Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More A-190-4 News

I contacted Dieter Doepfer about the A-190-4 USB/MIDI-to-CV/Gate/ Sync Interface that showed up at a modular synthesizer workshop in Munich earlier this month...
They showed a prototype of a module that wasn't announced yet, and i was glad Dieter had a bit more information.

A-190-4 prototype
He replied to me that the A-190-4 will replace the A-190-1 as the A-190-1 has been developed more than 15 years ago and is a bit old-fashioned and long-winded to operate.
Mainly the missing display has been complained by several customers (i.e. no display of the parameter like midi channel, reference note, scale settings, portamento and pitch-bend range, clock divider, status of the built-in (software) LFO and so on). 

The basic functions of the A-190-4 will be the same as the A-190-1 but the man-machine interface will be better because of the display that shows the parameter value. It will also be equipped with USB. 

The module is still in the prototype state and they expect that it will be available end of 2013 or early in 2014. 
Pricing was not yet available.

At this time Doepfer could not promise that an arpeggiator will be included. 
The programmer of the A-190-4 (Christian Assall) has to decide if this feature will be available (maybe in a future firmware version as the module can be updated via USB)

I guess it does have a little bit more processing power than the original A-190-1, because the 'promised' arpeggiator function on that module never got released.
Last year Dieter already explained to me that there were plans to add an arpeggiator when the A-190-1 was designed about 15 years ago. 
But they found out later that the processor power was not sufficient to add this feature...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Doepfer A-190-4 USB/Midi to CV/ Sync Interface Prototype Revealed at Workshop

A few weeks ago, on July 13, Dieter Doepfer personally appeared at a modular synthesizer workshop in a shop in Munich, Germany, together with a huge Monster Base rack filled with Doepfer modules and an LCB angled basic case with some of the newer modules like the earlier announced A-157 Trigger Sequencer subsystem and the A-190-5 Polyphonic MIDI-to-CV/Gate Interface.

The two-part workshop was very well attended: 50 synth freaks (newcomers and advanced users) followed Dieter Doepfer’s explanations and presentations with enthusiasm.
Although i wasn't there, it can see what an amazing event this must have been; the A-100 modular system explained by its inventor...

The new Doepfer A-190-5 (Polyphonic) and A-190-4  (Mono) MIDI-to-CV converters

A-190-4 prototype
Find the full report and many great pictures at http://greatsynthesizers.com/en/general-en/2013/07/dieter-doepfer-introduces-new-a-100-modules/

Besides all the new A-100 modules there was also a prototype of an A-190-4 USB/Midi to CV/ Sync Interface, that hasn't even been announced yet...
It looks a bit like any other basic Doepfer MIDI-CV converter (like the A-190-1 and A-190-3), but this one has a basic seven segment LED display for showing parameter settings.
I hope that this one does have a (basic arpeggiator function though...

I hope to get more info soon...

Picture by http://greatsynthesizers.com/en/
GreatSynthesizers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreatSynthesizers

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Random Video: Doepfer A-100 Minimalistic by SampleandHold

To fill up the empty space during my summer break I'd like to present this almost 3 year old video, created by sampleandhold.
It's quite a minimal track, but very laidback with interesting sounds... Enjoy!

Video: Random Video: Doepfer A-100 Minimalistic by SampleandHold

" A simple beat, two oscillators, a ring modulator and a Moog filter and you've got a complete minimalistic setup."
Video uploaded by sampleandhold

PS - I will return soon again with a regular schedule of at least 2 (original) blog-posts a week... or one blog-post every 3 days, thanks for your patience!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A-110 Tuning Knob Modification

Triggered by a photo by Scott Rogers that popped up on Flickr a few weeks ago, I decided to re-create the A-110 Oscillator modification that he made.
Scott simply added a resistor in parallel with R5 to increase the tune knob range to a bit more than an octave up and down.

Locating R5 on the A-110 VCO
On Scott's blog he writes:
" I’ve already made my first modification to my Doepfer A-110 Oscillators.
For some reason they have set the Tune knob range to only a single tone up or down. 
One thing I do a lot is offset the oscillators by a fifth so this wasn't going to do!

So I contacted Doepfer and they told me (more or less) what to do.
So what I did was this: located resister R5 on the circuit board and added a second resister in parallel with it to reduce it’s value.

Locating R5 on the A-110 VCO
on the other side
I added a 100K resister and this now gives me a range of an octave and a third up and a bit more than an octave down. 
So now it’s a bit more difficult to fine tune, but now I have a huge tuning range that lets me do a lot more! "

The modification is also described in the A-110 service manual on the Doepfer website:
" From the factory the range is about 2 semitones to enable a fine tuning of the VCO.
If you are a bit familiar with soldering you may modify the A-110: shorten R9 (this increase the range about by a factor 3) or reduce the value of R5 (1M).
You may solder e.g. a second resistor in parallel to the existing R5 (1M). The smaller the value of the resistor the higher the range."

A 100K, 5% resistor in paralel with R5
Re-creating this modification was not difficult, after locating the R5 resistor, soldering the 100K, 5% resistor in parallel to it was a piece of cake.

I don't have any test-equipment, but after listening to the result, it changed the range of the tune knob on my A-110 from around 3 or 4 semitones up/down to a little bit over 1 octave /around 15 semitones, so the results seem to vary a little bit per A-110... which probably has to do with different internal potmeter settings on the PCB.

Thanks to Nicholas Keller for additional support, info and links!

The mods described on this site will most likely void any warranty and, if not done carefully, can damage the circuit board, IC chips, and faceplates.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Random Video: Dubish Modular Jam by Therudyrude

I found this on YouTube, with a rather self-explaining title... enjoy!

Video: Dubish Modular Jam by Therudyrude

" Slow groove using my MFB SEQ02 , Doepfer Sequencer(A-154,155) Vulcan Modulator with Intellijel Mind Meld,Phonogene and DOepfer sampler , Pressure points + brains , Bit Crusher and various delays(Ecophon ,SOT,BBD 512 Doepfer,ST delay resampling)etc.." 

Uploaded by therudyrude

Monday, July 01, 2013

Capacitive Paint Controller by Jimmy Hughes

From Jimmy Hughes' website:

" I have been playing with Bare Conductive paint since it came out a little more than a year ago.
It’s great stuff – a heavy acrylic paint that can be used as a resistor, touch sensor, paintable wire – and I keep coming up with new uses for it. 
 This idea stemmed from wanting to utilize my modular synth in more of an installation setting than a performance music setting.

I think of this as a sort of “sonic self-portrait.” 
 Two 10″x 10″ canvasses painted yellow with my hand prints painted in conductive paint. 
 A small piece of copper tape is attached to the back of each canvas and connected to Arduino. 
Code on the Arduino turns the canvases into capacitive sensors and sends two channels of 0-5V PWM voltage out through RC filters into the modular synthesizer. In short: touch the painting, send modulations to the synthesizer."

" Patch description:
Left-hand CV to: 
MATHS Ch 1 Signal In
Ch 1 set to Log, Rise and Fall at ~1 o’clock
MATHS Ch 1 CV to Optomix Ch 1 control in (Hertz Donut audio), Wogglebug Heart in
MATHS Ch 2 Signal In
Sum out to A-132-3 (Wogglebug FM’d Dixie audio), OR out to Echophon Depth
Right-hand CV to:
Piston Honda CV in
Piston Honda Hither/Yon CV ins
A-119 Asymetrical Input
Take gate out to MATHS Ch 4 Trig input
MATHS Ch 4 set to Lin, Rise CCW, Fall at ~12 o’clock
MATHS Ch 4 to Optomix Ch 2 strike in (Piston Honda audio), HD modulation index, EOC to Wogglebug clock in
Wogglebug clock out to Echophon Tempo in
Single Audio output from Echophon → TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb "

More info at: http://www.jimmymhughes.com/capacitive-paint-controller/
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/soundelectronics