Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Doepfer A-150-8 Octal Manual/Voltage Controlled Programmable Switches Announced

Doepfer has just released some info on their new modules for NAMM 2017 (19-21 jan.)
Besides some vintage editions of existing modules, the A-135ABC VC Performance mixer modules, the A-110-6Trapezoid Thru Zero Quadrature VCO and a new A-100LC1 case (economically priced small housing with 48 HP width) there was also one other interesting new module announcement:

Module A-150-8 contains eight manually/voltage controlled switches. 
Each of the eight switches has a manual control button (Man.), a control voltage input (CV), a common Out / Input (O/I), and two In / Outputs (I/O1, I/O2). 
The switches are bi-directional, i.e. they can work in both directions, so can connect one input to either of two outputs, or either of two inputs to one output. 

A-150-8 Octal VC Switch prototype
Two LEDs show which in / output is active (ie. which is connected to the common out / input). 
In addition the LEDs are used for the programming of the module:
For each unit the operating mode can be selected: 
Toggle or Level controlled. In Toggle mode the rising edge of the CV input or operating the manual control button changes the state of the switch. In Level mode the switch state is defined by the voltage applied to the CV input (low voltage = I/O1, high voltage = I/O2) or by the state of the manual control button (not pressed = I/O1, pressed = I/O2). 
The modes are programmed very easily: Operating the Toggle/Level button of the program section displays the current state of each switch with the LEDs (left LED on = Toggle mode, right LED on = Level mode). 
Operating the manual control button of the switch in question changes the toggle/level mode.
In addition it's possible to define master/slave groups. In such a group the upper unit (= master) controls also the state of the following switches provided that they are defined as slaves. 
Master/slave programming is also very simple: Operating the Master/Slave button of the program section displays the current state of each switch with the LEDs (left LED on = Master, right LED on = Slave). 

Operating the manual control button of the switch in question changes the master/slave mode. 
When all 8 units are defined as master each switch is independent of each other. If for example the sequence is MSSSMSMS the control unit of the first switch also controls the switches 2, 3 and 4. The control unit of switch #5 also controls the switch #6, and the control unit of switch #7 also controls the switch #8.

Doepfer is also thinking about a small preset management with eight presets which store the states and modes of all switches. But they are not yet sure if this makes sense because the configuration of the switches is associated very closely to the patching of the sockets.

Date of Delivery: Spring 2017 
Price: ~ US$ 160.00 (Euro 150.00) 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Doepfer A-135-4A/B/C Voltage Controlled Performance Mixer Modules Announced

The A-135-4A and B prototypes on display
at the Amsterdam Dance Event in
October 2016
In a previous blogpost I was rather excited about my own new A-138p/o Performance mixer combo.
I bought i just right before I knew that Doepfer was working on a voltage controlled version of this module...

On first impression, the new A-135-4A Voltage Controlled Performance Mixer looks quite the same as the non-cv-controllable A-138p Performance Mixer, only with extra LEDs for displaying the incoming CV voltages for all parameters (except Gain).

Module A-135-4B is the CV-input module, where 16 different control voltages can alter 16 parameters on the A-135-4A Mixer... The modules must be connected via an int 20pin ribbon-cable.

Module A-135-4C is a four-fold envelope follower with adjustable attack and release time for each channel.
The main function of the module is to derive four envelopes from the A-135-4A audio input signals. These voltages can be used to control parameters of the main module A-135-4A via the CV input module A-135-4B2. Typical applications are ducking (e.i. the signal of one channel is used to mute another channel more or less), as well as compressor and expander functions.

A-135-4A/B/C VC Performance mixer prototype
with the A-138o Output module
A-135-4B CV Inputs Module close-up
The modules of the A-135-4 series can be combined with the (non voltage controlled) mixer modules A-138o/p so that these can be used as output module for the A-135-4A. A-135-4A and A-138p can be connected together to the same A-138o to obtain e.g. four fully voltage controlled channels (A-135-4A) and four manually controlled channels (A-138p).

This combo will probably available before spring of this year.

Preliminary info via http://www.doepfer.de/A1354.htm

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Doepfer A-138p/o Performance Mixer Combo

The latest addition to my modular system is the A-138p/o Performance Mixer set of modules...

Modules A-138p/o are a simple performance mixer that I use as and end-mixer for all the signals coming out of my A-100, and for merging my TB-303 audio, before it all goes into my mixing-desk.

Module A-138p is the 4-fold input module, A-138o is the output module that can be combined with one or more A-138p.
I read somewhere that the module didn't start off as commercial product, but as a personal hobby-project of Dieter Doepfer who just needed this module for himself... It did go through quite a few prototype stages before it was released in this final form.

The A-138p has 4 input channels, with separate controls and a mute
switch for each channel.
A-138p/o in my current setup, with
the aux send/return patched through
the Qu-Bit RT-60 DSF Multi fx
The controls are for Gain (control to adapt different audio levels -also for external signals), Level (the main volume control), Aux and Panning
An internal jumper for each channel lets you choose between Aux pre/post main Level control.
There is an internal connection to the output module and to other A-138p modules
The A-138p requires the A-138o Output module (no stand-alone use)

The A-138o Output module features level controls for Left, Right and Aux,  and output sockets for Left, Right and Aux (3.5 mm mono sockets), it requires at least one A-138p (no stand-alone use)

I must say that I am extremely happy with these new modules. It's just what I needed to create an easier workflow in my system.
I especially like the Aux send/return function, which makes it a perfect companion for my Qu-Bit RT-60 DSP multi-effects module, but you can also use it for sending audio to a BBD-module, a filter or spring reverb for example.
Alternatively the Aux send can be used for pre-listening in combination with a headphone.
Like any other Doepfer module this one is easy to use too, the controls are very basic and straightforward. These modules are now the heart of my A-100 system.

About a week after I ordered mine, the word got out that Doepfer was working on another version of this module (A-135A/B/C) with dedicated CV inputs for each parameter and a Quad Envelope follower module with attack and release controls for each of the 4 channels.
Some prototypes of these modules are already touring through the world, I did see one in the Alex4 rack at the Amsterdam Dance Event in October of last year.
You can read more about that in my next blogpost, but I must say it looks promising.
At the moment I don't really need such a module or have the HP space for all of them. but I do see some exciting possibilities in these modules.

Source: http://www.doepfer.de/home_e.htm

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Happy New Year From PatchPierre

Hi there, it's me again... Happy New Year!

You might have noticed that I havent posted a lot in the last 2 years...
It's been a rough time for me since the sudden loss of two parents within a relatively short time-span and I really needed some time to get myself together... to set things straight, finding myself and selecting priorities... even my regular work suffered from this breakdown.

It took a while to understand it all, and to get a better grip on it, and it's sometimes still not very clear.
I think I have found a way to cope with most of it now... although the slight autism that I have (ADD-like) doesn't make it easy for, especially in crowds with lots of people I don't know...
On my journey I also (re-)discovered the beautiful woman that has always lived inside of me and that i need to accept and cherish... more on that maybe later... I'm not considering changing the name of the blog to PatchPetra.Net ūüėá (...yet), but you might spot me somewhere at modular events in the near future looking a bit different. Please feel free to say hello and ask me anything, but try to adress me then as Petra...

But back to that blog;
When I started PatchPierre.Net in 2010 there were only a few blogs completely dedicated to modular synths... I mainly remember Navs Modular lab (http://navsmodularlab.blogspot.nl/) , and Synth.NL, where Michel blogged about his own builds. I was (and still am) a fan and frequent visitor of MatrixSynth.com and MuffWigger.
The Eurorack boom hadn't really taken off back then and i had a lot of dedicated followers and readers.
Although I was mainly focusing on my own (Doepfer) modules at first, I always kept an eye out for new modules and tried to keep up with all the news and post about evrerything... but that seems impossible nowadays. I'll leave that to others, with some exceptions of course.

The beating heart of my studio today 
2017 will be the year that i will return to posting on a more regular basis, by taking at least one day
off from work in every two weeks, so I can totally focus on the blog and making new video's.
I can't promise too much, but I aim to post somewhere between 100-150 blogposts this year.
I will start off with some of my new equipment that I haven't blogged about yet...
My new studio-setup is now almost completed and expanded with an Arturia Beatstep Pro and an Akai MPC Touch sampler.
A perfect setup for the kind of stuff that I like to do...
I discovered I'm not much of a noodler/wiggler but that I feel more related to live techno performers and live jazz musicians... Hence my interest in the somewhat weird time-signatures (oh I just love 4/5th and 7/8th) and long repetitive jamsessions.

I will also be opening some space for ads on the blog, with an average of around 10.000 pageviews per month over the last 3 years (15.000 last december, without even posting much) I think it's worth another try... Contact me for info at Pierre@PatchPierre.Net
The donations-page is also still open, thanks again to the people who have already showed their support in the past.

So... that's one of my New Year's resolutions. You can expect new updates pretty soon I guess.
I hope you will look forward to it as much as I do and perhaps you will show some support by re-tweeting/re-posting what you like most.... Thanks in advance! xxx

Have a great 2017!

Pierre / Petra / PatchPierre / NetPierre

Oh... and this!