Sunday, September 29, 2013

Doepfer History: MCV8 8-Voice MIDI to CV Interface

In the mid 80s Doepfer released the MCV8, an 8-Voice MIDI to CV Interface.
The MCV8 was/is a simple MIDI-to-CV converter, featuring MIDI in/THRU plus 8 CV and 8 Gate outputs on the backside.
On the front side it had a two-digit LED plus 8 buttons.

MCV8 V2 frontside
A preliminary version of the MCV8 (very different from the final version) was available around 1985/86.
It was very primitive and had only one mode: 8-voice polyphonic.
The only controls were a learn button and a LED (to learn the Midi channel and the reference note for 0V CV). The unit had no storage and the Midi channel and reference note was lost after power off.
Only very few units were manufactured (as far as Dieter remembers less than 10). 

MCV8 V2 backside
A few years later a totally revised version of the MCV8 was available (both kit and ready made). 
The kit was about Euro 150 without case and about Euro 180 with case. 
The ready built unit with case was about Euro 280. It had a 2-digit LED display and 8 buttons with associated LEDs and was available without or with case (a ugly black plastic box, not yet 19"). 
The CV and gate outputs were available as a sub-d socket (no jack sockets) and one had to solder a special cable that converted the sub-d e.g. to 1/4" jack plugs. 

It had already different modes (8 voice polyphonic, 2 x 4 voice, 4 x 2 voice, additional controller outputs and so on) but it had no memories.

Around 1990 version 3 of the MCV8 was released.
It was available as a 19" unit with 16 1/4" jack sockets at the rear panel for 8xCV and 8xGate.
The unit had a non-volatile memory for several user presets.

Doepfer MCV8 19-inch rack with Version 3.1 Manual
The buttons could be used to setup different parameters like Legato On/Off, Gate Polarity, Pitch Bend On/Off (only in V/Oct. mode), Type of CV Characteristic (V/Oct. or Hz/V), MIDI Note Reference for 0V CV in V/Oct. mode and Pitch Bend Travel of CV (only in V/Oct. mode)

The MCV8 Version 3 Offered 6 standard modes/configurations:

Poly 8 (P8): 8-Voice polyphonic
All 8 CV outputs are pitch outputs (controlled by MIDI note on/off) on the same MIDI channel
Poly 4 (P4): 4-Voice polyphonic
The CV outputs 1-4 are pitch outputs (controlled by MIDI note on/off) on the same MIDI channel.
The CV outputs 5-8 are the corresponding velocity outputs (controlled by the velocity values of the note on/off events)
Poly 2 (P2): 2-Voice polyphonic
The CV outputs 1 and 2 are pitch outputs on the same MIDI channel, 3 and 4 are the corresponding velocity outputs, CV5 is the (monophonic) after touch output and CV 6...8 are controller outputs.
Single 8 (S8): 8-Voice monophonic
Each CV output is a pitch output on a different MIDI channel.
Single 4 (S4): 4-Voice monophonic
The CV outputs 1-4 are pitch outputs on 4 different MIDI channels.
The CV outputs 5-8 are the corresponding velocity outputs.
Single 2 (S2): 2-Voice monophonic
The CV outputs 1 and 2 are pitch outputs on two different MIDI channels.
CV 3 and 4 are the corresponding velocity,
5 and 6 the after touch, 7 and 8 controller outputs.

Besides the User Presets it had a memory for 6 user definable presets, what made this a very versatile MIDI-CV converter for its time
The CV-range could be configured to do the usual 1V/Oct (standard) or the Korg/Yamaha type Hz/V,
and the Gate output could be configured to do +5V / +7.5V and/or the Moog type S-Trigger by switching internal jumpers.

The price for the ready built unit was about 380 Euros, the kit was about 275 Euros.
There were some differences in the Version3 firmware features but details are unclear.

Doepfer MCV8 Version 3 Backside
Doepfer still has a text file of the manual on their website, you can find it HERE but a nicer  PDF of the manual can be found via the Cykong site.

It is difficult to say how many were sold as Doepfer only have records from since 1990. 
From 1990-1995 about 300 were sold, but they have no quantities before 1990. 
Dieter expects around 400-500 units were sold altogether.

...and there's one MCV8 (V2 - including a breakout box) for sale in the Netherlands now at, where i got those pictures from.

Special thanks to Dieter Doepfer for all additional info.

More pictures of the MCV8 can be found on my PatchPierre Facebook page
Find out more about Doepfer History products HERE

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Documentary Film about Konfirm, a Research Project by Jon Adams

On the 14th of June this year, artist Jon Adams presented 'Konfirm', an interesting (and live-streamed) performance/talk from his residency at the Autism Research Centre.
Konfirm was his first artistic output for the ARC, and was a sound work prompted by systematic processes which were presented in audio and visual metaphor.
Watch the whole project with sound and visuals at

Today a short documentary was released with the artist at work explaining the project and his thought process.
It also features Jon's modular synth setup, on which he created his musical sculptures and soundscapes...

Video: Konfirm, Jon Adams residency, Autism Research Centre

" Documentary film about Konfirm, a research project by artist Jon Adams.

Adams' artwork explores sense and sensitivity through the 'hidden' and plays with perceptions of normal and the inaccessible. A geologist by training, Adams' seeking of the concealed in his art often reveals his naturally systematic thinking: his inclination and ability to uncover systems within everyday interactions and landscapes.

In this residency and research project, Jon Adams sets out on a personal, artistic and scientific investigation of his own Asperger's Syndrome, through a series of conversations, observations and experiments, working in collaboration with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Rather than a specific pathology, Baron-Cohen sees autism as being on a continuum in the general population. He proposes that certain features of autistic people - 'obsessions' and repetitive behaviour - previously regarded as purposeless, are conversely highly purposive, intelligent (hyper-systemising), and a sign of a different way of thinking. He argues that high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome need not just lead to disability, but can also lead to talent.

Read Jon Adams' residency blog here

This collaborative research project has emerged from an initial meeting between Jon Adams and Simon Baron-Cohen at an Arts Catalyst/Shape project Alternative Ways of Thinking: Exploring the Autistic Mind at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2011."

Listen to the sound works from fMRI noise at

Jon Adams on Twitter : @Soundcube
Konfirm project documentary contribution by @sbaroncohen
Videos and viuals by Lucas Holzhauer: @vindoism

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Doepfer A-199 Spring Reverb Mounting in a G6 Case by Zoë Blade

In her latest YouTube upload Zoë Blade shows how you can mount the A-199 Spring Reverb tank inside an A-100 case, using the air vents and some cable ties.

Video: Doepfer A-199 spring reverb mounting in a G6 case

" Just a shabby little video I've had sitting around here for a year. I'm uploading it on the offchance it's useful to anyone else. This is how my spring reverb is mounted, and it sounds pretty hum-free to me. Sorry about the low quality of the video!
And yes, you can still fit other modules in front of it, so it's pretty neat and tidy. "
Uploaded by Zoe Blade

Friday, September 20, 2013

Paper Circuit Controlling a Doepfer A-152 Sequencer by Frederic Gerchambeau

Frederic Gerchambeau uploads interesting analog/modular videos to his GruithuisenCityMan YouTube account very frequently.
This time he hasn't uploaded a musical piece, but just an interesting demo of an idea.
In the video he shows how a paper circuit, a simple sheet of paper with an unknown conductive/capacitive substance, can be integrated into a modular system.
Sadly Frederic's videos don't often come with a lot of information...

Video: Paper Circuit Controlling a Doepfer A-152 Sequencer

" Paper circuit controlling a Doepfer A-152 sequencer, details below:
Hello ! My name is Frederic Gerchambeau. I have made this movie and this music. The music has been made using a Doepfer analog modular system including an A-152. Enjoy !
I am a (proud !) member of the french association PWM (Patch Work Music) : "
Uploaded by GruithuisenCityMan

The idea is not new, but i haven't seen the use of it in combination with the A-152 Voltage Addressed Track&Hold / Analog Shift Register.
Earlier this year I posted about another project using a capacitive paint, you can find that HERE.
I assume the same Bare Conductive paint is used here, but i'm not sure...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Doepfer A-143-9 Voltage Controlled Quad LFO/VCO Video Tutorials by Raul Pena

Raul Pena is already going into his third year of tutorial-making and today was the kickoff off a brand new Doepfer tutorial series.
Today he started a series on the Doepfer A-143-9 Voltage Controlled Quadrature LFO/VCO.

Video 1: Doepfer A-143-9 Quadrature LFO Basics

"A brief overview of the features and function of the Doepfer A143-9 Quadrature LFO. Sound and Video by Raul Pena. "

Video 2: Doepfer A143-9 Quadrature LFO Audio Demonstration Part One

" A brief audio demonstration of the Doepfer A143-9 Quadrature LFO. Sine outputs at different phase settings are compared. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 3: Doepfer A143-9 Quadrature LFO Audio demonstration Part Two

"The second of two audio demonstrations using the Doepfer A143-9 Quadrature LFO. In this segment we use the 4 outputs of the A143-9 to modulate the 4 inputs of the Doepfer A135-1 Quad VCA,VC mixer. Includes a short demo of how to use an offset to slow the A143-9 rate is shown. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

New videos in this series will be added to this post weekly on Thursdays.

Raul also created a couple of surveys to help improve his videos,
please help him out by answering a few questions:

Raul's World of Synths Modular Videos
Modular Wild Video Series

Find all Raul's tutorial videos on PatchPierre HERE

Find Raul Pena at and on Twitter or YouTube

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Modular Wild Presents Profile: WMD Gamma Wave Source Demos by Raul Pena

Raul Pena found out last weekend that the WMD Devices Gamma Wave Source was discontinued.
He had been holding onto the tutorial videos that he made for this a while trying to work them into the current Modular Wild season, but since its discontinued Raul figured... why not release them all.

So here they are; 3 new Raul Pena videos at once... enjoy!

Video 1: Modular Wild Presents PROFILE-WMD Gamma Wave Source

" A brief description of the features of the WMD Gamma Wave Source dual digital wavetable VCO. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 2: Modular Wild Presents PROFILE-WMD Gamma Wave Source-Wavetables

" A short look at the WMD Gamma Wave Source. Exploring the wavetables of the Dual digital Wavetable VCO and cv control. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 3: Modular Wild Presents PROFILE-WMD Gamma Wave Source-Effects

" A brief look at the different effects available in the WMD Gamma Wave Source. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Raul also created a couple of surveys to help improve his videos,
please help him out by answering a few questions:

Raul's World of Synths Modular Videos
Modular Wild Video Series

Find all Raul's tutorial videos on PatchPierre HERE

Find Raul Pena at and on Twitter or YouTube

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dieter Doepfer reacts to I Dream Of Wires: Hardcore Edition Comments

Dieter Doepfer recently replied in the Yahoo Doepfer A-100 Usergroup on comments to his appearance in the I Dream Of Wires: Hardcore Edition documentary that was released last month.

Many members of the group congratulated and thanked him after seeing and hearing him about the early beginnings of the Eurorack standard in the IDOW Documentary
A few people even compared his work to that of Bob Moog and Don Buchla,
but as always, Dieter stayed humble:

I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition
"...I would really not place me on the same level with Bob Moog or Don Buchla.
The start of the A-100 was more a "copy job" than a new technology.
The first modules were nothing but copies of the (Doepfer) MS-404 sub-circuits and the MS-404 had its roots in the famous Moog transistor ladder filter and a common VCO circuit.

I think my main idea was to make an analog modular system affordable and to use a mechanical format (now called Eurorack) and a bus concept that was not too expensive (ribbon cables instead of fixed PCB dimensions as used in the industry standard).
This mechanical format was already an industry standard at this time in Germany.

But I really never imagined that such a huge range of A-100 compatible modules would be ever on the market (Andreas Schneider of Schneiders Laden in Berlin mentioned recently that in the meantime more than 50 manufacturers and more than 800 modules are on the market and that they have a bit lost the track)."

Personally i think Dieter underestimates what he has already done for the Eurorack community.
Doepfer was the first brand that brought affordable analog synthesis within everyone's reach and inspired a whole generation of new Eurorack manufacturers.

What is not mentioned in the IDOW Documentary is that he used this synthesizer-format for the first time on the Doepfer Sound Sampler in 1984, read all about that HERE

I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition DVD, Blu-Ray and accessories are now available to order at:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Doepfer A-124 WASP Filter Simple Sweeps Demo by MylarMelodies

MylarMelodies (formerly known as Cymatic and MusikMesse 2012-picture-provider for PatchPierre.Net) has uploaded a nice video showing off his Doepfer A-124 WASP filter.
It's one of my favorite filters, so it's not really a surprise he likes it too...

Video: Doepfer A-124 Wasp Filter Simple Sweeps Demo.

"Being a video that shows the Doepfer Wasp Filter's character off on some simple square waves. Modular signal is processed with a tiny touch of UAD EMT-140 Plate Reverb to take the edge of its dryness. " 

Check out the rest of his music at and his blog at

Also check out the easy modifications for A-124 self-oscillation HERE and HERE

I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition Re-Release Imminent

Last month i had the opportunity to watch the brilliant "I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition" documentary for the first time, and i think i have already watched it 3 or 4 times now...

"I Dream of Wires" is a crowdfunded independent documentary film about the resurgence of the modular synthesizer and is written and directed by Robert Fantinatto with Jason Amm (Ghostly International recording artist Solvent) serving as producer and co-writer.
The 'Hardcore Edition', a four-hour long 2-DVD-set, was released last month and distributed amongst the crowd-funders and pre-orderers all over the world.
Last weekend the producers announced their decision to put this brilliant Blu-Ray or DVD-set up for sale for everyone, after an overwhelming demand.
- Read their Facebook announcement at

(-sale started September 16 via

Video: "I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition" 2013 official trailer

" "I Dream Of Wires (Hardcore Edition)" 2013 official trailer.
"I Dream of Wires" (IDOW) is an upcoming, independent documentary film about the phenomenal resurgence of the modular synthesizer - exploring the passions, obsessions and dreams of people who have dedicated part of their lives to this esoteric electronic music machine. Written and directed by Robert Fantinatto, with Jason Amm (Ghostly International recording artist Solvent) serving as producer and co-writer, IDOW is set to receive it's festival premiere, May 2013.

"Themogene (I Dream Of Wires theme)", from the forthcoming IDOW original soundtrack album by Solvent, is available to listen/download in its entirety via Ghostly International on Soundcloud:
Additional music/sounds featured in this trailer: Container, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Richard Devine, John Elliott (Spectrum Spools/ex-Emeralds), Gert Jalass (Moon Modular), Richard Lainhart, Solvent, Jon Sonnenberg (Travelogue), Keith Fullerton Whitman.

"Who said that?" (in order of appearance): Brad Garton, Dean Batute, Maggie Payne, Bernie Krause, William Maginnis, Terry Pender, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Benge (John Foxx and the Maths), Vince Clarke (Erasure), Daniel Miller (Mute Records), David Kronemeyer, Jon Sonnenberg (Travelogue), Carl Craig, James Holden, Richard Devine, Luke Abbott, Tony Rolando (Make Noise), Flood, Trent Reznor (NiN/How To Destroy Angels), Dieter Doepfer, Dominic Butler (Factory Floor), Paul Schreiber (Synthesis Technology/MOTM), David Kronemeyer, Eric Barbour (Metasonix), George Mattson, William Mathewson (WMD), Tony Rolando, Eric Barbour, Daniel Miller, Drew Neumann, John Elliott (Spectrum Spools/ex-Emeralds), Andreas Schneider (SchneidersBuero), Eric Barbour, Scott Jaeger (The Harvestman), Andreas Schneider, Dieter Doepfer, Chris Carter (X-TG/Chris & Cosey), Charlie Clouser, Danjel Van Tijn (Intellijel), John Tejada, Drumcell, Legowelt, Alessandro Cortini (SONOIO/ex-NiN), John Foxx, Deadmau5, James Husted (Synthwerks), Paul Barker (Malekko/ex-Ministry), Container, Cevin Key (Skinny Puppy), Robert A.A. Lowe, Trent Reznor, Gur Milstein (TipTop Audio), Gary Numan."

Keep an eye on their website next week and get yourself a copy:
(-sale started September 16 via
* They also have some batteryACID IDOW-Edition Distortion/Compression modules left too, so they will be available to order as well.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Random Video: 3 maq 16/3 by Von Haulshoven

This popped up on YouTube today; a nice and long synthesizer jam uploaded by Egbert Hulshof in the style of the early Tangerine Dream/ Klaus Schulze tracks.
It features 3 Doepfer MAQ16/3 sequencers, a Moog Little Phatty, and a mix of other analog and digital equipment.

Video: 3 maq 16/3

"3 maq 16/3 improvisation by von haulshoven"
Uploaded by Egbert Hulshof

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Raul's World of Synths 2 Year Anniversary Video

To celebrate 2 years of creating tutorial videos Raul Pena uploaded another bonus video to share the latest updates with you and to thank his supporters...
Thank you for mentioning me Raul, and thank you back for your support and those fascinating video tutorials. 
Keep on patching!

Video: Rauls World of Synths 2 year anniversary

" A short video discussing Raul's World of Synths two year Anniversary! Pretty exciting.
Sound and video by Raul Pena."

Raul also created a couple of surveys to help improve his videos,
please help him out by answering a few questions:

Raul's World of Synths Modular Videos
Modular Wild Video Series

Find all Raul's tutorial videos on PatchPierre HERE
Find Raul Pena at and on Twitter or YouTube

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random Video: Modular 0001 by Unun Septium

I'm glad that more and more people upload their Eurorack videos to YouTube.
This next one (and his first modular video) is made by Unun Septium (from Ununseptium Warehouse), and it shows a quite interesting 17½ minute long live patching experience with pretty basic modules...
Find more info about this patch HERE

Video: Modular 0001 by Unun Septium

" Never did get around to posting a modular video, so here goes.
Knob twiddling tedium for none anoraks. 
This is pretty basic stuff, just an attempt to make some rhythmic noise using only the Doepfer with no external triggers."
Uploaded by Unun Septium

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Outtakes/Bloopers from Raul's World of Synths

Raul Pena uploaded an extra bonus-video for the fans.
It shows some funny bloopers from his recent Doepfer tutorial video series, when things don't go as planned...

Video: Outtakes/Bloopers from Raul's World of Synths

" Sometimes things don't go as planned. Tripping on cables,dropping things, not patching correctly, forgetting the point I was trying to make, or just getting tongue tied. All in good fun. Outtakes from Doepfer A149-1 series, A155 series, A156 series,A124 Wasp filter, A172 Max/Min, A196 PLL"

Find all Raul's tutorial videos on PatchPierre HERE
Find Raul Pena at and on Twitter or YouTube

Saturday, September 07, 2013

RIP Dick Raaijmakers

I was quite shocked when I heard the news today about the passing of Dutch electronic music and tape music pioneer Dick Raaijmakers.
He died on September 4 at the age of 83.
Besides for helping popularizing electronic music globally in the sixties, he was also known as a composer, theater maker and music theorist.
He did groundbreaking work at the Dutch NatLab studios, and will also be remembered as the man who declined Stanley Kubrick's request to make the Clockwork Orange soundtrack... (oops)

I decided to pick this next video for my blog, because i haven't seen many people linking to it.
The video shows Dick Raaijmaker as the tape music teacher and theorist the way i remember him the most, in his own somewhat excentic and interesting way.
Although the whole interview is in Dutch, it has very adequate English subtitles (by Wiel Seuskens)

Video: Het kleinste geluid (deel 1)- The smallest sound (part 1)

Video: Het kleinste geluid (deel 2)- The smallest sound (part 2)
" Dick Raaijmakers in VPRO's Atlantis 1988 about his electronic composition Five Canons (1964-1967).In dutch.
The music is available on a 3 cd-box with a 120 page guidebook on Basta Records.
More Dick Raaijmakers on"

Videos uploaded by by Wiel Seuskens

Find more about Dick Raaijmakers music (and work) on PatchPierre HERE
and please take the time to watch his 25-minute long live performance of the music-piece 'Intona' on YouTube
Dick Raaijmakers also appeared in the Dutch documentary Room 306

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Modular Analog Music and Tutorial Videos by @Flixxx

Felix from Germany (@Flixxx) has uploaded several highly interesting tutorial-videos last week, showing the more interesting/alternative/creative ways of using Eurorack modules.
They are not all about Doepfer, but he shows modules of all kinds of Eurorack brands and he does some nice and clear narration with it.
He even plans to do more of those quick looks in the future, so keep an eye on his YouTube channel.

Video 1: Doepfer A-160 Clock Divider as Sub-OSC/Frequency Divider (Eurorack Modular Synth Demo)

" A short video, showing the Doepfer A-160 Clock Divider Eurorack module being used as a frequency divider/square wave sub oscillator. This works by feeding the trigger input a VCO signal (either a square wave or saw wave) and using the division outputs (/2 /4 /8 etc.) as square wave VCO outputs. If you have any further questions, please post them below :) Thanks for watching!"

Video 2: Intellijel uVCF as Saw Wave VCO (Eurorack/Doepfer Modular Synth Demo)

" Another Modular Synthesizer video! This time I'm talking about how to use the Intellijel uVCF multimode filter module as a sine, saw and spike/rectified wave VCO. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below :) Thanks for watching!"

There's more...
Check out the full Music and Tutorials playlist on his YouTube Channel
Get his music at Bandcamp and/or follow him on Twitter: