputs, linear FM input.
This should all fit on a 8 HP front panel, the 'original' A-110 is 10 HP wide.

The module is planned for fall 2014 and will be priced at around Euro 110.00
(The A-110 costs 140 Euro's)

Power consumption:
- 150 mA +12V
- 150 mA -12V

- 50 mm Depth

Update Oktober 13, 2014: 
Dieter Doepfer in the A-100 Usergroup 
"...the A-110-2 is planned still for this year.
I hope the first units will be available end of November. 
The pcbs are already made. 
We are waiting only for the front panels."

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Quick Tip XII : Multifunctional 2HP Blindplate

Picture via @cymatics
 "...don't stir your teas and coffees with cheap, thin-feeling plastic swizzle sticks, for a truly analog stirring experience, impart the rich, metallic notes of a Doepfer 2hp blanking panel to your brew..."

Instead of using those cheap throw-away plastic coffee (or tea) swizzle sticks you can also use a simple 2HP blind-plate to stir your favorite drink of course...

It is a relatively environmental-friendly option too, because you can use it over and over again...
Just a quick wipe and it is clean again and ready for re-use.

Happy April 1st!