Controlling your Modular

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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VanEck
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Controlling your Modular

Post by VanEck » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:32 am

I just ordered one of these:

http://www.analoguehaven.com/kenton/prosolomkii/

from Analouge Haven. I figured it was good choice and would keep valuable space in my modular rack free, as opposed to having a module to handle midi>cv functions or sequencing.

I like the idea of using a Midi to CV converter because I already own a few really nice Midi controllers and keyboards, and also figured I could use my M-Audio midisport out from my computer to the Kenton for software sequencing of the Modular.

I am curious as to how everyone else controls their modulars for the most part, and if anyone else has experience with this unit/method?
Last edited by VanEck on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by flts » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:46 am

I have a Pro Solo MK2, it's a very solid piece of equipment. Also has a built-in LFO which has come handy more than once, especially in the initial stages when I didn't really have a single dedicated LFO.

I also use my x0xb0x as a MIDI/CV occasionally, it also has a sequencer and a little keyboard that also output CV so it's kind of a multi-function unit.

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Post by elemental » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:06 am

I use a Kenton Pro-2000 (the old one)
It works great. I can send up to 6 CC's as voltages, including velocity.
I recently got a Genoqs Nemo, and that works great through the Pro-2000 for controlling the modular.

Also have an old MC-202 which I sometimes use as a direct CV controller, much less now that I have the Nemo though.

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Post by wetterberg » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:49 am

I use audio instead of midi...

"what?!?", right? Well, turns out that some audio interfaces can produce DC voltages, and I found out that I had one of those - the Motu 828mk1.

that means that I can use MaxMSP to produce the "voltages" at the 8 outputs that simulate 1v/oct "pitch" voltage, or LFOs, or envelopes and so on.

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Post by Chuck E. Jesus » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:54 am

wetterberg wrote: Well, turns out that some audio interfaces can produce DC voltages, and I found out that I had one of those - the Motu 828mk1.
do you know of a list of interfaces that will do dc ?

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Post by wetterberg » Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:26 am

ross g wrote:
wetterberg wrote: Well, turns out that some audio interfaces can produce DC voltages, and I found out that I had one of those - the Motu 828mk1.
do you know of a list of interfaces that will do dc ?
No, unfortunately we aren't enough people working in this to do any sort of statistics...

*apparently* the motu 828mk3 does as well.
For a while I strongly considered buying a cheap behringer or something and having a go at shorting out the caps... ;)

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Post by dkcg » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:06 pm

I've heard (I could swear it was monopoly who confirmed it before) that the RME firefaces work as well.

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Post by chinard » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 pm

ok, for actually PLAYING it i usually use my moog Voyager CV outs from via the vx-351 expander.
The keyboard options are set up really well for using as a master CV keyboard, plus the touch surface CV outs are absolute craploads of fun! :party:

For sequenced stuff i use my Roland MPU-101 usually driven from my nord g2 which works great for a performance sequencer. (at least for my needs)

When my firewire audio interface eventually dies from old age i will be wanting to get one of the aforementioned audio interfaces that will do DC so i can have some fun with Reaktor and MaxMSP.

Of course, one of the best modular performances i have seen used no external controllers, keyboards, or sequencers of any kind.
Just a guy sitting on the floor with a couple of 6u portable doepfer cases while using a laptop to show home movies of his cats...

... it was awesome :hail:

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Post by felix » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:33 pm

I have the 2000mkII and it's awesome.

I mainly use the MachineDrum as the "brain" for the modular, handling triggering and sequencing duties.

The Monomachine make take over in some capacity (probably just the sequencing) now that I've gotten accustomed to its bad-ass arpeggiators.

The Kenton stuff is top notch. I also have an A190, and it sits unused (and is up for sale...anyone...anyone?)
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Re: Controlling your Modular

Post by consumed » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:56 pm

VanEck wrote:I just ordered one of these:

http://www.analoguehaven.com/kenton/prosolomkii/

from Analouge Haven. I figured it was good choice
good choice! the pro solo has slew and an octave transpose which are nice.
i did replace my pro solo with a motm 650 (4-channel, 2 arpeggiator interface)
before the '650 i used my kawai k5000s with the pro solo.

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Post by Kent » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:04 pm

chinard wrote:Of course, one of the best modular performances i have seen used no external controllers, keyboards, or sequencers of any kind.
Just a guy sitting on the floor with a couple of 6u portable doepfer cases while using a laptop to show home movies of his cats...

... it was awesome
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Post by John Nonjohn » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:09 pm

For controlling the modular, I have a Kenton Pro2000 MK II; it works great! Right now, I've got it set up as a 5 voice controller--C/V and Gate over 5 MIDI channels, using up all the Auxs on the Kenton!

When I buy the MOTM 650, next year, I'm keeping the Pro2000 in the rack!

I also have a ProDCB for controlling the Juno 60. With the ProDCB, in conjunction with the Pro2000, I can use the Juno 60 Arpeggiator to control the modular!
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Post by parasitk » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:11 pm

I hate MIDI. I don't own a DC friendly audio interface either. I really wish someone would just make an OSC -> CV converter already. :cry:

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Post by chinard » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:21 pm

parasitk wrote:I really wish someone would just make an OSC -> CV converter already. :cry:
what... you mean pitch -> cv?
theres a few of those out there already.
the ESP on the MS-20 springs to mind, and i know AS makes a clone of the ESP in euro format (RS-30)

Plus there's always the PLL...

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Post by parasitk » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:23 pm

No, Open Sound Control - the hopeful successor to MIDI (die already, ancient protocol! die die die!).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenSound_Control

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Post by chinard » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:26 pm

lol, never heard of that before.


lets hope it does better than MLAN did :doh:

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Post by synthetic » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:43 pm

My new MOTM-650 is great, no complaints so far. I'm sure he'll do a Frac version next year, he's looking at Euro as well. But the Kenton Pro Solo was my first MIDI/CV as well, nice unit.

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Post by Kwote » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:29 pm

synthetic wrote:My new MOTM-650 is great, no complaints so far. I'm sure he'll do a Frac version next year
i wish he would. i've been hearing about this happening for awhile. last i heard it was gonna be out this past fall.

we'll see what comes first the Blacet Midiverter or the frac MOTM 650.
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Post by JohnLRice » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:35 pm

I use the awesome MOTM-650 (https://www.synthtech.com/motm650.html) with one of several different MIDI sources. I also can use my MiniMoog since it has CV and Gate out! 8)

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Post by Babaluma » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:47 pm

i hate midi too, haven't used it in about 5 years. use various analogue sequencers and keyboards to control my modular. however that will probably all change soon as i'll need to use a midi keyboard with a midi/cv converter when i sell off some of my current gear. however it's a very rare occurrence that i actually "play" my modular with a keyboard.

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:15 pm

How much lag does midi really have anyway?
Enough to seriously hamper the tightness of your groove?
So far I've only used midi to control a Roland D-50 synth with a Doepfer R2M,
and an EH 16-Second Delay to control a Roland SP-404 sampler.
I never noticed any considerable lag.

Usually I just control the modular with external instruments (Alesis Air Synth, upright bass, microphones...)
by way of the Blacet I/O, or I use the Doepfer R2M.
I use the HexZone, Divider&Logic, and Binary Zone for sequencing (now all tucked into the same rack).

I find the independent 4th channel of the Blacet Mixer Processor essential in getting just the right amount of CV to control
the Metasonix TM-3 dual oscillator.

I am looking forward to Blacet's Midi-CV converter.
I was thinking about going for a polyphonic converter for a while,
but I'm not convinced that I would really need all those channels for what I do.
A converter with Hz/Volt capability is also attractive for use with the TM-3,
but I think the MixProc. solution works well enough.

The whole MaxMSP to DC output audio interface idea seems like a great solution
when you need to get the computer involved for syncing up (computer aided) drum tracks or something.
I doubt it will work with my MBox2 though,
and I'd rather not buy another audio interface anytime soon.
Does this trick only work with MaxMSP,
or can you simply output a track from your DAW offset to CV levels?
or just use an audio click track to sync?

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Post by parasitk » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:56 pm

MIDI is slow and sloppy sure, but it also has shitty resolution. I've definitely heard it ruin grooves + there's all that damn stepping. :bang:

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Post by Babaluma » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:02 pm

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:How much lag does midi really have anyway?
Enough to seriously hamper the tightness of your groove?
most definitely! especially if you want robotic/kraftwerk/techno style timing to sound authentic and good.

that's not the main reason i don't use midi though, i just don't like the hassle of it all, the poor resolution/stepping when used with analogue gear etc.

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Post by DGTom » Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:11 am

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:Does this trick only work with MaxMSP,
I'm assuming (hoping) it will work with Pure Data as well, I'm just not 100% sure, not sure my MH ULN-2 will output DC either, but, we'll see.

Next best will be to sample a gate/trig into my MPC so I can at least fire off envelopes.

I've also got the MFB MIDI->CV in my euro rack, which works ok thus far, I think its abit crude tho, no good for smooth data steams... but hai thats digital :bang:

MIDI does suck tho! Its generally ok with 1 or 2 things at a time but sync, timing etc. are just balls!

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Post by tragedybysyntax » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:36 pm

My only bitches are... I have a Circuit Bent HR-16 I like to lock to a sequencer on my modular via Doepfer box. I can use the triggers off my 606 to step it tho which is cool....

And the only key controller I have is a m-audio oxygen which I use to the doepfer midi/cv box as well.

I have no options for the bent hr-16 for one....... and eventually I"ll snag a CV key controller to sit with the modular.

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