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MS-404 User's Guide (English

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http://www.doepfer.de/ms404m_e.htm

MS-404 MIDI Analog Synthesizer User's Guide
Even the MS-404 Service-Manual (only in German language) is available.

Fig. 1: MS-404 Front Panel Controls
01 - Learn Push Button 02 - Learn/Gate LED 03 - Glide LED 04 - VCO Glide Time 05 - VCO Frequency 06 - Pulse Width 07 - Wave Form 08 - VCO/Noise 09 - LFO Effect FM/PWM 10 - LFO 1 Amplitude 11 - LFO 1 LED 12 - LFO 1 Frequency 13 - LFO 1 Frequency Range 14 - VCF Frequency 15 - VCF Tracking 16 - VCF Envelope Amplitude 17 - LFO 2 Amplitude 18 - LFO 2 LED 19 - LFO 2 Frequency 20 - LFO 2 Frequency Range 21 - VCF Resonance 22 - VCA Accent 23 - Envelope Attack Time 24 - Envelope Decay Time 25 - Envelope Sustain Level

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AC Power / Fuse / Power Switch 28 .Envelope Release Time Fig.Audio Output 30 .doepfer.Gate Output/Input 31 .htm 26 . Re-Trigger on/off) can be set 2 LEARN (LED) Learn / Gate LED displays the receiving of a MIDI note command (gate function) or the learning mode (flashing) 3 GLIDE (LED) Glide LED displays whether the glide function.(For Service only!) ##### 1 MS-404 Controls No. reference tone. controlled via MIDI.MIDI Output (Thru) 35 . Label Function Front Panel MIDI 1 LEARN (push button) push button for activating the learning mode in which the MS-404 MIDI functions (MIDI channel.MIDI Input 34 .External Audio Input Level 33 .44 .CV Output/Input 32 . is activated or de-activated VCO 4 GLIDE (rotary control) VCO glide time (portamento) 5 TUNE VCO pitch 2 di 17 21/12/2009 21.de/ms404m_e.External Audio Input 29 . 2: MS-404 Rear Panel 27 . control functions for VCF and VCA.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www.

approx.de/ms404m_e.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. LFO 1 frequency 13 LFO 1 / RANGE switch for selection of LFO 1 fequency: high: slow (up to minutes) middle: fast (up to the audio range. 5 kHz) low: standard LFO range (several Hz) ##### 2 VCF 14 FREQU. determines whether LFO 1 affects VCO pitch (FM) or pulse width (PWM): high: frequency modulation (FM) middle: no modulation low: pulse width modulation (PWM) 10 LFO 1 / LEVEL LFO 1 amplitude 11 LFO 1 / (LED) LFO 1 LED 12 LFO 1 / FREQU.doepfer. filter cut-off frequency 15 TRACKING switch for selection of filter frequency tracking: high: full tracking (VCF follows VCO) middle: off low: half tracking 16 ENVELOPE influence of envelope (ADSR) on the filter cut-off frequency 17 LFO 2 / LEVEL LFO 2 amplitude 18 LFO 2 / (LED) LFO 2 LED 3 di 17 21/12/2009 21.44 .htm 6 PULSE WIDTH pulse width 7 switch for selection of wave form: high: pulse middle: VCO off low: saw tooth 8 VCO / NOISE switch for selection of sound source: high: VCO middle: VCO and noise off (for use with external audio input or with VCF self-oscillating) low: noise 9 LFO 1 / FM / PWM switch for selection of LFO function.

5 kHz) low: standard LFO range (several Hz) 21 EMPHASIS filter resonance VCA 22 ACCENT influence of the envelope (ADSR) on the VCA (accent) ENVELOPE 23 ATTACK envelope attack time 24 DECAY envelope decay time 25 SUSTAIN envelope sustain level 26 RELEASE envelope release level Rear Panel 27 w/o label AC power input / power switch / fuse 28 AUDIO IN external audio input 29 AUDIO OUT audio output 30 GATE gate input / output (depending on jumper position) 31 CV CV input / output (depending on jumper position) 32 INPUT LEVEL level control for external audio input (28) 33 MIDI IN MIDI input 34 MIDI THRU MIDI output (Thru function) 35 CV ADJUST calibration of CV spreading (for service only) ##### 3 4 di 17 21/12/2009 21.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www.de/ms404m_e.44 . approx. LFO 2 frequency 20 LFO 2 / RANGE switch for selection of LFO 2 frequency range: high: slow (up to minutes) middle: fast (up to the audio range.doepfer.htm 19 LFO 2 / FREQU.

However.de/ms404m_e. Today you will find synthesizers with pure analog sound synthesis only on the second-hand market .with the exception of the MIDI Learn Push Button. you will be able to work with the MS-404 ery quickly.44 . Therefore. The selected signal is fed through the VCF. since it replaces a correspondingly equipped analog synthesizer and the required MIDI-CV-Interface. The block diagram (Fig. The LFO provides 3 frequency ranges. 5 di 17 21/12/2009 21. LFO 1 which is provided for the VCO can either modulate the frequency of the VCO (frequency modulation FM) or the pulse width (pulse width modulation PWM). frequency is adjusted from a multi-minute duration upt to the audio range. you should definetly read the chapters "Advices for Use".htm Introduction The MS-404 is a MIDI-Controllable Monophone Analog Synthesizer which combines the tonal advantages of pure analog sound synthesis with the control benefits of MIDI technology.partially for excessive prices. Additionally you have to pay for a MIDI-CV-Interface for controlling the instruments via MIDI. If you are familiar with analog synthesizers. the noise generator or the external audio input. An envelope generator of the ADSR type is available for both. The MS-404 has the following modules: 1 VCO (voltage-controlled oscillator) 1 NOISE (noise generator) 1 VCF (voltage-controlled resonant filter) 1 VCA (voltage-controlled amplifier) 1 ADSR (envelope generator) 2 LFOs (low frequency oscillator) and 1 MIDI-CV-Interface with 3 control voltages and Gate. Since the MS-404 has a 19" rackmount case with 1 height level. the MS-404 provides CV and Gate signals. The VCO has a glide function (portamento) which can be turned on/off via MIDI. it can be integrated into a 19" rackmount system without mechanical problems. Each parameter has its own rotary control or switch. then through the VCA before it reaches the audio output. In addition to this. the MS-404 can also be controlled by the CV and the gate instead of via the MIDI. The controls on the front panel should be well-known to you from other analog synthesizers . This is where the MS-404 is the solution. VCF and VCA . "MS-404 Connections" and "MS-404 MIDI Functions" before using your MS-404. it can also be used as a MIDI-CV-Interface for an additional analog synthesizer having no such interface. it is immediately accessible and can be changed in real-time. Front panel controls are clearly arranged in groups. You can select between the wave forms saw and pulse with the VCO. The pulse wave can be adjusted in width. 3) on the next page shows how these modules are inter-connected. The sound synthesis of the MS-404 is orientated on the classical paragons for voltage-controlled modular systems.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. Alternatively. The tonal "raw material" either serves the VCO. for getting significant results.doepfer.

Due to the fact that these instructions touch on Product Liability. this function can be turned off. fast. Never use the instrument in a humid or wet environment nor near inflammables.44 . Fig. Never try to get into the case through opening. any warranty claim will be rejected. Disregard of the instructions can endanger the 6 month warranty. The position of the ACCENT rotary control determines how much the MIDI velocity affects the amplitude of the envelope controlling the VCA.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. envelope generator and LFO 2. using a conducting object. Inside the case there are highly dangerous voltages. The VCA has an adjustable ACCENT parameter. If this should happen the instrument must be disconnected from power immediately and be examined. The velocity value of the note command can be used for controlling the VCF frequency and the VCA accent (envelope amplitude for VCA). Decay. A note command at the MIDI input determines the pitch of the VCO and starts ("triggers") the envelope generator (ADSR). VCO tracking (switchable. cleaned and eventually be repaired by a qualified person. All eventual modifications must only be carried out by a qualified person who will follow the valid safety instructions. The instrument must never be operated outdoors but in dry. Sustain. The ADSR envelope generator provides the 4 parameters Attack. it is absolutely imperative that they be read carefully. With the introduction of a third person the warranty will be lost. Release. In case of a destroyed warranty seal. The analog sound modules are controlled by the MIDI-CV-Interface. 6 di 17 21/12/2009 21.de/ms404m_e. The instrument may only be operated with the voltage written on the power input on the rear panel. 3: MS-404 Block Diagram ##### 5 Safety Instructions Please follow the given instructions for use of the instrument because this will guarantee correct instrument operation. No liquids or conducting materials must get into the instrument. Before opening the case disconnect the power plug. Any claim for defect will be rejected if one or more of the items was observed. If the fuse has to be replaced. Resonance can be adjusted until self-oscillation occurs. closed rooms.htm ##### 4 The cut-off frequency of the VCF can be influenced by several factors: manual rotary control. The fuse holder is located directly beside the power switch on the rear panel. sustain on/off and legato on/off. volume (envelope amplitude for VCA). you must use a fuse with a rating of 1 A max.doepfer. off/half/full). glide on/off. The following functions can also be controlled via MIDI controller commands: VCF frequency.

the appropriate VDE standards must be followed. DIN VDE 0700 (Teil 1/02. Connect the power input (27) on the rear panel of the MS-404 with mains power (220 . Otherwise leave the MIDI-THRU jack open.85). amplifier or similar.. never let it fall or overturn. The Gate LED must light for a short moment. MIDI master keyboard. connect the MIDI-THRU jack (34) of the MS-404 with the MIDI-In jack of the subsequent instrument. Keep the top side of the instrument free in order to guarantee proper ventilation.75). The power fuse of the MS-404 is also located at the power switch.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. The instrument should only be shipped in the original packaging.69). slip or turn over because persons could be injured. If the incoming MIDI data at the MS-404 should fed to another instrument without being modified. Turn on the MS-404 with the power switch (27) on the rear panel.82). If the fuse has to be replaced. Do not place the instrument into direct sun light. sequencer). Connect the audio output (29) with the audio input of your mixer. monitors.87). Both of the LFO LEDs (11.. you should set all 7 di 17 21/12/2009 21.89). Teil 410/11. Berlin. update or examination must be in their original packaging! Any other deliveries will be rejected. When using the instrument in Germany. DIN VDE 0860 (05.. otherwise the instrument could be overheated. computers) since this could create disturbances within the MS-404 and corrupt memory data. Teil 481/10.g. Any instruments shipped to us for return. VDE papers can be obtained from the VDE-Verlag GmbH.85. ##### 6 MS-404 Connections The connections of the MS-404 are located on the rear panel of the instrument (see illustration 2). Never place heavy objects on the instrument. you should keep the original packaging and the technical documentation. 60 Hz) by using the delivered power cord. Before operation the instrument should have a temperature of at least 10 øC.. 240 VAC / 50 . If this is not the case. Therefore.82). Due to safety reasons. DIN VDE 0711 (Teil 500/10. DIN VDE 0532 (Teil 1/03. due to the fact that the Thru function is carried out by software.44 . fast).g.doepfer.81. Never use the instrument in the immediate proximity of interfering electronic devices (e.72). then it goes out whilst the Glide LED (3) lights permanently.. warranty repair. power supplies. The following standards are of special importance: DIN VDE 0100 (Teil 300/11.de/ms404m_e. Transport the instrument carefully.89). DIN VDE 0869 (01. Make sure that during transport and in use the instrument has a proper stand and does not fall. Teil 207/10.htm Never subject the instrument to temperatures above +50 øC or below -10 øC.83. DIN VDE 0550 (Teil 1/12. The instrument may only be used for the purpose described in this operating manual. Connect the MIDI-IN jack (33) with the MIDI-Out jack of your MIDI transmitter (e. The MIDI-THRU jack should not be used for bigger quantities of data (e. 18) must change their intensity in rhythm to the LFO frequency. dumps) because delays in time or loss of data could occur. Do not install the instrument near heat sources. make sure that you use a fuse of the same type (1 A max. the instrument must never be used for other purposes.g. please refer to chapter "Analog Sound Synthesis with the MS-404 / Trouble Shooting"). If you are not familiar with analog synthesizers and are using the MS-404 for the first time. DIN VDE 0551 (05. DIN VDE 0551e (06. synthesizer. exchange.

doepfer. which will be supplied free of charge on request. Pitch Bend on the selected MIDI channel for additional control of VCO pitch Controller #7 on the selected MIDI channel determines volume 8 di 17 21/12/2009 21. If the synthesizer which you want to control has another voltage characteristic. This calibration is provided for service only and may only be carried out by an authorized service center. After this modification. Both of the connections GATE (30) and CV (31) are preset as outputs at the factory. The velocity values of the note commands can be used for controlling accent and VCF cut-off frequency (see below).44 . see below). Behind the opening CV ADJUST (35) there is a potentiometer for calibrating the CV voltage spread. In case of saturation the level must be reduced slightly. and warranty will become invalid. The MIDI parameters are set and displayed with these controls. The level of the external audio signal must be adjusted with the level control (32) in such a way that the subjective volume is equal to that of the VCO.de/ms404m_e. The calibration screw is sealed and must not be turned. Otherwise warranty will become invalid.htm controls to their default position which is described in chapter "Analog Sound Synthesis with the MS-404". This modification must only be made by authorized service because the warranty seal will be destroyed when the case is opened.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. the control of VCO and ADSR via MIDI is disabled. Please read this chapter carefully. The VCO / NOISE switch (8) must be put into middle position (VCO and noise off) when using the external audio input. you cannot use the CV and GATE outputs of the MS-404. ranges from the selected reference note up to a maximum of 5 octaves (refer to 'learning mode'. indicating the serial number of your instrument. ##### 7 MS-404 MIDI Functions At the left part of the front panel there is a framed field named "MIDI". the following MIDI commands will be recognized and processed: Note on/off on the selected MIDI channel of the MS-404. the external audio input (29) has to be used. having a push button and two LEDs inside. In this case we recommend one of our MIDI-CV-Interfaces MCV 1 or MCV 8. The GATE (30) and CV (31) connections on the rear panel of the instrument can also be modified into outputs. The modification is described in the service documentation. the Gate output provides a voltage of +5 V when activated and 0 V when de-activated. The characteristic of the control voltage is 1 V/Octave. If an audio signal is to be used for the MS-404 instead of a VCO or noise generator. Another synthesizer with the appropriate CV and gate inputs can be connected to them. In the normal operating mode.

the glide rotary control determines the gliding time between to subsequent tones with different pitch. The gate signal itself controls the envelope generator (ADSR).g.doepfer.independantly of the position of the glide rotary control . The tone pitch (MIDI note number) will be interpreted as the lowest tone pitch of the MS-404 (transpose function). The Gate LED is lit when the MS-404 receives a valid note-on command and goes out as soon as the note-off command is received. When the instrument is turned on. 63) but no switch controller like e. If more than one parameter has to be changed. if you work with a sequencer you can use controller #65 in order to determine whether it should glide or jump for each tone of a sequence . if the ACCENT rotary control is not in ccw position. Doepfer LMK 3 or LMK 4). The true (absolute) pitch of the lowest tone depends on the position of the TUNE rotary control.g. The MS-404 volume is solely controlled by controller #7. E. If the LED is not lit.g. When the MS-404 is turned on. ##### 8 Note-On The MS-404 will take over the MIDI channel of an incoming note command as the new MIDI receive channel (MIDI channel set-up). If you have a keyboard allowing connection of a foot switch which is programmable for MIDI controller #65 (e.. i.44 . By pressing the LEARN push button you enter the learning mode. for each parameter the learning mode must be activated and the corresponding MIDI command must be sent to the MS-404. Program Change #1 This function only works. the glide function is de-activated and the tone jumps . The command establishes MIDI controller #7 (volume) as controller for volume of the MS-404 with velocity having no influence on the accent function (non-dynamic operation). the sustain controller (controller #64). During the learning mode (flashing Gate LED) the MIDI commands listed below have a meaning. data = 127 : glide on). the Gate LED goes out and the MS-404 returns to the normal operating mode. you may control the glide function during a live performance by using the foot switch.e. indicated by the flashing Gate LED.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. It can be turned off/on by receiving a portamento off/on command (MIDI controller #65 with data 0 / 127) on the valid MIDI channel. Within a sequence. controller #7 will automatically be set to 127 (maximum volume). 9 di 17 21/12/2009 21. The Glide LED is lit when then glide mode is activated. After receiving one of these MIDI commands. In this mode the MIDI parameters of the MS-404 are determined by incoming MIDI commands.de/ms404m_e. the glide function is always activated.immediately to the next pitch. In practice you enter the learning mode by pressing the LEARN push button and press the key on your MIDI keyboard which should be the lowest tone of the MS-404. You should choose a variable controller (controller #0 . controller #65 must be sent directly before the note command (data = 0 : glide off.htm Controller #XX on the selected MIDI channel controls VCF cut-off frequency Controller #64 on the selected MIDI channel controls the sustain hold function Controller #65 on the selected MIDI channel controls the glide function In the normal operating mode the lower LED displays Gate function while the upper LED displays the Glide function.. Controller #XX The controller number of an incoming controller command will be taken as the controller number for MIDI control of the VCF cut-off frequency (controller XX).

This modification must only be made by authorized service because the case must be opened and the warranty seal will be destroyed. and the warranty will become invalid.de/ms404m_e.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. The settings of MS-404 sound parameters are explained using a concrete example.htm There is always a small amount of the envelope being sent to the VCA independantly on this function. Program Change #2 This function only works.44 . connect MIDI input. This principle applies to most of the analog synthesizers (e. Mini-Moog). Controller #7 controls volume while the velocity data of the note commands control the accent. this chapter will help you to find errors if your MS-404 does not perform in the desired way. Now put all controls to their default position (0 = ccw position.e. Program Change #3 This command establishes MIDI controller #XX (see above) as controller for filter cut-off frequency with velocity having no influence on the filter. it can be turned off by removing this jumper. if the ACCENT rotary control is not in ccw position. the MS-404 will be mute when receiving a controller #7 command with data = 0 (volume = 0). The command establishes MIDI controller #7 (volume) as controller for MS-404 volume with velocity influencing the accent function (dynamic operation. the envelope is triggered whenever a key is pressed no matter if the previous key was released or is still being pressed (legato).doepfer. In the instrument this offset is fed over a jumper. When re-trigger is turned on. Before turning the MS-404 on. if multiple keys are pressed simultaneously. 6 = middle position. Program Change #5 / #6 These Program Change commands turn the re-trigger function on (#5) or off (#6). When the instrument is turned on. i. You will find more details in the service documentation which will be supplied free of charge on request.g. you should read this chapter carefully because the theoretical foundations of analog sound synthesis (subtractive synthesis) are dealt with here. ##### 9 Analog Sound Synthesis with the MS-404 If you are not familiar with analog synthesizers. volume = controller #7 data multiplied by velocity of the note command). 12 = cw position): 10 di 17 21/12/2009 21. Furthermore. The MS-404 works with high-note-priority. The VCF cut-off frequency is solely controlled by controller #XX . controller #XX will automatically be set to 0 (filter totally closed). audio output and power as described above. If the jumper will be removed. the highest note will be chosen. indicating the serial number of your instrument. Program Change #4 This command establishes MIDI controller #XX (see above) as controller for the filter cut-off frequency with velocity influencing the filter (cut-off frequency = controller #XX data multiplied by velocity of the note command).

you should check the following: 1.44 .MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. Are both of the LFO LEDs (11 and 18) lit and do they change their intensity corresponding to the LFO frequencies which can be changed with the LFO frequency controls (12 and 19)? 11 di 17 21/12/2009 21. When starting to play on your keyboard after proper setting of MIDI channel and reference tone (see chapter "MS-404 MIDI Functions"). Function Default Position 4 VCO GLIDE 0 5 VCO TUNE 6 6 VCO PULSE WIDTH 6 7 PULSE / SAWTOOTH PULSE 8 VCO / NOISE VCO 9 LFO 1 FM / PWM PWM 10 LFO 1 LEVEL 0 12 LFO 1 FREQU. you should hear something at the audio output of your MS-404. 6 20 LFO 2 RANGE low 21 VCF EMPHASIS 0 22 VCA ACCENT 12 23 ENVELOPE ATTACK 0 24 ENVELOPE DECAY 6 25 ENVELOPE SUSTAIN 6 26 ENVELOPE RELEASE 6 Set the MS-404 to this default position when you have adjusted the controls so that no tone appears at the output and you are not certain of the cause.htm No.doepfer. If this is not the case.de/ms404m_e. 6 13 LFO 1 RANGE low 14 VCF FREQU. 0 15 VCF TRACKING middle 16 VCF ENVELOPE 12 17 LFO 2 LEVEL 0 19 LFO 2 FREQU.

A saw-tooth contains all harmonics with descending amplitudes. amplifier. its timbre becomes "nasal". LFO. An overtone is called harmonic if its frequency is an integer multiple (2. 3.doepfer. NOISE With analog synthesizers the tonal "raw material" is produced either by voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO) or by noise generators. The wave forms differ in their overtone spectrum. VCO. 4. default settings not correct.44 .de/ms404m_e. are described in chapter "MS-404 MIDI Functions". pulse width = 50 %) contains odd harmonics only (see Fig. An unsymmetrical pulse wave (often called "pulse wave") contains all harmonics with their amplitudes being dependant on the pulse width. 4). saw-tooth. i.) of the base tone frequency. If the width of a pulse wave is modulated by a low frequency oscillator (LFO). they contain different harmonics. a VCO provides several wave forms. i. . We will try to stick to the structure of the front panel sytematically as much as possible. The more the pulse width differs from the symmetrical 50 %. The resulting sound is similar to a beat wave which is the result of two. set the proper MIDI channel and reference tone as described in chapter "MS-404 MIDI Functions" yes continue with 3.htm no instrument is not turned on connection to power not o. etc. triangle and sine. The MIDI functions which can be set with the push button (1) and are dislayed with the LEDs (2) and (3). The numbers in brackets correspond to illustration 1 ("MS-404 Controls at the Front Panel").e. check all settings Your MS-404 is now ready to play and you can start now with the Introduction to Analog Sound Synthesis. Is the Gate LED lit when playing on your MIDI keyboard? no MIDI channel and /or reference tone do not correspond with your MIDI keyboard. graphically editable wave forms) are not dealt with here. 3. you may skip the chapters marked with a gray background. the stronger the higher harmonics emboss the sound. ##### 10 2.. Standard wave forms are pulse. If you are not interested in the theory.. The symmetrical pulse wave ("square wave".MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. the overtone spectrum of the pulse wave continuously changes. Less used wave forms (spaced saw-tooth. This introduction is structured in such way that the theoretical fundamentals are treated first (marked with a gray background) before the corresponding setting examples for the MS-404 are described. Normally.e. going from left to right. Is there any audio signal at your MS-404 when playing your MIDI keyboard? no Your MS-404 is not properly connected with your mixer.k. The 12 di 17 21/12/2009 21. nearly equally tuned oscillators. fuse defect yes continue with 2.

Modulation frequencies within the audio range should be dealt with in more detail since their result are very special sounds. Unharmonic sounds. a completely new sound characteristic is established. The triangle wave form contains only the odd harmonics like the saw-tooth but their amplitudes decreases by the power of two while with the saw-tooth they are decreasing linearely in their numerical order and therefore much slower. "beautiful" sounds but can be used for extreme. Under the condition that a VCF works as sine wave oscillator when resonance is set to maximum. if both.doepfer. 1400 Hz. i. With other wave forms additional (non-)harmonics will be added. it can be used in this way if a sine wave oscillator is required for a special sound. This acoustical characteristic is the basis for the so-called FM Synthesis which is used with several digital synthesizers. If a low frequenvy oscillator is available. an external audio signal (e. 4: Different wave forms and their harmonics spectrum wave form harmonic spectrum square saw-tooth triangle sine The amount of overtones of the base material is decisive for the possibilities in sound shaping with the subsequent voltage-controlled filter (VCF) since subtractive sound synthesis with a VCF (see below) only allows to cut-out or amplify overtones that exist.g. "vigorous" sounds instead. 200 Hz. it can be used for modulating either the VCO pitch (frequency modulation = FM. Therefore.g.htm modulation frequency must be very low (approx. For the given example this would result in: 1000 Hz. the sine and triangle wave only play a minor part here. is modulated with a frequency of 400 Hz. You should try various settings for LFO frequency and LFO amplitude.e. If a VCO is modulated with a frequency close to its own. 11800 Hz. are also produced by pulse width modulation with high frequencies.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. In practice this priciple is used for ##### 12 creating extreme. tones whose frequencies are non-integer multiples of the VCO frequency. The degree of being unharmonic depends on the strength (amplitude) of LFO modulation as well as on the frequency ratio of VCO and LFO. If e. Besides the VCO the MS-404 also has a noise generator. VCO and LFO. Alternatively. Simple LFOs provide frequencies in the range of 0. i. a VCO. In this case the VCO also produces non-harmonics.. oscillating at 1 kHz (1000 Hz). are sine wave oscillators.44 .01 Hz to 5 kHz) with switchable frequency bands for better adjustment. coming from a 13 di 17 21/12/2009 21.de/ms404m_e. "Practice is better than theory" applies here. unharmonic sounds. The triangle and sine wave forms have only a weakly pronounced harmonic structure resp. Part of the VCO is the glide function ("portamento") which allows continuous gliding from one tone to the next. also called "vibrato") or the pulse width (pulse width modulation = PWM). so-called "side bands" around the the VCO frequency are created which are grouped symmetrically around the VCO frequency as integer multiples of the modulation frequency. 1 Hz or lower) since the oscillator seems detuned otherwise. Most probably the resulting wave forms are not suited for sweet. ##### 11 Fig. similar to frequency modulation. Strictly speaking this only applies to pure sine wave frequeny modulation.e. no harmonics at all (sine). etc. Normally the glide time can be adjusted with a rotary control from zero (tones will jump) up to several seconds.1 Hz to 10 Hz while better ones have a significantly wider range (0.

The VCF of the MS-404 can be used as sine wave oscillator.g. In the Noise position. you will hear noise modified by the VCF and VCA (however. You should also try out PWM effects within the audio range by 14 di 17 21/12/2009 21. you are working with a sequencer. the longer the glide time will be. glide is active. you will create non-harmonics as described above. Start by playing a connected MIDI keyboard or by playing a sequence (e. Due to the inertia of the eye. Change the intensity (10) and the frequency (12) of this modulation and listen to the acoustical effects. with Doepfer Analog Sequencer MAQ 16/3). The LFO frequency is displayed by a LED (11). you can create a "playable" noise signal by setting the VCF to a higher resonance. frequencies above 20 Hz cannot be realized anymore. The glide function can be turned on / off via MIDI controller #65 (see chapter "MS-404 MIDI Functions"). ##### 13 With the LFO function switch (9) you can select whether the LFO should affect frequency or pulse width modulation of the VCO.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. Observe the different timbre (amount of harmonics) of the two wave forms. Out of this noise the VCF will cut-out a frequency band which will be shifted when playing on your MIDI keyboard.g. using control (12) and the range switch (13). When turning the TUNE rotary control (5) you will see that the pitch of the MS-404 changes. Please put this switch to the FM position (frequency modulation) first. it may happen that the sound "tears off" in rhythm to the modulation. Turn the pulse width control (6) to its middle position. see section VCF for more details). it can be determined for each tone of the sequence whether it jumps or glides from the previous tone by defining the controller from tone to tone. Now put switch (13) to the low position (standard LFO range) and switch (9) to Position PWM. you will modulate the VCO pitch (vibrato). But enough of gray theory. If you now turn the LEVEL rotary control (10) of LFO 1. The reason for this is that the pulse width modulation is so big that the width of the pulse goes to zero. When turning the instrument on. Make sure that the pulse wave form is selected with switch (7). The low frequency oscillator LFO 1 provides 3 frequency ranges with the middle range corresponding to the standard LFO frequency range (0.44 .1 Hz to 10 Hz). Furthermore this function can be turned on / off with MIDI controller # 65 in real-time. You should also change the LFO 1 frequency. Adjust the LFO frequency to approximately 1 Hz or less (1 period per second or less) with the frequency control (12). either the VCO or the noise generator. Now turn the GLIDE control (4) slowly to the right. If e. You can switch between the wave forms saw-tooth and pulse by using the WAVE FORM switch (7).de/ms404m_e. instead of a normal tone. The remaining frequency ranges reach up to the audio range (approx. If you now increase the LFO LEVEL (10) gradually up to maximum. With this control you can tune your MS-404 so that it is consistent with the tuning of your other instruments. You will recognize that subsequent tones glide into each other. In the low position of switch (13) the LFO works in the standard frequency range while it produces extremely long periods up to minutes in the low position.htm sampler or digital synthesizer) can serve as sound source for the MS-404. Let us now transfer the theoretical considerations into practice. If you do not want this effect you must set either the pulse width control (6) to its middle positon or reduce LFO amplitude (10). VCF Envelope to zero and the VCF Tracking switch to the upper position. The more you turn the control to the right. Put switch (8) back into the VCO position. you will hear a sound similar to a beat wave (chorus effect) created by slow pulse width modulation. In this way the sound of two VCOs is simulated although there is only one VCO available. The VCO glide time is adjustable within a wide range from zero to several seconds. If the pulse width control (6) is not exactly set to its middle position. The wave forms sine and triangle are not realized in the MS-404 due to the reasons described above. When setting switch (13) to the middle position. LFO 1 of the MS-404 can be used either for frequency or for pulse width modulation. and recognize the acoustical effects. When the switch is put to its middle position the VCO is turned off. 5 kHz) and down to the LFO sub-range with a period of several minutes.doepfer. The VCO of the MS-404 provides the wave forms saw-tooth and pulse alternatively. With the VCO / NOISE switch (8) you can select the sound source.

A notch cuts out a certain frequency range (inverse function of the band pass). For musical purposes the low pass is the most productive filter. The external signal will be fed to the AUDIO IN jack on the rear panel.g. This results in the typical resonance and tweet sounds of an analog filter.g. With switch (8) you can choose between VCO.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www.de/ms404m_e.doepfer. With many filters the resonance can be set to such a high degree that self-oscillation of the filter occurs (even without any input). a sterile sounding signal from a sampler should be revalued with the analog filter of the MS-404 or if an additional filter and / or VCA envelope should be added. 999 Hz would pass totally while 1000 Hz would be supressed totally). This allows you to use the filter as a sine wave oscillator instead of the VCO for special purposes. Fig. If the external audio input is used. 1 Hz for the following experiments. For musical purposes. After this turn back LFO LEVEL control (19) to zero and set the LFO frequency to approx. i. A band pass passes all frequencies within a certain range (band) and cuts off all frequencies outside of this range. The "ideal" filter would have an infinite slope. It describes how fast the transition from passing to supressing occurs. If the filter provides an adjustable resonance.e. band pass and high pass while the types notch and all pass are less common. A further filter parameter is resonance (emphasis). VCF With subtractive sound synthesis the further processing of the tonal "raw material" (VCO / noise / external input) will be carried out by a voltage-controlled filter (VCF) first which is usually followed by a voltage-controlled amplifier. The high pass works just the opposite way since it passes all frequencies that are above the cut-off frequency and cuts off all frequencies below. If the signal sound distortes. depending on the filter's slope. noise generator or external signal (middle position). The use of the external audio input is of advantage if e. frequencies close to the cut-off point can be emphasized. In reality this transition is not a jump but a gliding. Another important characteristic of a filter is slope which is measured in dB/Octave. The basic types are low pass. 5: Frequency behaviour of a low pass filter with different resonance amplitude cut-off frequency frequency 15 di 17 21/12/2009 21. For musical applications it is very important that the filter resonance is able to be adjusted. the level must be reduced a little.There are different types of filters. The filter becomes more of a band pass with an underlaid low pass. Overtones close to the cut-off point are emphasized the bigger the resonance is set (see illustration 5). the transition occurs immediately (e.htm setting the LFO range switch to its middle position and choosing a high LFO frequency. An all pass passes all frequencies but it performs a phase shift dependant on the frequency. a filter with high a value would have a slope of 24 dB/Octave but 12 dB/Octave are also useful for special applications (usually for high pass. VCFs without adjustable resonance are seldomly used. band pass and notch).g. from a sampler or digital synthesizer) may serve as sound source with the MS-404. A low pass passes all frequencies ##### 14 that are below the cut-off frequency and cuts off all frequencies above. an external audio signal (e.44 . The filter types differ in how they fed the frequency through. VCO and noise are turned off. The level of the external signal must be adjusted with the level control (32) on the rear panel in such way that the subjective volume is approximately the same when switching between external audio input and VCO. Alternatively to VCO and internal noise generator. the VCO / NOISE switch must be in its middle position so that both.

Furthermore the ADSR as well as LFO 2 can influence the cut-off frequency with any intensity. Now turn RESONANCE control (21) to a position where the sound is convenient for you and turn FREQUENCY control (14) back until the sound becomes dull. If you now play on your MIDI keyboard. After this you should turn the ENVELOPE control (16) to a middle position. the filter is controllable via MIDI (see "MS-404 MIDI Functions" for more details). half (low position) or not at all (middle position). 16 di 17 21/12/2009 21. The proper setting of the TRACKING switch is very important when using the VCF as a sine wave oscillator. the filter will sound more and more cutting ("tweety") until it self-oscillates and works as a sine wave oscillator at full resonance. select VCO as sound source with switch (8) and turn control (16) to a low position so that the ADSR affects the VCF slightly. Turn the VCF ENVELOPE control (16) to zero. For this purpose. Now gradually increase the influence of the ADSR envelope on the VCF by turning the ENVELOPE control (16). The VCO / NOISE switch (8) should be set to its middle position so that no signal is present at the filter input. There are several ways to control the filter's cut-off frequency. if you use frequency modulation with audio frequencies for both VCF and VCO. After this turn the RESONANCE (12) to a middle position. The same remarks as for LFO 1 apply to LFO 2 but LFO 2 solely affects the cut-off frequency of the VCF. The frequency is displayed by LED (18). the more the overtones close to the cut-off frequency are emphasized.doepfer. due to the fact that more and more high overtones will pass the filter when increasing the cut-off frequency. Vary the modulation intensity with control (17) as well as the modulation frequency with the FREQUENCY control (19) and listen to the acoustical effects. Set LFO 2 frequency to a few Hz by turning LFO 2 FREQUENCY control (19). The tonal results are nearly unpredictable. The more you increase resonance. Finally. the VCF follows the VCO fully (high position). You should also try out both of the extreme cases of filter modulation: LFO frequencies in the audio range with switch (20) in its middle position and very slow filter modulation with switch (20) in its high position. You can even create voice-similar sounds when setting the VCF to the appropriate setting and using slowly progressing ADSR envelopes. the frequency of LFO 2 can be adjusted in 3 ranges using the RANGE switch (20).htm low resonance medium resonance high resonance ##### 15 With the MS-404 the VCO / noise signal is input to a voltage-controlled low pass filter with adjustable resonance. flute-similar sounds. Turn the VCF FEQUENCY control (14) slowly to its maximum position and listen how the sound is hollow at first and then gets more and more bright. RESONANCE (21) must be turned to the maximum. its cut-off frequency can be controlled by any MIDI controller and / or by the velocity of the incoming MIDI notes. Depending on the TRACKING switch (15). Additionally. ENVELOPE (16) must be set to zero and the TRACKING switch (15) must be in the high position (full tracking). i. With filter modulations in the audio range and high resonance you can create voice-similar sounds. half or not at all (keyboard tracking. keyboard follow). ##### 16 As with LFO 1. using a switch. You will observe that higher notes will sound brighter if you select full or half since the VCF cut-off frequency follows the VCO frequency.de/ms404m_e. In the upper part of the resonance. This setting can be used for e. Filter resonance can be adjusted until self-oscillation of the filter occurs. it can be adjusted manually. The sound will become realy extreme. Playing on your keyboard you will recognize that the VCF frequency range generated by the ADSR envelope becomes larger the more you turn the control to the right. The theory of filters should now be translated into practice with the MS-404. You can create typical FM metallic sounds especially with high frequencies whether you use tonal base material (VCO / noise / external audio signal) or not. You will hear how the VCF cut-off frequency is modulated by LFO 2 if you turn the LEVEL control (17). Try out all 3 positions.e. very often the results are totally surprising. You should also try the same with different settings for EMPHASIS (21). nothing will be heard since the filter is closed. For slow LFO modulations. you can determine whether the VCF cut-off frequency tracks the VCO frequency fully. There is only one way: try it out. In the middle position notes will become more dull the higher they are since the cut-off frequency remains unchanged.44 . Similar applies to the VCO-LFO (LFO 1) with regard to the LFO for the filter (LFO 2). LFO 2 can also produce frequencies up to the audio range.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. With these settings the FREQUENCY control (14) works as "tuning" control for the pitch of the sine wave oscillator.g. The tonal results of VCF frequency modulation with audio frequencies are similar to those of the VCO. First.

typically of the ADSR type (attack . Fig. With the ACCENT control (22) you can determine the amount of envelope control for the VCA. sustain level and release time. For smooth. also combined with different settings for VCF envelope (16) and VCF cut-off frequency (14). produce a signal flow which is used for controlling the VCF cut-off frequency and the VCA passage. you should turn on the instrument approx.release). For percussive sounds you should choose short attack and decay times with the sustain level set to zero.20 minutes until its tuning is constant. We wish you fun and success with your MS-404. 17 di 17 21/12/2009 21. Try out different settings for the four controls and observe the acoustical effects. Therefore. When pressing a key on a keyboard (note-on command / gate = on). After this turn the modulation intensity to zero with control (17) and put the resonance control (21) to a middle position. After reaching its maximum the envelope decays down to the sustain level within a period of time adjustable by the decay control. The envelope consists of 4 parameters: attack time.sustain .htm with periods ranging from seconds to minutes. 6: ADSR Envelope attack decay release sustain envelope gate key pressed key released ##### 17 The MS-404 provides an envelope generator of the ADSR type. 6). You can adjust a required envelope with the controls ATTACK (23).doepfer. Then it decreases to zero within a period of time adjustable with the release control (see Fig. nothing should stand in your way for bringing your instrument into musical use. The envelope stays on this level until the key is released (note-off command / gate = off). the envelope rises within a period of time which can be set by the attack control. Due to its analog design the VCO of the MS-404 will need a warm up period of approx. VCA A voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA) is a module whose feed (volume) is controlled by a voltage. ADSR Envelope generators. DECAY (24). decay time. The VCA control voltage is provided by the envelope generator. 15 .44 .decay . you will usually use higher settings for resonance since the change of filtered frequencies will be heard better. After you have become familiar with the meaning of all MS-404 controls. standing sounds you should choose longer attack and decay times with a higher sustain level. You can disable the velocity in order to play non-dynamically and for controlling accent by MIDI volume only (see "MS-404 MIDI Functions" for more details).de/ms404m_e. half an hour prior to using it. SUSTAIN (25) and RELEASE (26). The VCF output signal is fed through the VCA whose output is the audio output of the MS-404.MS-404 User's Guide (English) http://www. Up to now the envelope parameters have not been changed. dependant on the velocity of the incoming MIDI note and on MIDI volume (controller #7).