Saturday, August 31, 2013

Future Sound Systems AJAK 2 Bipolar LED Voltage Indicator

Although i am on a very tight budget lately (I still haven't got the funds to fix my mixing desk), I did have a tiny amount left on my PayPal account to treat myself on a new little gadget.

Today I received my package from Future Sound Systems, a small independent musical device manufacturer based in both Gloucestershire and Surrey, England.
FSS builds modular synthesizer components and accessories, predominantly for Eurorack format.
I blogged about their APOW +5Volts module a week ago, you can find it HERE.

Future Sound Systems AJAK2 Voltage Indicator
The AJAK2 is a simple device that you can plug into any mini-jack-socket to check if there is any voltage output (positive and negative)
Basically it is a 3.5mm jack plug connected to bipolar LED, where the Blue LED indicates positive voltage, and the Red LED indicates negative voltage.
It is also available in a Red/Yellow version as AJAK1

It's a fun little thing, especially if you like blinking lights on your Eurorack... like i do :-)

The indicator is (almost?) identical to the LADIK Modular Checker that i blogged about earlier this year, I assume that this one also starts glowing if it registers a signal of approx 2 Volts, but i have no equipment to check this...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Modular Synthesizer: Cross Modulation & Feedback Patch Doepfer A-100 by Inbetweenmovements

This popped up on YouTube yesterday...
A somewhat weird-sounding demonstration of cross modulation and feedback, but still interesting enough to post here...

Video: Modular Synthesizer: Cross Modulation & Feedback Patch Doepfer A-100

" Thought it would be nice to share with you this patch!"
Uploaded by inbetweenmovements

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Future Sound Systems APOW3 +5Volts Adapter

Via MATRIXSYNT i recently discovered Future Sound Systems, a (small?) company in the UK that produces neat Eurorack modules and utilities.

Future Sound Systems APOW3
Besides a few interesting modules that they mention on their site, they also make and sell their own +5Volts adapter for use with Eurorack-modules that need the extra 5 Volts like the Doepfer A-190-1, the Doepfer A-113 Subharmonics Generator and various modules from other brands like for example the Mutable Instruments Braids Macro Oscillator that is shown in this next video.

The FSS APOW3 is basically a 10-pin to 16-pin Eurorack adapter with some electronics on it.
They are compatible with all types of Doepfer-style modules and provide a 100mA +5V supply.
The video below shows how it works and how to install it.

Video: Future Sound Systems FSS APOW3 demonstration

How to use the FSS APOW3 to power Eurorack synthesizer modules which require a +5V supply, without having a +5V rail from your system's power supply.

It looks like a pretty good alternative to Doepfer's own AD5 low cost adapter module, but the cost of this APOW3 is even lower... 
...and also a lot easier to install as the huge old Doepfer A-100NT5 5 Volt power supply which was 'suitable for qualified personnel only because of electrical safety'. (Doepfer doesn't sell these adapters anymore.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Random Video: Creepy (Black) Space Cat

Okay, i seem to have missed 'Black Cat Appreceation Day' (August 17th / info), but to make up for it i'll share this video by Quantegy with you that features a black cat, and that i discovered on Catsynth... who found it at Matrixsynth...
A nice spooky/spacey track that contains a lot of Eurorack.

Video: Creepy Space Cat 
"Discovered something new tonite."
Uploaded and created by kj6bbs
Quantegy on Twitter

Black Cat Appreciation Day August 17th 2013:
" Did you know that Black cats in the USA are often put to sleep and the least adoptable, they are put to sleep at a rate of nearly five times over all other fur colors.
An online event to help change the myths and that bad luck thing that keeps them from being adopted and are put to sleep in shelters today in alarming numbers. Please Help Us Support The Black Cat by showing your love"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Random Video: (Modular Exercise) Ecstasy of Gold by MrLouk4

Video: (Modular Exercise) Ecstasy of Gold

" Just messing around with my modular! Everything in real time. No computers.
Just an Exercise... Full song coming soon
Che il Maestro mi perdoni!!!!

For modular synth geeks:
Sequences from Makenoise Pressure Points and Renè
Osc: Livewire AFG (x2), Intellijel Rubicon, Harvestman Hertz Donut, Doepfer Dark Energy, WMD GWS
Drums: TipTop 808
Distortion and overdrive: WMD Geiger Counter, Metasonix R-51
Bass: Moog Minitaur
TipTop Trigger Riot triggering EVERYTHING! :-)"

Uploaded by MrLouk4

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Random Video: LFO+A-160+A-161+A-138b+monotribe=FUN by Matthias Semmler

This short video popped up on YouTube recently and looks and sounds quite interesting.
It shows a simple patch playing a short sequence featuring an MFB LFO, an A-160/161, an A-138b CV-mixer and a Korg Monotribe.
A bit of flavor is added with the Korg MS20 Mini through a Harvestman English Tear CV-Converter.

Video: LFO+A-160+A-161+A-138b+monotribe=FUN

" Modular Synthesizer on the Installment Plan. The best method to get a great synthesizer, IMHO. Ask if you want to know more."

Uploaded by Matthias Semmler / Ribosom3000

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Doepfer A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/MIDI-to-CV/Gate Interface Preliminary Info

Planned to be released in the fall of 2013*,  so more and more details keep popping up on the internet about the A-190-5 four voice Polyphonic Midi to CV/Gate interface.
The prototype of this module already been displayed at MusikMesse 2013 and at Dieter´s latest workshop in Munich, Germany last month.

The first design of the
A-190-5 (then A-190-3)
To keep the price low, the first design of the A-190-5 was based on Doepfer's  MTV16 Midi-to-Voltage Interface with 16 Analog Voltage Outputs ( an OEM/DIY product that is still available)
The 16 outputs of the MTV16 were buffered and connected to 16 jack sockets.
Additional controls (momentary button, LED, rotary switch) had been added compared to the MTV16.
Early last year Doepfer gave up the idea to built the A-190-5 on base of the MTV16.

The new A-190-5 is now a completely redesigned version that contains an LC display (similar to the A-187-1), some control buttons, a USB interface and higher resolution DACs with higher voltage range (probably 12 bit and 0...+10V).
It will have 12 CV and 4 Gate outputs, different modes (e.g. unisono, four-fold monophonic or polyphonic, and different four voice polyphonic modes)

For each voice a pitch control voltage (CV1, 1V/octave standard to control VCOs), a gate output (to control envelope generators) and two additional control voltages (CV2, CV3) are available. The two additional CV outputs can be controlled by Midi velocity, volume, modulation, pitch bend, after touch or free assignable Midi controllers.

Doepfer A-190-5 Final Prototype
The basic modes can selected by means of a momentary switch (probably Mode or Algor.) and is shown in the LC display.
Certain parameters of each mode can be edited (e.g. the midi channel(s), the midi reference note for 0V CV, assigned controllers for CV2 and CV3).
For this the momentary switch Edit/Play is used.
The parameter values (e.g. midi channels) are shown in the display and can be modified by means of the momentary switches 1...4.
In Play mode the LEDs of these four switches display the gate states.

The range of the CV outputs (CV1...CV3) is 0...+10V (i.e. 10 octaves for CV1). The resolution is 12 bit.
The gate voltages are 0/+5V (maybe even adjustable to 0...+10V for non A-100 applications).

The first version of the module will be available around fall 2013 at the price of approximately Euro 300.00* and will include the most important assign algorithms.
Updates and bug fixes can be installed by the customer via the USB interface.

Update September 1:
Dieter Doepfer: " The A-190-5 is still under development. The hardware (pc boards, frontpanel) is ready made but the firmware is not yet ready. But I hope we will release the A-190-5 still this year."

*Price and release date are still without obligation !

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Drone Patch (Modular Synesthesis Tutorial in 2 Parts) by 4LUNDIN

This interesting set of 2 videos was uploaded to YouTube a few months ago but did not catch my attention until now.
The first part explains how the drone sound in the is made, the second one is just the patch...

Video: Drone patch (modular synesthesis tutorial, pt. 1/2, the Patch)

" Demonstrating a quick drone patch. I'm sick, so don't expect anything very pedagogical. Those into modular synthesis would get a clue anyway. Perhaps I was a bit more absentminded than usual. Please note the weird English accent!
After this video was shot, I recorded a track using the patch of this video, that you may hear what it sounds like in high quality. See pt. 2/2"

Video 2: Drone patch (modular synesthesis tutorial, pt. 2/2, the music)

" The music of this video is recorded using the patch drawn up in the video "Drone patch (modular synesthesis tutorial) (pt. 1, the patch)" ( )
As for the video to the music of this one. Well, it doesn't suit the soundscape at all, but you gotta nuke something. Ignore it and listen!
All sounds comes from the modular. No multitracking. Additional fx from the Octatrack and mx200 (two of them). Mixed in Cubase. That's it, فقط. "

Uploaded by 4LUNDIN

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Doepfer A-172 Min/Max Tutorial Videos by Raul Pena

A new month, a brand new tutorial series by Raul Pena.
Today he started a new series on the Doepfer A-172 Maximum Minimum Selector. Enjoy!

Video 1: Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum Basics

" A brief overview of the basic features of the Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum Selector. Short examples of Basic Processing with Sine Waves. Sound and Video by Raul Pena.©2013"

Video 2: Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum Selector-Low Frequency Signal Processing

" A look at processing low frequency signals with the Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum Selector. Different combinations of waveforms and oscilloscope views are featured.
Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 3: Doepfer A172 Maximum Minimum Selector-Audio Rate Signal Processing
" A brief look at the Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum selector for processing audio rate signals.Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 4: Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum-Subaudio and Audio Rate processing Part One

" A brief look at processing mixed signals with Subaudio and Audio Rate signals into the Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum selector. Part one of two. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 5: Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum-Subaudio and Audio Rate processing Part Two

" A brief look at processing mixed signals with Subaudio and Audio Rate signals into the Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum selector. Part two of two. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 6: Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum Selector-Max/Min vs. Ring Modulation

" A short comparison between the effects of the Maximum/Minimum Selector when compared to the Doepfer A114 Ring Modulation module.
Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 7: Doepfer A172 Maximum/Minimum Selector-Fine Tuning CV processing with Max/Min

" The final installment in the Doepfer A172 series. A brief demonstration of how you can utilize Offset to achieve better results with the Maximum/Minimum Selector. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Check out Raul's latest survey at
Other places to find Raul's World of Synths on the Web: