Tag: eurorack

Stolperbeats and more – WORKSHOP this Thursday!

This week it’s getting rhythmic! We have Making Sound Machines as our guest on Thursday, presenting their Stolperbeats. This extraordinary sequencer pays special attention to rhythm and particularly not quite straight rhythms as known from hip hop for example – the module offers incredibly interesting shuffle, swing or groove (you name it) options that make this classic step sequencer incredibly groovy (pardon the word).

This thing is incredibly fun and always surprises with patterns and grooves that bring a breath of fresh air to your Eurorack system. It’s also handy that Stolperbeats can do MIDI I/O and can therefore be integrated wonderfully into any studio.

The second outstanding aspect of the module is the overview of all steps (!) – 64 steps each for the kick and snare channels and 16 steps each for the other 4 channels. So you have a complete overview of 6 different instruments in any situation. A feature not to be underestimated.

SchneidersLaden invites you to this evening with Making Sound Machines, some cold drinks and nice people. Be sure to stop by, Thursday – September 1st at 7:30pm. Sign up now at info@schneidersladen.de.

Video: Some minutes with the ECR+ Convolution Reverb

Tasty Chips Electronics have been known for their GR-1 granular sampler for years. With their first Eurorack product they brought something new to the table. The first Stereo Convolution Reverb for Eurorack – the ECR+. It’s not small, it’s not cheap, but it’s great to work with and has some unique features that make it worth it.

SchneidersLaden just released a video focused on a simple presentation of some sounds they came across. There is definitely a lot more to explore and you can do so by checking the demo unit at the SchneidersLaden showroom.

The module is more than just a plain reverb effect. One of the most striking features is its capability to load two impulse responses at once, that you can then crossfade between, with a knob or by CV. Also, the position of the response sample, the stereo width and some more parameters can be controlled by CV to create interesting effects. This and the fact that you can load and even record your own impulse responses on the module itself make the ECR+ a great tool for sound design and unheard sounds.

Get your ECR+ at SchneidersLaden: Here

SchneidersLaden is continuing to teach Modular Synthesis to Beginners

As you may have noticed, SchneidersLaden has reintroduced the Modular Beginner Workshops. After occasional workshops in the past weeks, SchneidersLaden has decided to offer these workshops again on a regular basis, always on Thursdays, every two weeks. After the last workshop took place on June 9, the next one will be held on June 23 – starting at 6 pm.

The workshop series is aimed at beginners who want to find out if modular synthesizers should be part of their future creative explorations. During the event, participants will learn about a modular system that is capable of playing multiple voices and drum sounds simultaneously. The system also includes effects modules and sequencers, making it suitable as a live performance instrument. The workshop hosts will talk about important aspects of modular synthesis, the various building blocks and principles such as Control Voltage and more. Several SchneidersLaden staff members will moderate these events, so you can experience a different approach to this exciting topic at each workshop.

To secure your space for the workshop on June 23, please write an email to info@schneidersladen.de

European Synths at NAMM 2022

With the NAMM show 2022 starting today it is a good time to have a look at what synths will be on display I  California. Alex4 just shared a short video overview of their Booth 10702 representing some interesting manufacturers from Europe. You don’t only get to see nicely composed Eurorack Modular synth systems, but also the incomparable Haken Audio ContinuuMini and Mayer MD900.

Being next to the Oberheim booth, AJH Synth, Analogue Systems, Doepfer, E-RM, Endorphin.es, Eowave, Haken Audio, Mayer-EMI, Miso Modular, Neuzeit Instruments, Touellskouarn, Verbos Electronics and Vermona are in very good company. If you are at NAMM 2022 make sure to check out the Alex4 booth.

Video: Maarten Vos – live at SUPERBOOTH21

The Dutch artist Maarten Vos played an incomparable set on the Seaside-Stage at SUPERBOOTH21. With the otherworldly Haken Continuum, a Buchla synthesizer and a Eurorack Modular System he took the audience a sonic journey.

Known as much for his outlier, exploratory approach to the cello as his work with modular synthesizers, he’s constantly exploring the boundaries of what can be done with certain instruments. His work is influenced by numerous collaborations with artists like Julianna Barwick, Stimming, Colin Benders and by excursions into other art forms, where he composed music for various disciplines, collaborated with fashion designers, visual artists and scored music for film.

Maarten Vos:

BeSOOPER – SUPERBOOTH22 & SOOPERgrail – Tickets now available:

SchneidersLaden presents SUPERBOOTH22

Video: Quanalog – Boubou! Filter-based drum module

The Quanalog Boubou is a combination of 5 voices of filter-based analog drum synthesizers that cover a basic drum set. The idea of using filters as a source for drum sounds isn’t new at all. It is a great technique for creating interesting sounds that react very dynamically to the input signal.

The video focusses on the rather usual use cases for a drum machine. But because each drum engine is basically a signal processor with an analog filter at its core, they can also process other drums or alternatively other modules.

Each sound has been carefully designed with a specific analog filter structure to create a great drum feel, from the lower to the higher frequencies. It really is a fun module because it is so responsive. Creating lively hihat patterns is super easy by simply adjusting the gate length – k generating interesting grooves and unusually shuffled rhythms is easily achieved by using the retrigger option on the tom sounds.

At first the Boubou doesn’t seem to be too versatile, but it is. Just send one of the sounds through another – they are filters in the end – and you get a new variety of sound. It is highly recommended to experiment with the gates/trigger/envelopes you send into the trigger inputs, because they can have a big influence on the sound.  

Check out the Quanalog Boubou, your not-so-ordinary drummer.

what about… Drum machines in Eurorack format?

Breathing some more rhythm into the rack is not that difficult these days. Besides countless interesting single-voice drum modules, there are also complete drum kits in Eurorack format. That’s exactly what we’re looking at today – modules that can play multiple percussive voices at the same time. From adaptations of established classics, from fully analog to fully digital, everything you could wish for is here.

Tubbutec / LPZW – 6m0d6

Let’s start with the exciting new development 6m0d6, which we could already test extensively at SUPERBOOTH21. The 6m0d6 by Tubbutec & LPZW is based on Roland’s TR 606, a much sought-after classic. However, the original offered virtually no way to edit the sounds, no individual outputs and a very basic sequencer. Tubbutec / LPZW have simply removed the sequencer altogether and offer a matching new development separately, in addition, the module has a MIDI input, super handy.

The remaining “drawbacks” of the TR 606 have all been eliminated and the sonic variety has been expanded by quite a bit. There are a total of 7 instruments, the original circuits of the 606 were recreated and modified with additional parameters – all drum sounds now have editable parameters! Finally you can change tune, tone, decay and click on the bass drum.

The TR 606 used white noise for the snare drum and a metal sound for the hihats and cymbal. With the addition of the XOR ring mod sound source, you can now choose between three sound sources for snare and hihats, as well as for cymbal! Because the white noise is generated digitally, you can now reduce it in resolution, for crunchy lo-fi sounds.

What’s even more remarkable: The 6 oscillators of the metal sound can be played via MIDI. You can turn the flexible cymbal channel into a drone or string synthesizer – time to experiment!

You get a pretty capable drum machine with the 6m0d6, with individual outs, dynamic trigger inputs and MIDI. If you’re into the sound of the TR 606, this module can get you there and much further if you want.

The Endorphin.es Twins

Now let’s move on to the Endorphin.es twins. Queen of Pentacles and Blck_Noir also offer 7 voices per module and are based on classics from Roland. The Endorpin.es modules also do without the sequencer and concentrate on sound generation, but go one step further than the 6m0d6. Because both modules offer a fully equipped effects section and a user interface that invites you to perform.


The sound generation of the Blck_Noir is loosely based on Roland’s CR-78, but trimmed for more impact. The seven voices (kick, snare, tambourine, closed and open hi-hat, cymbal and metal beat) are generated by discrete analog circuits and digital noise – for sound refinement, an effects processor is available, which sits in front of the stereo master output. There you will also find a master filter, whose cutoff frequency is equipped with the largest knob of the module – here everything is trimmed for interaction and performance.

The effects section comes with many different effects. Besides shimmer, room, spring and plate reverbs, there are of course delays, like the Ping-Pong Delay or Tape Echo. In addition, there is a bank of effects with Ring Modulator, Overdrive Compressor and a few others. Just plug in a sequencer and you have a very playable and complete instrument at your fingertips. The same goes for the evil twin of the Blck_Noir: Queen Of Pentacles.

Queen of Pentacles

Again, there are seven voices based on a classic from Roland – this time the TR-909, so things are a bit rougher with the Queen of Pentacles. Three voices are analog (kick, snare, clap), four are based on samples. So here you can be creative. Take a few samples from the original 909, or completely redirect to something new. Of course, an exclusive sample library comes with the unit, including a set of freshly recorded samples for modern electronic music with handmade Paiste 602 15″ and 18″ cymbals. All sample channels also feature volume envelope, decay and pitch control.

There is also the versatile effects section, including a master filter, as in Blck_Noir. Both Endorphin.es modules are made to be played live. The whole layout is focused on performing. The individual sounds are tweakable, but not too much – meaning you can go crazy while performing without the fear of “loosing” a sound in too wide parameter ranges. As said before, just add a sequencer of your choice and you have your drums fully covered for your live gig.

Quanalog – BouBou

The next module in this series is the BouBou from Quanalog. A five-voice module, with completely analog sound generation. So far we haven’t had the pleasure of trying it out, but there are some very informative videos, of this promising module.

The BouBou makes use of a technique that has been practiced in many modular racks in recent years – using filters as sound generators for percussive sounds. Here, an additional noise source is used for the snare and hi-hat sounds.

The module is a relatively simple design, with two to three controls per voice for sound shaping and a couple of CV inputs. The kick, for example, is equipped with a simple envelope, a click generator and an overdrive circuit. And because these are filters and Quanalog wanted to leave plenty of room for experimentation, it’s possible to send an audio signal into the trigger input, turning the kick drum into a wavefolder/bit crusher that can transform a simple waveform into a complex one. Furthermore, without a trigger signal at the input, the lo-tom section can become a notch filter for the bass drum with CV control of the pitch, etc… very very interesting!

In general the sounds of this module are on the softer side, but it leaves room for experiments and Quanalog made some very nice design choices.

VPME – Quad Drum Voice

With the Quad Drum Voice Module by VPME we come to the last module for today. This module goes in a completely different direction and the name of the module is almost a bit of an understatement. The Quad Drum Voice is, unsurprisingly, a four-voice digital drum module. But what is not immediately clear: There are three different sound generators to choose from for each voice: Sample Player, Wavetable VCO or digital drum model. You can store more than 1000 samples on an SD card if you want, assign them to a voice, fit them into the stereo image, and process them with a 3-band EQ and compressor.

Alternatively, you can select one of the digital drum models – here digital drums are modeled, and you can adjust their characteristics to the sound you want – for example kicks, snares and hats. This is all very flexible and sounds really good. For more tonal sounds, there is also a wavetable oscillator, but it’ also meant for percussive sounds – although you could use it as a VCO with decay turned all the way up. Quite a lot of sonic flexibility and an interesting control concept that gets the maximum playability out of the given space. Furthermore, it is possible to store and recall 64 presets, which makes it ideal for a live performance.

The VPME QD is by far the most versatile module in this comparison. With its samples and algorithmic drum models and wavetable sound source it is hard to imagine a percussive sound you can’t compose on this module – but it has only four channels, compared to the 5-7 of the other modules in this comparison. The same is true for single outputs, you’ll have to live with the stereo output and the internal mixer.

This was SUPERBOOTH21 – See you at SUPERBOOTH22

We all had to wait a long time for SUPERBOOTH21, now the event is over and it was a complete success. The circumstances that forced the organizers to completely rethink have made this year’s SUPERBOOTH21 better. The exhibitors have used the last months to develop many exciting novelties. The spacious area, the airier rooms and the resulting much more relaxed atmosphere, gave the exhibitors and visitors more opportunity to engage in conversation and to test and experience the exhibited instruments in a meaningful way.

Many participants reported that the quality of the discussions among each other was once again better than in previous years. This was made possible by the 126 exhibitors present this year, whom the organizers would like to thank once again. Another important element in this year’s concept was the cooperation with the Miller-Zillmer Foundation, to whom the organizers would also like to express their sincere thanks. The Miller-Zillmer Foundation made it possible to bring the wonderful artists Yann Tiersen, hackedepicciotto, JakoJako, Pole and the Modular Synthesizer Ensemble to the stage.

Andre Kaufmann: “Our little adventure trip is over for this year – 4 days with quite a few moments of joy, passion and excitement. We hope everyone had a great time meeting colleagues, friends and making many new contacts. It was a very memorable event, maybe the special circumstances made us even more connected.”

The start was perhaps a bit bumpy, with decent rain from Wednesday afternoon, but this was compensated for in the following days by the mild late summer with some sunshine hours and pleasant temperatures. The bungalow village had a wonderful homely atmosphere, in the evenings the Tresorbühne spread festival and club feeling and the famous Japanese pancakes and vegan gyros were again the right basis for long days and short nights.

The success of the newly designed event prompted Andreas Schneider to announce in his closing words after the last concert on the seaside stage on Saturday evening that he intends to keep this concept for SUPERBOOTH22. So you can look forward to another Superbooth that manages to be exciting and relaxed at the same time. One of the best news remains with regards to the first September edition of Superbooth that SUPERBOOTH22 is only 8 months away!

The preparations for SUPERBOOTH22 are already about to begin. The next edition of Superbooth will then take place at FEZ-Berlin from May 12-14, 2022, this time in conjunction with sooperGRAIL, which is dedicated to the art of guitar building.

For the perfect review of concerts and interviews with guests like Jean-Michel Jarre and T.Raumschmiere, talk concerts with Metasonix, Modor, UDO Audio, Joranalogue, Erica Synths, Meng-Qi and many more, there are plenty of videos on the official Superbooth Vimeo and YouTube accounts, as well as on the Superbooth homepage.

  • SUPERBOOTH22 12. – 14. Mai 2022

Here is one fine example of a Gesprächskonzert:

4ms – Ensemble Oscillator & Random*Source Haible Tau Phaser

The Ensemble Oscillator by 4ms is a unified polyphonic voice of sixteen complex oscillators that combines additive, FM, phase distortion and wavefolding synthesis techniques in new, unorthodox ways. Being polyphonic here doesn’t mean you can play all 16 oscillators directly. They share a single CV input, but you can very easily and quickly create your own scales to shape the chord the way you want it.

What really makes the Ensemble Oscillator special, however, is the sheer endless sonic possibilities offered by the Twist, Warp and Cross FM parameters. From sharp and cutting to wobbly and warm sounds, it’s just a few twists on these three parameters. Although they are very complex operations, you never feel lost and wish for a reset button – quite the opposite, the work with the Ensemble Oscillator always feels simple and encourages you to explore areas you never even thought of before.

The Eurorack version of Jürgen Haible’s legendary interpretation of the ultra rare Tau “The Pipe” Flanger from the 70s is a great analog effects unit that really breathes life into any sound. Random*Source’s 18-pole phaser produces a powerful and unique phaser sound. It likes complex signals, like pads or FM sounds, but can also be pinged very well, for special percussive sounds – some of them at the end of this video.

A look at the Eowave Weather Drones eurorack module

Today we look at Weather Drones by Eowave, a fully featured synth voice with a triangle based oscillator including a waveshaper and a spread option for generating up to 8-triangle waves at the same time. Then you get a simple envelope and LFO, a lowpass filter and a sample and hold / noise section. Most parts can be used independently, but together they give you a sonically rich synthesizer with lots of character for a very fair price.

We think Weather Drones is a very good option as an additional complete voice for your existing system, a voice that has a sound of its own, good for experimental sounds, techno and sound design.

In this video you will here this interesting module in different musical contexts to get an idea about the sonic possibilities this Weather Drones brings to the table. Again: this no video manual, just a quick look at what to expect from this synthesizer.   

Some minutes with the RYK – M185 Sequencer

The RYK M185 Sequencer rethinks the concept of 8-step sequencers by adding different options for how every single stage behaves – it can be handled to program ratcheting, short or long gates, pauses or repeats and the like. So, allowing each step to be repeated by up to 8 times and additionally defining how this repetition will be executed, really opened up the initial concept of a simple 8-step sequencer. Each step can perform 8 unique gate modes for creative rhythmic possibilities: off, one gate on first repetition, gate on every second/third/forth repetition, probability, tied gate. If you set the sequence length to 16 or 32 for example, you can fill these steps with unique patterns in no time.

With the addition of A/B split mode for two separate sequences and implementing MIDI I/O the concept of this sequencer was taken even further. Especially its MIDI capabilities qualify this module to be used with all kinds of synthesizers in your studio, not only your modular.

This video shows you example sequences made with the M185 and some parts show you the process of programming simple to complex sequences. This is a very hands-on module with great potential for creating new ideas quickly and it seems to be ideal for live performances with a tendency to improvisation. Get yours here.

A look at the System80 – 860 Mk2

The 860 Mk2 is the successor of the widely respected first recreation of the Jupiter-6 filter by System80 that was named Jove. It offers the same sound and some updated functions compared to the original Jove filter, which is no longer available. The filter brings a lot to the table, is only 10hp wide and can be operated in four modes: 24 dB lowpass, 12 dB lowpass, bandpass, highpass. There are two inputs each for audio and CV and another CV input for controlling the resonance– and the build quality is excellent.

The sound and behavior of the filter is very “Roland” – it feels home in more aggressive lead sounds and the resonance is really wonderful, yet the sound loses a little power in the low-end with more resonance. This is by no means a bad thing; in fact, it can be seen as a very musical behavior – plus, the resonance really blends in nicely with the original signal. And have you heard the highpass filter setting? One of the absolute strengths of this filter!

sooperRADIO #2 going live 5pm this Thursday

The Superbooth team is back with a new episode of their sooperRADIO show, after an eight-week wait. It is and remains electronic, with talks about modular systhesizers, a technical look at reverb simulation and two very likable studio guests: JakoJako and Sam Barker, with their very own approaches to making music – which we of course want to listen to again.

Plus two news about the synthesizer fair, with Mareen and André in the studio. They’ll let you know about the latest developments in the planning of this years Superbooth show – September 15-18th.

Via this link you can find the first episode, in case you missed it, or want to listen again – sooperRADIO episode 1.

And here is the direct link to the radio show for Thursday – Radio Woltersdorf.

New Systems Instruments – Harmonic Shift Oscillator

New Systems Instruments present a versatile VCO with simple interface and huge sonic capabilities – the Harmonic Shift Oscillator. In this video we are going to have a closer look at this interesting new module. It seemed to be specifically useful for percussive and drone sounds. Percussive sounds profit from the flexibility of the harmonic content, drones profit from the second audio output, which gives the sound a great depth. But first things first, here are some more words about the module.

The Harmonic Shift Oscillator is a fully analog oscillator with precise control of harmonic components and two 90-degree phase shifted outputs for stereo effects. It allows separate control of pitch, amplitude and stride (interval between harmonics) via CV or manually. This allows you to create very complex waveforms that can sound both harmonic and dissonant. When the level parameter is set to a high value, HSO starts to distort wonderfully. With the second output phase shifted by 90 degrees, very broad and animated drones can be created in no time. It is also highly recommended to use the second output for feedback purposes.

This is no “video manual” just a simple incomplete overview. Check out the great manual for this module or go to the SchneidersLaden website for more information – schneidersladen.de

Metabolic Devices – Moonwalker

Moonwalker is a versatile and precise analog attack/decay generator that can act as a VCO, LFO or AD envelope and offers some special features. Basically it can be said that the two lower knobs control attack and decay parameters and the one with an orange background allows for an offset of the phase, which shows different effects at the different outputs. There are three switchable time ranges that cover everything from very slow modulations to well into the audio range. Besides the phase offset there is also a special feature that allows you to swap the times for the attack and decay phase at the push of a button! This becomes especially exciting when you combine it with the Cycle mode – here you get an unusual, exciting modulation source!

In this video we want to show the module briefly in action. We use it as an envelope, LFO with many external modulations and show it as an audio oscillator, with its special sound.

Flame – Chord Machine 2

Flame’s Chord Machine 2 comes equipped with a chord generator, an arpeggiator and a quantizer. The module generates tuned CV signals for up to five voices. You even don’t necessarily need an incoming CV to generate these output signals. You define a chord and an arpeggio based on internal note and tuning settings, these settings can be saved in lists that function as song lists or chord progressions, depending on how you use them. The arpeggiator output can alternatively be used as a very flexible quantizer. For a quantizer and chord generator module of this size it has a lot to offer. All in all, the module is very powerful, which also makes it complex – but it is worth taking the time exploring it!

The voices generated by the Chord Machine 2 can be spread over a range of eight octaves. 42 presets plus 16 user chords with up to four voices are available for musical experiments. Additionally, it is possible to choose between first, second and third inversion. All in all, musicians get access to 232 chords, which are playable within 54 preset and 15 user scales. Transpositions can be done via a CV input. The arpeggiator can run in several directions. The octave range is variable as well. Program and arpeggiator parameters are not only editable by hand, but can be modulated via a CV input as well. For synchronizing the module to other equipment, there is a clock input.

In this video we go through some of the settings that can be made. The module has more to offer, but the video should give a good idea about what to expect from the Chord Machine 2.

Kick it like… 11 Bass Drums for eurorack

Here it is: The big bass drum module comparison – this one goes to eleven. In just under 20 minutes we play 11 bass drum modules, all with the same sequence, no frills. This is just about listening to all modules in the same setup to be able to compare them. Just what people do when they come to SchneidersLaden showroom to compare modules.

Deciding on a new module is often a lengthy process of weighing pros and cons, gathering opinions, and watching videos. There are product descriptions and feature lists, but ultimately it comes down to sound – does the sound of the module fit the aesthetic I want?

We put all the bass drum modules from our showroom into a rack – 102hp – to pit them against each other: Tiptop Audio – BD909 & BD808, Hexinverter – Mutant BD09 & Mutant Bassdrum, WMD – Crater, Noise Engineering – Basimilus Iteritas Alter, Erica Synths – Bass Drum, Jomox – ModBase 09 Mk II, 2hp – Kick, L.E.P. – Cassa, Befaco – Kickall.

They all have their own character, very different concepts and features. We are not interested in whether one module has three CV inputs more than another, but only in the basic sound – some of the presented modules are quite capable to function as a stand-alone synthesizer voice, but that’s not what we want to talk about here.

We hope the video can help you in your search for your next kick. At the beginning of the video there is a timeline to help you find your favorites.

Deckard’s Voice Module – Video walkthrough

The Deckard’s Voice Module by Black Corporation is a single voice from their Deckard’s Dream eight-voice poly synth. Based on the legendary Yamaha CS80 this module has a high density of functions to offer and a very characteristic sound. Even though it is a single voice it can create that dreamy cinematic sounds if you add the right amount of reverb.

The module features all you could wish for – VCO and noise, high-pass and low-pass filters, two envelopes, a modulation LFO with random and a VCA with velocity response. Additionally, most of the building blocks can be used on their own due to the many inputs and outputs.

All in all, a unique and versatile module that will give you lots of flexibility in the way it can be used in your system. And it sounds great.

NAMM 2021 – Believe in Music Week with Alex4

Visit the virtual Alex4 NAMM booth!

NAMM Believe in Music week is starting on Monday and registration is open now. Get signed up for one of the biggest virtual fairs for musical instruments yet, and then stop by the Alex4 NAMM booth to see news and session videos by Doepfer, Buchla, Neuzeit Instruments, Animal Factory Amplification and many more.

As the NAMM show usually is a members-only event, you’ll have to be registered for the show. The good news is, this year anyone can register for free to be part of Believe in Music Week. The links below only work if you are registered and logged in.

Here is an overview about some interesting live sessions (all in CET):

Endorphin.es – Modular Techno Live: Julia Bondar

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Buchla Easel Command Overview & Music Easel Announcement

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM

EOWAVE: Domino, Fluctuations Magnétiques, Quadrantid Swarm

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 8:00 PM to 8:15 PM

Neuzeit Instruments – Orbit

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Doepfer: The Polyphonic System

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM

AJH Synth: Wave Swarm, Next Phase, Entropic Doom, Lunar Module

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM

TouellSkouarn: Eurorack Modules And Pedals

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM

UDO: Super 6 – polyphonic synthesizer

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Animal Factory Amplification: Orobas & Tannhauser Gate

Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Humble Audio: Quad Operator & Algo

Thursday, January 21, 2021 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Supercritical Synthesizers – Neutron Flux

The new stereo multi-mode-multi-character filter from Finland showed up a couple of weeks ago – we took it for a test ride! Check out the video!

The filter features an analog core with digital control, this allows the core to be shaped almost endlessly, taking on the character of almost any classic filter and providing the ability to explore sounds that are not common and extend the sound palette of your system!

Obviously the Neutron Flux can be used to master the everyday tasks in a modular system, but it is especially useful to filter stereo sound sources such as drum machines or VA synths and add some serious drive! It is possible to change the filter slopes of each character (Fat, Crisp, Liquid, Sour and Mean) on the fly, allowing for very complex filter sweeps and sheer endless possibilities.

In this video we paired the Neutron Flux with the Demon Core Oscillator and Demon Expander to create a complete monophonic / paraphonic stereo synth voice!

Video: The new Doepfer A-174-4 3D Joystick

Since its announcement at NAMM 2020, Doepfer’s new module has already generated quite a lot of attention, and rightly so. An exciting module with 10 CV outputs and one gate output that can set an entire system in motion.

The Doepfer A-174-4 is an innovative 3D Joystick featuring three axis. It allows to control three control voltages at once (X, Y, Z). The joystick offers the classic X and Y axis, as well as a third axis (Z), the rotation of the joystick. The button on top activates a gate.

The module outputs normal and inverted CV, including offset adjustment for each inverted output. Additionally it features four quadrant outputs (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) with adjustable overlap. A quadrant voltage becomes positive when the joystick is positioned in the quadrant in question.

The 3D joystick allows physical control of any Eurorack module with CV inputs. In this video, we show various patch examples where we use all three CV outputs from the Doepfer A-174-4 to control parameters of Doepfer modules (oscillators, filter and phaser), Cwejman Res-4 or SM-1.

Tokyo Festival of Modular – live November 14th 12pm

The TFoM2020 takes place this year on November 14th as an online event, streaming from the TFoM YouTube channel. It will include exclusive interviews with Richard Devine and Anthony Baldino for example and Dieter Doepfer will show some of his latest modules with a video message from his workbench! Also there is a rare interview announced with Émilie Gillet from Mutable Instruments.

Lots of things to look forward to! Watch the live-stream on YouTube or directly here:

A look at the new Analogue Systems RS-650 Echo Reverb

Here we have a new module by Analogue Systems. With a long history of building analog and digital delay, reverb and chorus effects Analogue Systems now created a module that blends easily between echo and reverb sounds – the RS-650 is now available!

RS-650 is an echo/reverb module based on the two Analogue Systems classics RS-310 and RS-440 – it can be used as a delay or reverb, with delay times from 70 mb to 200 ms and 2.5 ms to 150 ms in reverb mode. The circuit is based on a bucket brigade device with six parallel delay tabs with different levels and delay times. The summation of the six tabs creates the dense reverb. Due to the traditional design of the circuit, the clock frequency in the delay is audible in the output signal. Therefore it is recommended to use a lowpass filter after the RS-650 to reduce the clock noise.

All in all the RS 650 brings a great vintage bucket brigade sound to the table. If you want it to, the RS 650 can strongly color the sound that you feed it with, here is a video to give you an idea about its sound.

Video: Noise Lab – Eurorack Modules from Stockholm

Noise Lab is a newly founded synthesizer company based in Stockholm, Sweden. They are starting with six modules forming an interesting synthesizer voice with lots of tricks up its sleeve. Besides the standard modules VCO, VCF, VCA Noise Lab also offers a spectral mixer a very versatile Wave Shaper and a super-fast envelope. At the end of this page you’ll find a video featuring all Noise Lab modules. First, here is a short overview about the new Noise Lab products. 

Prime Mover is an advanced and versatile Voltage Controlled Oscillator based on the renowned 3340 chip. Four primary sound outputs generate Saw, Triangle, Pulse and Sine while individual wave shapers, one for each waveform, expands the sonic possibilities even further.

The Wrinkler consists of a primary wave folder circuit and a secondary “creaser”, both controllable via knobs and CV. Generally, wave folders only work with low harmonic content such as Sine or Triangle waves but this one comes with circuitry which can fold and wrinkle ANY waveform you feed into it, including square waves!

The Beautifier is a flexible OTA based filter, featuring a lowpass/bandpass switch and a selectable slope of 24db and 12dB.

Augmentor features two independent amplifiers with linear response, can also be employed as a signal splitter and works great to create ring-modulator sounds as well with CV control over both audio and CV signals.

Contourist is a general purpose Envelope Generator with three outputs (one inverted) and three time ranges. From short and snappy (50 msec) to several minutes long contour curves.

The Fourcaster is a unique 4-channel analog crossfader a.k.a. interpolating scanner. Once you start working with it, you’ll soon discover how you can create very complex sounds simply by fading between sources.

In this video we’ll have a look at the whole product line by Noise Lab and have the chance to hear the modules in a musical context.

Eowave – Fluctuations Magnétiques

Looking at the Eowave Fluctuations Magnétiques you quite quickly realize that this module has a lot of functionality to offer that you wouldn’t usually expect in a filter module. By offering four identical multimode-filters and numerous ways to sync and route, you have a big sonic playground right at your fingertips.

The Eowave FM is composed of four filters arranged in pairs (A/B and C/D). The circuits feature high-pass, band-pass and low-pass modes with a slope of -12 dB per octave. Routing options allow serial or parallel operation. Level potentiometers at the input stages make it possible to generate asymmetrical distortion, which really expands the palette of possible sounds. By connecting several of the VCFs in series, users can create filter types with a slope of up to -48 dB per octave. For modulations, there are several CV inputs.

The basic character of the module is gentle and very musical. However, with high input level settings, it is also possible to achieve beefy, rather rough results. The circuits can’t self-oscillate, unless the user patches a feedback loop, but it is possible to ping the filters for some very nice percussive sounds, some f them can be heard in the video below. In this video we explore various scenarios, from classic filter duties to fourfold filter pings!

A look at the new Vermona MeloDICER

With the MeloDICER Vermona created a sequencer concept that inspires and invites you to interact with your modular. It is Vermona‘s vision of a sequencer with the perfect balance between stochastic and deterministic creation of rhythm and melody. Its algorithms generate random values, following the rules you set with the controls. This combination of determined and undetermined conditions results in an inspiring and intuitive experience.

The melody sequencer offers twelve faders for setting the note probability (from C to B), and two faders to set the range (lowest and highest note). The rhythm is controlled by the four knobs. The two DICE buttons allow to randomly change the melody and the rhythmic structure on each press.

In the first video we get an impression of the basic functions of the sequencer in DICE mode. It controls the Doepfer A-111-3 Micro Precision VCO paired with the A-106-5 SEM Filter.

The second video takes a closer look at MeloDICERs generative abilities, where it generates melodies continuously.

New workshop video: Shakmat!

Here we have Francois from Shakmat with an excellent performance and workshop about his modules. During the workshop he puts a special focus on how to integrate his modules in a live performance.

The SchneidersLaden for-sale selection just got an update.

It got hot in Berlin and we need some more fresh air in the warehouse – so there are some nice things in our for-sale-selection. Check it out, there are modules from AJH Synth, Erica Synths, Delptronics, Kilpatrick, Recovery Effects, Make Noise and some other manufacturers!

This way please: for sale

In addition, there are three particularly good offers of polyphonic synthesizers that you can’t find in the online shop. We were able to buy a few exhibits of Dave Smith at SUPERBOOTH19 and want to pass them on to you at a very good price. All synthesizers are like new and have full warranty!

Click here for more information: Sooper-Sale

Make Noise QPAS – NAMM 2019 News

QPAS stands for Quad Peak Animated System. That IS a very accurate description of the new Makenoise module. In terms we all are a bit more used to: It is a quad (!) stereo (!!) multimode (HP/BP/LP…SP?) filter. In just 18 HP! Since the four filters are being run parallel it is very easy to obtain vocal-like sounds. The closest things in our store would hence also be, what we sometimes call “Formant” filters. Like (of course) the Grendel Formant Filter, the Mannequins Three Sisters, the Cwejman RES-4 /QMMF-4 and to some extent the Rossum Morpheus.

But this being a Make Noise module, you can expect an unconventional, yet very clever and playful approach. Some of you might prefer the precise editing of single filters or wish for quickly dialing in accurate formants (aka A-E-I-O-U sounds) . In that case one of the modules mentioned above might be the right one for you.

The QPAS however wants you to move away from all these abstract concepts of/and control and trust your ears and experiment. It has a simplified, but effective interface. You can control the master cutoff of all filters. Resonance creates peaks, but never reaches to selfoscillation. However you can ping it very well. To facilitate this there is a (stereo) VCA before the filters. Not after the filters like in a “normal” voice. That way the VCA doesn’t interrupt the ringing of the filters! Radiate L & R lets the peaks of the single filters move away from each other. For animating Left and Right channel independently. With the associated pot being turned clockwise the filters move from unison to further and further apart. The two inputs labelled “!!¡¡” are left intentionally vague. What is said is that they are both different, both associated with several parameters and that you can connect ANY signal to them: LFOs, audio(rate)-signals, gates…Since QPAS is not a vactrol design and the filter response is exponential, it will never be sluggish and responds exceptionally well and deep to audio rate modulations.  Something you really should try when the Quad Peak Animated System arrives at our showroom (and store)!


Frap Tools Falistri – NAMM 2019 News

Frap Tools – an Italian manufacturer very dear to our hearts has finally finished the Falistri. And it is already available!

Also called “movement manager”. Ok…these are both not really telling names! So what is it?

Falistri is a fully featured, nicely structured dual envelope generator / (low frequency) oscillator featuring a ringmodulator for combining any of its multitude of outputs plus a flip-flop / clock divider for generating more complex patterns.

It definitely is a strong competitor to another module with a confusing name – the Makenoise Maths. Fully featured means that it has – unlike the Maths – uni- and bipolar outputs, as well as end of rise (EOR) and end of fall (EOF) outputs readily available. Per stage!

Another big feature is the mentioned ringmodulator / vca for mixing any two of the many outs. But the really big thing is that you can alter the shape of the envelopes independently of the overall time! That is a feature rarely seen and mostly done digital. The Falistri however is analog through and through. No DSPs here. Also the flip-flop is (just) CMOS based.

Even given this rough description, we guess you can see the potential of this module and its myriads of possible patching applications!

Video: KITMUN – live performance at SchneidersLaden

Kitmun is a Berlin based duo of modular music and video artists. They play electronic music ranging from ambient to techno and combine this with live visuals from a dedicated eurorack synthesizer. Both, visuals and music are all created live on the spot and are therefor unique to the specific event and performance.

Kitmun played this exceptional performance for our guests at SchneidersLaden and afterwards talked about their workflow, setup, gear and everything else that is important if you plan to do modular live music.

The evening came to an end on the terrace at SchneidersLaden after hours of conversation and some drinks with the very interested audience.

We want to thank everyone for coming and hope to see you soon again at one of our weekly workshops or during the opening hours of the SchneidersLaden showrooms.

Strange Science but great filter!

Strange Science Instruments has so far flown under the radar of most people – which is hard to believe, because they offer a quality of craftsmanship comparable to that of Cwejman. The modules by Strange Science are professional tools with a lot of character and lots of functionality.

Here is how you make the F-1 Stereo Lowpass Filter “scratch” over a simple drum beat!



Here is an overview of the filter by it’s makers:


And here DivKid is explaining what can be done with the M-4 Advanced Stereo Mixer:


HerrSchneiders statement on current developments in the Eurorack market

HerrSchneider posted a statement on the current situation of the Eurorack market on his schneidersbuero website – as this statement is in german here is a translation:

Attention, commercial break:

You asked for it: Due to the increased demand for Eurorack modules in Europe, even the large retailers for musical instruments are now filling the last corners of their warehouses and buying complete production runs from manufacturers and everything else they can get. Some manufacturers might be happy about this, but the flooding of the market already leads to a significant drop in prices here and there, some modules are already available with a 30% discount on the original calculated price and yet were still quite hot the other day!

As SchneidersLaden we have decided to go along with this development and of course offer corresponding products for the same price to our customers, although most of them have already bought them when the goods were still fresh and crisp! We’re almost a little sorry about that, but hopefully the hits are already produced and the music career is up and running? Nevertheless, sorry – but the decision for this way lies with the manufacturer and was not our recommendation!

By the way… we don’t advertise with moneyback-warranty… we’ve always practiced it. But please: get advice first, then buy – like in the good old days. Because it’s better to talk to your specialist retailer – we know what we are selling. And by the way: We do free shipping throughout Europe and there are Thursdays on that we are in the shop until nine o’clock in the evening …and real CHAOS serves creativity.

That had to be said – end of commercial break.

Why is this statement necessary? Basically SchneidersLaden and other specialist shops and distribution companies contributed largely in the positive, innovative development of the Eurorack market in the recent years. What you might not know is that SchneidersLaden is supporting small manufacturers with knowledge about legal requirements for the licensing of electronic products, business development and the knowledge about what customers are searching for. As a link between customers and manufacturers Schneidersladen has helped to promote innovation, brought together artists and the right tools for their art and has been working on creating a supportive culture among the users of electronic musical instruments and especially Eurorack modular synthesizers in Europe. With prices falling by 30% there will be less manufacturers, less innovation and less room for supportive activities throughout the whole scene. And yes: What you learn from the capitalist paradigm – competition is good and the market regulates the price. While this is somehow true if you are looking for cheap mass-produced products of (often) questionable quality. In Eurorack it means we are losing diversity and the non-competitive culture that has been so significant for almost anyone participating in this market. SchneidersLaden will continue its way, while having to compete on pricing with the big players. And yes, you can benefit from this development and save a few Euros – but take a second and think about what the future of Eurorack should look like. You are a part of this and your personal decisions matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this – now go make some music, connect with other artists and keep supporting this unique scene.


Distortion with Animal Factory Amplification – Workshop Video @SchneidersLaden

Animal Factory Amplification is an innovative Indian guitar pedal manufacturer that is even adapting its circuits for eurorack modular! Not many manufacturers in the music tech industry come from India and if you listen to the fascinating story of AFA (Animal Factory Amplification) you get an idea why. Aditya – founder, developer and engineer of AFA gave an insight into his story, from being a teenager in India building distortion pedals from the rare electronic parts he could get his hands on – to these present days where he shares a stage at SUPERBOOTH18 together with Alexander Hacke from Einstürzende Neubauten to present his products -watch the video from Superbooth here!

This workshop at SchneidersLaden gives a very detailed overview about different distortion techniques and the differences these make sound-wise. Learn not only about the impressive circuits Aditya developed, but also about the ideas and history behind these and get some tips and tricks for the use of these machines and how to get the best results.

The best of the whole story is that Aditya bringing his circuits to the eurorack format. The Baron Samedi and Pit Viper are already available! With CV control these modules bring another creative dimension to the table.

What about … Multi Effect Modules for Eurorack

Effect units are as common in recording studios and on stages as instruments are. Usually there are specialist units that excel at one specific task and multi effects units that are capable of providing several effects. These units often combine reverb, delay and technically related effects like chorus and flanger. In eurorack it is also possible to find these versatile digital effects units that open up new dimensions of sound – because you can control them with CV, other than their predecessor. But why are there (mostly) the same few effects in most units? Why is it harder to find an effects unit with compressor, saturation, reverb, delay and ring-modulation? Well, there certainly are effect units, mostly outside of eurorack format, that feature all these effects in one housing. But if you are looking, for example at distortion and compressor effects, there might be a simple reason for making them analog – it is easier to make and sounds better. This is not supposed to be a discussion about analog or digital, only a description of what seems to be a common thing – reverbs and delays can be designed more diverse and versatile on a digital basis. And analog designs excel at effects like distortion and compression. This definitely is a simplification and generalization – that said, there are of cause brilliant analog delays and reverbs – maybe even the most iconic delays are analog, and there are perfect digital compressors.

So why does it make sense to combine reverb, chorus, flanger and delay effects in one unit? Maybe it is because they are all time based effects. This means that they somehow take small bits of audio and play them back delayed in a certain way that is determined by a specialized algorithm. Because the basic idea behind these effects is basically the same they can be combined more easily and share the same user interface.

Actually, all this is only guessed and not important, the sound is important. And the little small extra bits of thought that went into the development of a module, which sets one model apart from the others. And these are the things we are looking at now. Therefor we will discuss four different stereo multi effect units in eurorack format.


Radikal Technologies – RT-1701 EFFEXX

We are starting with a real monster. The RT-1701 is big – due to the different effect sections and one special feature. For the different sections can be set to different combinations, which changes the signal flow. In general you get an input section with a dedicated overdrive circuit, then two effect processors with reverb, several delays, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Rotor, String Filter and a Pitch Shifter. And as if this was not enough, you can utilize the String Filter as a Karpulus Strong oscillator that tracks 1v/oct; all you need to add is noise, an envelope and a VCA.

The overall effects quality is superb. The algorithms can compete with high class rack units, are widely adjustable and with the flexible routing you get a variety of possibilities for sound design. A specialty of this module is the so called snap-shot function. The big knob in the middle of the module and the eight LEDs around it represent the effect algorithms and eight memory slots for snap-shots. First it seems like these are only memory slots for your favorite settings, but the magic happens when you start blending from one snap-shot to another. Take a saturated delay and slowly transform it to a mild phaser – and by transform I don’t mean one effect fades out while the other fades in. It is more a morphing from one to the other – and that with up to eight different effect settings in a row – controllable with CV. Put some of the excellent reverb on top and you are most likely creating something lively and gorgeous.

Flame – FX16-CV

The Flame FX16CV is a more simple effects module with a significant smaller footprint and price. It features 16 effects with CV-able effect selection. This alone makes the Flame module interesting and versatile, but you also get three CV-able parameters with each effect. Lots of fun for a good price. And different Flame FX modules are on the market for some time now and have constantly been updated with new functions – the FX16-CV is the most advanced so far. At first glance it seems like you can only use one effect at a time, a closer look reveals this is not really true as most of the effect programs use at least two different effects in a combination with each other. Most feature an additionally reverb or filter effect that adds to the chorus, flanger, tremolo or the other effect types. These combinations make the FX16-CV so powerful. Most times you are using it, it will sound like more than one effects unit and you will soon begin to appreciate the predetermined effect combinations.

Erica Synths – Black Hole DSP

The Black Hole by Erica Synths follows a similar approach, it is a digital stereo effect processor with 16 custom effects. These are split up into two banks. The different effect programs are called patches, because there is mostly more going on than in a simple delay or reverb. Most of the patch programs come in preconfigured effect combinations, like a delay into a flanger or a high-pass filter with saturator into a reverb. Or they are more complex algorithms, like a granular delay for example. These combinations lead to very expressive results and always provide you with interesting results, especially when modulated! Because it is important to note that every knob on the front panel has a dedicated CV input. And if you like the Black Hole DSP but can’t find room in your rack, there is also the Pico DSP – a 3 hp effect module inspired be the Black Hole DSP.

1010 Music – FXBox

The FXBox is a beats of it’s own. The huge touch screen is a good indicator for where the strong point of this module lays. It is instant fun to play with the different effects just by touching it. It is easy, fast and intuitive. You can activate different effects at different times during a sequence, just like you program a step sequencer. Or activate one or more effects continuously or momentarily while you press the respective area on the touch screen. This might be the most “hands-on” module of the ones we are talking about here. The effects are combinable at will. Each algorithm features up to four parameters, which can be adjusted via the module’s rotary encoders or the touch display. It is even possible to edit several values at once. And once you get bored of the effects (don’t expect that to happen!) you can change the firmware of the FXBox and transform it to a sampler – the Bitbox!

This is by no means a complete overview of the available modules or a full review of the modules discussed. The what about… texts are here to give you new ideas and maybe another perspective on things. All these modules offer more features than we have talked about in this post. For further information please click the provided links or – even better – visit the shop and ask the SchneidersLaden experts in the showroom.


Amsterdam Dance Event ADE – 2017

Amsterdam Damce Event is a big event – really big… This year, in the 22nd edition there were with 395,000 visitors a new record. ADE is the leading electronic music platform and the biggest club festival in the world for the whole spectrum of electronic sub-genres. Not everything happens in one place, of course. More or less the whole (inner) city of Amsterdam was turned into the festival ground, eye-catching banners with the ADE logo in black and yellow point the way to events and locations. These events can be anything, from parties at night to talks, exhibitions, perfomances and workshops during the day.

During daytime the events are more focused on equipment, for example The Sound Lab. Last year, the Sound Lab took place at the Compagnietheater and had its own Modularsynth section, the Modular Maze. For this year’s Sound Lab, the Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond was the venue. In addition to Pioneer’s omnipresence, the brands Ableton, Elektron and Roland were shown and heard at the Gear Test Lab G10, while Novation, Amptec, Splice, SAE, Serato and KV331 were included in the Gear Test Lab G5.

Modular Maze? Unfortunately not this year. Almost… BUT Sound Lab 2016 was too good to not being back, so Alex4 was there to represent ACL, Vermona, Doepfer, Verbos and E-RM: Not in the 2 aforementioned rooms which had lots of colorful and plastic devices on display, but in the corridor in between, next to the entrance to the main stage and the stairs to the workshops.

Systems on site:

  • ACL Demo Case 2x84TE, complete System
  • Doepfer A-100PB+P9 incl. news like A-111-4 Quad VCO
  • E-RM Multiclock
  • Verbos Electronics incl. Bark Filter configuration in Vermona Case
  • Vermona im Vermona Case incl. RandomRhythm and Quad-Env prototypes

Quite often large crowds of people formed and surrounded the 4 modular systems. Mostly young people who wanted to know how to produce electronic music. Almost no one had previous experience with modular synthesizers, but there were no reservations, but lots of curiosity. And so the reactions were very open and positive because people realized that they were just offered new perspectives on music making.

The situation in the building was characterized by a professional, friendly and very competent organization. All in all a nice event. Hopefully there will be a Sound Lab next year!









What about… low-pass gates?

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The low-pass-gate is a traditional Buchla design that has some mysterious qualities to it. For decades it has mostly been seen in Buchla synthesizers and luckily is now available in various forms, formats and styles. But what is a low-pass-gate? It is an electrical circuit that combines elements of amplifiers and low-pass filters. Therefor it will be used to determine the amplitude of a sound and its sonic complexity.

Due to its technical structure it is possible to just send trigger to the CV inputs of low-pass gates and still get envelope-shaped results. This is because low-pass gates usually use vactrols –  photoresistive opto-isolators, or or opto-couplers. What is that? Basically vactrols are light-emitting diodes (LED) or another light-emitting component and a semiconductor-based photoresistor. With these two components you have a source of light and a detector of light, both sitting in a closed housing, electrically isolated from each other. When you send a voltage into a vactrol – the light-emitting part – will emit light and the detector will receive this light = this opens the gate. And because this special construction is some kind of slow, it has a special natural sound to it. And as the light received by the detector is opening the VCA and controlling the filter cutoff at the same time sounds   at low amplitude will sound duller. And this is where the magic happens, this behavior in combination with the “natural” respond of vactrols make low-pass gates sound so nice.

LPG_what about banner

Make Noise – Optomix (Rev.2)

All time classic: The Optomix is might be THE module people think of first when talking about low-pass gates in eurorack. It has been around for years and has built a large fan base. The Optomix by Make Noise actually features two low-pass-gates utilizing 4 vactrols to provide simultaneous voltage control over amplitude and frequency content of a signal. In Rev. 2 the damp circuit was updated to accept audio as well as CV for patching side-chain compression. Additionally Optomix offers a summing stage complete with an AUXiliary IN allowing for the chaining of multiple units to create larger mixes.

Rabid Elephant – Natural Gate

The Natural Gate might be the most advanced low-pass gate when it comes to engineering complexity. Due to this it has some unique features exceptional sound design capabilities. For example, it is possible to choose between three “material characteristics”, each of them responding differently to excitation signals. As the trigger frequency increases, the low-pass gates open up more and more. Additionally the decay varies depending on the pitch of incoming audio material. Thanks to this behavior Natural Gate has a very pleasant sound and a very natural sound. Its two channels also featuring ducking compressor, wave shaper or envelope functionality.

Doepfer A-101-2 Vactrol Lowpass Gate

The Doepfer A-101-2 Vactrol Lowpass Gate is a single low-pass gate with the ability to also be used as VCA or low-pass filter – and it features resonance control that not many low-pass gates provide. It has a rather aggressive sound, especially with lots of resonance. What also sets the Doepfer apart from others is that you can set the mode of operation not only manually but also via gates, which is the reason for two gate inputs; this is very interesting in combination with clock dividers or trigger sequencers.

  • Gate 1 high & gate 2 low = low pass mode
  • Gate 1 low & gate 2 high = VCA mode
  • both Gate 1 & 2 high = combo mode

Metasonix RK5 Dual Low Pass Gate

The Metasonix RK5 Dual Low Pass Gate is a very special module. It takes the concept of a low-pass gate, invented in the 1970s and uses technical solutions from the 1950s – vacuum tube audio circuits. The module offers a very special warm and gently distorted sound with a rather long decay. It is the perfect module for those who want to explore “new” low-pass gate timbres and want to create unique, somewhat dirty Buchla Bongos and other percussive sounds.

Verbos Electronics – Amplitude & Tone Controller

The Verbos Amplitude & Tone Conroller consist of a entirely discrete VCA combined with a vactrol controlled low-pass filter. The input stage lets you dial in a very pleasant distortion if you want it to. The sound is gorgeous somewhere between wood and acid. As all Verbos modules this is a very high quality module with a classy vintage sound. And you don’t only get the sound but also the look – how beautiful it is!

Make Noise – DynaMix

The DynaMix is the second Make Noise module in this overview, as Make Noise is constantly developing new modules featuring vactrols and keep exploring what low-pass gates can be. It is also as a two-channel low-pass gate with integrated mixer. Instead of vactrols, transistor circuits are used to control the integrated filters and VCAs. This results in a harsher and faster responds than with an integrated vactrol. Its sound is comparatively hard, but nonetheless very musical and the circuit is capable to gently distort the sound when you want it.

This is by no means a complete overview of the available modules or a full review of the modules discussed. The what about… texts are here to give you new ideas and maybe another perspective on things. All these modules offer more features than we have talked about in this post. For further information please click the provided links or – even better – visit the shop and ask the SchneidersLaden experts in the showroom.


Modulars and physical modelling

How to bring physical modelling into your synthesizer

First of all, what is physical modelling?

“Physical modelling synthesis refers to sound synthesis methods in which the waveform of the sound to be generated is computed using a mathematical model, a set of equations and algorithms to simulate a physical source of sound, usually a musical instrument.” Wikipedia

To mimic acoustic musical instruments within a modular synthesizer is a special challenge. Nonetheless, there are some modules that accept this challenge and bring physical modelling to eurorack. As the computing power is increasing steadily it is no surprise that manufacturers started developing more complex digital voice modules. These modules can do things that only plugins could do a few years back, but now with CV controllable parameters.

What choices do you have in eurorack?



One of the most recent developments is the Intellijel Plonk. This module takes all the advantages of modern computing on small space and adds a nice OLED screen for operating the numerous possibilities the module gives you. Plonk is the result of a collaboration between Intellijel and Applied Acoustics Systems (AAS). It features two virtual exciters, which can be used individually or in combination. The first one is a mallet simulation with variable stiffness. The other exciter is a white noise source with variable clock rate. Its signals can be shaped via a low-pass, a high-pass filter plus an AD respectively AHD envelope. The resonator can be a string, one of two blocks, a circular respectively rectangular membrane or a plate. Its properties are definable via decay, tone and inharmonicity parameters, a high pass filter plus a pitch envelope. As a result, it is possible to simulate materials like wood, metal or plastic. Furthermore, users can determine where the exciter signal is applied to the resonator.


Elements & Rings

Two modules, that set the bar for physical modelling in eurorack – at the time they were released, are Elements and Rings by Mutable Instruments. Elements features two separate sections, on the left side you can find the exciter and on the right side the resonator. Elements is based on modal synthesis, an under-appreciated form of physical modeling. It combines an exciter synthesis section for raw and noise sounds with the characteristics of a bowed, blown or struck instrument with a modal filter bank consisting of 64 tuned band pass filters. This filter bank simulates the behavior of resonant structures. Brightness and damping can be adjusted and a stereo reverb adds room to the sound. One interesting thing about Elements is that you can use the resonator part independently, so you basically can use any signal as an exciter.

Rings is somehow based on the resonator part of Elements, with some adjustments, updated features and a four voice fake-polyphony. Two outputs are available, each playing different harmonic structures or different notes in polyphonic mode. As expected from a resonator it is possible to process audio signals but Rings can also be played exclusively via CVs as it can excite and play sounds by itself. Sound wise there is more than just nylon string imitation but singing tones, cold strings and also very experimental and extreme sounds.


At this point we have already captured the most versatile physical modelling modules available for eurorack. But there are some more that focus on a special variety of physical modelling: Karplus Strong Synthesis.


The Proton is Audio Damages take on this interesting synthesis method. The digital module offers a tuned delay line with very short time settings – a basic requirement for Karplus Strong. A noise burst impulse excites the delay core and can be shaped for different sonic results, especially when combined with open damping it produces interesting noisy, metallic sounds. Karplus-Strong loses amplitude in the low frequency range for which reason Proton features SUB, a sine wave tuned to the fundamental which can be mixed with the physical modeling sound. The audio input makes it possible to use the module as a digital delay or to mix the generated sound with external.


Delay1022 MK2

Another Karplus Strong module is the CG Products Delay1022 Mk2 – the only full analogue module in this list. The 1022 is a very clear and short delay module, it can delay in audio rate and at high feedback setting it provides very interesting sound sculpting possibilities. The module is perfectly suited for Karplus-Strong synthesis. The 1022 can process external audio or be fed with just a trigger, then it will create percussive plucked sounds, strings and drums at high feedback settings. The delay time controls the frequency, feedback amount controls decay time. A highly recommended module with a unique deep sound.



And there is the Make Noise Mysteron. A digital waveguide synthesis module. …yes me too, I don’t know what this is. And the people at Make Noise are so kind, to not leave us alone with this feeling: “The Mysteron is a voltage controlled Dual Digital Waveguide algorithm that is a bit of a mystery even to those of us involved in its design.” (makenoisemusic.com)

But it sounds great, so why bother. The Mysteron is a unique module and pushes the sonic boundaries of modular synthesizers even further.


So as you can see there are quite some diverse options available and the choice is up to you. If you can’t decide on your own, come to the showroom and ask the SchneidersLaden team.

This is by no means a complete overview of available modules nor a full review of the discussed modules. The what about… text are here to give you new ideas and maybe another perspective on things. All these modules offer more features than we have talked about in this post. For further information please click the provided links or – even better – visit the shop and ask the SchneidersLaden experts in the showroom.


SchneidersLaden Showroom: For Sale Rack // 20% or 50%

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The attentive visitor to our showroom will not have missed it: There is a rack with reduced modules, with 20% and  50 % discount! Single items, demo devices, returns etc.

For you this is a nice way to save a few Euros! BUT: The modules are only available in the SchneidersLaden Showroom! No exceptions. So, come by and pick out a module, test it extensively and take it home with you.


It’s that simple.


>>> Here is a non-binding overview of what is currently on sale: >>>Sale Rack May<<<




MIXERS: Arrel, Doepfer, Endorphin.es, Frap Tools …

In eurorack it is often overlooked that you can go way beyond simply mixing audio signals, but with the right mixer you can do so much more. Nowadays there is a huge variety of mixing solutions available. The range of mixer products for eurorack goes from simple some-input-one-output solutions, to mixers with stereo channels and Aux-send/return, to mixers with built in effects, CV-control of amplitude pannnig … and so on. It is therefore important to think about what you really want from a mixer. Even if you only need to mix two or three different waveforms there are plenty decisions to make:

Do you just need different and variable levels? Then the classic Doepfer A-138b seems suitable. If you know you simply want to mix three waveforms and save some of your valuable rack-space, you might choose the Doepfer Micro Mixer. But what if you want more? Mixing three waveforms in a small space with the extra bit of saturation when you push it? Then the Manhattan Analog DTM might be the right choice.

Need more advice?

There are even more things to consider. Do you have stereo signals to process? Do you need a separate headphone out? Do you want your mixer to be another tool for sound design? Is the mixer the last device before the audio signal hits your audio interface or tape machine? So below you will find a short list of some interesting mixer modules that could not be more different.

Mixer Banner

And we are starting big! Not only in regard to hp, but also in regard to sound. The first module on this short list is the Arrel ER-100:

Arrel Audio ER-100: High-end stereo mixer – really this is high-end! If one of your main concerns when looking at a mixer is sound quality, look no further – eight channels, panning, two aux inputs, two insert, sends and returns, two main and two monitor outputs and a stereo headphone connector. Due to outstanding sound and built quality the module plays in the same league as professional summing units, well … it is a professional summing unit. And you can connect the ER-100 directly to your studio equipment, there’s no need for an output module. It won’t get any better, this thing completely convinced us!

Doepfer A-138 Series: The Doepfer mixer family offers solutions for pretty much any situation, they are simple, reliable and affordable. From a simple 2×3 Micro Mixer, to an expandable Performance Mixer system, to the Matrix Mixer and many more – Doepfer has all grounds covered.

Endorphin.es Cockpit: More than just a mixer – The Cockpit can not only be used to sum up mono and stereo signals with modular or line level, but also as an effects insert for smartphones and tablets. Additionally, the module offers a ducking compressor plus sidechain input. The Cockpit packs a lot into its 6 hp, but you must keep in mind that you need to use special cables to take advantage of all its possibilities.

Hexinverter – Hot Glue: The modular hot-melt glue gun is a four-channel bus mixer with a number of different outputs, FX-Send as well as a soft-knee compressor in studio quality and a voltage controlled analog distortion. Both distortion and compressor are normalized to the mixer but can be used individually. For what it costs the Hot Glue is a very interesting versatile solution for pretty much any system.

TouellSkouarn – Sonveskan: This is a three-channel mixer, which was built using discrete components like germanium transistors. All in all – lots of gain, voltage controlled feedback, a mute switch and a direct output. By combining several channel strips, it is possible to create very(!) wild effects. The mixer’s main channel features an equalizer with two bands and another gain stage delivering more distortion. – A great module for people who like it rough!

Verbos Electronics – Scan + Pan: Four channels with voltage control of level and panorama position may be usual features, but an extraordinary one is the voltage controlled scanning between the channels. Verbos always surprises with solutions you won’t find in many other modules and keep convincing us with the creative opportunities you get from their modules.

Not found a suitable solution yet?

Then go through all mixers here, or configure your own mixer with Frap Tools CGM:

FrapCGM Banner

Frap Tools – CGM: The Frap Tools CGM System lets you combine input channels with summing modules for groups and output modules. The modules offer direct-outs, several aux sends and solo, mute and PFL buttons. Pretty much everything you know from your stand-alone mixer, but due to the flexibility of its modular-modular design you can built the perfectly suitable mixer for your rack – in your rack. And the CGM offers very good build and audio quality across the entire mixer range.


This is by no means a complete overview of available modules nor a full review of the discussed modules. The what about… text are here to give you new ideas and maybe another perspective on things. All these modules offer more features than we have talked about in this post. For further information please click the provided links or – even better – visit the shop and ask the SchneidersLaden experts in the showroom.


Here and now, as promised the video with Dan “Danny” Snazelle aka SNAZZY FX. Dan Snazzelle was on tour throughout Europe introducing five new modules in Barcelona, Berlin, Netherlands and Czech Republic stopping over at SchneidersBuero to talk about the presentations on Superbooth. In this talk the themes are: the new modules, Dan’s possible move (You are very welcome to move to Berlin Dan!) and the beauty of classic synthesizer schematics.

Also included is the beautiful looking and sounding – and often overlooked Analogue Systems modular system. There is a little teaser featured in this video by Clifton Cameron at SUPERBOOTH17 introducing the Analogue Systems Cabinet.

Freqs of Nature now

Freqs_festival_impressionsOn 2016th Freqs of Nature SchneidersLaden was already present with half of the staff, so it is kind of clear that this time we will be there with some more cases using even more than just some Bastl units. Feel free to find Patrick offstage somewhere doing workshops explaining ways of modulars, see ZV_K or Kabelstecker and plenty others onstage as one of the uncounted good examples of modular music now.

Freqs of Nature, Festival: July, 5th – 11th in 14913 Niedergörsdorf gutes Wetter!

You can find our short story on Freqs of nature here.


NAMM AFtershow..

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAttAAAAJGFmYjIxNGM5LWYwZjktNGM3Ni04ZTQ2LWVjYjRiMzJjMjJlYQThe view from amerika onto some european modular makers is quite interesting stating out here that we care for features and sound quality in not just high end but higher end modules, so .. thank you for the flowers and ..  what’s going on with the products of our american collueges then? Read the whole article here and join www.superbooth.com for deeper knowledge not just on this.

NAMM 17 – AJH Synths

AJH 2AJH 1AJH 3Allan J. Hall added some new modules to his well received MiniMod product line. The Dual LFO + VCA is composed of two low frequency oscillators with two outputs each. In detail, one of those connectors emits a triangle waveform, which can be morphed into saw or ramp waves. The other jack sends out pulse signals with variable width. Both LFOs are equipped with rate potentiometers. Additionally, the first one has a slow switch to adjust the control range. Furthermore, it can be synchronized to external modules using a clock signal. The second LFO is normalized to the CV controllable VCA, meaning it is possible to influence the modulation strength with components like the modulation wheel of a keyboard. Of course, the amplifier can be used standalone as well.

AJHs second new module is the DH-ADSR Envelope, a modulator featuring a design similar to the EMS Trapezoid Generator. It offers delay, attack, decay, sustain value plus hold time and release parameters. Therefore, by combining it with a normal ADSR envelope, users are able to create complex modulation curves. A retrigger switch makes the circuit oscillate. The range of the time values can be altered. There are normal and inverted outputs.

The third module in the bunch of fresh products is called CV Mix – Offset – VCA. As the name states already, this circuit is specialized in mixing up to four control voltages. Its level potentiometers are bipolar. If no cable is plugged in, the first three inputs are normalized to fixed voltages. Their values vary from channel to channel. The fourth input comes equipped with an offset generator. Furthermore, there is a CV controllable VCA built-in.

NAMM2017 started today

IMG_4738.. and there are plenty of modular manufacturers getting together again. Elektron released an update on their drummachine in a new casing, Pittsburgh shows his passion for slotmachines and Harvestman is offering a huge synth together with Malekko? This is just the little impression that I got from yesterdays look down thru the links on twitter. The biggest news today will be the funny new president (sorry, not funny) but still there will be other news n stuff to be shown over here in pictures and links… btw we learned to make pictures available in big again, so please feel free to just clic on the small ones..
lets make truth big again?

IMG_0468Running around on NAMM there are Carlo Krug, Sebastian Baumann and Henning Schonvogel for SchneidersLaden with the job to buy. For the Alex4 distribution company there are Rene Margraff and Jan Mueller with the job to sell, there are plenty of manufacturers themselves around them with the passion to play and finally there is Patrick Detampel with the passion to explain.
So if you have questions regarding the upcoming SUPERBOOTH17 end of april probably Patrick could help you best.

Please have a good time all together, be a peaceful and constructive community to get together again very soon here in berlin, europe for a warm welcome of our spring. I am very much looking forward to welcome YOU on board making the wonderful ride on the river again. And there is plenty of other reasons to participate again.
With warmest regards, HerrSchneider, Berlin


Anzeige_Vintage_LokomotiveNot just their best VCOs ever but also a complete Mixer system with smart black frontplates and nicer knobs are now available by our most classic european eurorack brand DOEPFER. All their lastest news and products can be seen and tested on the NAMM show in Anaheim (CA) now, visit booth #4911 (Alex4).

ALEX4 has Moved

ALEX4You mostly dont have to take care about this, but the doepfer and others-general distributor ALEX4 moved to a new adress in the north of berlin where they have a bigger stock room and a nicer office to let our musical instrument shops over europe get the stuff they need from. But even there .. you can not find them next week because they will all be on NAMM showing the modular world to those freaks in the Los Angeles area who are not moving to washington to celebrate their new president at the same time. So if you are one of those living in the US and meet us in Anaheim near Disneyland to check for the latest news of AJH Synth, Audio Damage, Birdkids, Doepfer, E-RM, Endorphines, Frap Tools, Haken, Kenton, Sherman, Verbos, Vermona and others .. see you.



Come to Schneidersladen on Thursday November, 17th for a workshop with Girts Ozolins and Voldemars Johansons from Erica Synths. In this workshop we will cover a lot of topics ranging from designing tube modules, drone music, bbd delays, shift registers to generative patching. As this is really a lot, we will divide the workshop in three sections:

Part One: On the peculiarities of tube design. With an in depth presentation of the new tube FUSION SERIES by Girts. Part Two: also very helpful for creativity: Refreshments. Girts will hand out the praised Riga Black Balsam Liqueur. Part Three: Turning randomness into music.

A different view on patching a modular synth aka Analog Computers. Self generating patches by Voldemars Johansons on soon to be released PICO SERIES modules. More info about erica http://ericasynths.lv/ and Voldemar: http://johansons.info/.

The workshop will take place in our showroom at kottbusser tor above kaisers Nov, 17th 6pm for free, but .. please write an email to Thomas for registration – its limited to 15 participants-  (tc@schneidersladen.de)
Looking forward seeing you here !! the schneidersladen showroom team

Friday afternoon..

After his gig in Berlin Jean-Michel Jarre visited our showoroom in SchneidersLaden and met Boris Blank from the Band Yello here. Boris was looking for some modulars picking up a black Doepfer System and the TomOberheim Twovoice Synth for his shows in Berlins Kraftwerk.


STROMKULT is our platform for updates and news on SCHNEIDERSLADEN and SUPERBOOTH, selected electronic musical instruments and events related to modular synthesizers, sequencers, competent drum machines, analog modular systems, midi tools, controllers, converters and related products of all kinds. You can find all kinds of events related to these topic in our EVENT CALENDAR. Also on this site you will find lots of videos from SUPERBOOTH – the world’s largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments, news about events and workshops at SCHNEIDERSLADEN.

Herr Schneider started in 1999 with SCHNEIDERSBUERO as a sales and marketing platform for the smallest manufacturers and inventors of electronic musical instruments. Products were shown online, in our showrooms and at the original SUPERBOOTH – workshops and countless reviews have been featured in magazines all over Europe.

These very special instruments and tools are now often available from specialist dealers all over Europe and can be purchased directly from our webshop SCHNEIDERSLADEN worldwide.