Friday, 10 June 2011

Doepfer A-199 Spring Reverb

With so many cool new modules being released, it's easy to overlook some of the classics. Similar to my A-156 quantizer epiphany, I've only just discovered the Doepfer A-199 Spring Reverb. Primitive though the effect may be, it's breathed new life into my system.



Here's a demo of how it sounds and some ideas for patching the feedback path:

Doepfer A-199 Spring Reverb Demo by navs

I'd tried the A-199 before, but wasn't taken by it: I guess I was looking for reverb, when I should have been listening to the effect for what it was. While on a recent hiking holiday, I came across an old, rusted gate. Because of its age and construction, opening and closing it generated wonderful, resonant/ reverberated sounds. I 'played' this gate for a full five minutes and spent the rest of the walk thinking about how one might recreate its sound. The A-199's time had come.

Today's Patch of the Day features a Cwejman RES-4, the A-199 and Metasonix R54 in the feedback path:



The one criticism that's leveled at the A-199 is its tendency to hum, but, keeping the module far enough away from the PSU and the springs outside the case, I haven't noticed this to be too bad. I'm also happy with the sound of the stock Belton tank, but if you want to change it, consult this spring reverb wiki compiled by Tim Stinchcombe for a suitable replacement.

The A-199 is a lot of fun. It can add simple ambience to sounds or be patched as a special effect. This module was the missing element in my system, adding space, colour and character - spring reverbs and modular synths seem to be made for each other.

8 comments:

Pierre Serné / NetPierre / PatchPierre said...

Nice review, i almost forgot this one too... Great sound-examples.
Keep up the good work!

Tom Whitwell said...

I just built a DIY spring module which drives a huge 17 inch, six-spring tank and sounds great - find myself just running everything through it on 100% wet - removes all the high end and sludges everything together into something really interesting

Navs said...

Thanks, Pierre!

Tom, I saw your spring reverb just before buying the A-199 - lovely work!

dougcl said...

Nice work! Speaking of the A-199 hum, I noticed that the cables going to it are very sensitive. Re-routing in the case can have a big effect.

modular building said...

HA!, I can't stop listening to them - I really need to do some work now! :)

XAVI ZETA said...

maaan! i really love this module! 4 real! i bought it like 6 months ago and before using it i make the cables changed for good quality ones and straight to my sistem. of course you need to move it to find its place so you dont get the hum. like tom said in here if you cut the high freqs w your filter you can male it sound super nice. also turning the wetness up and down quick and slow with tempo and contratempo you can create super good results for example for your clap or snare. to generete long an short reberbs.. is super nice.. also then you just dont feed any singal and just touch the springs with stuff.. like paper.. metal.. wood .. skin... with a fiend we did a monster tiger sound by hitting it... is amazing...

AudioLemon said...

The link to the reverb demon soundcloud seems to be down...

AudioLemon said...

The soundcloud demos seem to down...