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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Modular Synthesis
Controlling modular analog synthesizer...
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redmar



Joined: Aug 06, 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Bologna, Italy
G2 patch files: 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:20 am    Post subject:  Controlling modular analog synthesizer... Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not sure if this is the right sub-forum where to ask, anyway...

I was thinking to try some tools to control my Korg Ms20 module from within my MacBookPro via a motu audio interface...is there anyone using CV Toolkit, Expert Sleeper's Silent Way, or Volta from Motu? Could you please share your thoughts and experience with these tools? Which is the best for your need and why?

That would be very helpful in taking my decision...

thanks
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DES



Joined: Feb 28, 2003
Posts: 783
Location: New Jersey
Audio files: 8

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I use CV toolkit, Silent Way and a regular Paia midi-CV interface with my 2600. Of the three I've used CV Toolkit the least as it wasn't as friendly to set up. However there was a new release several days ago that I'm hoping to check out soon, so I may end up using it more.

The 2600 uses Octave/Volt scaling.... I thought the MS20 used Hertz/Volt scaling. If so you need to make sure which ever system you use can output that. The Paia unit needs an additional board to do it. I thought it was just a software setting in the other two, but I don't know for sure since I don't use it.

The other thing you need to consider is gate and trigger. The Arp uses gate and trigger...some synths just use gate. Internally they would generate the trigger pulse to say start an envelope generator. Considerations would be...voltage level required by the synth for gate and trigger signals as well as polarity. Some use a voltage spike while others (like the Minimoog) use a switch trigger (easy enough to make using a NPN transistor and a resistor or two...)

As for using the Motu interface, the Experts Sleepers site and forum presence at Muffwigglers.com has a lot of info on making cables to give you a DC voltage out.

Hope this helps some...

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redmar



Joined: Aug 06, 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Bologna, Italy
G2 patch files: 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you Dave for your reply.

Yes, the new release of CV Toolkit seems promising, and at first I thought it was my best option, but I'm considering – since what I most probably going to do is controlling the module from within a daw (mostly Ableton), that maybe a full automatable plugin would be my best choice. As far as I know CV Toolkit doesn't allow that, you can pass a sync signal to it, but not controlling every parameter from a daw as you would with a plugin. That may be a problem if you want a certain cv value (ie, filter cutoff) in a specific point in a track.

It's unfortunate none of these software offer a demo Sad

The new Korg MS20m has either Hz/V and V/Oct input, so that shouldn't be a problem.
It only has Trig inputs, but I think it accepts Gate signal too (not sure about this, I'll have to investigate...)

What surprise me is that you mention cables that give DC voltage out...I thought that since Motu interface's out are DC coupled I wouldn't need any special cable, just monaural jacks...am I wrong?

Thanks again
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DES



Joined: Feb 28, 2003
Posts: 783
Location: New Jersey
Audio files: 8

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yea not having demo-ware is a bit of a pain. I looked into Silent Way and it offers quite a bit though. I bought an ES-III so the sw was a no-brainer. Works well. The price is pretty reasonable too.

WRT the DC cables...they allow you to use audio coupled or DC coupled outputs. Some of them can provide voltage doubling or more (not sure if that is true with interfaces with DC outputs). Again, if you check out Expert Sleepers forum and website they should be able to provide the proper info for your interface. One thing I found is that I seem to run out of outputs way to soon. Smile The EGs and Lfos are really fun to work with...

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redmar



Joined: Aug 06, 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Bologna, Italy
G2 patch files: 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Smile The EGs and Lfos are really fun to work with...


Great to hear, I think I'll give ExpertSleeper's plugin a try.

Also I found the page that explains which and why a particular cable is needed, thank you.
Luckily the Korg MS20 module (as well as the old ones) has 1/4 inch inputs, so a standard Y (insert) jack will do the job, giving both normal and inverted cv signal, in case anyone is interested.

Thank you Dave!
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