“In the A-100, Doepfer have produced a capable and versatile analog modular synthesizer, built in the style of the classic modular systems of the seventies. The renaissance of analog synthesis in the last few years shows that analog sound production has a vital place alongside sampling and digital synthesis, and can produce sounds that are unobtainable by any other means. In addition to the unique sounds of its oscillators, filters, amplifiers, phasers, frequency shifters, and so on, analog synthesis can provide almost unbounded modulation opportunities, conventional and unconventional – limited only by the number and variety of modules available.
In designing the A-100, our priorities were: good sound quality; diversity of modules available; ease of integration into a MIDI system; and, maybe most important of all, affordability.
Of course, a modular system doesn’t just have advantages. Creative work with an audio construction kit like this takes time and practice, especially to start with. Anyone who wants to be able to check out all its available sounds at the press of a button will be very disappointed with a modular system. Each unique sound has to be puzzled out, and may never be exactly repeated. Nor are there any fixed rules for connecting the various modules. A modular is an open system, in which practically anything is possible, and that’s where the fun really starts. Diversity and experimentation – and sometimes lateral thinking – are the keys to its power. Although the user manuals for each module are very comprehensive, they can’t substitute entirely for a general overview and knowledge of analog synthesis. Some very good specialised books have been written on the subject, and although some may be out of print, it’s crucial to find one or two of them, and learn from them. With that, the whole world of modular systems will open up to you, and you’ll suddenly appreciate their fascination and sheer sonic power.
We hope your A-100 brings you serious pleasure!
The complete A-100 user’s guide is available for download on our website: A100_Manual_complete.pdf. If you only need the manual of a single module please go to the A-100 Modules Overview and click to the module in question. After this the module description will appear and now you have to click to user’s guide. By the way – Peter Forrest – know as the author of the books “The A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers Part One and Two” – has translated most of the German user manuals of A-100 into English.
As the A-100 demo CD is no longer available we placed the sound examples of the CD as MP3 files to our web site. In addition we plan sound examples for each module available from information page of the module in question. We have to apologize that we haven’t sound examples for all modules available at the moment. But this is one of our main tasks for the next few months. A lot of sound examples are available on the website of one of our customers: www.selfoscillate.de.
At present the A-100 has more than 125 different modules available (as of summer 2016) but the system will be extended permanently. On our web site you will find the topic information concerning available and planned modules.
And the A-100 has another advantage: usually all modules are available from stock. Only at the end of the year supply shortfalls may occur from our experience.”