Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quick Tip XI : Eurorack Screws

Okay, this seems like pretty basic Eurorack knowledge, but every now and then I see this question popping up on several forums and sites.

The standard Doepfer eurorack screws - M3x6
It seems a lot of people run out of Eurorack mounting screws very often.
A lot of them don't seem to know what types are used and/or where to get them.

In Doepfer Euroracks standardized lens head screw DIN7985 M3x6 are used.
DIN is the German edition of ISO standards and
the ISO metric screw threads are the world-wide most commonly used type of general-purpose screw thread.

The 3 stands for the diameter of the wire, and 6 stands for the length of the screw... both in millimeters (mm).
For the Doepfer racks, don't use longer screws...

I got mine from a local hardware-store (GAMMA), and i guess you will be able to find some near you...
Of course there are many other types of mounting screws available that fit... in different shapes and colours, so the choice is yours.
Just Google "M3x6" and you will find plenty of options.

A tip from Oliver Chesler from in the comments is that you can also use 3mm Nylon Plastic Washers between your screws and the modules.
If you want to resell your modules scratch-less this might be a good idea.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Random Video: Automated Tape Delay/Reverse by Wouter van Veldhoven

Wouter van Veldhoven, a tape-addict and musician from the Netherlands, makes music using collected second hand materials including, cans, old tape recorders, cigarboxes, broken radios and toypianos.
He reworks them in experimental musical instruments and uses them as recording devices.
His music balances somewhere between dusty, lo-fi experimental ambient and jangly instrumentals, but recently he has also been delving into the realm of minimal techno.

His latest upload is made with a nice mix of Doepfer Eurorack and various tape-machines and sounds like it is influenced by the classic Dutch NatLab-engineers from  the early 60s.

Video: Automated tape delay/reverse
" I adjusted a tape recorder in such a way its playing direction can be controlled from my Doepfer system, this combined with an extra tape recorder that both records and plays back enables delayed tape reversing in a live setting. Quite nice for doing some minimal techno thingies"

Find more about this project on his Tumblr page at

Follow Wouter on Twitter at

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Game on! Modular Battles

Last Friday i received a very interesting notification/invitation for a new initiative from The KlirrFaktor.
A challenge, with easy rules;
  • one module only
  • no external CV, click or audio
  • track must be no longer than 2 mins
  • track as video or audio
  • no additional edits or effects
It's too bad that i had other things planned this weekend, but the first modular battle took place without me and resulted in some really nice & crazy tracks.

Find all entries for the first round at: Modular Battle Part 1 “one module only”
Although he did not completely keep it under the 2-minute limit ;-) -my personal favorite was from Fi0cz and is made on a Makenoise DPO:

Video: The 1 module // no cv battle .My round . by Fi0cz

Looking back at round one... i don't think i could have done a better job with my pretty basic set of Doepfer modules.
The only thing i can think of now (after the first round) would be an experiment with my A-127 Triple VCF, where the first filter is resonating, fed back into the module and filtered again by the two remaining LFO-controlled filters... #toolate

I might send in an entry for Round 2, same rules, but now with only 2 modules and a deadline on the night of the 24th of February.
A good way to get a bit more creative with the modules that i have...

Read more about the Modular Battles at

Add tracks to the battle:
You may add your tracks with postings @ or (link later), on Soundcloud or on Twitter tweeting with the hashtag #modularbattle
Follow ModularBattle on Twitter for latest information
Let’s go modular!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Korg Monotron Demo by PatchPierre

As most of you know, i bought a fully analog Korg Monotron -analogue ribbon synthesizer- a while ago.
I promised you to make a short demo of it as soon as i had the time, so here it is.

The Korg Monotron is a cheap (39 Euro) battery-powered synthesizer, but what a lot of fun i already had with this little thing.
It features one VCO, a real VCF (This true analog filter is taken from the classic MS-10 & MS-20 synthesizer) with Filter-Cutoff and Peak (resonance) Control.
An LFO with variable speed (and an LED that flashes in tandem) can be applied to the Pitch (VCO) or Filter(VCF)
*note: only the LFO>filter cutoff is shown in this video

Video: Korg Monotron -analogue ribbon synthesizer- demo by PatchPierre

" Created by PatchPierre

Equipment used: Korg Monotron"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Random Video: Cumulus 1 [WIP] by Glitzerstrahl

Interesting noises from Glitzerstrahl this time... with video.
A work in progress with his eurorack modular synthesizer, find a full list of modules HERE

Video: Cumulus 1 [WIP] by Glitzerstrahl
" The starting point of a track made entirely with my modular rack.
No MIDI or external sequencing but reverb was added while recording through Ableton Live.
The track is still being worked on so this video only shows the first version.
I'll continuously post videos as parts are added, and that way you can see how the track builds up.
In essence what you hear is built up by an XAOC Moskwa sequencer modulating a Pittsburgh filter cutoff that filters a set of 3 separately tuned Bubblesound VCOb oscillators.
A Pittsburgh mixer is manually manipulated to change the mix of the three oscillators, and the resonance, QVC and cutoff of the filter is also manually tweaked during the course of the track.
The Attack and Release of the envelope (of which there is only 1 (TipTop Z4000)) is set randomly and gated by the Moskwa, and there is a slew limiter (Doepfer a-170) patched in between one of the oscillators, and in the path of the random voltage of the Release of the envelope.
Hope you like it!"
Used with kind permission from Glitzerstrahl
Follow GlitzerstrahlMusic on YouTube

Saturday, February 09, 2013

BookTip XIV: Electronica for Dummies (Dutch Edition)

Electronics for Dummies, Dutch Language version

Okay, a bit of a weird BookTip this time... at first sight.
The For Dummies series is an extensive series of instructional/reference books which are intended to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered.
As of December 2012, over 1800 For Dummies titles have been published with editions in numerous languages.

This Electronica (electronics) edition (published in 2005 in multiple languages) is extremely useful for the beginning electronics DIY-ers (like me), and it has already been very helpful making thing more understandable.
The book (416 pages) covers a whole range of subjects, from the basics, preparation, tools and safety-measures to easy-to-build small projects on a breadboard or with self-made printed circuit boards (pcb's).
On your way through the book you'll learn everything about diodes, resistors, capacitors and reading schematics. It even has a robotics section...
I learned a lot from this book so far, although i haven't even read it all... i mainly use it for reference.

In the English language you have the choice of a few different books about this same subject in the For Dummies series,
Closest is probably the Electronics All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies, and for the advanced DIY-ers I guess they could even try the Circuitbuilding Do-It-Yourself For Dummies, but please check before you buy because i'm not sure.

Written by: Gordon McComb & Earl Boysen
ISBN: 978-90-430-1162-4

Find my other BookTips HERE

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

MAQ 16/3 Direction Via MIDI Demo by Nicholas Keller

An interesting video, posted by Nicholas Keller in the Doepfer A-100 group on Facebook shows something about the Doepfer MAQ 16/3 Sequencer that i never really noticed before.
It seems that normally, the MAQ in forward mode would start from the last random step, what can really mess up your patterns.
In his video Nicholas shows that, with some clever MIDI programming, it is possible to get your next forward pattern starting from step 1.

Video: Direction via MIDI
" This video simply shows that it is possible to switch direction of an Doepfer MAQ16/3 sequence from random to forward with the forward section starting from step 1. Normally, the forward section would start from the last random step. Start from step 1 was achieved with a series of MIDI commands from DAW sequencer (in this case Ableton Live) sent to the MAQ."

Nicholas also added: "This video will probably be part of a future blog post of mine, as right now I am working on some other ones. (you can find his blog at
Also, you might express that the MAQ's functions can all be controlled through MIDI.
For this example, I used Q-control v1.0, which is an Ableton Live project file that contains individual clips for all the MIDI commands for the MAQ. I'm not sure that the website where I found this is still active.
I can email you the file if you can host it. I sent commands for First and Last Step as well as Forward and Random commands.
The First and Last Step commands were necessary to force the Forward version of the pattern to start on Step 1 ( First=1, Last=1). Then at marker 1.1.2 in Ableton (the second 1/16th note) I added First=2 and Last=16 commands."
Uploaded by Nicholas Keller
Follow Nicholas Keller on Vimeo HERE

Monday, February 04, 2013

Modulator Systems MS202 Voltage Attenuator / Foot Controller Demo

Another Eurorack controller by Modulator Systems in London, the company that makes and sells interesting accessories for Doepfer A-100 and compatible (eurorack) analog synthesizer systems.
This time they created a cheap, pressure-sensitive pad with a CV-output.
Sadly it doesn't send a Gate/Trigger signal though...

Video: Modulator Systems MS202 Voltage Attenuator / Foot Controller Demo
" The MS202 is a fabric-covered soft touch voltage attenuating pad which can be patched into any voltage source and destination on the Doepfer A100 and similar analog modular systems and synthesizers. The uses are only limited by your imagination but it can for example vary vibrato or filter modulation depth, allow through white noise in drum sounds, add random modulation to notes, allow extra sequencer notes to be triggered, and much more.

The MS202 can also be hit with drum sticks to vary drum synth sounds - though it only outputs a voltage, not a trigger or gate - and works with even greater range as a foot controller, finding use as a wah-wah, volume controller and much more. You can also cover the MS202 with any flexible surface and use it as a hidden variable voltage source"

Price is £39.00 with £5.00 UK shipping or free collection in London, worldwide shipping costs on request.

Video uploaded by ModulatorSystems
Find more info at
(note: it looks like their site is still under construction / not all links work...yet)

Friday, February 01, 2013

Magnetic Table CV-Controller by Jon Sonnenberg

One of the most impressive alternative DIY-controllers i've seen this year is probably this next one.
This Magnetic Table CV-controller is made by Jon Sonnenberg, who has been creating music and been obsessed with electronic music for most of his life.

The design is based on a magnetic pendulum toy;
" The toy consisted of a dangling string with a magnet on the end of it; then it hovered over magnets on a table that either repelled or attracted the string magnet; the stringed magnet then maneuvers around in crazy patterns due to the position of the table magnets.

There are 2 control voltage outputs for this device; one for the X axis, and one for the Y. 
 They vary from 0 to 5 volts. These can be used to change any parameter in a synthesizer or effects system to make interesting sounds. 
 For instance, the X axis could control the pitch of an oscillator, while the Y axis could control the volume. Another example could be the X axis controls a delay time, while the Y axis controls the feedback of the delay unit
Closeup of the upside-down potentiometer-joystick   
 A third example (and a little more abstract) is to have the X axis control the length of a sequence pattern, and the Y axis control the tempo of the sequence.

One interesting thing about using the magnetic table to control sound is that when the pendulum passes over a magnet with a pole that attracts the pendulum, it overshoots a bit, then swing back toward the magnet and overshoots again, continuing to oscillate in a damped, simple harmonic motion. 
 If the magnet is stronger (you can use larger magnets or stack them to make them have a stronger attraction or repulsion), then this oscillation is faster."

Video: The Magnetic Table: A CV controller for Modular Synthesizers

" Here is a demonstration of a CV controller that I built. It is a simple pendulum with a magnet at the end.
The magnets on the table can be moved and can either repel or attract the pendulum.
More information can be found at or more specifically here: "