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Showing posts from March, 2013

My DIY-Tools

While i am still waiting for parts for an upcoming DIY-project, i thought it would be a good idea to show you the DIY-equipment that i work with.
I don't use any expensive professional type tools, everything here can be bought on a budget, and upgraded if you have the money.
So far i have done all my modifications/expansions with this set of tools.

My soldering-iron is a 30W Velleman electrical soldering-iron without temperature-control.
I know some people prefer temperature-control because some of the components can be sensitive to high temperatures, but
so far i haven't damaged anything... ;-)

I have 2 different sizes of lead-free soldering-tin, both with a low melting-point.
The thinnest one is 0.7 mm and i use that for the more delicate soldering-points.
I use the slightly thicker (1 mm) tin thread mainly for making connections (i.e. soldering a wire to a switch)
I hardly use the spring-loaded desoldering-pump on the lower left side of the pictures.
It can be used for remo…

More Darkness: Doepfer MAQ16/3 Dark Edition

It seems that Doepfer is extending their successful  'Dark'-product-range even more with their latest announcement.
A new version of the MAQ16/3 MIDI Analog Sequencer will be black and feature Dark Energy-style knobs.
There's not much additional info, but i guess the inside of this fantastic sequencer will stay the same.

It looks great, and this is not the first time that a black MAQ will be available, but those models had the same style of knobs of the original MAQ, only in black...

New Doepfer A-157 Pictures / Dark Flow Announced

Doepfer posted their latest design and a bit more info on the upcoming A-157 (Mini Schaltwerk) Trigger Sequencer Subsystem modules on their website.
Hopefully the finished modules will be shown later at MusikMesse this year (10th-13th of May in Frankfurt, Germany)

The name 'Mini Schaltwerk' seems appropriate now, because it does look a lot like it's larger Schaltwerk brother.

" The LED/button matrix module A-157-1 is the core of the subsystem.
It is used to set or reset the trigger event on each of the 16 steps of each of the 8 rows.
The trigger output module A-157-2 outputs the 8 trigger signals and has an LED display for each trigger.
We will probably add a mute button or mute switch for each row that allows to turn the trigger output off/on independent for each row.
In the final version the modules A-157-1 and A-157-2 will be probably merged into one module only because both modules are essential for the subsystem.

The module A-157-1/2 (or the merged module that wil…

Blue LED Lights MIDI Controlled using a Doepfer MTC 64

James Bragg, member of the Doepfer Yahoo Usergroup recently shared his latest project.
He has just finished his 16-LED light-panel using a Doepfer MTC64 MIDI-to-Contact board.

The MTC64 is an universal MIDI interface that converts up to 64 succeeding MIDI note on/off or program change messages into 64 TTL voltages (0/+5V).
The TTL outputs of the MTC64 can be used to control different switching functions.  With suitable drivers (e.g. switching transistors) relays, lamps, motors, electromagnets, even magnetic valves and so on can be controlled.

James only used 16 of the 64 switching contacts.
He explains: " When playing synth live I use an Akai  MPC1000 sampler for backing beats and I wanted to synchronize lighting with it."
In the video he shows how it is all made.

Video: Blue LED Lights MIDI Controlled using a Doepfer MTC64

" A project using a Doepfer board to Midi Control LED lights. We're going to use this for our band Phoenix-Flare so the lights can be synced per…

Random Videos by Daniel Hofer

On a new YouTube channel by Daniel Hofer, a lot of interesting Doepfer-videos are popping up.
Mainly just wild audio-demonstrations without voice-over, but with very interesting sounds and great audio quality too.
Sadly the descriptions are in German, but i did a rough translation of them all... where possible ;-)

Video 1: 1.3.13 space 02
" Quantised RVnoise dynamically shaped with the DSP Effects-Module from Doepfer.
Inverted Shape + Original "

Video 2: 16.3.13 Resonanz Gate to QVR to VCF

" QVR from doepfer controlled by Gate, controlling the Filter Frequency from the A-108 "

Video 3: 25.2.13 SH Cmp Morp
" 2 LFO Signals into Comperator, Signal Out in Trigger in of the ADSR, VCO1+2 to FM morphing over Offset "
All videos by Daniel Hofer,  subscribe to his YouTube channel HERE

MAQ16/3 FracRak Breakout Box

Not every-one finds it practical that the Doepfer MAQ16/3 Sequencer has all its connections on the backside of the module.
Especially when you change your setup a lot, you don't want to climb behind your 19"-rack to change patch-cables every time.

Of course there are always people who have figured out a solution for this.

This MAQ breakout panel that i found in an old Matrixsynth post came with a pair of custom made FracRak breakout panels to bring the MIDI jacks and the 1/8" Voltage Control and Gate jacks to the front of your FracRak panel for easy patching.
These would have fit perfectly next to your Paia modules for example.
It also had the necessary cables to connect to these panels from the back of the MAQ16/3.

According to the maker these panels were not cheap to put together. (Try pricing the 2 MIDI panel mount barrels and even the 6 panel mount 1/8" barrels)

Theoretically it is possible to make such breakout panels for a Eurorack system. The CV and Gate out…

Random Video: Improvisation XXXII by Andreas Krebs:

Andreas Krebs, blogger at and writer of the Big A-100 Book (still only available in the German language) uploaded an impressive 26-minute long video of his latest improvisational piece... Enjoy!

Video: Andreas Krebs: Improvisation XXXII

"Andreas Krebs: Improvisation XXXII "Wind Horse" 20.02.2013
Instruments: Doepfer A-100, GForce ImpOSCar2 "

Find more about Andreas HERE

Doepfer Pre-MusikMesse 2013 Announcements

Dieter Doepfer made a few announcements today about the upcoming new modules and about the MusikMesse 2013, that will be held from the 10th to the 13th of April 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany.

I'm looking most forward to the new A-157 Mini Schaltwerk prototypes, i cant wait until the are finished.:
Doepfer stated that they " ...will hopefully show the "large" version of the trigger sequencer A-157/miniature Schaltwerk (8 rows with 16 steps each).
The 8x16 button/LED board is ready but I cannot guarantee that the controller board will be also ready for the Musikmesse."

They will also show the prototype of the new version of the A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi-to-CV/Gate Interface (with LCD) and the A-190-8 USB/Midi-to-Sync Interface at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt.
These modules will be available about summer 2013. 
The other news:

The small version of the multiple A-180 is available in April 2013 (2 HP only, name: A-180-2)
The module A-171-2 (licensed copy of the Serge/CG…

Doepfer DIY Synth for Eurorack

I have a lot of respect for the DIY/synth community and their inventivity.
A Google alert notified me about this module, a Doepfer DIY-synth built into a skiff-friendly 42 TE wide Eurorack panel... the smallest one i have seen so far.
For those of you interested, it is still for sale on eBay...

"Doepfer DIY synth for Eurorack format
Fully patchable complete modular analog synth.
Size 42TE (213 mm) / Skiff friendly

The module has:
30 Patch points (3,5 Euro standard jacks)
27 Potentiometers
plus 2 switches and 2 LEDs for ADSR and LFO

You get:
A VCO, Multimode filter (LowPass, HighPass and mixed mode), LFO (trangle and rectangle), ADSR, inverter, slew (portamento)
Each with several attennuators and parameters not normally seen in other modules."

Auction ends on the 15th of March - find it on eBay HERE

Alternative Controllers: Dmitry Shtatnov's Wob-Wob Fader

Dmitry Shtatnov uploaded a nice video from his latest DIY-project/invention.
He created a CV-source module that consists of an 8 HP front-panel with two faders, two separate mini-jack outputs and a switch.

The faders generate CV voltages, and each fader has its own output.
A switch is added to select between (regular) fader mode and so-called wob-wob mode with a 0V.-centre in the middle.
I must say it does create a nice effect, and IMO not only suitable for making Dub-Step...

Dmitry even shares the schemetics if you're interested in this project, contact him via his site or via YouTube.
Video: Wob-Wob Filter " This short demonstration shows my little invention: CV-source dedicated for Dub-Step drops. Unlike regular fader, this one has its maximal value on the middle position. Schematics available. It's very simple and it's free for non-commercial use.
You can get schematic here:
R2 and R3 can be replaced with 4.7k to increase the…

Using a Doepfer A-145 LFO as Swing Generator

I have decided to make a few short tutorials for the blog with relatively basic tips for your modular synthesizer.

The first video in this series shows how you can use an LFO as alternative 'Swing Generator'
I used a Doepfer A-145 LFO to show the principle.
The A-145 can do a great job as a (continuous) envelope generator, especially when using the reversed saw-tooth wave.

In the video the TB-303 is playing, the A-100 is playing the same pattern via the TB-303's CV Output.
The Gate from the TB-303 is fed into the Reset In on the A-145 so each time this module receives a Gate signal, it starts a new cycle.
Slow LFO cycles (Low mode) will result in longer envelopes and faster LFO's will result in interesting (swinging) rhythmical discoveries.

Video: Using an A-145 LFO as Swing Generator by PatchPierre

" Short PatchPierre Tutorial
Equipment used: Doepfer A-100, Roland TB-303, Machinedrum "

Uploaded by PatchPierre (subscribe!)

Doepfer A-118 Extra Random Output Modification

In preparation for the next #ModularBattle round, i figured out i had to do something to get a little bit more out of my pretty basic set of Doepfer Modules.

I decided to add an extra Random Output to my A-118 Noise/Random Voltage module, which was quite an easy job.

After i removed the knobs and the sockets i could remove the frontpanel of the module.
I mounted it on a flat piece of (old)wood, and secured it with two nails to avoid the frontpanel slipping away.
With a nail and a hammer i punched a small guide-hole for my drill, and drilled an extra hole for the new mini-jack connector.

To protect the front-plate, you can use an adhesive foil or (painter's) masking tape to cover the front, but if you drill very carefully, and don't wipe but blow the aluminium-scrapes off the module you'll be fine.

The new mini-jack connector was one that i ordered from Doepfer earlier (i have a big collection of mini-jack connectors, knobs and switches - they sell them seperately as spare…

Gestural Control of Modular Synthesizer via Kinect by Robotmakers

A video by Robotmakers was uploaded to YouTube this weekend, showing another alternative way of controlling your modular with gestures.
Finally someone found out how to use the Microsoft Kinect system to control a (modular) synthesizer.

Kinect is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 game console and Windows PCs, based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral.  It enables users to control and interact with the PC or Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller or mouse, through a natural user interface using gestures.
Although this hack only converts the gestures to a MIDI signal, it can be easily converted into CV voltages with any simple MIDI-to-CV converter. I predicted that this would be possible when the Kinect was announced in a post from January last year about Doepfer's Mogli glove.  I didn't expect it would take this long before a video showing this would appear on YouTube though... (or did i miss earlier attempts?)
Video: Gestural Control…

PatchPierre Goes To Battle

You've probably heard and read about the ModularBattle challenge that was started by KlirrFaktor and Fi0cz a few weeks ago.
The rules are simple so far; Round one - one module only / Round 2 - two modules, and so on...
 - no external CV, click or audio - tracks no longer than 2 minutes - no additional edits or effects - track as video or audio.
I made quite a few videos so far, although i failed to enter my first video in time.
Starting from now on I will post them here on my own blog too...

Find all the other entries at
Follow ModularBattle on Twitter via the #ModularBattle hashtag

My #ModularBattle entries so far:

Video 1: Out of competition #ModularBattle Round 1 entry by PatchPierre

One module only - Doepfer A-127 Triple VC Resonance Filter

Video 2: PatchPierre Sells Seashells - #ModularBattle Round 2

Two modules only - Doepfer A-118 Noise/Random Voltage plus Doepfer A-106-1 Xtreme Filter

Video 3: Sonic Pointillism by PatchPierre - #ModularBattle Round 3