RE: [AH] back again. questions about Arp 2600 vs. die neue modulars... /

From eric f
Sent Sun, Jan 7th 2007, 22:01

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I find these modular x vs. modular y discussions are wearing exceedingly thin.  IMO, if you've got enough dough and space to buy a wide selection of these Doepfer modules among other manufacturers, then I see no reason to expand into alternative formats.  If you don't have the budget and space, then assess your musical needs.  Are you a noodler?  A glorper?  A synthesist?  A (semi-?)professional?  A hobbiest?  What is the role of the instrument in your studio?  (ie, central, supporting, occasional cameo)  What is the range of sounds you're looking to create?
  I have to agree with a few other people in that it's all in the programming.  Most of the current commercial offerings can do amazing things in even relatively inexperienced hands if you're willing to put the time in.
  The original poster asked modulars vs. ARP 2600.  I'd say keep the ARP if all you want is a great-sounding patched monosynth whose flexible routings liven up the sound.  If you want to go beyond that or have an instrument that expands as your repertoire does, then a modular is a good investment.  But keep your mind open and experiment with a wide range of options.  And it never hurts to delve into a little DIY.
  eric f

charles graef <> wrote:
  I'm always amused by defenses of .com that attempt to characterize Doepfer's
offerings as "weird sound fartboxes."

Yes, here is the list of available weird sound fartboxes available from

- Vactrol Module Series: 
A-101-1 Steiner Filter
A101-2 Lowpass Gate
A-101-3 Phaser
A-101-9 Univ. Vactrol Module
- A-102 Diode Low Pass
- A-103 18dB Low Pass (TB303 type)
- A-104 Trautonium Formant Filter
- A-105 SSM2044 Low Pass
- A-106-1 Xtreme Filter (Korg MS-20)
- A-107 Morphing Filter
- A-108 6/12/24/48 dB Low Pass / Band Pass
- A-109 VC Signal Processor
- A-110 Standard VCO
- A-111-1 High End VCO
- A-111-2 Dynamic VCO
- A-112 Sampler and Wavetable Osc.
- A-113 Subharmonic Oscillator
- A-114 Ring Modulator
- A-115 Audio Divider
- A-116 Waveform Processor
- A-117 Digital Noise/808 Sounds 
- A-118 Noise/Random 
- A-119 Ext.Input/Env.Follower 
- A-120 VCF1/24dB Moog Low Pass 1 
- A-121 VCF2/12dB Multimode Filter 
- A-122 VCF3/24dB Oberheim Low Pass 2 
- A-123 VCF4/24dB High Pass 
- A-124 VCF5/Wasp Filter 
- A-125 Voltage Controller Phaser (VCP) 
- A-126 Frequency Shifter 
- A-127 VC Resonance Filter 
- A-128 Fixed Filter Bank 
- A-129-1/2 Vocoder Analyse/Synth. 
- A-129-3 5x Slew-Limiter/Abschw./Offset 
- A-129-4 Slew-Limiter-Controller 
- A-129-5 Voiced/Unvoiced Detector 
- A-130 VCA linear 
- A-131 VCA logarithmisch 
- A-132 Dual Low Cost VCA 
- A-133 Dual Voltage Controlled Polarizer 
- A-134 VC-Panning 
- A-135 VC-Mixer 
- A-135 VC-Mixer 
- A-136 Distortion/Waveshaper 
- A-137 Wave Multiplier 
- A-138a Mixer linear 
- A-138b Mixer logarithm 
- A-138c Polarizing Mixer 
- A-139 Headphone Amplifier
- A-140 ADSR Envelope Generator 
- A-141 VC-ADSR 
- A-142 VC-Decay/Gate 
- A-143-1 Quad AD Generator / Complex Envelope Generator 
- A-143-2 Quad ADSR Generator 
- A-143-3 Quad LFO 
- A-144 Morphing Controller 
- A-144 Morph.Cont
- A-145 LFO Modulation Generator 
- A-146 LFO II Variable Waveform Gen. 
- A-147 VC-LFO 
- A-148 Dual S&H / T&H 
- A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random Control Voltages / Buchla Source of
Uncertainty module 
- A-149-2 Digital Random Voltages / Buchla Source of Uncertainty module # 2 
- A-150 Dual VCS 
- A-151 Quad Sequential Switch (Version 2) 
- A-152 Voltage Addressed Switch 
- A-154 Sequencer Controller 
- A-155 Analog/Trigger Sequencer 
- A-156 Quantizer 
- A-160 Clock Divider 
- A-161 Clock Sequencer 
- A-162 Dual Trigger Delay 
- A-163 VC Divider 
- A-165 Dual Trigger Modifier 
- A-166 Logic Module 
- A-167 Analog Comparator 
- A-170 Dual Slew Limiter 
- A-171 VC-Slew-Limiter 
- A-172 Maximum/Minimum Selector 
- A-174 Joy-Stick 
- A-175 Dual Voltage Inverter 
- A-176 Control Voltage Source 
- A-178 Theremin 
- A-179 Light-to-CV 
- A-185 Bus Access Module 
- A-188-1X BBD Module (128 stages) 
- A-188-1Y BBD Module (256 stages) 
- A-188-1A BBD Module (512 stages) 
- A-188-1B BBD Module (1024 stages) 
- A-188-1C BBD Module (2048 stages) 
- A-188-1D BBD Module (4096 stages) 
- A-188-1? BBD Module (0 stages, without BBD circuit) 
- A-190 MIDI-CV/SYNC-Interface V1.4 
- A-191 MCV16/Shepard-Generator V1.0 
- A-192 VMC16/CV-MIDI-Interface 
- A-196 Phase Locked Loop 
- A-197 Analog Meter 
- A-198 Trautonium/Ribbon Controller (Modul+Manual / module + manual) 
- A-198 Trautonium/Ribbon Controller (Modul einzeln / module only) 
- A-198 Trautonium/Ribbon Controller (Manual einzeln / manual only) 
- A-199 Spring Reverb

Pitiful, isn't it?

Here are some companies making modules compatible with the Doepfer euro-rack

- Analogue Systems (46 modules) 
|||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||
- Cwejman (15 modules) 
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- PlanB (16 modules) 
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- LiveWire (5 modules) 
- Analogue Solutions (24 modules) 
|||||||||| |||||||||| ||||
- Cyndustries (1 module)
- Bananalogue (2 modules) 

(Along with Doepfer, which has 102, for a combined total of 211.) 
|||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||||
|||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| 
|||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||||||
|||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| 
|||||||||| | makes 34 
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(I've excluded multiples and jack interfaces from all the counts). You can
put MOTM modules in a case.

- MOTM (22 modules) 
|||||||||| |||||||||| ||

(Combined total of 56.) 
|||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| |||||||||| ||||||

The simple math is that Doepfer/Euro-rack modules outweigh.
Synthesizers.compatible modules by a factor of 4:1. Among those modules

- The best and most sophisticated BBD analog-delay modules
- The best and most sophisticated analog sequencers
- The best and most sophisticated analog phasers
- The best and most sophisticated random-voltage modules
- The b.a.m.s. filters
- The b.a.m.s. envelope modules
- The b.a.m.s. voltage-generating and voltage-processing modules
- The widest array of Buchla-inspired modules outside of Buchla itself
- Etc.

Against that, offers some of the cleanest VCOs and VCFs and
a great clone of a 30-year-old Moog sequencer. Most .com modules aspire to
do basic things very well, and they do, but sometimes the basic-ness can be
a limitation. The Euro-rack modulars are by leaps and bounds more
unstintingly open-ended to experimentation and provide hugely more overall
flexibility. The .com looks like a handsome black Moog, while the Euro-rack
modulars resemble a smaller handsome silver E-mu. An enormous Euro-rack
system will fill a few rack cases with maximum cord stretches of maybe 6'.
An equivalently module count in .com would fill an entire wall with maximum
cord stretches of maybe 10' or 12'.

I'm talking about things that are important to me, but they're not important
to everyone. A good .com in its walnut case is a delightful thing that's
going to sound great and give pleasure for years and could very well be the
"end all be all" for a lot of people. But it's not going to be the
furthest-out and most flexible modular at the party, and if you want that,
starting out with .com isn't necessarily the most strategic choice going
forward. There's room at the party for everyone. We're all incredible
weirdos for being interested in these things, so more unites than divides.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Horton []
> Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 6:21 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [AH] back again. questions about Arp 2600 vs. die neue
> I have a DotCom 22-space system that I basically designed under
> inspiration of the 2600 - 3 VCO's, 2 env, 2 amp, 2 filters (multi and
> moog clone), noise, external instrument interface, and then utility
> modules - and it's pretty much the end-all be-all for me. There is
> literally nothing that I haven't been able to do with it yet (except
> for actually finishing my record!), and it continues to surprise me
> when I get weird new ideas. It can do super modular weirdness when I
> need it to, but it can still make a PWM lead so sweet it'll make you
> cry. I've never been happier with a synth than I am with my DotCom.
> But if all you want is a weird sound fartbox, I'd check out the
> Doepfer stuff with their multitude of trautonium filters and universal
> chaos generators and all that stuff.
> ah