Eurorack’s prices are dropping, as Herr Schneider laments

With the proliferation of modules, the phrase “Eurorack bubble” has been floating around for a while. But now it appears to be translating into falling prices.

The basic problem is this: more demand means more interest, which translates into more manufacturers, and more production. So far, so good. Then, more distributors pick up the goods – not just boutique operators like Schneider, but also bigger chains.

Where’s the problem? With too many modules out there in the marketplace, and more big retailers, it’s easier for the big retailers to start to squeeze manufacturers on price. Plus, the more modules out in the world, the greater the supply of used modules.

Andreas Schneider has chosen to weigh in on the issue personally. You can read his statement in German:

Jetzt auch XAOC bei Thomann ..

And in an English translation (with more commentary by Schneiderladen in English):

HerrSchneiders statement on current developments in the Eurorack market [stromkult]

There’s actually a lot there – though the banner revelation is seeing the cost of new modules suddenly plummet by 30%:

You asked for it: Due to the increased demand for Eurorack modules in Europe, even the large retailers for musical instruments are now filling the last corners of their warehouses and buying complete production runs from manufacturers and everything else they can get. Some manufacturers might be happy about this, but the flooding of the market already leads to a significant drop in prices here and there, some modules are already available with a 30% discount on the original calculated price and yet were still quite hot the other day!

As SchneidersLaden we have decided to go along with this development and of course offer corresponding products for the same price to our customers, although most of them have already bought them when the goods were still fresh and crisp! We’re almost a little sorry about that, but hopefully the hits are already produced and the music career is up and running? Nevertheless, sorry – but the decision for this way lies with the manufacturer and was not our recommendation!

By the way… we don’t advertise with moneyback-warranty… we’ve always practiced it. But please: get advice first, then buy – like in the good old days. Because it’s better to talk to your specialist retailer – we know what we are selling. And by the way: We do free shipping throughout Europe and there are Thursdays on that we are in the shop until nine o’clock in the evening …and real CHAOS serves creativity.

That had to be said – end of commercial break.

Okay, so some different messages. To manufacturers, with whom Schneider seems to place a lot of the blame, the message is to avoid glutting the market by selling so many units that then they lose their price margin. (That seems good advice.) There’s also a “dance with the one that brung you” attitude here, but that’s probably fair, as well.

To buyers, work with specialists, and please research what you buy so you don’t shoulder retailers and manufacturers with lots of returns. That seems good advice, too.

(Hope I’ve paraphrased that fairly.)

It does seem there’s a looming problem beyond just what’s here, though. For the community to continue to expand, it will have to find more new markets. It does seem some saturation point is inevitable, and that could mean a shakeout of some manufacturers – though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The used market should also be a worry, though on the other hand, some people do always seem to buy new.

I’d echo what the two posts here say, which is the synth maker world will likely be healthy if manufacturers and consumers do some research and support one another.

Before anyone predicts the sky is falling, I’ve had a number of conversations with modular makers. Those with some experience seem to be doing just fine, even if some have expressed concern about the larger market and smaller and newer makers. That is, those with some marketing experience and unique products still see growth – but that growth may not translate to greener manufacturers who are trying to cram into what is becoming a crowded field.

Other thoughts? Let us know.

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A Synthesizer Paradise In The Middle Of Berlin | Schneidersladen Tour | SYNTH ANATOMY

Published on Jul 2, 2018 SYNTH ANATOMY

“During my stay in Berlin for Superbooth 2018, I had the time to visit one of the biggest Synthesizer & Eurorack Shop in Europe: SchneidersLaden. Carlo gives me a look at the story of the shop as well as an insight in this famous synth shop in Berlin.

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SUPERBOOTH16 in Funkhaus Berlin
 Set for March 31 – April 2

Many of you will be familiar with previous Superbooths hosted at the Musikmesse. All of were the brainchild of Andreas Schneider of Schneiders Buero, Schneiders Laden, Stromkult, and Alex4. This year he is hosting the Superbooth at its own event and it looks like it will be massive. For a list of exhibitors see this page. The event runs March 31st – April 2nd
 in Berlin. The following is the

Modular Day Barcelona #2

Published on Sep 30, 2015 Dmitry Distant

“Modular Day Barcelona #2
Video review from Russian synthesizer blog ANYSYNTH (vk.com/anysynth)
Organized by Knob Shop and Befaco (26/09/2015)
Featuring:
4MS (US)
ENDORPHIN.ES (AT)
CORSYNTH (ES)
KOMA Elektronik (DE)
GINKO (NL)
SOUND MACHINES (IT)
BASTL (CZ)
EOWAVE (FR)
REBEL TECHNOLOGY (UK)
FRAP TOOLS (IT)
ALEX 4 (DE)
BIRDKIDS (AT)
BEFACO (ES)
KNOB SHOP

Modular Music Days 2015 – Patrick Detampel (Alex4) Performance

Published on Sep 17, 2015 Synth Anatomy

“Modular Music Days 2015 was a modular Synthesizer event in Linz (Austria).

This is a part of the performance of Patrick from Alex4 (Schneidersbuero). One of the product he used was the Verbos Modular System.”

http://www.synthanatomy.com/

Modular Day Barcelona Set for September 26

MODULAR DAY BCN #2 from Knobs and buttons on Vimeo.

26 de setiembre en Hangar
Emilia Coranty, 8-16, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

2da Edición del Festival de Sintetizadores Modulares de Barcelona

En esta ocasión, el Festival está dedicado a LOS FABRICANTES del mundo Eurorack! por lo que más que una Feria (como en la 1era Edición), tenemos la suerte y la GRAN satisfacción de contar directamente con

Video Tour – What’s New in Analog and Boutique Instruments, with Andreas Schneider

buchla_alex4

“O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done –”

Yes, Andreas Schneider is an ideal gentleman to lead you through a trade show, to show you what is genuinely interesting in new musical inventions. The famed (notorious?) synth guru from Berlin behind Schneidersladen and now distributor ALEX4, he is a fierce and fearless champion of the unique, the boutique, and the odd in electronic musical instruments.

And if you ask him for a video tour of his booth, you will not get the “used car salesman” effect of a typical product rep.

Instead, he gives us a rapid-fire look at what they’ve brought new to Musikmesse, what he thinks is good, and more than a couple none-too-subtle hints to us product creators about getting things finished and shipped and working.

And to that, if you want more detail, we’ve added a round-up of video coverage of some of the coolest new things.

I saw ALEX4′s booth from setup to breakdown at Musikmesse and made it my home base between a string of meetings. And it was an odd thing, because half of what I found interesting at the show was in this tiny space. It wasn’t all new, though, so here is Andreas with the latest news packed into a few minutes, as shot by musician, industrial designer, and MeeBlip internship veteran Arvid Jense (plus me looking awkward as a bonus).

Highlights, in case you had trouble following:

Buchla, with a wireless interface and Eurorack interoperability.
A huge Cwejman module.
Verbos, the modular that stole the show at this year’s Messe.
Bastl Instruments, as seen here previously.
KOMA Elektronik, nothing new (apart from a cable organizer), but a big hit together (and nicely coupled with our MeeBlip anode).
Doepfer, he who made Eurorack happen, now shipping his excellent-looking latest sequencer and inspiring as always.
Haken Continuum, a huge hit with men, women, and children alike, now with a new matrix expander for original sound design and audio interface.
The MFB Dominion I synth, now shipping.

…and, of course, our own MeeBlip anode, which at last is now shipping.

verbos

For more detail, let’s see yet more videos – if you have some time on your hands. (I want my synth TV!)

Cuckoo caught up with Bastl Instruments – the folks we covered earlier this week – before they moved up into our ALEX4 booth. These cute little modules are affordable and adorable, really odd in a wonderful way.

Mark Verbos’ modular was easily one of the highlights of Messe this year. His designs are beautiful and inventive, inspired by the Buchla tradition but building on that heritage. He’s intimate enough with Buchla’s vintage designs to be able to learn from and improve upon them, melding them with his own personality and engineering skill. We’ll be following his work, definitely; it’s some of the best stuff happening in modulars. Oh, and I think the red-on-gray design looks nice, too.

Ken MacBeth.

I could say more – try to say something about how epic this synth is, or how if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it, but…

Just — Ken MacBeth. Says it all, really.

(Was a pleasure drinking and having Indian food with this gentleman, and I can tell you he can give Bowie a run for his money in karaoke.)

The MFB Dominion I was at last year’s Messe, but it’s worth revisiting now, because now … it’s shipping and vastly improved and finished. And it is a thing of beauty.

Dieter Doepfer really is the cornerstone of what ALEX4 (and others) are doing with modulars; Eurorack is suddenly looking like an industry standard and not just a wacky niche. (Okay, or at least it’s an industry-standard wacky niche. We are in the synth business, after all.) I took a look at the sequencer last year; it’ll be nice to see that ship.

It was really a pleasure to share a booth with the Haken Continuum. I continue to be impressed by this instrument. It’s incredibly expressive, and I was surprised fiddling with it a bit that I didn’t have difficulty at all finding chords; muscle memory from years of piano kicked in even without tactile feedback.

For more Andreas-ness, here he is talking to The Guardian about what makes Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood special. I hope our massive business expense doesn’t single-handedly gentrify the area. (Somehow, I think the city is safe.)

Seriously, it’s a great piece, on Andreas, his store, and the ‘hood (kiez):

Thank you, Synthtopia, for this, and finding these other videos, and many other things.

The post Video Tour – What’s New in Analog and Boutique Instruments, with Andreas Schneider appeared first on Create Digital Music.

microGranny 2.0 is a New Handmade Granular Sampler from the Czech Republic

bastl_messe

“Bastl” is Czech slang that’s roughly equivalent to the maker culture or DIY. And now, from the makers of the glitchy, odd, and wonderful world of Standuino, comes a new granular sampler, a follow-up to a terrific earlier kit.

The Bastl crew are showing off the microGranny 2.0 among lots of other new gear here at Musikmesse. They’ve added some functionality to the instrument (copy/paste, more presets), and put it in a very attractive housing.

But as before, you get a hackable, happily lo-fi sample mangler. Load up your sounds on SD card, then manipulate them with hands-on controls or via MIDI. You can loop, change the sample rate, crush, and add envelopes. And check out the code; it’s built from open libraries.

The whole project is made in the Czech Republic:

Most of the components we get are from local distributor, PCBs are produced in small town Blansko 20km north from Brno, laser cut parts are made by our friends in Razzia in Brno. All of this comes to our tiny “factory” office, gets sorted into kits and the assembled instruments are made by locals who are partly from the Bastl generation (50+).

And with that in mind, the very short first run (just thirty units) will have some special Czech touches. You get vintage knob caps – the orange models look strikingly modern and stylish – plus a sample bank from 80s pop music, each salvaged from the former Czechoslovakia.

microgranny2

Future Music paid the creators a visit and shot some lovely video:

Full specs:

monophonic mono sampler
microSD card (storing + recording samples, storing presets)
6 sounds with full adjustments storable in a preset at once
60 presets in 10 banks (6 preset per bank), stored as .txt files on microSD card
wav sample playback from microSD card (mono, 22050 Hz, 8 or 16 bit, two letter file name)
8-bit 22050Hz wav recording via line input or onboard microphone
hold button
sample rate (tuned or free run)
crush
start, end position with repeat, instant loop
granular settings: grain size and shift speed (positive or negative)
amplitude envelope attack and release
MIDI Input – responds to note, cc and clock (synchronize loop and grains)
MIDI side chain envelope restart
copy, paste
input & output volume knob
power switch – plug / battery
hackable – arduino based

More – and direct preorder link:

http://www.bastl-instruments.com/instruments/microgranny/

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Das Volkstrautonium

SafariScreenSnapz063

Das Volkstrautonium, das auch Telefunken-Trautonium genannt wird, wurde 1933/34 von Telefunken in kleiner Auflage hergestellt. Entwickelt von Friedrich Trautwein und Oscar Sala ist es einer der ersten Analogsynthesizer überhaupt, SchneidersBüro hat im Showroom in London jetzt einen Nachbau stehen:

SchneidersBüro