E4 encoder controller, the latest colorful member of the Droid universal CV processor family

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E4 is a new, fully customizable, colorful encoder controller module for the Droid universal CV processor system from Der Mann mit der Maschine.

The exciting thing about Eurorack synthesizers is the flexibility in how you can design your setup. Many musicians benefit from this. If you are open to digital helpers, you’ve probably encountered the Droid system from the German company Der Mann mit der Maschine.

It’s a universal CV processor module, more it’s an entirely ecosystem that can be freely configured and expanded. Many people should be familiar with the company since the wow moment of the M4 motorized fader from Superbooth 21.

Der Mann mit der Maschine E4

The ecosystem is now growing with another member, the new E4 encoder controller module with visual feedback.


The latest Droid expander is the E4, an encoder controller module. At first glance, it looks like four traditional potentiometers with light indicators; however, it is more than this. 

Like the other expanders, the module can be easily attached to the back of your Droid. Once you have it, many new areas of application open up. The exciting thing is that you can turn the potentiometers endlessly in any direction. 

Each encoder pot features a square of 32 multicolor LEDs, indicating the current value of the corresponding encoder. There is a lot of input from the motor fader development here because with the E4, you can see just as quickly which positions the parameters are in. 

The encoders are not motorized; that would be the clue. The 32-LED square, however, takes over this job and provides direct and visual feedback. And this four times.

Additionally, each encoder contains a push button, offering the same flexibility as those on the P2B8 or on the B32. And yes, the encoders have a pointer on it. Don’t be fooled, this opens up many possibilities.


Areas Of Application

According to Der Mann mit der Maschine, the new E4 is perfect as a macro controller that handles many different functions or presets with one pot and the built-in button.

They also promise that other than with pots, no, you don’t need a “picking up” of the value. Some of the use cases: 

  • Create a “multi-turn” pot that needs to be turned several rounds for going through the total range (which allows for a finer selection).
  • Enable a mode where a slow movement of the encoder changes the value even slower so it allows for instant fine-tuning.
  • Use an encoder as a switch with a fixed number of positions (the LEDs visualize that)
  • Select a bipolar value with proper visualization by the LEDs.
  • Use an encoder for “strumming”, where you get triggers when it is turned.

That’s not all. Der Mann mit der Maschine has also taken over the sequencer circuit “motoquencer” from the M4 module and made it available in the new E4. It has the same features, allowing you to build a melody sequencer based on the encoders and LEDs.

First Impression

An excellent addition to the Droid ecosystem. The path that DMMDM is currently taking is very positive. The Droid has a complex brain with almost endless possibilities on the user side. With modules like the recent motor faders M4 or the new E4, they make the platform way more hands-on and instant. 

The new E4 encoder module by Der Mann mit der Maschine is available now for 158€/$189. A set of four modules is available for 498€

More information here: Der Mann mit der Maschine 

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