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.