Doepfer A-174-4 3D Joystick (Sneak Preview)

At the 2020 NAMM Show, Doepfer introduced the A-174-4 3D Joystick, a new that goes beyond traditional joystick controllers by offering three dimensions (x/y/z) of analog control.

In the video above, via Perfect Circuit, Eurorack synthesizer standard creator Dieter Doepfer introduces the new module on the NAMM Show floor.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Joystick module A-174-4 outputs three control voltages generated by a spring-loaded X/Y cross potentiometer (so-called joy stick) and a Gate signal.

The control voltages for X and Y are controlled by the X and Y position of the joystick in the usual way. The third control voltage Z is controlled by the rotation of the spring-loaded joystick knob. The Gate signal is generated by a button at the center/top of the joystick knob.

For each control voltage, the non-inverted signal (X, Y, Z) as well as the inverted signal with adjustable offset (-X+O, -Y+O, -Z+O) are available. The generic joystick control voltages are bipolar, i.e. they range from typ. -5V (lowest position) via 0V (center position) to typ. +5V (highest position).

The “Overlap” switches can be used to add a fixed offset voltage of typ. +5V to the non-inverting output in question so that the output voltage range changes to typ. 0…+10V (rather than -5…+5V). That’s necessary if e.g. a VCA has to be controlled. The offset voltages which are added to the inverting outputs can be adjusted by means of three small potentiometers. That way different kinds of control voltage ranges are possible.

On top of this the four quadrant voltages Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 are available. A quadrant voltage becomes positive when the joystick is positio.ned in the quadrant in question. Each CV output is equipped with an LED that displays the present voltage.

See the Doepfer site for details.

12 thoughts on “Doepfer A-174-4 3D Joystick (Sneak Preview)

  1. I just wanted to point out that this joystick was not invented by Doepfer, its just a CH Products (the company that manufactures joysticks of all kinds) XYZ model, which they’ve been making for 30+ years, mostly it was used in TV broadcast switchers and control boards. still happy to see it make its way into synth eurorack products, I guess.

    1. I would also like to point out that Doepfer did not invent sheets of aluminium. Still it is nice to see sheets of aluminium in the eurorack world.

  2. It looks like a float you find in the toilet tank. HAH! I know what all of you are thinking. No! It’s the one that shuts off the flow of water when the tank is full.

  3. I wish a developer would produce a standalone X-Y joystick controller with MIDI (DIN or USB) output.
    Also a standalone X-Y touch-pad with MIDI out.

    Yes yes I know you can do this with a phone or tablet app.

    1. There are a lot of DIY projects out there utilizing an Arduino nano and analog joystick. Just google it. It would be cheaper to build one.

    1. Over the last 3 years I’ve owned 138 different Eurorack modules, each having anywhere from 2 to 18 jacks on them, and there was exactly one bad jack among all of them. And it was like that from the factory, not from wear. And it would be easy to fix if I bothered to.

      That’s a much better ratio than the 1/4″ line out/headphone jacks on other synths I’ve owned.

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