Doepfer A-188-1 BBD
Lead the charge
It’s time to take control of time itself, with the Doepfer A-188-1 Bucket Brigade Device for Modular.
By passing your signal along a line of capacitors, the BBD delays your sound in time, but also degrades it with high-frequency loss and additional noise (as well as noticeable sample-rate reduction and aliasing at high delay times). This creates a warm and dirty effect, much sought after in the mid/late '70s, and still loved as a creative effect despite the practical disadvantages a BBD unit has compared to more versatile, cleaner digital delays.
Our software version of Doepfer's BBD module represented a new challenge for us in terms of component by component analog modelling, but the results were worth the effort.
Build your own stomp-box effects
Use this module to design your own flanging, doubling, chorus, and depth effects by blending a modulated delay signal in parallel with the dry, unprocessed sound.
Six modules in one
In a sense it’s six modules in one, four of which, due to component scarcity, are limited editions in hardware (all but the 1024 and 2048-stage versions).
Not only can this kind of delay produce tight slapbacks, grungey echoes, and smokey ambience, but by exploiting high feedback and very short delay times Karplus-Strong style plucked string synthesis is also possible.
"There’s so much more to this delay than you might imagine — a self oscillating joy that opens up your rack into a spacious bouncing new world of sound, and as crunchy and dirty as you might imagine. Wonderful!"Producer, DJ, remixer and artist
Before digital delays became the cheapest and most versatile option in the late '70s and early '80s, echo effects in recorded or live music were achieved by a variety of creative analog means. Short tape loops with adjustable playback heads, or variable speeds, were favoured for a while, despite the downside of needing to replace the tape now and again. Designs featuring magnetic drums or discs aimed to solve that issue, but never dominated the market.
Solid state designs enjoyed a brief but fruitful period of vogue in the mid-to-late seventies. These devices, featuring long chains of voltage sampling ‘buckets’ controlled and released in time by a high speed oscillator, lent their unique characteristics not only to electronic, techno, and emergent dance styles, but to guitar rigs the world over.
Count the stages
The length of the delay line — the number of buckets in the brigade — has a significant effect on the sound and capabilities of the effect. The hardware module is available in six versions, each featuring a different number of stages (128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, and 4096). But our software version contains all six, and can switch between them with one click.
This wouldn't be possible in hardware, as all the modules contain entirely different chips. But having our software version gives you the benefit of the full range of BBD effects.
Another change, as compared to the hardware, is the option to simply switch off the audible bleed from the high frequency clocking oscillator. What would have required careful filtering after the event is now a simple flip of a switch.
Due to the compression of sonic frequencies as they are shifted in time (a variation of the Doppler effect), CV-modulating the delay time of this module can have very enjoyable results in terms of pitch.
One application is to create tuned feedback tails which sound rather like plucked strings (Karplus-Strong synthesis). Another is simply to generate swirling chaos with audio inputs appearing to smear and whirl through time and space. As with all the best synth modules available in Modular, the greatest expandable boundary here is your imagination.
- Ultra-precise model of a rare and exciting style of analog delay effect.
- Can be used within synth patches in Modular, or for processing external audio in Modular FX.
- Six different models in one module.
- Great for dirty delays, sharp slapbacks, whooshing swirly ambience, or utter craziness.
- Build your own flanger/chorus for guitars, drums, or any other audio source.
- Take advantage of the disadvantages of this special design – use the BBD as a bitcrusher or distortion unit.
- Keep the original noise bleed, or simply switch it off.
- Requires Modular.
Have a listen
- Mac OS X 10.12 or newer.
- Windows 64-bit, versions 7, 8 or 10.
- Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer.
- Screen resolution 1280x800 or larger.
- 1 GB RAM or more, and at least 6 GB hard disk space for installation (individual plug-ins take less space).
- Any VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (Pro Tools 10.3.7*, 11.0.2 or higher) compatible host application.
- Softube account.
- iLok account.
- Internet access for downloading the plug-in(s) and managing the license(s).
- iLok generation 2 and up, if you intend to use an iLok dongle for authorizing your plug-ins (note that an iLok dongle is not a requirement).
All Softube plug-ins support both 32- and 64-bit hosts, although a 64-bit OS is required. Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz, in both mono and stereo.
*Please Note: Pro Tools 10 is not officially qualified by Avid higher than OS X 10.8.
- Mac OS X 10.12 or newer.