Analogue Solutions ships compact true stereo analogue monosynth/sonic realiser as perfectly-packaged desktop device
KINGSWINFORD, UK: British boutique electronic instruments innovator Analogue Solutions is proud to announce availability of Impulse Command — creatively crafting a true stereo, semi-modular analogue monosynth/sonic realiser, replete with fanciful features likeDUAL DYNAMIC ANALOGUE OSCILLATORS; DUAL ANALOGUE FILTERS; stereo digital EFFECTS; 16-step MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER and STEP SEQ (with radical REORDER!function); and more, meaning it can conceivably sound like several simultaneously-playing synthesizers as a perfectly-packaged desktop device — as of April 2…
As is, indeed, the case with all Analogue Solutions’ innovative instruments,Impulse Command is a ‘real’ analogue affair… as in its audio signal path — post effects apart — and all modulation routings really are analogue through and through. The chosen company name gives the genuine game away. After all,Analogue Solutions’ circuitry capitalises on superlative-sounding designs dating back to the Seventies, so no quantisation for CPU (Central Processing Unit) reading required. The VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators), VCFs (Voltage Controlled Filters), EGs (Envelope Generators), and LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) are all truly analogue in the Seventies sense of the word, with transistors, op-amps, and resistors. Reality dictates, therefore, that — apart from the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) conversion, sequencer control, and digital delay/reverb essential elements — Impulse Command is reallyanalogue. As such, sound benefits become apparent as soon as anyone feasts their ears on the remarkable result. Is it any wonder, then, that there is so much favourable commentary about how good Analogue Solutions’ synthesizers sound!
So potential purchasers can clearly take it as ‘red’ — pun intended, given its eye-catching colour scheme! — that Impulse Command sounds as good as analogue gets. Given that Impulse Command is designed by Analogue Solutions founderTom Carpenter, this surely shouldn’t come as as surprise. As a fervent fan of electronic music and also an active electronic musician himself, he naturally knows a thing or two about programming synthesizers. So his current creation clearly wasn’t the result of engineering design decisions driven by a steering committee of men (or women) in suits, compulsorily constrained to maximise profit for faceless shareholders. Far from it, in fact. Fortunately for all, the fanciful features available and resultant range of tones they can capably produce have all been carefully thought through to impart Impulse Commandwith what’s required to speedily bring about a wide range of sounds that true analogue admirers could conceivably call for — from huge basses, synth leads, percussion, and effects through to modular system-like stylings.
So what makes this superlative-sounding, Seventies-inspired innovative instrument truly tick? The subtractive synthesis signal path in Impulse Command creatively gets going with two VCOs, producing the raw audio sound source for later processing. Providing a wealth of features and modulation choices in and of themselves, VCO1 boasts a white noise generator alongside sawtooth and triangle waveforms, while VCO2 DETUNE does just that — detuning VCO2 to thicken up the resulting synth sound. Thereafter, things start to take a turn towards the fanciful with AMOUNT applying the amount of MIDIVEL (velocity) or EG2 signal that will be applied to modulate VCO2’s volume, selected via a toggle switch, while I.L. manually sets the initial level of VCO2volume, and allows that level to be dynamically controlled when set to zero; speaking of oscillators, the VELOCITY control sets the amount of MIDI velocity that will be applied to the square wave-equipped SUB (sub-oscillator) volume, while I.L. manually sets the initial level of SUB volume, so also allows that level to be dynamically controlled when set to zero — hence the DUAL DYNAMIC ANALOGUE OSCILLATORS wording boldly blazoned across Impulse Command’s easy-to-follow front panel!
Pitch modulation, meanwhile, such as vibrato or a pitch sweep, can be obtained by patching with cables using the mini-jack sockets sited along the top of the front panel. Put it this way: while Impulse Command is mostly pre-patched, it has such a wide range of modulation routing possibilities that it is almost as versatile as a full modular system and is capable of producing the same types of sounds — albeit without the mess and confusion of cables. It does, however, have a sizeable selection of patch sockets that allow adventurous users to re-patch it or connect it to an external modular system.
So what about that DUAL ANALOGUE FILTERING wording? Well, as implied,Impulse Command comes complete with two CEM chip-style filters — the same type as those used in classic synths such as the Elka Synthex, Fairlight CMI, Oberheim OB8, and Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, to name but a notable few. Despite sharing the same core circuitry as those vintage classics, Impulse Command is imbued with its own sonic character, rather than simply sounding like them. Many of the controls are duplicated for each of those 24dB/octave filters. The upper VCF is called VCF-L (left) and the signal — following its own dedicated VCA — is routed to the left output jack. It stands to reason, then, that the lower VCF is called VCF-R (right) and the signal — following its own dedicated VCA — is routed to the right output jack. Commonly, CUTOFF sets the master frequency cutoff for both filters, while PEAK sets the resonance/feedback level of both filters. Further left field, perhaps, VCF-R DETUNE offsets the second filter’s frequency cutoff, while VELOCITY sets the amount of MIDI velocity that will modulate the cutoff of both filters, andAGGRO adds cross modulation from VCO2 to the filter CUTOFF, creating a more edgy sound — increasing PEAK to higher levels emphasises this effect. Elsewhere, there are no fewer than four modulation sources — namely, EG1, EG2, LFO1, and LFO2, while LEVEL sets the level of modulation applied to the filter CUTOFF. Creatively, MOD INVERT inverts the modulation for VCF-L, which, as an example, enables pseudo-auto-pan effects. External sound sources, such as vocals, guitars, mixer sends, and samplers, etc, can be sent through the filters for further treatment by simply plugging the sound source into the rearside IN (input) socket. All in all, a flexible filtering section that belies this relatively diminutive desktop device’s space-saving (322 x 270mm) footprint.
Following on from filtering, Impulse Command’s signal path arrives at two separate analogue ADSR envelopes. EG2 is hardwired to control the VCAs that follow the VCFs, but both EGs are available for modulation of various circuits and have trigger and signal output jacks for further patching.
Processing plays a part in Impulse Command’s musical makeup. Primarily designed as a powerful analogue synthesizer, some essential effects — bit crush, delay, flanger, and reverb — have been included to give the resulting sound some ambience. The latter three effects can even be modulated to a degree by the STEP SEQ (sequencer), so they can be dynamically controlled! Control-wise, turning EFFECT selects the eight presets, while ASPECT1 and ASPECT2 are used to make some adjustments to the sound space preset selected. Sequencing is where the sounding-like-several-synthesizers-simultaneously-playing-Impulse Command can come into its own like no other, though. There are two sequencers — an analogue STEP SEQ (that produces voltages) and a MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER (that produces MIDI note loops). Both are clocked from the same signal source, selected using the SEQUENCER SYNCHRO switch, though theMIDI LOOP SEQUENCER can be independently stopped and started. As implied by name, the MIDI LOOP SEQUENCER is used to record melodic loops and will always run in time with the analogue STEP SEQ, which is primarily used for modulation. But both benefit from the radical REORDER! function that affects the sequencer stepping order — forwards, backwards, and all sorts of strange yet wonderful variations! It’s a lot like life, even.
Ending on a high note, Tom Carpenter concludes — somewhat thoughtfully — thus: “This synth is a journey of discovery. You’ll take the occasional wrong turn, but you’ll also make many exhilarating turns, and each destination will be nirvana-like. Life is all about the journey. So experience and play.”
Impulse Command is now available for purchase — priced at an RRP of £849.00 GBP (ex. VAT)/€1,179.00 EUR (inc. tax)/ $1,199.00 USD (inc. tax) — through Analogue Solutions’ growing global network of authorised dealers (http://www.analoguesolutions.com/dealers/) or order online directly from Analogue Solutions via the dedicated Impulse Command webpage (http://www.analoguesolutions.com/impulse-command), which also includes more in-depth information.
Watch Analogue Solutions’ introductory Impulse Command video here:https://youtu.be/3vW6NXIwOy0
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
Rossum Electro-Music Announces Panharmonium Mutating Spectral Resynthesizer
(Santa Cruz, CA, March 27, 2019) — Rossum Electro-Music has announced that they will be previewing their new Panharmonium Mutating Spectral Resynthesizer Eurorack module at the Synthplex festival in Burbank, CA from March 28th through 31st.
Created by Rossum Electro-Music Software Architect Bob Bliss (who also, as it happens, fathered E-mu’s famed “EOS” Emulator Operating System), Panharmoniumisa unique music and sound design tool that analyzes the spectral content of any audio signal and uses that analysis to drive a bank of from 1 to 33 oscillators. Depending on various control settings, Panharmonium can accurately reproduce the input spectrum in real time or modify it in a multitude of wildly creative ways. All with an interface whose immediacy encourages performance and interaction.
Panharmonium input can be anything from a single oscillator to an entire mix (including vocals). From dense, swirling pads and drones that evolve with the input’s changing spectrum, to clock-syncable spectral arpeggiation, to as-yet unnamed harmonic effects, Panharmonium opens up an entirely new world of sonic possibilities.
Additionally, Panharmonium can take a snapshot of an instantaneous spectrum and use that as a complex harmonic oscillator, which can then be modified and modulated by all of Panharmonium’s other controls.
Panharmonium accomplishes its magic though a combination of functional submodules:
The Spectral Analyzer provides tools for defining the analysis process.
– The Slice parameter sets the rate at which the incoming audio is transformed to spectral data. It can be set by the Slice and Multiplier controls, the Tap button, or by an external clock signal. Very short slice times result in real-time spectral data, while longer times can create rhythmic spectral patterns.
– The Center Freq and Bandwidth controls (and associated CV inputs and attenuverters) control the range of frequencies to be analyzed. The Bandwidth control allows the selection of narrow to wide pass bands on the left side of the pot and narrow to wide notches on the right side of the pot. The ability to sweep the frequency and modify the bandwidth under CV control opens up a wide range of sonic effects.
– The Freeze button lets you freeze the spectral integrator, sustaining the currently analyzed spectrum.
These controls allow the creative modification the analyzed spectra.
– The Voice parameter controls the number of oscillators (from 1 to 33) used to resynthesize the spectrum.
– The Blur parameter (and associated CV input) is a spectral lag processor that controls how quickly the spectrum can change.
– The Feedback control (and associated CV input) allows one to route the resynthesized audio back into the entire processing chain for subtle or dramatic feedback effects. At its max, the output becomes self-sustaining, even if the input is removed.
The Oscillator Bank resynthesizes the analyzed spectra.
– The Waveform parameter selects the oscillators’ waveform. In addition to the usual sine, triangle, sawtooth and pulse waveforms, two special crossfading sine and sawtooth waveforms are included.
– The Freq control tunes the oscillators over a +/-7 semitone range. The frequency is further controlled by the 1V/Oct input and the FM input and attenuverter.
– The Octave control, not surprisingly, shifts the pitch of the output by octaves.
– The Glide parameter sets the amount of polyphonic glide (i.e., each oscillator has its own glide circuit).
– The Mix control (and associated CV input) sets the balance between the original input audio and the resynthesized audio.
A number of optional functions can be selected by using the Output Mode and Tap buttons.
– Holding the Output Mode button and adjusting the Slice control enables Drums Mode, which optimizes the spectral analysis for drums and other percussive inputs.
– Holding the Output Mode button and adjusting the Center Freq control allows one to instead set the lower frequency of the analysis range.
– Holding the Output Mode button and adjusting the Freq control enables Spectral Warping. In contrast to conventional frequency adjustment, where the harmonic relationships between the spectral elements are preserved, Spectral Warping shifts the harmonic elements individually, producing a variety of clangorous, swarming textures.
– Holding the Tap button and adjusting the Freq control quantizes the resulting frequency adjustments to semitones.
Spectra Memories and Presets
Panharmonium provides 12 user Spectra memories and 12 user Presets (in addition to 12 each factory memories).
– The Spectra memories let you store up to 12 frozen slices. When selected, a spectrum (up to 33 oscillators wide!) replaces any live input and can have its pitch controlled by the 1V/Oct input and FM controls.
– A Preset is a snapshot of all of the module settings, along with the value of any CVs present at the moment the preset is saved.
Panharmonium is 26HP wide and 25mm deep.
Power requirements (max): 140mA +12V, 30mA -12V. Reverse polarity protected.
Panharmonium will be available in early summer from Rossum Electro-Music dealers worldwide at a suggested retail price in the US of $499.00.
More Panharmonium information can be found at the Rossum Electro-Music web site: http://www.rossum-electro.com/products/panharmonium/
Prism is a multidimensional signal processor that creates a framework for the spectral
metamorphosis of any input signal. This stereo audio buffer can be navigated through on 3 axis,
each of which provides a different sonic journey through its array of time based controls.
The X and Z planes are home to a flexible delay line capable of long clocked delays, slapback
echo, or comb filtered vocoder-esque timbres. On the Y axis is the decimate control. This sets
the audio fidelity of the buffer by manipulating the sample rate and bit depth of the output. A
state variable filter with configurable low pass, high pass, and band pass outputs can be enabled
at the beginning or end of the signal chain providing yet another dimension of spectral
transformation. And thanks to its digital architecture, the current buffer contents can be locked
in place with the Freeze control, creating glitch and beat repeat effects which can be synced to
an external clock source. The Prism blurs the lines between DSP effect, filter, and looper and
transcends into a new realm of uncharted audio processing.
- Multidimensional signal processor
- Stereo inputs and outputs
- Flexible delay line providing long delays, and comb filtering
- Bit depth and sample rate manipulation
- State variable filter with LPF, HPF, and BPF
- Freeze control locks buffer in place for glitch and beat repeat effects
- Aluminum front panel
Power: +12V: 90mA, -12V: 10mA, +5V: 0mA
Synclavier Digital delves into iconic past to bring seminal Synclavier® II sound engine back to the future as awe-inspiring iOS apps
NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA: having turned heads and opened ears with a show-stopping showcase at The 2019 NAMM Show in Southern California, January 24-27, newly-formedSynclavier Digital is proud to announce availability ofSynclavier Go! and Synclavier Pocket! — placing a re-creation of the seminal Synclavier® II Digital Synthesizer’s sound engine from which they take their names into the respective hands of iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch owners as awe-inspiring iOS apps, allowing all the famed FM (Frequency Modulation) and Additive (harmonic) synthesis capabilities to be brought forward forty years for all to musically marvel, at a fraction of the original’s prohibitive pricing thanks to today’s technology, while also effectively emulating the iconic instrument’s intuitive panels of easy-to-touch red backlit buttons and iconic control knob in easy-to-use user interfaces — as of March 5…
Put it this way: while the still-highly-coveted brand of Synclavier® — synonymous with high-end audio production technology that blazed a trail through the Seventies and Eighties before stalling in the Nineties — is in the midst of a galactic reboot, thanks to Nova Scotia-registered Canadian Corporation Synclavier Digital, established in 2018 to re-create a modern iOS-based version of the Synclavier® Digital Audio System, Synclavier Go!, its inaugural iPad offering, is far from being a clone, however… to all intents and purposes, it is a Synclavier®!
So how, exactly, did yesteryear’s trailblazing technology that commanded a princely six-figure sum end up available on Apple’s pocket-friendly iOS platform in true needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few style? Simply speaking, when New England Digital (NED) went bankrupt in the Nineties, technology finally having caught up with the cutting-edge company concerned, co-founder Cameron Jones — co-inventor of the Synclavier® — bought the intellectual propriety rights to the trailblazing series of synthesizers and digital audio systems sharing the notable name.
Having held on to those rights and trademarks, Cameron Jones subsequently relocated to Cape Breton, Canada, keeping a comparatively small number of devoted Synclavier® owners happy with minor maintenance and upgrades in the intervening years, before being approached by French music software and hardware developer Arturia about the possibility of a VST (Virtual Studio Technology) instrument for its V Collection of authentic-sounding virtual instruments. Convinced that the time was right, he subsequently spent many long days porting the existing code and firmware for the seminal Synclavier® II DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engine to C Code capable of running on Windows and MacOS. Moreover, side-by-side testing was carried out with original equipment to ensure the systems sounded identical. Arturia’s Synclavier V was released in its own right to widespread critical acclaim in May 2016. People palpably put those striking Synclavier® sounds on a pedestal — not necessarily nostalgia-driven, but rather because they had stood the test of time. The DSP engine involved is clearly capable of producing phenomenal digital FM and Additive synthesis sounds like no other; on the face of it, Arturia had helpfully proved that there was a healthy market to be tapped.
That said, though the Synclavier V’s GUI (Graphical User Interface) worked well for a mouse-driven VST instrument, it remained removed from the tactile experience enjoyed by users when working with the Synclavier® II Digital Synthesizer. After all, the original instrument’s intuitive panels of easy-to-touch red backlit buttons and iconic control knob are the real reason why the Synclavier® was tailor-made for speedy sound and music-making. Whereas the computer GUI seemed to be placing an additional barrier between being creative and the machine itself. Indeed, upon discussing this very issue with a group of techie friends at a Cape Breton bar, the penny dropped for Cameron Jones… NED had always been about creating the very best devices — not only world-class synthesizers, but also world-class interfaces. Therefore, those intuitive panels were tantamount to a touchscreen way before touchscreen technology had been invented, since users could slide a finger across several buttons at once to activate them, while receiving instant feedback as they lit up accordingly.
According to 20-year software veteran Craig Phillips, a friend from the aforesaid techie group, it was clear that the aim of creating easy-to-use interfaces so users could creatively focus their efforts on sound was part ofCameron Jones’ DNA, so should surely be central to any new products that could well be on the cards. Consequently, Cameron Jones formed a new company called Synclavier Digital Corporation Limited, working with Craig Phillips to pursue next-generation Synclavier creation… cue Synclavier Go!and Synclavier Pocket!
Synclavier Go! is an authentic re-creation of the Synclavier® II’s FM Digital Additive synthesizer for Apple’s ubiquitous iPad, so its users can take their sound design studio anywhere. As a pedagogical tool it includes an inbuilt tour that describes how all of the features work on a panel by panel basis. Better still, the intuitive touchscreen is a joy to use. Ultimately, transforming simple sine waves into grungy brass attacks, swishy FM chimes, or charismatic string sounds has never been easier. The original Synclavier’s signature combination of FM and Additive synthesis capabilities that really represented its industry-shaking calling card are all present and correct here, housed in the same red-button-driven panels, only this time those panels can effectively be flipped for rear-side functions. Fortunately, there’s no need to buy more memory modules for more voices — super-efficient DSP code, coupled with the modern processing power of an iPad, means that voices are now theoretically limitless! Luckily, all of the ear-opening original FM and Additive synthesis Timbres(presets)— over 900 of them — are included in Synclavier Go!’s generous preset library with every conceivable parameter being user-tweak-able.Synclavier Go! supports 12 Partials, allowing users to layer luscious sounds with unlimited Frames, so sounds can evolve over time. Those adventurous users who end up creating something that they like the sound of can simply save it to one of their custom libraries.
Last but not least, Synclavier Pocket! is effectively a pocket-sized version ofSynclavier Go! — as implied by name. Needless to say, Synclavier Digital is collectively keen to train a new generation of synthesists in the creative art of sound design, which is why this iPhone-based Synclavier is free. Synclavier Pocket! has the same panels and tour information as its bigger brother, but users cannot save their own Timbres in a custom library — unless opting for the in-app purchase that enables this. That said, it is still possible to listen to the sounds from the original System Disk, as well as two additional authentic libraries. By offering an entry-level Synclavier® on the iPhone (or iPod Touch) for free, Synclavier Digital is maximising the chances of creating the next Suzanne Ciani, Mark Knopfler, Sting, or Frank Zappa, to name but a few die-hard Synclavier® II owners.
Who better to provide a fitting conclusion to this lengthy musical journey, then, than Cameron Jones himself. “Forty years ago, Sydney Alonso and I invented a musical instrument that revolutionised the music industry,” he begins, before adding: “Artists of Frank Zappa’s generation spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studio equipment to help them realise their musical ideas. Today we are witnessing another landmark in the release of iOS versions of the much-loved, much-coveted hardware. What happens when anyone with a modest budget can buy a Synclavier? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out what the new breed of creative people do with our invention.”
Synclavier Go! can be purchased and directly downloaded from the App Store priced at Tier 30 (US $29.99, UK £28.99, EC €32.99, CN ¥198.00, JP ¥3,600.00) from here: bit.ly/synclaviergo
Synclavier Go! supports three libraries of authentic Synclavier® sounds; 12 Partials; theoretically unlimited voices — depending on iPad processing speed; MIDI — 16 input tracks; Audiobus; IAA (Inter-app audio); IDA (Inter-device audio), allowing DAW interoperability; Ableton Link; audio out — up two 24-bit stereo at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz — tracks mixed — through headphone jack/lightning or USB; built-in three-octave touch keyboard; Repeat, Arpeggiate, and Portamento (legato) functions can be set per timbre; supports Polyphonic and Monophonic modes with Retriggering settings… for more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Synclavier Go! webpage here: https://www.synclavier.com/synclaviergo/
Synclavier Pocket! can be directly downloaded for free from the App Store — but requires an in-app purchase called Timbre Design Pro to save Timbres, priced at Tier 5 (US $4.99, UK £4.99, EC €5.49, CN ¥30.00, JP ¥600.00) — from here: bit.ly/synpocket
Synclavier Pocket! supports three ‘Disks’ of authentic Synclavier® sounds; up to four Partial Timbres; theoretically unlimited voices — depending on iPhone/iPod Touch processing speed; mono-timbral MIDI in — for keyboard, pitch bend wheel, and other interfaces; Audiobus and Ableton Link support; audio out — up two 24-bit stereo at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz — tracks mixed — through headphone jack/lightning or USB; built-in two- octave touch keyboard… for more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated Synclavier Pocket! webpage here: https://www.synclavier.com/synclavierpocket/
Some interesting notes
- Unit is still very early into production, all features subject to change at this point.
- Unit features both 24bit and 12bit modes
- Unit has an “over spec’d cpu and memory
- Price point is expected to be below $1000
- Case will be a metal construction
- Unit uses concentric knobs with two controls per pot.
- It will feature genuine ssi analog filter chips as well as digital filters
- Digital fx are being Considered
- Unit will ship with sample kits by a choice host of sound designers
As you can see from the new Renders. Isla instruments (maker of KORDBOT) is behind the new SP 2400 product. I will have them on to discuss the news on my live youtube stream soon! https://www.islainstruments.com/
so many answers to come!
Doepfer dives deeper into industry-standard Eurorack small-format modular system with quirky quintet of polyphonic modules
GRAEFELFING, GERMANY: having made musical waves during a show-stopping showcase of prototypes closer to home at SUPERBOOTH18 in Berlin, Germany, esteemed electronic musical device designer Doepfer is proud to globally announce availability of its A-111-4 Quad VCO, A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF, A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA, A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, and A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface — a quirky quintet of polyphonic modules that sees the trailblazing company diving deeper into the now-industry-standard Eurorack small-format modular system standard that it initiated and popularised with its ever-expanding A-100 ANALOG MODULAR SYSTEM — as of March 1…
Who better to throw light on the thinking behind this quirky quintet than company CEO Dieter Doepfer himself. “Modular synthesizers are almost exclusively monophonic structures since true polyphonic patches require a lot of modules — at least four VCOs, four VCFs, four VCAs, and eight ADSRs for a ‘classic’ four-voice patch,” he begins. “But even then it’s difficult to control filter resonance or modulation depth of all the filters, for example, or the attack and decay time of all the envelope generators simultaneously. So now it’s possible to integrate these functions into the modular synth world with our polyphonic modules, though the idea is not just to recreate a standard polyphonic synth within the modular system but rather realise new polyphonic structures that go far beyond a standard polyphonic synth and also far beyond the typical monophonic structures of a modular system since they still offer access to all parameters via CV or gate.”
Getting going, then,
the A-111-4 Quad VCO module features four precision CEM3340-based — triangle core — VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators), each with its own separate internal +/- power supply (to ensure stability and prevent unwanted VCO synchronisation). Each VCO has the same individual controls, and inputs/outputs, as follows: 1V/Octave CV In (Control Voltage input); +1 / 0 / -1 Octave switch; Tune control, with ~ 2 semitones / ~ 1 octave / ~ 4 octaves range selectable via internal jumpers; Mod. (modulation) CV In (Control Voltage input); Modulation Destination — upper position equals exponential frequency modulation (XM) and lower position equals linear frequency modulation (LM) or pulse-width modulation of the rectangle waveform (PM), selectable via internal jumper; frequency modulation (FM) or pulse- width modulation (PWM) of the rectangle waveform; Mod. Level (modulation intensity); triangle waveform output; sawtooth waveform output; rectangle waveform output — about 50% without external pulse-width modulation; SYC (sync) input — (CEM3340-type) hard or soft sync selectable via internal jumper; and minimum 10 octaves range (with appropriate external control voltage). Continuing further down its familiar (silver-grey) front panel, a Master section for all four VCOs includes the following controls and inputs/outputs: 1V/Octave CV In (Control Voltage input); +1 / 0 / -1 Octave switch; Tune control, with ~ 2 semitones / ~ 1 octave / ~ 4 octaves range selectable via internal jumpers; exponential frequency modulation (XM) CV In (Control Voltage input); triangle waveform sum output; sawtooth waveform sum output; and rectangle waveform sum output. Typical applications include: fat-sounding monophonic VCO with the ability to adjust any intervals; paraphonic patches — when working in combination with the A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface and all four VCOs being processed by one VCF/VCA section; fully polyphonic patches — when working in combination with the A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface and four complete VCF/VCA sections; complex VCO patches with up to four VCOs by means of the — exponential and linear — frequency modulation features and sync functions.
Following in (traditional subtractive synthesis) sequence, the A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF module is Doepfer’s first polyphonic filter, featuring four identical 24dB lowpass (SSM2044-type) filters. The module itself includes the following controls and inputs/outputs: F (frequency); FM (frequency modulation) intensity; Q (resonance); audio input L (level); CVF (control voltage frequency) attenuator; CVFM (control voltage frequency modulation) attenuator; CVQ (control voltage resonance) attenuator; CVL (control voltage level) attenuator; CVF (control voltage frequency) socket; CVFM (control voltage frequency modulation) socket; CVQ (control voltage resonance) socket; CVL (control voltage level) socket; FM (frequency modulation) 1 – 4 sockets; audio In (input) 1 – 4 sockets; and audio Out (output) 1 – 4 sockets, so each filter features a separate FM input as well as an audio input and output. The FM input is typically connected to the output of the associated envelope generator, such as Doepfer’s A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, while the envelope amount for all four filters is controlled by the FM knob and the CVFM input by four built-in VCAs, which are also controlled by the FM control and CVFM input to also allow voltage control of the envelope amounts. Additionally, it is also possible to apply frequency modulation to all four filters — for example, using an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) patched into the CVF socket and using the associated (CVF) attenuator. The range of the audio input level (L) control also allows clipping/ distortion with typical A-100 ANALOG MODULAR SYSTEM audio levels — from, for example, the A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR module — at the filter inputs. This parameter is also voltage controllable, as is the resonance (Q). Applications include polyphonic patches requiring four VCFs with the same parameters.
Perfectly named, the A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA module is an octal VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier), primarily primed for polyphonic applications. As such, it includes four pairs of VCAs — each pair including two daisy-chained VCAs, with one VCA having a linear control scale and the other a linear or exponential control scale, selectable via internal jumpers. Two VCAs are provided for each voice since one VCA is usually required for the loudness envelope and another for velocity (or other functions like individual voltage-controlled loudness of each voice, amplitude modulation, and so on). All VCAs are DC coupled and can be used in specialised applications and also for processing control voltages. The module features two Default Gain controls — GL and GX — that enable opening of the first four VCAs (L) and/or second four VCAs (X), with GL and GX generating two internal (0 – +10V) control voltages which are connected to the switching contacts of the 1L – 4L sockets (controlling GL) and 1X – 4X sockets (controlling GX). If no patch cable is inserted into the socket in question then the internal default (GL or GX) control voltage is used to control the corresponding VCA. This is necessary when the VCA in question is not in use — when no external control voltage is available, for instance, otherwise the VCA would close and there would be no output signal even if the other VCA in the chain is open. On the other hand, as soon as a patch cable is inserted into one of the CV Inputs then the corresponding internal default control voltage — CL or CX knob — is no longer used to control the VCA in question; rather an external control voltage patched to the CV Inputs now controls the level of the VCA in question. The GL and GX controls are also useful for testing polyphonic patches — tuning VCOs, for example.
Again, as implied by name,
the A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR module is a quad voltage-controlled envelope generator — again, primarily primed for polyphonic applications. As such, it features four ADSR-type voltage-controlled envelope generators with exponential curve shapes (charge/discharge curves of a capacitor). Common manual controls and CVA, CVD, CVS, and CVR inputs with corresponding polarizers are available for the attack (A), decay (D), sustain (S), and release (R) parameters. All four envelope generators have a gate input (G1 – G4), a control LED, and an envelope output (Out1 – Out4). Applications include polyphonic patches, such as four envelope generators with the same envelope parameters to control four VCFs, VCAs, or other modules.
Last, but by no means least, by providing four voices with a 1V/octave-standard CV Note (pitch control voltage) to control VCOs and a Gate output (to control envelope generators), alongside two additional (CV2 and CV3) control voltages, the appropriately-named
A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface module does what it says on the tin. Those two additional control voltage outputs can be controlled by MIDI velocity, volume, modulation, pitch bend, aftertouch, or freely-assignable MIDI controllers. Multiple — four-voice monophonic (to control four monophonic voices by four successive MIDI channels); four-voice polyphonic (to control four monophonic voices by one MIDI channel) with several (rotating/non-rotating) sub-modes; two-voice polyphonic (to control two monophonic voices by one MIDI channel); and unison — modes are selected by switches with the result shown in the LCD. In play mode, for example, the LEDs of the first four switches display the gate states, while certain parameters of each mode can be edited.
Ending on a high note, Dieter Doepfer deduces, “Modular synthesizers will still be predominantly used for monophonic sounds, as I’m well aware, but at least one polyphonic sound appears in many pieces of music and now it’s possible to integrate this into the modular synth world with our polyphonic modules.”
Within Germany, the A-111-4 Quad VCO, A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF, A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA, A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, and A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface modules can be ordered online from Doepfer directly (http://www.doepfer.de/form_e.htm) or via one of its German dealers (https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/dealer-germany/) for €400.00 EUR, €200.00 EUR, €160.00 EUR, €160.00 EUR, and €300.00 EUR, respectively.
Outside of Germany, the A-111-4 Quad VCO, A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF, A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA, A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR, and A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface modules can only be ordered from Doepfer dealers in the territories listed here: https://docs.doepfer.eu/en/ (Note that residents in countries without representation can, however, order from Doepfer directly.)
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-111-4 Quad VCO webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/A1114.htm
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-105-4 Quad Poly SSI VCF webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1054.htm
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-132-8 Octal Poly VCA webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1328.htm
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated A-141-4 Quad Poly VCADSR webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1414.htm
For more in-depth info, please visit the dedicated A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/Midi to CV/Gate Interface webpage here: http://www.doepfer.de/a1905.htm
take a gander at the video… some nice info and photos for ya.