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Showing posts from March, 2011

One Year

Wow... time flies.
Today exactly one year ago I started to write this blog, mainly because i could not find a lot of Doepfer user-info on the web. I was looking for a way to share my adventures in analog sound with others, and i looks like i found the right spot.
Sadly i don't have any budget for a give-away (like the wonderful Din Sync blog did) to thank you for visiting/ commenting/ interacting but i do appreciate all your input in this first (and certainly not last) year.

A few statistics: - A total number of 1000 unique visitors have visited this site so far
- Those visitors came from 77 different countries - Coincidentally today the site passed the 6000 pageviews too.
- Last months the site has an average of 1000 pageviews per month (but that includes my own too)
- About 30% of the unique viewers are from the USA, The Brits and the Dutch share a second place with around 10% of the total unique viewers each.

Very different are the numbers of my PatchPierre Mobile Nokia application

Quotes VII : Herbie Hancock

" Creativity shouldn't be following ratio, it should be the other way around. "
Herbie Hancock - musician, composer, bandleader

Controlling the A-100 via MIDI

In the beginning it was not difficult to pick a Doepfer MIDI-CV interface for your A-100 system.
The A-190 MIDI-CV/SYNC Interface was the only one available and there were not many other options.  (the A-191 MIDI-to-CV Interface / Shepard Generator was way more complex, i will discuss it in a future blogpost).
The A-190 is a powerful module that not only provides a few CV and Gate outputs, but also Portamento, Scale-settings, Pitch-bend, Glide, Clock and Reset signals, has a built-in (software) LFO and very flexible programmability.
Without a proper display it is quite awkward to program, but you'll quickly learn how to read the combinations of burning and flashing LEDs.
I do miss some further (software) development for this module. The arpeggio function, mentioned on the front-plate isn't even implemented (!)

A cheaper option that you can buy nowadays is the  A-190-2 Midi CV/Gate interface, which is based on the Doepfer MCV4. Only some minor changes were made for a better ada…

Booktip VII - Keyfax Omnibus Edition by Julian Colbeck

The Keyfax Omnibus Edition, written in 1996 by Julian Colbeck, is a pretty interesting 192-page book about synths and synthesizer history. It is the sixth volume of a series by the author, his first one appeared in 1985 although he already writes about synthesizers since 1976.

The book is divided into 2 main parts, The Hot 100 and the Product Directory.
The first and largest part of the book delves into the 100 most important synthesizers in history, alphabetically ordered by manufacturers name. Together with the company profiles this book gives a nice overview on the global history of synthesizers. I like the style that it is written in, very informative...

The second part, The Product Directory exists out of an extensive list of almost every synthesizer on the planet. The directory also provides production data like production year, release-prices, the instrument's value in 1996, and often a short extra description. Very useful if you are looking into buying a second-hand ( pre…

Filters II : A-121 VCF2 Multimode Filter

The first Doepfer filter that i ever bought was the A-121 Multimode Filter. It is a 12 dB/Octave filter, and has multiple simultaneous outputs available; a Low-Pass, Band-Pass, High-Pass and Notch (or Band Reject).
It also has 4 CV inputs, 2 for adjusting the cutoff frequency and 2 for resonance.

This is still one of my favorite filter modules, the multiple outputs are very useful, and i  like all the CV inputs. It just gives you so much more control over the filter, and that's what i like most in a module; maximum control.

Although it is 'only' a 12 dB filter it sounds very nice, from very smooth and warm up to quite rough, especially with the resonance turned up ( ...up to self-oscillation ).
Most of the times i patch an A-174-2 Wheels CV into FCV1, and a simple envelope CV to the (adjustable) FCV2. Works fine in most situations.
With some analog or digital noise added to QCV2 to give it a touch of unpredictable resonance you will quickly get a convincing fat bassline.


SiteTip IV : MIT OpenCourseware Music and Technology: Contemporary History and Aesthetics

A great resource for beginners and all other synthesizer-enthusiasts is the OpenCourseWare site from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

This course, as given by professor Christopher Ariza in the fall of 1997 is highly informative and perhaps a must-read to all of you new to analog sound or music in general.

'This course is an investigation into the history and aesthetics of music and technology as deployed in experimental and popular musics from the 19th century to the present. Through original research, creative hands-on projects, readings, and lectures, the following topics will be explored. The history of radio, audio recording, and the recording studio, as well as the development of musique concrète and early electronic instruments. The creation and extension of musical interfaces by composers such as Harry Partch, John Cage, Conlon Nancarrow, and others. The exploration of electromagnetic technologies in pickups, and the development of dub, hip-hop, and turntablis…

CD-Tip IV : Clara Rockmore - The Art of the Theremin (1977)

Okay... Either you love the sound of the Theremin, or you don't. If you count yourself to the last category, feel free to skip this post and return to this blog in 3 or 4 days.

Yesterday was what would have been theremin virtuosa and electronic music pioneer, Clara Rockmore's 100th Birthday.
Clara Rockmore ( born as Clara Reisenberg ) studied violin in Leningrad, Russia, but she had to stop her career because of bone-problems due to malnutrition in her youth.
After she moved to the USA she started to work with Léon Theremin, who had recently invented the Theremin, and very quickly she mastered the instrument and became a virtuoso Theremin player.

In all the years performing with USA's finest orchestras and touring she developed a distinguished technique for playing the instrument and she proved that the Theremin really was a serious instrument, and not just an instrument to make 'eerie' sound effects for scary movies.
Although she also did these sound effects on co…

New PatchPierre Mobile App Advertising Templates

Nokia / OVI-publishing recently provided me with new advertising-templates for my PatchPierre Mobile Nokia-app. Very kind of them, this looks much better as the old banners IMO.

If you have a Nokia mobile phone, you can still find the app HERE.
The ultimate way to watch PatchPierre's content on your Nokia device. The app enables easy browsing through the posts, feedback and twitter-feed and also links to the original articles and my NetPierreTV YouTube Channel

Works on all Symbian and selected S40 devices.

PS. if you are an Android, IOS, WM7 or Blackberry developer and you have a little bit of spare time... feel free to contact me. It would be nice to have this app available on multiple platforms.

Users' Favorite Modules

A recent Poll at the Doepfer Yahoo Usergroup, in the beginning of this year gave a nice insight of what modules are the users' favorites. The (informal) poll resulted in a lot of nice top-5 lists, with a great diversity in modules.
I took some time to count the votes that i could find and made this overall -list. /*the differences between the top-three most-mentioned modules were minimal;

The A-149 Quantized/Stored Random Voltages module(s) were definitely the most popular ones.
These modules, based on Buchla's 'Sound of Uncertaincy' Model nrs. 265/266, process random or stored random voltages to contol your other modules. Very interesting modules, that are high on my personal wishlist as well.

Three modules ended in second place;
The A-101-2 Low Pass Gate, The A-155 Analog Trigger Sequencer / A-154 Sequencer controller combination and the A-156 Dual Quantizer
Third place was for the A-160 Clock DividerA-161 Clock Sequencer -combination, the A-151 Sequential Switch, …

Quotes VI : Brian Eno

" As soon as I hear a sound, it always suggests a mood to me."

Brian Eno/ Producer, musician, songwriter, artist