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Using CV to do pitch bend on digital/MIDI synths .. how??
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Author Using CV to do pitch bend on digital/MIDI synths .. how??
Rex Coil 7
Using voltage controller(s) to do pitch bend with digital/rompler MIDI synths?

A high level of mental fatigue is plaguing me at this point. I've been researching how to do this for a few weeks now. My guess is that it is much easier to do than I've made it out to be (At this juncture ... since I've over-studied this by now and it's become this monster in my mind). So far, I've studied devices by Doepfer, Kenton, ADDAC, Squarp, Highly Liquid ... all of whom offer devices for converting CV-to-MIDI. Just today I've discovered the General CV offered by Expert Sleepers which has prompted the creation of this thread.

1.) I have modular gear. Among it all I have a pitch wheel that puts out positive and negative voltage, with a zero-volt "dead spot" in the center of the wheel's throw. There is a switch that defines how much voltage the wheel module will output (at max positive, and at max negative). The selections are 4/12ths of a volt (a "whole step" up and a "whole step" down) ... 2 volts (one octave up and one octave down) ... 5 volts (2.5 octaves up and 2.5 octaves down). Here's a link to the datasheet PDF of the pitch wheel I wish to use (Synthesizers.Com Q181WP) ....

LINK = https://synthesizers.com/products/q181w/q181wdata.pdf

2.) I have some late 1990s/early 2000s digital/rompler MIDI rack synths, only two brands, here's the entire list ...

*** E-MU XL-1 "Xtreme Lead".
*** E-MU Proteus 2000.
*** E-MU Planet Earth.
*** Nord Micro Modular.

All three E-MUs use the same operator's manual, and they use the same synth engine (they're essentially all the same synthesizer with different sample sets loaded in them). The E-MUs and the Nord all use the very latest firmware versions.

QUESTION: How do I go about using the voltage controller "wheel" (or any voltage controller similar to that) to do pitch bend with the digital/rompler MIDI synths? I mean, I understand a CV-to-MIDI converter of sorts is required. However, it would appear that all of the ones I've researched do not produce "MIDI pitch bend signal" as it were.

You'd think there would be a list of modules that can perform this task.


All of the synths I've listed respond to "regular" MIDI controller pitch wheel messages. Said another way, all of my digital synths will do pitch bend when I use any MIDI controller keyboard equipped with a pitch wheel.

With all of that having been said, is there a device among the Expert Sleepers catalogue that I may purchase which is capable of doing what I want done? Disting Mk4? ... General CV? .... Other?

Additionally, I have a Euro synth cab with a Euro 12v power system as well as the 5U/MU 15v rig.

Thank you.


... this seems like such a simple issue ... but apparently it requires moving the Sun and Moon to get it done ...


cookie?!?
os
disting mk4's CV To MIDI mode and the General CV's Programmable mode don't currently offer pitch bend, but it would be perfectly do-able.
Rex Coil 7
os wrote:
disting mk4's CV To MIDI mode and the General CV's Programmable mode don't currently offer pitch bend, but it would be perfectly do-able.
Thanks for the reply.

I don't understand ... you mean in theory some ~thing~ could be made to do what I need? You said your devices don't do it, then you say it's possible.

Do you mean it would be possible to adjust the programing of one of your devices (something you would do, not the end user) to get it done, but in their current state of configuration they're not capable?

I'm sorry, I'm just confused.

hmmm.....
os
I mean I could add that functionality.
Rex Coil 7
os wrote:
I mean I could add that functionality.
Ah! Ok ... go on ... what has to be done to get you to do that? Which device? Cost involved? Lead time?

cool
os
No cost! Just ask nicely, and let me know which device you bought.
Rex Coil 7
os wrote:
No cost! Just ask nicely, and let me know which device you bought.
lol ~cheeky!~ .... Well, I've not purchased any of your devices yet. Some guidance as to which one would be optimal for this particular function may be in order.

I've watched several videos focused on both the Disting Mk4 and the General CV. I've also downloaded and studied the manuals for both. Granted, a lot of what I've read hasn't created a sense of cause and effect in my mind just yet, but I'm doing all I can to learn all I can so as to be able to make an informed choice.

A particular video that left an impression was a demonstration by yourself of the General CV in use with a Novation Launch Control ... somehow a sequence was being created ... that was some seriously cool "wise magic" (so to speak).

I have a need for a MIDI controller to manipulate various functions of the Nord Micro Modular ... if the Launch Control is capable of doing that AND also works well with your General CV (essentially making a MIDI controller and sequencer out of the Launch Control all in one) then my choice would most likely be the General CV.

So I'm still attempting to wrap my mind around what I can do with the General CV (beyond using it to provide pitch bend in concert with the Dot Com controller I specified in my opening post). But at this juncture, I'd say the General CV is winning out over the Disting Mk4.

One question; Can you tell me what outer diameter of 3.5mm plugs are "best fit" for your devices? I'm aware that there are some ~crappy~ ones, and there are proper ones. What diameter of plugs (expressed in thousandths of an inch) is the best fit for the jacks you use in your devices?

So there we are. Most likely the General CV wins out. I've yet to buy one, I need to work out what other talents it offers before I commit. Once in hand, how would this work ... an internet transfer of a customized firmware?

Thanks. My name is Brian.

cool
Rex Coil 7
Rex Coil 7 wrote:
....A particular video that left an impression was a demonstration by yourself of the General CV in use with a Novation Launch Control ... somehow a sequence was being created ... that was some seriously cool "wise magic" (so to speak)....
Nope. Scratch that ... the video I was thinking of when I posted that statement was highlighting the FH-1 Fader Host ... not the General CV.

d'oh!
os
OK, well let me know if you buy something and I'll see about adding pitch bend to the firmware. Unless of course I've already done it by then anyway.

The sockets take 3.5mm plugs. Plugs with a different diameter are not 3.5mm plugs.
Rex Coil 7
Very well then.

Q: What type of limits would face this set up? Let me clarify;

The Dot Com pitch wheel has 3 voltage settings, selected via toggle switch ...

* 4/12s of a volt - 2/12ths UP, 2/12ths DOWN (at 1v/oct that comes to one whole step UP, and one whole step DOWN)

* 2 volts - 1v UP, 1v DOWN (at 1v/oct that comes to 1 octave UP, 1 octave down)

* 5 volts (mostly used for more extreme modulations, or whatever one may decide to do with 2.5 volts UP and 2.5 volts DOWN).

Ok, so there's that.

Every Synthesizers.Com controller module uses the exact same "sub-panel" that provides the same 3 voltage choices ... no matter it be the ribbon controller, pitch wheel, mod wheel, joystick, foot control interface, et al.

I ask about what "limits" the modified firmware may have since I have four of the Dot Com controllers, any of which I'd like to use for this pitch bend thing. Below is the custom keyboard controller I'd put together using six of those "sub panels" described above (joystick = 2, each ribbon = 2).



I ask about "limits" because I've corresponded with other manufacturers about this analog controller-to-MIDI pitch bend concern and I've been told by some that their devices would only work with "a pitch wheel that is calibrated to 1v/oct" .... which makes exactly ZERO sense to me ... the wheel just puts out voltage, it's up to the destination to "decide" what to do with that voltage. It seems (to me) the destination ... that being their CV to MIDI converter ... is what needs to be "calibrated" to 1v/oct. I have no idea how one would calibrate a pitch wheel that simply supplies voltage to 1v/oct in the first place.

Hence, all said, my question regarding limits.

Lastly, I am leaning towards the Disting Mk4, however I'd like to know if the Fader Host is eligible for the "CV to MIDI firmware" modification?

Thank you.
os
The FH-2's X and Y inputs could do this, though they're limited to 0-5V operation (i.e. no negative voltages), so you'd have to offset the pitch wheel voltage into this range.
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