The company that launched the current modular craze with its Eurorack format continues to be the go-to for inexpensive, bread-and-butter basics. Doepfer’s new Slim Line is compact, capable, and runs 100€ or less – with a complete “miniature synth” voice for just 180€.

There’s no shortage of strange, leftfield modules – and pricey, rarified stuff. But modular simply wouldn’t be able to reach practical musicians if not for modules that are affordable. And you need at least some of those modules to be, in a way, intentionally a bit basic – modules that get interesting once you start to patch them, rather than trying to jump ahead of you by imposing their own ideas.

So, look to Doepfer to continue to be affordable and practical. And now is a good time, as Superbooth – the massive Berlin trade show – is likely to dump some ungodly overwhelming amount of modules on us.

Doepfer deserve some special credit – Eurorack is their format, and we likely wouldn’t be gathering in Berlin this week if not for their legacy. Talking to Andreas Schneider recently – the man behind Schneidersladen and father of the Superbooth – he praised Doepfer for keeping their modules affordable.

The A-100 Slim series are vanilla in every sense – they’re not going to wow you with features or design or any particular character of their own. But they’re practical. It’s very possible you could get started building a system – or completing one – on a tight budget and in tight spaces.

And as slim versions of existing Doepfer modules, they look an ideal way to get started or to cram some of those bread and butter basics into your rack – like, you know, if you went a little too weird and realize you don’t have essential tools. (I bet that’s true of a lot of people.)

Here’s a run-down – product pages are in both German and English, scroll down for English:

A-111-6 Miniature Synthesizer

A complete synth voice – one oscillator with pulse width and different waveforms, one lowpass filter, one amplifier and envelope.

A-118-2 Noise / Random / T&H / S&H
Out this week

Noise and random signal in any color.

A-121-3 12dB Multimode Filter
Out this week

Multimode filter with 12dB slope and voltage-controlled resonance (same filter as on the Dark Energy II + III)
Lowpass, highpass, bandpass, notch

A-130-2 Dual linear/exponential VCA
Out this week

It’s a VCA. And… actually, that’s pretty much it.

A-138i Interrupting Mixer
Out this week

It’s an interrupting mixer. You know:

Okay, not that. It’s a four channel mixer with dedicated mute switches (handy) and you can mix in some unique ways – mix audio and control voltage (since this is DC coupled) and multiple hard-wired outs plus separate single outs. Actually I wish desktop mixers did some of this.

A-138n Narrow Mixer
Out this week

Also works with both CV and mixing. Dead-simple, dirt cheap.

A-145-4 Quad Low Frequency Oscillator LFO
Out this week

Hey, even Doepfer think like I do, as they say this is “not a very “exciting” module, just a bread-and-butter device.” (I need a gluten-free, vegan metaphor… uh, rice crackers and humus?)

But there’s extra modulation sources for you.

A-182-2 Quad Switches
Out this week

It switches, but in … quad… you know… when you need more bread with your bread and butter. I’m done here.


I appreciate that Doepfer hasn’t updated their site since the 90s, do their renderings in MS Paint exported to GIF, and pass the savings on to you.