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Showing posts from July, 2011

SiteTip IV : Doepfer Convergence Group on Soundcloud

If you are interested what kinds of sounds other Doepfer users make, or just want to be inspired, you can always go to the Doepfer Convergence Group on Soundcloud. This site contains very interesting creative compositions made mainly on a Doepfer A-100 Analog Modular System.
The group is moderated by James Bragg (AKA HyperDust), a synthesizer player and producer from Bristol UK who has played in various bands since the early 1980's and who's musical styles have varied over the years from New Romantic, Rock, Rock/Dance, Trance and various electronica.

" I've been building up 2 suitcases of modules over the last 5 years. I love their immediacy but also their temporary nature.
There is a type of Japanese painting where you paint with water on a special stone. It can look beautiful but after a short time it dries and is gone forever. A Doepfer modular is a bit like that. I'll never get that sound again - you just have to live in the moment. Celebrate the now. We spend t…

Quick Tip VI : Theremin Antenna

By accident i learned that the same kind of thing that i advised for the A-198 Ribbon Controller (to remove the USB-cable from the controller after use, read the post HERE ) counts for the A-178 Theremin Controller's antennas as well...

If you, like i, have your A-100 system placed upright , the weight of the antennas is just a little bit too much for the mini jack connector.
The permanent sideways pressure, caused by the weight of the antenna can cause loose contacts of the connector. If you have your module installed on a flat (tabletop-like) surface the plugged-in antenna cause less sideways pressure and you'll probably be safe.

Although Doepfer uses a new type of jack sockets since 2003 with stronger springs and so-called "curly rear contacts",  loose contacts can hardly be prevented.
But don't worry, if this problem occurs it is not a huge problem because most of the times you can fix them yourself by following the instructions that you can find HERE.

In my h…

Timing Capacitors of the A-100 System

Okay... I did write a little about the Timing Capacitors of the A-100 modules in my latest post, but i found it so interesting that i thought i should do another short post about this.

If you want to modify a module yourself please read this document first: Timing capacitors of A-100 modules.
That document is intended for experienced A-100 users who want to modify the timing range of some modules (e.g. envelope generators, LFOs, slew limiters). 
To lengten the time or period the capacitor value has to be increased and vice versa. The capacitor value is proportional to the time or period (e.g. doubling the capacitor value even doubles the time or period, when the capacitor value is increased tenfold even the time or period increases tenfold).  By request the time range of delay and/or length can be modified very easily by changing the value of a capacitor, e.g. 200 us...1 s or 20 us ... 100 ms or 2us ... 10ms. That way the module can be used also for audio applications.
If an electrolyt…

A-162 Dual Trigger Delay

The A-162 Dual Trigger Delay contains two separate delay circuits for trigger signals.
This module makes it possible to delay the onset of trigger pulses.
This is very useful in case you want the modulation to kick in a little after the initial start of a sound (modulation delay) or to create interesting echo-like effects.

Both trigger delays have two controls that can alter the onset time and duration of triggers, standard from 0 up to about ten seconds.
The time range of delay and/or length can be modified very easily by changing the value of a capacitor, e.g. 200 us...1 s or 20 us ... 100 ms or 2us ... 10ms.
That way the module can be used also for audio applications.
If you want to modify the module yourself please read this document: Timing capacitors of A-100 modules.

Timing capacitors:
C2 (delay time)
C5 (length)
Standard value: 10uF
Polarity: minus = left

Also check out THIS post from on how to modify a Doepfer A-162 Dual Trigger Delay for perfect filter pings.

Doepfer Usergroup Poll: MS-02 Module?

A new Poll at the  official Doepfer Usergroep is about the idea of realizing an A-100 module with the possibillities of the 'classic' Korg MS-02 expander module.
This module was part of Korg's MS series of instruments, which also included the MS-20 Monophonic Synthesizer, the single oscillator MS-10, the keyboardless MS-50 module, and the SQ-10 sequencer. Additional devices included the MS-01 Foot Controller, MS-03 Signal Processor, MS-04 Modulation Pedal and VC-10 Vocoder. ( MS-02 user manual with detailed info online available HERE )
" In my search for a Korg MS-02 I haven't been successful so far. In building a great A-100 modular synth I was. This got me thinking: It would be great if Doepfer would add a module to the A-100 module list with the functionality of the Korg MS-02. I can imagine more people are interested. I sent the question to Dieter and he suggested to start a poll on this list. So here we go. "
O - I would be interested in a Korg MS…

Most Wanted V - A-100TKB Touch Sensor Keyboard

Perhaps best known for their non-moving touch sensor keyboards were the Electric Dream Plant Wasp and Gnat ( and the Electronic Music Studios EMS Synthi A * ) synthesizers that were produced during the late seventies/ the early eighties.
Doepfer's Touch Sensor Keyboard was announced a loooong time ago. There have been many prototypes of this , and there have been many suggestions and discussions, but still there is no final design or release-date in sight.

The first prototype (2005?) was a sequencer + keyboard all-in-one version, that looked like the original Sherman Filterbank, but with a keyboard with metal plates in front of it.
For their second prototype (2007), Doepfer decided to drop the sequencer, to give the buyers the chance to buy their own sequencer ( if they needed one ). This prototype is still my favorite, with it's 25 metal keys... simple and plain.

In the first two versions of the TKB the hum noise inducted by the sourrounding mains was used as working principle, …

Booktip IX - Analog Synthesis by Reinhart Schmitz

One of the smallest books in my whole BookTip section, but nevertheless a pretty informative one is this 128-page booklet by Reinhard Schmitz.
Analog Synthesis -The Newbie Guide to Synthesizers and Sound-Design  (also available in German) is full of basic info on how synthesis works. Very easy to read, and focused mainly on beginners this is a nice resource for all things synth...
In different chapters the main components of a (modular) synthesizer are explained, accompanied by simple  black/white pictures and graphs.  The book is completed with an extensive glossary and a pretty nice 39-track audio-CD with audio-examples of the most important analog synthesizers of Moog, Oberheim, ARP and Sequential Circuits, to name but a few.
Some time ago Doepfer used to give this book (or the German version) away for free if you purchased a full Doepfer system.  Getting it is better than buying it; for such a small book the price ( 36 USD ) is a bit too high IMHO... Wizoo has quite an extensive collect…

Discontinued A-100 Modules

Good things come and good things go...
There are many different reasons for manufacturers to stop producing certain modules.
Sadly for some people, some components of a few Doepfer modules aren't available anymore.
Some of the special circuits ( or IC's) in the modules have become scarce, or not available at all ( like the original knobs ) , and that has been a reason for Doepfer to discontinue the production of some of these modules.

Another reason to stop producing certain modules is because they just don't or didn't sell... maybe just because they are not very useful (anymore) or they disappeared when newer modules appeared with (almost) the same function(s).

An overview ( updated February 2012 ) :
A-111 High End VCO  As the special circuit CEM3340 used in this module is no longer available the module has to be discontinued.
/ Sale while stocks last.

A-121 Multimode Filter As the special circuit CEM3320 used in this module is no longer available the module has to be di…