NAMM 2018: Doepfer go polyphonic with 5 new modules
We’ve already heard about the updated Dark Energy III desktop synth and we always expect a handful of new modules. But Doepfer has pulled out all the stops and are bringing a load of polyphony to our Eurorack. There are 5 new modules, a Quad VCO, Quad VCF, Quad VCADSR, Octal VCA and a Polyphonic MIDI/CV/Gate Interface.
A-111-4 Quad VCO
There are 4 precision oscillators packed into this module. Each with individual controls, inputs and outputs and a master section for controlling them together. The three waveforms, triangle, saw and pulse, are available individually per oscillator or mixed by type at the master. They have knobs for octave switching and modulation depth. Modulation can be FM or pulse width on the oscillators or just FM on the master. It’s a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to getting 4 note polyphony into your Eurorack or a compact way of increasing your oscillator count.
A-105-4 Quad SSM VCF
Probably the least exciting filter to look at but there are 4 filters packed into this module. The manual controls of cut-off, resonance, level and frequency modulation depth are common for all 4 filters. However, there are individual FM inputs for each filter which can ideally be controlled by envelopes. Otherwise, all other CV control is over the common parameters. It’s perfectly designed to fit with Doepfer’s other polyphonic modules but is probably not as versatile in other applications.
A-132-8 Octal VCA
To provide both volume and velocity control Doepfer decided to double up on the VCAs. It contains 4 pairs, each containing 2 daisy-chained VCAs. The first is linear, the second linear or exponential chosen by jumpers. So it’s only actually 4 channels but you have CV control over level and velocity which is pretty awesome. There’s also a very useful Sum Out.
A-141-4 Quad VCADSR
4 envelopes with common controls to shape either the VCF or the VCA. The only individual control here is gate.
With the level of commonality in these modules it makes you wonder why you don’t just go with a mix output. The filter and envelopes will largely be applied identically to all four channels, although, I guess, it keeps those streams apart so that you could process them separately later in the signal chain. Perhaps there’s enough individual control to keep it interesting. I’d really like to see some demos to get a better appreciation of what these can offer.
A-190-5 Polyphonic USB/MIDI to CV/Gate Interface
Rounding it off is a polyphonic MIDI-to-CV converter that you need to get your chords from your keyboard or DAW into your Eurorack. The A-190-5 has the 4 channels needed to run the Quad VCO and 12 control voltages covering level, velocity and gate. It can be set to polyphonic, duophonic and monophonic modes.
Pricing is not yet available and I hope we can find some video footage once the show is underway.
Doepfer is also releasing a number of regular modules. A cool 4 channel mini mixer with panning looks useful, as does the little Micro Keyboard. More information as we have it.
Keep up to date on our NAMM 2018 page.
- Doepfer website.
- Doepfer Quad VCO: Doepfer
- Doepfer Quad VCF: Doepfer Quad VCF
- Doepfer Octal VCA: Doepfer
- Doepfer Quad ADSR: Doepfer
- Doepfer Polyphonic MIDI-to-CV: Doepfer