This web site is derived from my (german) book about the Doepfer A-100 “Das große Buch zum Doepfer A-100 analog modular System”, which I published in 2011.
When I wanted to put together my own modular system, there was lots of information – but unfortunately spread out on different sources and with different focus. Many websites and forums about (modular) synthesizers, a few good books, some helpful conversations with experts in the music trade, many small PDF files to the modules from Doepfer and a lot more.
The wide range of modules from Doepfer was appealing to me: Reasonable prices and very good build quality. So my own modular system became a “pure” Doepfer system. Not because other manufacturers would not offer excellent technology, too: There are definitely lots of “treasures”, but for me it had to be a uniform operating concept and design.
From this “monoculture” and my own somewhat laborious searching for “what do I need as a starting point / next?” at some point there was the idea to write things together more systematically. No “advertising magazine” for Doepfer, but a friendly and critical overview of more than 100 modules.
This is of course far from being “objective”. E.g. the A-112 is a module I find truly difficult to use, but it has loyal fans that make quite amazing things with it.
Soon it became obvious that such a book could never be mass compatible – modular systems are quite a “special specialty”. So this book would probably not be possible to be produced with a “normal” publisher. Hence the small “Idea Rabbit” company was founded to do it at my own risk and own fun for a few modular nerds. I had lots of fun writing it – hopefully this shines through the text and helps to promote creative ideas with modular systems.
Currently, you will find English translations of the overview chapters as well as a handful of posts on individual modules. More is on the way.
- Filter (6)
- Midi-Interface (3)
- Mixer / amplifier / distributor (6)
- Modulation source / modifier (15)
- Multi-modules (16)
- Other sound shaper (8)
- Sound source (11)
- Trigger (10)
ADSR BBD Buchla CEM3340 CEM3360 Curtis Digital Filter Karplus Strong LFO LPG Midi Moog Noise not described in my book Out of production Polyphonic Quadrature Random generator Ring Modulator Running out Slim line Sound examples Source of Uncertainty SSM SSM2044 SSM2164 Steiner-Parker TB-303 Thru Zero Transistor Ladder Vactrol / opto FET VCO Wasp
- A-190-3 USB/MIDI-to-CV/Gate InterfaceThe A-190-3 is a small midi interface that has a lot of features despite its narrow 6 HP. In comparison to the big A-190-4 you have to make a few compromises – no clock/reset outputs, no midi thru, no software LFO and no display. A … Continue reading A-190-3 USB/MIDI-to-CV/Gate Interface
- A-190-8 USB/Midi-to-Sync InterfaceThe A-190-8 is a midi interface specialized in converting midi clock signals into differently divided triggers for the A-100 system. In addition, the Midi start, continue and stop commands are converted into trigger or gate signals, so that analog sequencers in the modular system can … Continue reading A-190-8 USB/Midi-to-Sync Interface
- A-170 Dual Slew LimiterThe A-170 Dual Slew Limiter smooths control voltages – abrupt changes are “smeared” in the process. Switched before the frequency control of an oscillator, this function causes the well-known “portamento”, which transforms a jump on the keyboard into a slurred note. The two sub-modules differ, … Continue reading A-170 Dual Slew Limiter
- A-117 Digital Noise / Random Clock / 808 Sound SourceThe Digital Noise Generator A-117 creates random, short impulses. The frequency of these pulses can basically be controlled, namely via the “Rate” controller or alternatively via an externally applied clock. In contrast to an oscillator, the respective occurrence is “yes or no” as well as … Continue reading A-117 Digital Noise / Random Clock / 808 Sound Source
- A-118-1 Noise + Random Volt.Like the A-117 Digital Noise, the A-118-1 is a random noise generator. However, it does not work with feedback shift registers, but with the “natural” noise of transistors and thus generates a very typical “synthesizer” noise. Dieter Döpfer once explained to me that due to … Continue reading A-118-1 Noise + Random Volt.
- A-160-5 Voltage Controlled Clock Multiplier / Ratcheting ControllerRatcheting controllers are still somewhat unusual tools in the modular world. Tangerine Dream already used them to create exciting sequences almost 50 years ago. What does a ratcheting controller do? Basically we have the opposite of a clock divider (such as the A-160-2): An incoming … Continue reading A-160-5 Voltage Controlled Clock Multiplier / Ratcheting Controller
- A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random VoltagesThe A-149-1 Quantized / Stored Random Voltages is a lavishly equipped random generator that is based on the Buchla modules 265 and 266. There are two different sub-modules: Quantized Random Voltages provides random voltages whose level is within a “grid”, a quantization. These are then … Continue reading A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random Voltages
- A-126 Voltage Controlled Frequency ShifterThe module is no longer in production. Unfortunately, the VC Frequency Shifter is no longer available because one of the components used is no longer manufactured. In principle, however, the task of the missing component could be taken over by an A-143-9 Quadrature LFO or … Continue reading A-126 Voltage Controlled Frequency Shifter
- A-103 18dB Low Pass FilterThe 18dB filter was created on the model of a well-known and popular small bass synthesizer: In principle, a transistor cascade is used here as in the 24 dB Moog filter, but only with three poles instead of four, and thus with a slightly lower … Continue reading A-103 18dB Low Pass Filter
- A-110-6 Trapezoid Quadrature Thru Zero VCOCompared to the A-110-4 Quadrature Thru Zero VCO, the A-110-6 has one more thing on top: We are not dealing with a sine core, but with a trapezoid core. This is a unique design that first creates a trapezoidal waveform, as well as a 90 … Continue reading A-110-6 Trapezoid Quadrature Thru Zero VCO
- A-147-2 Voltage Controlled Delayed Low Frequency OscillatorCompared to the rather unpretentious predecessor A-147, the new VCDLFO (Voltage Controlled Delayed LFO) is a monster. No fewer than 12 connection sockets on a module that is only 8 HP wide are already an announcement in terms of complexity in a confined space. In … Continue reading A-147-2 Voltage Controlled Delayed Low Frequency Oscillator
- A-101-1 Vactrol Multitype Input VCFThe Vactrol filter has several special features. Most striking: There is a separate input for each of the operating modes lowpass, bandpass and highpass. This allows several very different sound sources to be treated differently in a single filter. Only the cutoff-frequency and the resonance … Continue reading A-101-1 Vactrol Multitype Input VCF
All photos and module drawings (unless they come from the author himself) with the kind permission of Doepfer Musikelektronik GmbH, Gräfelfing.