Using CV to trigger other devices

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Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by mickmick » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:53 am

Hey, does anyone know how to use CV on non-modular devices?
Dude in this video uses his modular set-up to turn on his TV's. Would love to know how he does this.

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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by authorless » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:16 am

Modifying a device is really going to depend on the device and what you are wanting to do. It is almost always going to require electronically modifying the device plus some electronics knowledge and the ability to solder.

There are electronic and electro-mechanical switches that can handle mains voltages that could replace the power switch on a TV, I would bet he is using something like that.
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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by mickmick » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:28 am

Thanks, thats what i thought. I definitely should look more into electronics before attempting something like this lol
Would be great if i could integrate it with other devices, i might try soldering a CV port into one of my tape recorders.
I guess another thing i should look into is amplifying the CV signal before its actually able to control other devices.

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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:55 pm

You can also check what products are already out there. For tape players there are DIY projects as well as this:

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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by ersatzplanet » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:10 pm

The guy you want to talk to, or just check out his stuff for inspiration is the Seattle musician and sculptor Trimpin. He has done exhibits for EMP and has a wild studio. All MIDI controlled physical instruments and machines. ... -with-midi


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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by KSS » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:44 pm

The first step is to create gates from your synth signals. Something with defined high and low levels. Obviously, gate signals already do this. Triggers too, but only briefly. More common in synths are slowly changing levels like LFOs, and quickly changing levels like audio.

The device-module you need to turn these into gates is a comparator. A sample hold could also give interesting results. edit: Slope detectors are third option. /edit

Now that you have a low voltage DC signal which is either high OR low, the next step is to use it to control higher voltage A/C (if you want to turn TVs off and on.) Note that this only works for appliances that can be turned on at the switch and then turned on and off by plugging and unplugging to the mains outlet. Appliances with soft start will need some kind of internal mods. There is also electronics test gear and appliances with already provided means to go into sleep or awake modes.

One of the easiest ways to control mains AC with low voltage DC is the use of SSRs. Solid State Relays. These are an SCR circuit usually encased in a flat rectangular "hockey-puck" package with screw terminals. One can usually find lighting or lamp control boxes with often multiple channels, which are nothing more than SCR's or SSR's in a box with wiring to make them easy to use and keep inexperienced hands away from dealing with mains AC.

With this information, you should be able to find plenty of useful projects or devices online. Which of these will make sense for you has much to do with how familiar you are with the dangers and safety needed in dealing with mains AC voltages.

I am certain you can find consumer intended black boxes to do what you want. And there are a huge number of DIY projects also. Good luck! Be safe!

FWIW, I had a good friend, now RIP, who used to control automation of entire factory production lines with MIDI. And there are many MIDI to light show devices available. These are a second means to get your desired results. You may need a CV to MIDI module. NOT MIDI2CV. The other way around!

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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by Pelsea » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:35 am

It’s not hard to hack a remote control by connecting a relay across button contacts. A more elegant approach would use an Arduino with an IR sensor and LED. There are kits to do this.
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Re: Using CV to trigger other devices

Post by 3hands » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:46 am

I was going to suggest what Pelsea recommended. Years ago, I was working on an old Neve console that was used by the BBC. It had electrical relays installed, so the audio team could trigger the cameras with it. We had that console running the entire electrical aspects of that studio, including the coffee maker. It was fairly remarkable considering it was nothing more than a series of relays.
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