Introduction

disting mk4, front disting mk4

The disting is a many-in-1 multifunction module, offering a variety of CV and audio processes, including a selection of oscillators (LFOs/VCOs). All algorithms have two high-precision inputs and outputs, and a third control input, exposed on a front panel knob and a CV input.

The disting is also a sample (WAV) file and MIDI file player, with a variety of options for sample triggering, playback speed etc.

Expert Sleepers 'disting' on Vimeo.

Reviews

The disting mk3 was awarded an 'Excellence' award by MusicTech Magazine (June 2014 issue).
“With so much functionality on offer, this unit is something of a no-brainer.”
Read the full article here.

The disting mk3 was also nominated in MusicTech's Gear Of The Year 2016 poll.

The disting mk3 was awarded 'Value' and 'Platinum' awards by Future Music Magazine (July 2014 issue).
“Unquestionably the most useful module in Eurorack. We don’t think there’s any system that wouldn’t benefit from having at least one.”
The disting was selected by learningmodular.com to be part of their core training rack.
Different modes in the Expert Sleepers Disting round out our available bag of tricks...

Functions

There are currently five 'banks' of algorithms. The first 16 ('classic disting') are:

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
a Precision Adder
with integer voltage offsets
Linear/Exponential Converter Sample and Hold
with noise source and
adjustable slew rate
LFO
with through zero frequency control
and waveshaping
b Four Quadrant Multiplier
with integer multiply/divide
Quantizer
with selectable scales
Slew Rate Limiter
with linear and
exponential slew
Clockable LFO
with multiply/divide
and waveshaping
c Full-wave Rectifier Comparator
with adjustable hysteresis
Pitch and Envelope Tracker VCO with linear FM
sine and saw outputs
d Minimum/maximum Dual Waveshaper
wavefolder and
triangle-to-sine shaper
Clockable Delay/Echo VCO with waveshaping
saw/triangle
and pulse outputs
The second bank contains:
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
a Precision Adder
with fractional voltage offsets
Resonator
for drum synthesis
LP/HP Filter
b Voltage Controlled
Delay Line

vibrato/chorus/flange effects
Vocoder
12 band
Tape Delay
with voltage controlled tape speed
LP/BP Filter
c Clockable Ping Pong Delay Phaser
up to 10 stages
BP/HP Filter
d Clockable Ping Pong Delay
with input pan control
Bit Crusher State Variable Filter
smoothly variable filter type
BP/Notch Filter
The third bank contains:
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
a AR Envelope Dual AR Envelope Clockable AD Envelope
(with mute)
Shift Register Random CVs
b AR Envelope
(with push)
Dual AR Envelope
(with push)
Clockable AD Envelope
(with gate)
Shift Register Random Quantized CVs
c AR Envelope & VCA Euro to Buchla Converter Clockable AD Envelope
(with trigger)
Shift Register Random Triggers
d AR Envelope & VCA
(with push)
Buchla to Euro Converter Clockable AD Envelope & VCA Shift Register Random Dual Triggers
The fourth bank contains:
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
a ES-1 Emulation Tuner Crossfade/Pan
b ES-2 Emulation
c Pitch Reference
d Frequency Reference
The fifth bank contains functions relating to playing back audio and MIDI files from the MicroSD card:
Group 1 Group 3 Group 1 Group 3
a Audio Playback MIDI File Playback
(Clocked)
b Clocked Audio Playback
c Audio Playback with V/Oct MIDI File Playback
(Free Running)
d Audio Playback with Z Speed Audio Playback with End CV
The video below was the winning entry in a video competition we held to promote the original disting. It's a fun and very musical romp through the first 16 of the disting's functions.

mk4 version

The disting mk4 was introduced at the NAMM show in January 2017. The main differences compared to the disting mk3 are:
  • Dot matrix screen, capable of showing text and numeric values
  • Micro SD card slot accessible on the front panel
  • Compatibility with the Select Bus protocol
  • An internal precision clock allowing new algorithms such as a tuner, and pitch and frequency references

Specifications

The disting mk4's specifications are as follows:

  • Panel width: 4HP
  • Module depth: 42mm
  • X & Y inputs, A & B outputs
    • Sample rate: 75kHz
    • ADC: 24 bit, THD+N -93dB, Dynamic range 99dB, SNR 99dB
    • DAC: 24 bit, THD+N -94dB, Dynamic range 105dB, SNR 104dB
  • Z input sample rate: 75kHz
  • CPU: Microchip PIC32MX at up to 50MHz
  • Current draw: 51mA on the +12V rail, 19mA on the -12V rail

The front panel is drilled for both Doepfer and Analogue Systems mounting holes (using a 'slot' rather than a single round hole). The power connector is a Doepfer standard 16 way IDC, with -12V furthest from the top of the board.

For more detail, please see the user manual.

Pricing & Availablity

The disting mk4 is available now.

For purchasing links, please see where to buy.

Hackable

The disting is based around a PIC microcontroller, with a programming/debug header available on the board. Using Microchip's free development tools a user can easily hack the disting to perform their own functions.

We have provided an open source code framework into which developers can slot their own algorithms. This can be found here. There is a thread about disting firmware hacking on the forum here. Note though that this framework has not yet been updated for the mk4 version.

Below is a (rather long) video introducing the disting in some detail, filmed at a meeting of the London Music Hackspace. You may like to jump in at these times:

  • 06:00 - description of the hardware
  • 40:45 - description of the open source software framework
  • 1:16:45 - compilation of some custom code and seeing how it sounds.