Thursday, November 20, 2014

Transistor Sounds Labs Stepper Acid Digitally Controlled Step Sequencer

Like most of you, i have been following this next project for a long time... but it's finally out now and the first ones have been shipped.

The Transistor Sounds Labs Stepper Acid is a 16-step Eurorack sequencer module designed by Nina Richards & Zoë Blade with live performance in mind.
The Stepper Acid was born out of our need for a modern step-sequencer.
The dual micro-controller design ensures tight timing: one runs the sequencer, the other the front panel interface.

It looks and sounds very impressive, and very easy to program... especially compared to a 303 ;-) ...

Transistor Sounds Labs Stepper Acid Digitally Controlled Step Sequencer
Features:
-16-step sequencer
- With adjustable pattern length
- Adjustable analogue slide
- Song mode for pattern chaining
- Stores up to 40 patterns
- Detach mode for playing one pattern while entering another
- 0-5V range CV (5 octaves)
- Gate and accent output
- 5V or 12V selectable
- Variable swing function
- Dual microcontroller design
- Adjustable clock sync input and output
- Includes: 24PPQN (Sync24), 48PPQN, 96PPQN and 4PPQN (one note per pulse)
- Assembled in the UK
- Dimensions
- Width: 32HP Eurorack module
- Depth (excluding faceplate): 31.5mm

Video 1: Stepper Acid Guide

"A guide to the various features of Stepper Acid."

Video 2: Stepper Acid Extended Demo

"We were making some demos of Stepper Acid's features, and Nina got carried away making a track. Enjoy!"

All info at http://www.transistorsoundslabs.com/stepper-acid/
and on MuffWiggler: http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=118964&highlight=stepper+acid

Stepper Acid is available for £295.00
For more information e-mail info@transistorsoundslabs.com

Latest Updates on Twitter: @TSLNow

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Doepfer A-147-2 Voltage Controlled Delayed LFO Announced

Doepfer recently announced the A-147-2, the successor of the VCLFO A-147.
This module but offers more features than the predecessor and is made of the following sub-units:

VCLFO: voltage controlled low frequency oscillator
VCA: voltage controlled amplifier, switchable to voltage controlled polarizer
VC delay unit: voltage controlled linear attack envelope (only one parameter: attack) for delayed LFO operation in combination with the VCA (e.g. delayed vibrato/tremolo)

"LFO: The voltage controlled LFO has the waveforms Triangle, Sine, Sawtooth and Rectangle available and features a Reset/Sync input. Triangle/Sine and Rectangle are displayed by means of dual-color LEDs (probably red/green), Sawtooth has a unicolor LED available (probably blue). 
The output levels are about -4V...+4V for Triangle, Sine and Rectangle. 
The Sawtooth level is about 0...+8V.
The CV control can be switched to attenuator or polarizer ("CV Mode" switch). 
In polarizer mode the CV inputs affects the frequency in the reverse manner when the CV control is left from the center position. In the center position CV has no effect and right from the center the control works like a normal attenuator. 
The frequency range (without external CV) is from about 0,005 Hz (i.e. about 3 minutes per periode) to 200 Hz. In addition a ultra-low mode can be activated by means of an internal jumper. 
When the ultra-low jumper is set a fixed voltage is connected to the switching contact of the "LFO CV" socket. In polarizer mode of the CV control that way extremely low frequencies (up to one hour period and more) are possible.

VCA: This is a linear VCA that can be switched to "normal" VCA (i.e. kind of a voltage controlled attenuator) or voltage controlled polarizer ("VCA Mode" switch). 
In the "normal" VCA mode amplification +1 is achieved with about +5V control voltage. 
In polarizer mode the amplification ranges from about -0.5 (i.e. inverted signal with about 50% level) with 0V CV to +0.5 (i.e. non-inverted signal with about 50% level) with +5V CV. With about +2.5V CV the signal is suppressed.
Details about the functioning of a voltage controlled polarizer can be found in the description of the module A-133. In this mode the VCA can be treated also a DC coupled ring modulator (similar to A-114).
The VCA of the A-147-2 has three sockets available: "In" (signal input), "Out" (signal output) and "CV" (control voltage input).
The Triangle Output of the LFO is normalled to the VCA signal input by means of the switching contact of the "VCA In" socket. If another LFO waveform (or any other signal) should be processed by the VCA the corresponding signal has to be patched to the "VCA In" socket. 
The VCA can be used also independently from the LFO and the Delay CV. 
In this case the VCA sockets In, Out and CV have to be patched accordingly. The VCA can be used also as waveshaper for the LFO signals (e.g. by patching VCA In and VCA CV to different LFO signals, if necessary via attenuator A-183-1 or offset generator/attenuator A-183-2).

A-147-2 block diagram
Attack/Delay: The third sub-unit of the module is a simple, voltage controlled envelope generator that has only the parameter "Delay" (or Attack) available. 
This unit generates a linear increasing voltage that starts from 0V after each Delay Reset until it reaches about +5V.
Then the voltage remains at +5V until the next Delay Reset occurs. 
The inclination or gradient is controlled by the manual Delay control and the Delay control voltage ("Delay CV" input). 
The waveform is linear, the control scale is exponential. The output voltage is displayed by a unicolor LED (probably orange) and available at the "Delay Out" socket.
The manual Delay control ranges - without external "Delay CV" - from about 5ms (fully CW) up to 2 minutes (fully CCW). By means of an external voltage applied to the "Delay CV" socket this range can be extended. A rising CV shortens the delay time (behaviour like a VCO) !
The Delay output voltage ranges from about 0V to +5V. The rising edge of the gate, clock or trigger signal applied to the "Delay Reset" sockets resets the Delay output voltage to 0 V.
"Delay Out" is normalled to the VCA CV input by means of the switching contact of the "VCA CV" socket and consequently controls the Triangle level provided that no other patch is made. 
A typical example is the usage of a Gate signal (e.g. from a USB/Midi-to-CV/Gate interface) as Delay Reset. 
That way a delayed vibrato or tremolo can be realized if the VCA output is patched to the frequency CV input of a VCO (or VCF), or the CV input of a VCA.
But the Delay sub-unit can be used also independently from the LFO and VCA, e.g. as a voltage controlled waveshaper or for other applications where a linear increasing signal with voltage controlled steepness is required."

The module is planned for early 2015, price ~ Euro 120.00, price and release date are still without obligation !

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ladik EQ-5 / E-110 5-Band EQ Demo Video by @DivKid

DivKid's latest video shows you all the details of the Ladik EQ-5 / E-110 5-Band Equalizer... Enjoy!

Video: LADIK - EQ-5 / E-110 5-Band EQ

"A dirty cheap (picked it up for £32, new they are less than £50) 5 band EQ from LADIK. The module has +/- 12dB EQ at 12.8kHz, 3.2kHz, 800Hz, 200Hz and 50Hz. Really nice to have some proper EQ shaping in my set up.
As always hit subscribe and like for more videos every week and ask any questions in the comments."

Video by Ben Wilson / DivKid - www.youtube.com/divkidvideo

Friday, November 14, 2014

Random Video: Modular Synth Jam - Remedy Without Fear by Iteration and Discord

I like the latest upload by Iteration and Discord a lot... great sounds and build-up;

Video: Modular Synth Jam - Remedy Without Fear

" This patch started with the piston honda mk2. I wanted to use it as a noise source which became more of a snare drum. Next was tuning the tiptop dixie2 into a bass drum and using the doepfer bbd delay to make it interesting.
There are other parts courtesy of the tiptop 808 drums and the epoch modular benjolin. Nothing real complex here but it was definitely fun.

Also the make noise erbe verb played a big part in the beginning and also for making noise swells. All live, what you see is what you're hearing.
I'm using an analog mixer to bring parts in and out.
Thanks for watching and please check out my channel if you like modular synths.
I seek out synth related videos and watch as many as i have time for.
Please consider subscribing for more synthesized awesomeness." 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Benjolin Explained by The Tuesday Night Machines

Felix (The Tuesday Night Machines) uploaded a cool demo in which he explains Rob Hordijk's Benjolin module.

But first some info about the Benjolin, gathered from various sources;

" A darling of the DIY synth community for years now, Rob Hordijk's benjolin circuit is really like no other synth/noisemaker out there.
The Benjolin is the smaller sibling of Rob's now legendary Blippoo Box, the subject of his 2009 article in Leonardo Music Journal (Vol. 9). 
Both the Blippoo Box and the Benjolin emerged from Rob's attempts to design a circuit that was, as he puts it, "bent by design". 
 As such both modules function according to the basic principles of Chaos theory, where short to long sputtering patterns spontaneously alter themselves over time, at times gradually and at times quite suddenly, morphing into new pattern doublings and bifurcations. 
 The result is two incredibly unique instruments that function in a sense autonomously or can "play themselves" if you like.

Klangbau Koln Benjolin by Rob Hordijk
Both the Blippoo Box and the Benjolin are based around similar "chaotic cores," which in the the case of the benjolin, is comprised of two vcos and a unique circuit designed by Rob, which he calls a Rungler. 
 The Rungler is basically an 8 step shift register that takes its serial input from the squarewave of one oscillator and its clock input from the other. 
 The digital outputs of the shift register are than put through a primitive digital to analogue converter to create stepped voltage patterns, which are then wired back into the oscillators.
The effect of this arrangement is to create a complex interference pattern that gives the Benjolin its unique, aleatoric character."*

Rob Hordijk's Benjolin as a Eurorack module,(This version is made by made by Klangbau Köln) consists of two VCOs, a VCF, the famous "Rungler" and an audio mixer, which can mix the classic PWM sound with the dry VCO waveforms for added fatness. 
The VCOs can cross-modulate each other, VCO2's triangle wave can control the filter cutoff (if no external cutoff CV signal is plugged in) and the Rungler CV can of course modulate everything too. It's a complex instrument, which doesn't necessarily need any other modules to be enjoyed.

Outputs:
- Rungler CV
- OSC1 Triangle
- OSC1 Pulse
- OSC2 Triangle
- OSC2 Pulse
- Audio Mixer (VCO1 + VCO2 + PWM)
Inputs
- OSC1 Frequency CV
- OSC2 Frequency CV
- Filter Cutoff CV
A switch lets the Rungler run free, or locks its current pattern.

Video: The BENJOLIN Explained (w/ sound demo) #TTNM

" Wanna know more about this BENJOLIN instrument thing? Then watch this video demo! ... and subscribe:http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c...
Chaos, noise, drones and sweet music, all from one device!

The Benjolin is an instrument designed by Rob Hordijk and built and modified by a lot of DIYers, as well as some synth manufacturers. I explain the Benjolin's basics with a Klangbau Köln Benjolin Eurorack module. Don't worry though, you will easily understand all other versions as well, after watching this video.
The cool thing about the Benjolin is, that it has some amazing feedback loops built in, which can be used to modulate the sound to the Moon and back ... well, some people say "to Hell and back" ... you decide. There is also the famous Rungler circuit of Rob Hordijk, which generates random, looping or evolving CV sequences via a shift register design (similar to the Turing Machine Eurorack module).
It's tons of fun!

Some links:
https://www.facebook.com/rob.hordijk (Rob Hordijk on Facebook)
http://www.klangbauköln.de (Klangbau website)
http://nightmachines.tv/noiserack (Noise Rack video diary series with the Benjolin and others)

Got questions or comments? Go ahead and post them below! I try to reply to all of them :)
Thanks for watching! Check out my channel for more Synthesizer Music and Tutorials:
http://nightmachines.tv/youtube
Filmed with a Canon EOS 550D (Rebel t2i).
If you've read this far, post a comment with the words "rungle all night long" in it :D

LINKS / SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c...
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://nightmachines.tv
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Flixxx (@Flixxx)
Ello: http://ello.co/nightmachines
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nightmachines
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tuesdaynightmach...
Bandcamp: http://nightmachines.bandcamp.com
My other YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/flx04part2 "

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Random Videos by Das Britzel

Welcome to your Sunday-morning music service ;-)
I found these 2 interesting new (long) videos by Das Britzel today on YouTube.
Sadly not recorded with a direct input, but good enough sound quality to share it here...
Enjoy!

Video 1: Random Patch 0


Video 2: Patch5
" Modularsytem Music- Liveact in Progress
Check my Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/dasbritzel (Productions without computer)
https://soundcloud.com/heimchenf-nger (Productions with computer) "


Friday, October 31, 2014

Modular Synth - An All Doepfer Orchestral(ish) Patch by IsVisible

IsVisible uploaded an interesting new video to YouTube... enjoy!

Video: Modular Synth - An All Doepfer Orchestral (ish) Patch

" Here's a patch I filmed about two years ago. Made with all Doepfer modules.
Some patch notes:
The A-143-4 Quad VCLFO/VCO is triggering the gate/envelopes of the A-143-2 Quad ADSR, clocking the random voltages from the A-149-1, providing cv for the two filters (A-106-1 Xtreme and A124 Wasp)
The A-143-4 is in turn being modulated by two LFO's, A-143-9 and A-146.
The two voices are then passed through a channel each of a Tapco 4400 Dual Spring Reverb.
www.isvisible.co.uk"
Uploaded by isvisible

Doepfer A-105 24dB SSM Low Pass Filter Video Tutorials by Raul Pena

Raul Pena just started a new series on the Doepfer A-105 24dB SSM Low Pass Filter.
Here's the first video.

Video 1: Doepfer A-105 24 dB SSM Low Pass Filter Basics

" A short overview of the Basic features and sound of the Doepfer A105 24dB SSM Low Pass Filter. Audio demonstration continued in next segment of series. Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 2: Doepfer A-105 24 dB SSM Low Pass Filter Audio Demonstration

" A continued exploration of the Doepfer A105 24 dB SSM Low Pass Filter.
This time we hear the wide range of the filter using a sequenced passage.
We also explore the subtlety of the filter's resonance.
Second video of three.
Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Video 3: Doepfer A-105 24 dB SSM Low Pass Filter Modulation Demonstration

" A continued exploration of the Doepfer A105 24 dB SSM Low Pass Filter.
This time we experiment with a few modulation sources.
A short demo of using the filter in self oscillation is included.
Sound and Video by Raul Pena."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ginko Synthese Flightcases

Ginko Synthese portable flightcase frontside 
Ginko Synthese, known from their recent successfully funded SampleSlicer project and their TTLFO, has been making modular cases for quite a while...

Now this Dutch company is thinking about making a small batch of portable flightcases (the white one with aluminium corners), maybe 10 or 20 pcs.
The pictures are an indication of what it will look like (a case he made earlier).

The busboards are connected directly to the back of the case in this one, but if enough people are interested he will make internal mounting rails for them so there will be nothing visible on the outside.

Ginko Synthese portable flightcase backside
Specifications:
- 104 or 114HP width
- includes PSU and Doepfer busboards
- case depth will be around 11cm
- keeps your patches inside while lid is closed
- detachable lid
- 220V connection on side for standard eurostyle power cable

Updated November 3, 2014
You can still order for this batch.
They are available in two sizes:
104HPx6U = €320,-
114HPx9U = €500,-
They come including PSU and busboards.
The color is white/grey and have a subtile gynkosynthese logo engraved in the lid.
The power connection is on the side so you can use it laying flat or standing vertical.
Check the Ginko Synthese Portable Cases product-page for more info on how to order:
http://www.ginkosynthese.com/product/portable-cases/

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Doepfer A-105 SSM 24 dB Low Pass Filter Demo by LesIndes

LesIndes uploaded a long demonstration of the Doepfer A-105 SSM LowPass Filter.

The A-105 is very similar to the A-122 that is made with a CEM chip. But in contrast to the A-122 the A-105 is made with the legendary SSM filter chip SSM2044.
This chip was used e.g. in these synthesizers: Korg Polysix, Korg Mono/Poly, Fairlight II, PPG Wave 2.2 und 2.3, Emu SP-1200, Siel DK600, Siel Opera 6. 
The first Prophets used the SSM2040 - the precedessor of the 2044 - that generates a very similar sound. 

The special feature of the 4 pole low pass SSM2044 is the patented so-called "true open loop design that delivers a characteristic fat sound not available from other devices" (extract from SSM2044 data sheet). 

The module features voltage controlled resonance and a sensitive audio input to obtain distortion - if desired. 
Regarding to the functions, controls and in/outputs the module are identical to the 24dB low pass filter A-122 that is built around a CEM chip, but the sound, the resonance behavior and the distortion behavior are completely different for both modules.

As the special circuit SSM2044 used in this module is no longer available the module has to be discontinued. Sale while stocks last !

Video: DOEPFER A-105 SSM 24 dB Lo Pass Filter Module // Endorphines Furthrrrr Generator

" SSM filter chips were used in many great vintage synths in the synthesizers' hall of fame. such as the original SEQUENTIEL CIRCUITS PROPHET V, EMU E2, PPG WAVE 2 / 3. the filter chip is 2044.

Uploaded by LesIndes
LesIndes on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/les.indes.3

Friday, October 24, 2014

Analogue Solutions Telemark Multimode Filter

Analogue Solutions just released their Telemark Multimode Filter module, a eurorack module based on the Telemark multimode filter.

The Telemark multimode filter module is based on the filter of the legendary Telemark semi-modular synthesizer.
It's routes lie in the original 1970s Oberheim SEM, though it has developed a character of its own.
The filter is a 12db/Octave multimode type. Multimode means there are more than one type of filter output.
There are in fact four: low pass, band pass, high pass and notch filter.
Additionally, notch filter can be varied for an even wider range of sounds.
Use of Gain and Q allow for even wider possibilities.
No special knowledge is required to use this filter. Just plug your audio in the left, and your audio out on the right.
Optionally (and recommended!) patch a control voltage in to give the sound movement.

KEY FEATURES OF TMF
- Pure analogue circuitry.
- Telemark filter
- 4 filter types- Low, High, Band, Notch
- Resonance (Q) boost feature
- Slim design
- Spun metal knob caps

DivKid made another great video demonstrating the module;

Video: Analogue Solutions TMF - Telemark Multimode Filter eurorack module video overview

" New eurorack module - a multimode filter based on the stand alone synth Telemark, from Analogue Solutions.
Video by Ben Wilson / DivKid - www.youtube.com/divkidvideo"

SiteTip: Equipboard

These last few weeks i have been trying out a 'new' music start-up called Equipboard.
The site mainly focuses on the question: What gear do my favorite music artists use?


" Equipboard is a community-built database of artists and the gear they use.
Launched in late 2013, this growing community of gear-obsessed music fans have already made the connection between 13,147 products and 4,480 artists – everything from Jimi Hendrix’s guitars and amps to Aphex Twin’s arsenal of electronics.
In addition to contributing, users can create their own equipment boards to share the gear they have or want, and participate in authentic conversations about their favorite artists and brands.

Artists and brands can claim or create a profile to add additional content and participate in conversations with fans.
Some of the brands already using Equipboard include: AIAIAI, Intellijel, Fab Filter, Lennar Digital, Bohemian Guitars."

I have tried it out now for almost a month and i like the idea of it.
The site certainly looks great, you can find a lot of info on the kits of known (and unknown) producers/artists but the list of instruments is still far from complete...
Luckily it is easy to add your own instruments, so i have put my full studio-setup up at http://equipboard.com/patchpierre.

I did not spend any time on uploading all my Eurorack modules, because i did that already on  ModularGrid, which does almost the same (but only modular synthesizers), but also mainly with user-generated data.
There's a nice (but still small) community that can interact/like/follow together, but there's not a lot activity (with me) yet... it could use some more contributors/members.

Check it out for yourself at:  http://equipboard.com

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Doepfer A-110-4 Thru Zero Quadrature VCO Announced

Doepfer's latest module-announcement is the A-110-4 Thru Zero Quadrature VCO.
I do have to dig a bit deeper into this module before i completely understand it, but here is the text from the Doepfer website, where they will soon have audio examples and oscilloscope views available...

Doepfer A-110-4
Thru Zero Quadrature VCO
" The term "quadrature" means in this connection that the oscillator outputs sine and cosine waveforms simultaneously. 
The term "Thru-Zero" means that even "negative" frequencies are generated. 
This can be a bit of a misleading term as negative frequencies do not really exist. 
"Negative" means in this connection simply that the sine/cosine waves will stop when the linear control voltage reaches 0V and continue with the opposite direction as the linear control voltage becomes negative and vice versa.

The module has two control sections: linear and a exponential. 
The exponential section consists of the XTune control, the 1V/Oct input and the XFM input with the corresponding attenuator XFM. 
The exponential control voltage is the sum of these three voltages. 
The linear section consists of the LTune control and the LFM input with the corresponding attenuator LFM. 
The linear control voltage is the sum of these two voltages. 
A dual color LED is used to display the polarity of the linear control voltage (green = positive, red = negative). 
The resultion pitch of the sine/cosine outputs is determined by the resulting control voltages of both sections. The linear section is used to control the pitch in a linear manner. 

When the LTune control (LTune means Linear Tune) is fully CW the module works like a normal Quadrature VCO (e.g. like the A-143-9) and the LED lights green. 
The pitch is then controlled by the exponential section with the manual Tune control and the exponential frequency control inputs 1V/Oct and XFM. 1V/Oct is used to control the pitch by a 1V/Oct CV source (e.g. sequencer or Midi/USB-to-CV interface). 
XFM is used to apply an exponential frequency modulation with adjustable depth (e.g. from an LFO or another VCO). 
As the LTune control is turned counterclockwise starting from the fully CW position the frequency is lowered in a linear manner until the sine/cosine waves stop near the center position of LTune (provided that no LFM signal is present). 
As the LTune control is moved from the center towards the CCW position the waves start again but into reverse direction and the LED turns red. 
When the fully CCW position of LTune is reached the module works again like a normal Quadrature VCO. 

But much more exciting is the usage of the LFM input to modify the linear control voltage by an external control voltage (typically another VCO). 
Linear modulation by another oscillator using the thru zero feature generates audio spectra than cannot be obtained from an oscillator without the thru zero function. 
The reason is that a "normal" VCO will simply stop as the linear control voltage becomes zero or negative. 
But a thru zero VCO will start again with "negative" frequencies as the the linear control voltage becomes negative.

The main advantage of the A-110-4 compared to other Thru Zero VCOs is that the design used a sine/cosine core. The sine/cosine waves are not derived from other waveforms (e.g. sawtooth or triangle) by means of waveshaping. 
Rather the sine and cosine waves are the core of the VCO which results in very pure waves with a minimum of distortion and overtones." 

The A-110-4 is planned for early 2015, price ~ Euro 120.00