Connecting modules

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harolddonnelly
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Connecting modules

Post by harolddonnelly » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:50 pm

Hi I got my first three modules for my modular, a doepfer A-106-1 (MS 20 clone), A-120 (moog clone), A-190 Midi-CV. Now the questions hahah

When i'm connecting the modules do i want connect it to the bus board, with the red stripe on the bottom?

Secondly, can i run some audio through these filters to test them? like from an ipod? or do I need an external input? or do i need some type of VCA or mixer to listen to the output?

I was thinking I would just run an ipod into the input and then headphones in to the output? or am I have off base here?

Thank you.

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ndkent
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Re: Connecting modules

Post by ndkent » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:14 pm

harolddonnelly wrote:
When i'm connecting the modules do i want connect it to the bus board, with the red stripe on the bottom?
As a general rule yes. Red stripe = -12v. Every once and a while you might encounter something non-Doepfer that doesn't follow that. I've taken to looking that the bottom is red and is marked -12v on both the bus and module
harolddonnelly wrote:Secondly, can i run some audio through these filters to test them? like from an ipod? or do I need an external input? or do i need some type of VCA or mixer to listen to the output?

I was thinking I would just run an ipod into the input and then headphones in to the output? or am I have off base here?
Will work fine.

You don't need a special mixer like a modular one but it's a very good idea to have some sort of mixer within reach at all times. If you go straight to your sound system, be sure you can easily adjust the volume. For instance a self oscillating filter can be a potentially really hot signal and potentially hurt a speaker and your eardrums if too loud.

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e-grad
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Re: Connecting modules

Post by e-grad » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:23 pm

harolddonnelly wrote:like from an ipod? or do I need an external input?
I don't think that will work since modular synth work on a compaatively high level. You'll have to use an external input module to bring the ipod to mod. synth level. I never checked that but I'm sure that the ipod's out is way too low.

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Post by harolddonnelly » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:51 pm

hmmm the ipod seems to not be working, any other suggestions? would feeding a guitar or a soft synth work? like taking the audio from my comp?

harolddonnelly
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Post by harolddonnelly » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:58 pm

will the filter self oscillate is i just crank the res, and listen to the output through head phones?

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Post by spbaker » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:36 pm

harolddonnelly wrote:will the filter self oscillate is i just crank the res, and listen to the output through head phones?
thats not gonna work either as the driver in the headphones is too heavy for the resonance to push it, try plugging it directly into a mixer or amplifier, or if you have a headphone amp plug it in to that then the headphones.

i would tell you an embarrassing story about how i thought my filters were broken because i couldn't hear the res thru my headphones, but that would be too embarrassing :doh:
new DVD out now Fracture
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NV
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Post by NV » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:05 am

It's wise to get into the habit of checking the PCB against the cable and busboard before connecting the module to your system. The vast majority of the time, the red stripe is -12V (bottom), but there are times when you will buy a module that for whatever reason shows up with the cable flipped. Many people become confused by Cwejman modules, and it's not totally unheard of to receive a new module that has an accidentally flipped cable.

With the connections to the actual module itself, you can usually decipher how it is meant to be connected fairly easily. Some manufacturers silkscreen "-12v" on their PCBs, but others (like Doepfer) do not. The trick is to look at the PCB and find three traces that all seem to connect to one place that in turns connects to all sorts of other things (ground connection - GND). Directly above and beneath it will be +12v and -12v connections, and they will most likely have a thick trace coming off them. The three connections at the very top are for the Doepfer internal bus system (gate and CV) and +5v power (+5v will only be used in digital modules).

By finding the unified ground trace and the thick traces above and beneath it, you can figure out how the cable is meant to be oriented. It only takes a couple times of spotting this on a PCB to begin to recognize it and it will save you an enormous amount of "what if" speculation, or worse, a destroyed module.

Below is a diagram detailing the power connections:
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wetterberg
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Post by wetterberg » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:18 am

spbaker wrote:thats not gonna work either as the driver in the headphones is too heavy for the resonance to push it, try plugging it directly into a mixer or amplifier, or if you have a headphone amp plug it in to that then the headphones.
must depend a lot on the headphones, then!!! I can plug in almost anywhere on my modular directly with a set of headphones and damned near blow my own head off!

CAVEAT EMPTOR!

Having said that, Harold, the best thing you can do for yourself at this point is to just jump in; it's not alien technology, nor will it kill you - it's a music tool, and it's meant to be played with. And especially modular synths are designed for experimentation; there's generally no "wrong way" of doing things (except perhaps plugging inputs to inputs, or outputs to outputs, that would just be silly)

A
BTW, what do you mean about the ipod not working?

harolddonnelly
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Post by harolddonnelly » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:12 pm

ok thanks for the advice<

with regards to the ipod.

I pluged my ipod in the input of the filter and my headphones, in to the output, and i didnt hear anything. and i also tried pluging the ipod into the input, and runing the output to a guitar amp and still no sound?

harolddonnelly
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Post by harolddonnelly » Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:36 pm

any other ideas of how i can test these filters with my minimal set up?

sandyb

Post by sandyb » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:00 am

harolddonnelly wrote:ok thanks for the advice<

with regards to the ipod.

I pluged my ipod in the input of the filter and my headphones, in to the output, and i didnt hear anything. and i also tried pluging the ipod into the input, and runing the output to a guitar amp and still no sound?
you'd need an external input module to bring the ipod output up to modular levels. you won't hear anything just plugging it in - the level is way too low.
you could test the A120 (not sure about the other filter) by setting it to self resonate and then running a signal from your midi-cv interface into one of the filter's cv inputs.

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wetterberg
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Post by wetterberg » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:23 am

sandyb wrote:
harolddonnelly wrote:ok thanks for the advice<

with regards to the ipod.

I pluged my ipod in the input of the filter and my headphones, in to the output, and i didnt hear anything. and i also tried pluging the ipod into the input, and runing the output to a guitar amp and still no sound?
you'd need an external input module to bring the ipod output up to modular levels. you won't hear anything just plugging it in - the level is way too low.
actually that's not quite accurate: the voltage going in will be the voltage coming out... roughly at least; no it won't be as loud as modular levels usually are, they'll be sort of in the low headphone-level area ;)

I just tested this with an Ipod classic playing a bit of george duke (I think, can't remember) through the QMMG and it was TASTY! Volume was turned up a bit louder than would have been comfortable/bearable with the ipod used as designed, but it fed the modular alright.

Where you'll run into problems is if you try to match that incoming audio with modular oscillators and so on... that.... won't go down well, hehe.

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Post by harolddonnelly » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:56 pm

Thanks alot for all the help its all starting to come together now.

THanks

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