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How well does the Doepfer A-119 Interface compare??
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author How well does the Doepfer A-119 Interface compare??
Rex Coil 7
I'm looking for an external instrument interface (so I can run external rack synths into Euro filters and Euro wavefolders and so on). I have plenty of VCAs to reduce the signal after it's been boosted to modular levels, so I don't think I really need an instrument interface with ~outputs~ ... I just need a module with an input to boost line level audio to modular level.

I've been looking at the Doepfer A-119 interface ... the price is good, and I've never had a reason to complain about Doepfer modules.

** Are there better ones?
** How well doe the A-119 hold it's own against other instrument interfaces?

Thanks! cool
bwhittington
I'm leaning towards ordering one, myself, which naturally means I know nothing about it firsthand. Naturally, there are better ones, but what's the Cwejman AP-1 price tag? woah The worst I've read about the A-119 is that it distorts in a not good way when overdriven. I can live with that. Just watch our levels, like with anything else. And I am mainly picking the A-119 for its env follower and comparator.

If you are mainly after an instrument interface, something simple and smaller like the Strymon AA.1 might suit you, even though it also has outputs you don't need. Seems like an attenuator would be better, but if they got the levels right, it would be a nice lean package.

I've also been looking at the Monde Inz. Not sure if the third attenuator on it is a threshold or not, but if it is, it adds an xlr combo jack beyond the A-119 features. The only other thing I could want is phantom power, but that gets us back to the large and expensive AP-1. very frustrating
Rigo
Some people complain about the audio quality, others really like the distortion it can introduce.
And of course there is a thread about improving it:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=63976
MindMachine
I think, as bwhittington mentioned, that you might just need an amplifier? I use the Doepfer A-183-3 Amplifier (4HP) to get all of my different boxes working together. Sometimes it is not strong enough and I use the A-119.

For the A-119 - I own three of them. There are many opinions and threads on this subject on MW. Dig around some if you want. I'll say this: one has the chip replaced with the recommended upgrade (whatever it was - need to check my files) and I cannot tell the difference. Just don't overdrive it and it should be fine. These are super useful. I process bass, toy piano, harmonica, etc. with them. I mostly use them for processing/extracting triggers from drum machines. So regardless if using a contact mic, dynamic mic, bass or drum machine direct, they are functional enough for me.

Very versatile. Very affordable. Well built. Replace the ugly knobs.
Rex Coil 7
I read that entire ~modification~ thread for the A-119. What I did not see mentioned was using a Burr Brown quad opamp. I've used Burr Browns to increase fidelity in a number of shitty sounding DIY circuits found on the introwebbz and the difference is vastly better. For whatever reasons the Burr Brown opamps also have more dynamic range along with better frequency response .... it's something you can actually hear.

Movin on here .... so does the Dot com Q118 Instrument Interface sound better than the Doepfer A-119? I have space in my 5U for another module, the only hitch would be I'd have to use a longer 1/4" cable to reach the Q118 from the intended source (and then doubled back to the Euro cab where the filter I want to use with external signals and wave folder are), which is why I was thinking about adding an Instrument Interface to my Euro cab. So using a Q118 would be less convenient, but if it sounds better then I suppose the inconvenience is outweighed by better performance.

So any thoughts on using a Q118 instead of the A-119?

Thanks for the help fellers. cool
foliephonics
Not sure it corresponds to what you're looking for, but I'm very satisfied with my ADDAC200PI...
http://addacsystem.com/product/addac200-series/addac200pi
mosorensen
I have had this issue when interfacing Moogerfoogers with my modular. I don't have any experience with A-119, though.

I have Sewastopol II, which works great. It has enormous amounts of gain, and all the envelope follower stuff is fine. However, it is a bit overkill for just getting line level audio into the modular.

For a simpler approach, I use Veils from MI. It is a VCA, but when the response is set to exponential, it has sufficient gain to bring line level to modular level.

Another option is Gozinta. I don't have any experience with this module either, but a lot of people seem to like it, and it is made for this purpose.
bwhittington
mosorensen wrote:
For a simpler approach, I use Veils from MI. It is a VCA, but when the response is set to exponential, it has sufficient gain to bring line level to modular level.


Interesting. From their docs:

Quote:

Gain scale: a +5V CV translates to a gain of 1 (0dB), both in linear and in exponential mode.
Gain range: maximum gain of 2 (+6dB) in linear operation, 10 (+20dB) in exponential operation.


It does seem that should do the trick. You might have just pushed me in that direction, at least for some of my needs. Having 4x amplifiers tucked into an already versatile package in case they are needed seems like the perfect kind of 'modular' functionality.

But I'm nudging in on Rex's thread. Sorry. zombie
Rex Coil 7
bwhittington wrote:
...But I'm nudging in on Rex's thread. Sorry. zombie
No you aren't ... your opinions matter to me.

thumbs up
ersatzplanet
I have a couple of them but I use them for mainly envelope following and extracting gates and not much for bringing external audio into my rig. I have them setting next to my Nebulae wav players. They are great for this. Multiple audio outs are helpful. I have had great success using drum or bass loops on one channel of the Nebulae and a "beep track" on the other to drive/clock sequencers with. Great for that sort of thing. The level control allows multiple rhythms to be programmed into the beep track by using different volume levels.
Jumbuktu
The a119 will do the job but you can get a 4hp module to do the same thing, like the ALM SBG or one of the ladik modules.
Rex Coil 7
foliephonics wrote:
Not sure it corresponds to what you're looking for, but I'm very satisfied with my ADDAC200PI...
http://addacsystem.com/product/addac200-series/addac200pi
ADDAC makes really excellent gear. The only thing I see missing from the 200PI is any means of controlling levels (either incoming or outgoing).

ersatzplanet wrote:
I have a couple of them but I use them for mainly envelope following and extracting gates and not much for bringing external audio into my rig. I have them setting next to my Nebulae wav players. They are great for this. Multiple audio outs are helpful. I have had great success using drum or bass loops on one channel of the Nebulae and a "beep track" on the other to drive/clock sequencers with. Great for that sort of thing. The level control allows multiple rhythms to be programmed into the beep track by using different volume levels.
Good to know. Thanks!

cool

Jumbuktu wrote:
The a119 will do the job but you can get a 4hp module to do the same thing, like the ALM SBG or one of the ladik modules.
Well if they do the same thing (faults, warts, and all) why would I want to go that way?
Jumbuktu
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Jumbuktu wrote:
The a119 will do the job but you can get a 4hp module to do the same thing, like the ALM SBG or one of the ladik modules.
Well if they do the same thing (faults, warts, and all) why would I want to go that way?


I gave you the answer: 4hp instead of 8hp.

The A119 has much more than just an amp, including an envelope follower and trigger generator, but if you just want to amplify to external line levels, why not get a dual amp external module in 4hp instead? The SBG also has sockets and a cable for using modular CVs to control guitar pedals.
Nino
If using envelope follower it's always handy to have control over response and also the threshold. I'd always recommend to get a dedicated envelope follower (Ladik offers a cheap 4hp one) plus something like MI Ears, Gozinta (or even one Ch of Veils) over a Doepfer A-119.
Rex Coil 7
Jumbuktu wrote:
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Jumbuktu wrote:
The a119 will do the job but you can get a 4hp module to do the same thing, like the ALM SBG or one of the ladik modules.
Well if they do the same thing (faults, warts, and all) why would I want to go that way?


I gave you the answer: 4hp instead of 8hp.
Well pardon me. meh
bedhed3000
Jumbuktu wrote:

I gave you the answer: 4hp instead of 8hp.


How about 2hp then?
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/ai-synthesis-ai006-stomp-box-adapter
Rex Coil 7
How about the Bastl Instruments "Hendrikson"??

LINK =
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/bastl-instruments-hendrikson--

It's more costly ($140.00 shipped), but then again, it's really not very much money, all things considered.

Anyone have any experience with it?

hmmm.....
Shledge
I went with MI's Ears - does the same job and includes a manual trigger via the piezo element. The audio quality is quite good too, and can drive microphones.
Rex Coil 7
Shledge wrote:
I went with MI's Ears - does the same job and includes a manual trigger via the piezo element. The audio quality is quite good too, and can drive microphones.
Thank you! I'll take a look right now. nodnod
Rex Coil 7
Mutable Instruments "Ears". $109.00.

LINK =
http://analoguehaven.com/mutableinstruments/ears/

(quoting)

"its built-in amplifier section can provide up to 40db of gain, with a high impedance input suitable for guitars or other electro-acoustic instruments. it will effortlessly deliver clean amplification for line level signals or external contact microphones. compared to the original mikrophonie, ears has been augmented with an envelope follower, and its amplification section has been redesigned from scratch for low noise and low distortion.

specifications:
audio amplifier with 1m input impedance, up to 40db of gain.
envelope follower with 3 preset attack and release times (adjustable by jumper).
gate detector with 3 preset sensitivity levels (adjustable by jumper) and +8v gate output.
three indicator leds: amplifier clipping (red), envelope follower level (white), gate detector activity (orange).
4-hp.
current consumption: +12v: 5ma ; -12v: 5ma."

(end quote)

A viable option, without any doubt. thumbs up

SO FAR, AS IT STANDS THESE ARE THE CONTENDERS:

** Bastl Instruments "Hendrikson" - $140.00
** Mutable Instruments "Ears" - $109.00

The Hendrikson is more feature laden, on the other hand the Ears has that contact mic thing going on as well as a 1MegOhm input impedance (perfect for passive guitars or passive bass guitars). I'm still looking .. this is an important decision since it will have an influence on how the external sound source will sound as it enters the modular paradigm. Size isn't very important (within reason ... but for instance 4HP vs 8HP is of no matter to me, up to 14HP is fine) nor is current draw since I'm using a 3amp power supply and so far I'm only pulling 1.4amps from it.

Back to researching.

hmmm.....
ersatzplanet
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

ersatzplanet wrote:
I have a couple of them but I use them for mainly envelope following and extracting gates and not much for bringing external audio into my rig. I have them setting next to my Nebulae wav players. They are great for this. Multiple audio outs are helpful. I have had great success using drum or bass loops on one channel of the Nebulae and a "beep track" on the other to drive/clock sequencers with. Great for that sort of thing. The level control allows multiple rhythms to be programmed into the beep track by using different volume levels.
Good to know. Thanks!



Here is the little video I made a while back doing this. Driving a Division6 sequencer from the beep track sync'd to a drum loop through a Doepfer A-119.

Henfield
I am also looking for an "input" module, but mostly for guitar or bass. Modules that do not have a 1/4" input (like Ears) do not cut it for me. I was looking at the Pulp Logic Entry Point, as it also has a balanced 1/4" output, it follows your playing dynamics, and it has a square wave out extracted from the fundamental.

http://pulplogic.com/product/entry-point/
Rex Coil 7
Henfield wrote:
I am also looking for an "input" module, but mostly for guitar or bass. Modules that do not have a 1/4" input (like Ears) do not cut it for me. I was looking at the Pulp Logic Entry Point, as it also has a balanced 1/4" output, it follows your playing dynamics, and it has a square wave out extracted from the fundamental.

http://pulplogic.com/product/entry-point/
Take a good look at the Bastl Instruments "Hendrikson". It has a 1MegOhm input impedance which is ideal for passive guitars and passive bass guitars. And the input is a 1/4" jack.

It's also available with an aluminum panel if the whole "woody look" isn't appealing to you.

thumbs up
Rex Coil 7
Just bought the Bastl Hendrikson ..... $139.00 shipped.

LINK = https://www.ebay.com/itm/BASTL-Hendrikson-Aluminum-Audio-Interface-EUR ORACK-NEW-PERFECT-CIRCUIT/292759108752?hash=item4429cd7c90:g:lfgAAOSwX edcB5~B:rk:1:pf:0
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