Doepfer Introduces New Modular Analog Equipment

Doepfer announced today that they will be introducing over 15 new products at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, one of the most important European music technology shows. The products include a new ribbon controller, a keyboard controller for software organ emulators, and many new modules for the A-100 modular analog synthesizer.

Doepfer has released this preliminary information about the new products:

doepfer ribbon controllerMIDI Trautonium/Ribbon Controller

Doepfer will present in Frankfurt the MIDI and CV/Gate version of the Trautonium/Ribbon Controller A-198 (the A-198 is already available as part of the A-100 analog modular system). The same 50 cm long ribbon manual as for the A-198 is used. Instead of the A-198 module a small stand alone box with Midi and analog outputs (CV1, CV2, Gate) is used to interface the ribbon controller to both Midi and CV/Gate equipment. The box will be available even without the ribbon manual for those customers who already own the A-198 and want to use the manual to control Midi equipment or other analog equipment than A-100. The two sensors of the manual (position and pressure) can be assigned to different Midi functions, e.g. note on/off, pitch-bend, velocity, after touch and any MIDI controller. The Midi channel can be selected for each parameter and a lot of different modes are available (e.g. some quantizing and arpeggio modes, gate legato/retrigger and many more). Several user presets will be available to store complete settings of the device. The controller will be available about May 2004.

Organ Master Keyboard

The prototype of an organ keyboard that is intended to control software based organ emulations (e.g. Native Instruments B4) is presented in Frankfurt. It will be equipped with typical organ controls (5 octave organ type waterfall keyboard, 2 x 9 draw bars/faders and a lot of buttons, rotary controls and LEDs). The case will not be ready for the fair so that we will show the “naked” keyboard with electronics only. The keyboard will be equipped with Midi and USB.

New A-100 Modules

Doepfer modular synthesizer a107A-107 Multitype Morphing Filter

A-107 is a 100% pure analog filter realized with the CEM3379 chip that offers the possibility to morph between 36 different filter types. All standard filters are available (6/12/18/24 dB low pass, high pass, band pass, notch, all pass) but even a lot of brand new filters that have no names so far. The module offers 64 user programmable filter chains with 32 filters each (each filter within the chain is one of the 36 available filters). Passing through a filter chain can be realized by a control voltage or clock/reset signal. In addition the morphing time between the filters of the chain is voltage controlled between about immediate switching and about 10 seconds morphing time.

A-101-3 Modular Vactrol 12-Stage Phase Shifter

A-101-3 is a modular 12 stage phase shifter built with vactrols. A vactrol is the combination of a light depending resistor (LDR) and light emitting diode (LED). Vactrols are known for their smooth sound behaviour. For more general details about vactrols please look at the Vactrol Basics page on our web site. The phaser is built completely modular, i.e. the the inputs and outputs of each stage are available as sockets to enable free patching of all stages – e.g. for multiple feedback or forward loops for completely new phaser sounds. The module can be used as two separate phasers too because the vactrols of the stage 1-6 and 7-12 have completely independent controls. Two polarizers are available to obtain positive as well as negative feedback/forward loops.

A-137 Voltage Controlled Waveform Multiplier

A-137 is a voltage controlled waveform multiplier. The basic idea of a wave multiplier is to multiply the waveform of an incoming signal (e.g. triangle/saw/sine from a VCO) within one period of the waveform by folding the wave at an upper and lower folding level. This leads to additional harmonics of the incoming signal. The period and consequently the pitch of the signals remains unchanged (in contrast to frequency multiplication e.g. with the PLL module A-196). The result is a kind of “inverse low pass filter”, i.e. the module adds a lot of harmonics to a signal that contains none or only a few harmonics (e.g. sine or triangle waveform can be used).

A-149-1 und A-149-2 Quantized + Stored + Digital Random Voltages

These modules are a homage to Don Buchlas 265/266 Module of Uncertainty. A-149 offers four different clocked analog random voltages that are generated in different ways: Two so-called Quantized Random Voltages with “N+1 states” and “2N states” outputs with “N” as a voltage controlled parameter in the range 1…6. And two so-called “Stored Random Voltages” with one equal distributed output and one output with voltage controlled distribution of the possible 256 output states. A-149-2 is an expansion module for the A-149-1 and outputs 8 random digital voltages.

A-154 Sequencer Controller

A-154 is an expansion module for the Analog/Trigger Sequencer module A-155. It adds a lot of new functions to the A-155, e.g. voltage controlled step addressing, voltage controlled first and last step of the sequence, voltage controlled running modes (forward, backward, pedulum, random, one shot), skipping of steps, voltage controlled step length, voltage controlled clock with voltage controlled pulse width and many more.

A-196 PLL (Phase Locked Loop)

It is not very easy to explain the principle of the this module. It contains a VCO, three different frequency resp. phase comparators and a low pass. The basic principle is like this: one of the comparators compares the frequency of an external signal with the frequency of the internal VCO and generates a correction voltage that is smoothed by the low pass and that controls the frequency of the internal VCO. Ideally the internal VCO follows the frequency of the external signal with some delay that is determined by the low pass frequency. The module can be used e.g. for frequency multiplication (even voltage controlled in combination with the VC frequency divider A-163), generation of clock signals for graphic VCOs or switched capacitor filters, or even for crazy sound effects by intentional “misadjusting resp. abusing” the module.

A-197 Analog Meter

A-197 serves to display DC or AC voltages by means of an illuminated moving coil meter with mirror scale. The display range is 0…+10V (resp. -5V…+5V in the offset mode). The module features 3 different measuring methods for optimal display of different sources: direct (especially for positive control voltages), full wave rectifier (especially for audio resp. AC voltages) and offset (especially for bipolar control voltages). The desired mode is selected by a toggle switch.

The modules A-107, A-149-1 and A-196 are already available since a few weeks. The remaining five modules described above (A-101-3, A-137, A-154, A-149-2 and A-197) will be available right after the Frankfurt Musikmesse early April 2004.

For the following modules we will present the prototypes at the Frankfurt fair. The expected availability date for these modules is ~ summer 2004:

A-101-1 Vactrol Steiner Filter

This is a 12dB multimode vactrol filter based on an idea of Nyle A. Steiner from 1974. This filter has different inputs (!) available for the filter types low pass, high pass and band pass, but a common output for all filters. By using different input signals the output is the sum of the input signals weighted with different frequency distributions. Changing the filter frequency causes shifting of the frequency distributions (kind of “frequency panning”). With one common signal for all inputs different filter types are obtained, including notch filter. Both frequency and resonance are voltage controlled by the usage of vactrols. For both parameters a LED display is available at the front panel that shows the illumination of the internal frequency resp. resonance vactrols.

A-101-2 Vactrol Lowpass Gate

A-101-2 is the combination of a low pass and a VCA. It has its origin in a similar module by Don Buchla and offers a very soft and smooth low pass resp. VCA sound due to the vactrol circuit. The module has three different modes available: Low pass, VCA and Low pass + VCA. The modes can be selected by a toggle switch or two external control voltages (gate inputs).

The module series A-143-x makes available some low-cost multiple modulation sources:

A-143-1 Complex Envelope Generator / Quad AD Generator

A-143-1 contains four daisy-chained Attack/Decay generators. The four AD outputs are added up by a polarizing mixer (i.e. positive or negative summing of the 4 AD signals). Consequently up to 8-stage envelopes are possible. The trigger level for the succeeding unit is adjustable for each device. The module can be used an 8-stage envelope generator, as four separate AD generators or as four separate AD-type LFOs, as each AD generator can be switched into an auto-repeat mode that turns the AD generator into a LFO with separate controls for rising and falling edge.

A-143-2 Quad ADSR

A-143-2 is a four-fold low-cost ADSR-type envelope generator with additonal retrigger input and end-of-release (EOR) output for each sub-unit. The EOR outputs can be used e.g. to daisy-chain the four units. Each envelope is displayed with a LED.

A-143-3 Quad LFO

A-143-3 is a four-fold low-cost modulation oscillator (LFO) as there is always a need of many modulation sources in a modular system. Each LFO has three waveforms (triangle, rectangle, sawtooth), a three-position range switch and a LED display available. The frequency range is from some minutes period time up to more than 5 kHz.

A-152 Voltage Addressed S&H / Switches / Digital Outputs

A-152 is a complex switching and S&H module that offers both voltage and clock/reset controlled addressing of an electronical 8-position rotary switch, an 8-fold S&H and a digital output section with LED displays. The digital output section can e.g. be used to reduce the number of stages in the clock triggered mode by patching the corresponding digital output to the reset input.

A-138c Polarizing Mixer

A-138c is a four channel mixer that features positive and negative mixing of control signals. In the first place this module is intended to add/subtract control voltages (e.g. ADSR, LFO). Additionally input 1 works as an offset generator (range -5V…+5V) provided that no plug is connected to input one (this feature can be turned off by a jumper on the pc board). Even the output control works positive/negative so that the sum of the four input signals can be output positive or negative too.

Additional details are available at their website.

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