10.6.13

Doepfer A-100 example systems for analog dub


Is a modular system any good in a dub studio? Of course it is! Check out the modular 'dub systems' we've made up. They're based on 100% analog Doepfer A-100 modules. Both example systems fill up one 6 U case, offering spring reverb, delay, chorus, flange, distortion, a Moog-style synth voice 'on steroids' and lots of modulation options.

Warning
If you are unfamiliar with the difference between tape echo and BBD-generated echo this is not for you. Also, if you have no idea what 'gate' or 'cv' means, you probably won't get this. There is a technical and theoretical learning curve, and these basic systems cost well over 2000 euro (including the case and cables) so you should probably know what you're getting yourself into. One more warning: for some people these modules are addictive like crack. Keeping this in mind, we've made sure that everything you really need for analog dub is available in the two suggested systems, but that doesn't mean you'll be completely satisfied. Sooner or later you will get greedy...

The Doepfer A-100 modular system can be used in many different ways. You can emulate rare oldskool electronic gear like the Theremin and the Trautonium. Or you can use filters from classic synths like the Minimoog, Roland TB-303, Korg MS-20, EDP Wasp, Oberheim Expander, EMS etc. (check out our massive Doepfer filter test over here) and you can combine them with esoteric stuff like wave multipliers, phase locked loops, frequency dividers etc. But if classic analog dub effects are what you want, the A-199 Spring Reverb and the A-188-x BBD-series are a good starting point.

Basics
The first system is designed around the A-188-2 Tapped BBD-module + the A-199 Spring reverb. The A-188-2 is a stereo BBD monster that can produce any kind of BBD-effect imaginable and much more.

The second system is designed around two A-188-1 BBD modules (one with a 128-stage chip and one with a 4096-stage chip) + the A-199 Spring reverb. A 128-stage BBD-module is good for clean high quality flange, subtle chorus and short delays. A 4096-stage BBD-module can do rawer flange, deeper chorus and longer delay-times. Combine the 128-stage and the 4096-stage BBD-modules for more of everything.


Final warning
Unlike regular BBD-effects, the Doepfer BBD modules do NOT have an internal filter to suppress the internal clock signal, which is audible at longer delay-times. To filter this clock (a high pitched sine wave-like sound) you'll probably want to use a steep low pass filter. This is the reason why the first system has two A-108 Moog-style filters 'on steroids'. These can do 48db filtering (and much more).

The second system has one A-108 Moog-style filter, which could be used for the 4096-stage module, allowing for (very) long delay-times without any sine wave bleed. It also has one A-106-6 Oberheim Expander-style multimode filter, which can do 24 db filtering, and could be used for the 128-stage BBD-module. But in general the sine wave bleed will hardly be a problem with typical 128-stage effects, and still less if effects with longer delay times are all done with the 4096-stage module. Besides that, the Expander filter is a good choice for any basic system (the A-124 Wasp filter is also a good choice).


The A-199 Spring reverb module comes with a small 3-spring Belton reverb tank, which sounds a bit mediocre (oil drum sound). If you want to be more flexible and use any reverb tank you like, you'll probably end up drilling a hole in the module to 'break out' the tulip connectors for the tank. It might be a good idea to use bigger size Accutronics reverb tanks with the A-199.

The A-114 Ring Modulator (system 2) is not a top quality ring modulator, but it's definitely good enough for dirty dub effects, and very easy to use. Doepfer also has high quality VCO- and VCA-modules, but these are not part of the example systems. All other modules in the example systems are top quality in our opinion.


Dub System 1 (2300 euro incl. case and cables)

Delay / Chorus / Flange / Weirdness
A-188-2 Tapped BBD Module
Spring Reverb
A-199 Spring Reverb
Filters
A-108 48dB Low Pass (2x)
Distortion
A-136 Distortion/Waveshape (or a digital A-189-1 VC Bit Modifier) Oscillators
A-110 VCO
A-118 Analog Noise / Random Voltage
CV / Gate / VCA
A-119 External Input / Envelope Follower
A-147 VC LFO
A-141 VC ADSR (better yet: the planning stage A-141-2)
A-142-4 Quad Decay
A-148 Dual Sample&Hold
A-171-2 VC Slew Processor/Generator (Serge Type)
A-132-1 Dual VCA
A-132-3 Dual linear/exponential VCA
A-138c Polarizing Mixer
A-180-2 Multiple I   (2x)
Sequencing
A-190-3 USB/Midi-to-CV/Gate Interface
Case
A-100LC6 Low Cost Suitcase 84HP/6HU

Download excel sheet for example system 1
Go to Doepfer A-100 module overview page




Dub System 2 (2475 euro incl. case and cables)

Delay / Chorus / Flange / Weirdness
A-188-1X BBD Module (128 stages)
A-188-1D BBD Module (4096 stages)
Spring Reverb
A-199 Spring Reverb
Filters
A-106-6 XP VCF
A-108 48dB Low Pass
Distortion
A-137-1 VC Wave Multiplier
Ring Modulator
A-114 Ringmodulator
Oscillators
CV / Gate / VCA 
Sequencing
Case
A-100LC6 Low Cost Suitcase 84HP/6HU

Download excel sheet for example system 2
Go to Doepfer A-100 module overview page