AJH Synth MiniMod System Unrivalled Vintage Analogue
We have recreated what is probably the most epic and fattest sounding portable monophonic synthesiser of all time and adapted it to the Doepfer Eurorack modular synthesiser format. First and foremost the MiniMOD had to replicate the sound of the vintage Model D as closely as possible, so we have used exactly the same internal circuitry and every module runs at the same internal signal and control voltage levels as the original.
The MiniMod is based on the circuitry of most desirable Model D of all, the very early R A Moog Mk1 model with its unique and sweet sounding VCO design, the core of which uses discrete transistors only, with no integrated circuits. We have also based the transistor ladder VCF on the early design, which uses fully matched transistors throughout. Less than 300 Mk1 Model D’s were built with this very early VCO design out of a total of around 17,000 which were produced between 1970 and 1981.
The Minimod has been more than 18 months in development, thousands of hours have been spent analysing the original Model D using both real world measurement and computer based Spice circuit simulation programs, we have carefully selected components and built many prototypes before we were happy that we had done justice to the original sound and circuit behaviour.
MiniMod Eurorack modules comprise separate VCO, VCF, VCA, Dual Contour and Glide/Noise for maximum flexibility so that they can be easily integrated into a larger Eurorack format Modular synthesiser to tap into the endless control and expansion possibilities – we have removed all of the control limitations of the “closed system” of the original Model D synthesiser so that the sounds that you can now create are limited only by your imagination and the other modules that you add to your system. All of the modules can be used independently in your existing Eurorack system – want to just try a VCF or VCA with your own modules? No problem, all of the modules are compatible with the most common Eurorack audio and control voltage standards and should integrate seamlessly into your system.
MiniMod modules are available in two styles, Vintage Black or Classic Silver. They are electrically identical, only the cosmetics are different.
We have added lots of extra features, if it was possible to add extra versatility without compromising the sound and functionality then we have done so.
Here are just some of the extra features that we have included:
VCO: – added External Sync (2 Types), Linear and Exponential Modulation, fully adjustable PWM instead of fixed pulse widths and voltage controlled PWM.
VCF: – added Voltage Controlled Emphasis using a vactrol and have added an extra overdrive capability, switchable using an internal jumper.
VCA: – added voltage control for each individual VCA (yes, the original design had two VCA’s in series!), along with an overdrive capability, switchable using an internal jumper.
Dual Contour: – added individual manual trigger buttons for both envelopes and envelope status LED’s
Glide + Noise: – added glide up only and glide down only modes in addition to the standard glide mode. We have also increased the range of the glide from the original 44 notes to 5 octaves.
A full MiniMod system would comprise 3 x VCO, 1 x VCF, 1x VCA, 1 x Dual Contour, 1 x Glide-Noise and this will take up 84hp of Eurorack space, so that it will fit into 3U of rack space with a suitable Eurorack frame and power supply (not supplied) Just add a Midi/CV converter and keyboard for a fully functional BIG and FAT monophonic synthesiser. Below is an example of how to patch a 3 VCO sawtooth sound with glide enabled on all VCO’s.
Ever wondered how obese the Model D would have sounded with five VCO’s instead of three? – Easy, add two more VCO’s and a mixer and you can patch it up. Do you want to have a triangle wave LFO modulating VCO 2 for vibrato while at the same time have a different frequency triangle wave modulating the PWM width on VCO 1? Easy, just add two Eurorack compatible triangle wave LFO’s and you’ve got it. How about cross modulating VCO2 with VCO3 and feeding back some of the output back through the filter to overdrive it? Or, how about mixing the sharktooth and PWM waveforms together from a single oscillator?– easy, just patch both VCO outputs into a mixer and patch the output of the mixer to the VCF. If you want to go further and crossfade between the two waveforms then use a Voltage controlled panner module and a triangle LFO or other modulation source instead.
This is but the tip of the iceberg, the sonic possibilities are almost limitless in the Eurorack modular world!