CV to MIDI

On the modular side, you’ll definitely need to provide both a gate and a pitch-CV, so in that sense you are absolutely right. MIDI combines the two data types to one, which is the MIDI NoteOn/Off data.

The only thing that you should keep in mind about the a-192-2 is that you’ll have to make sure that your sequencer sends the Gate after its Pitch CV is “stable”. To clarify, sequencers like the Intellijel Metropolis, and most modular sequencers, prioritize their Gate output as timing is more important than pitch precision. As you can imagine, in MIDI you have to define the Note before you order the device to “fire” it. So the a-192-2 requires, logically, that your Pitch CV is at the required value before the Gate is received. It’s not a problem, it’s how it works. You might need to have a gate delay if your sequencers seems to be unstable.

I’m not a big fan of precision when it comes to CV-to-MIDI, as in I don’t care that much for a false note here and there, depending on the situation. Most of my work on this area is jazz-based, or simply atonal, so I cope with the translation problems between the two “languages”. If precision is important for you, you’ll need to be precise in your modular side as well. It’s not difficult by any means.

Again, I don’t think I have any CV-to-MIDI devices that provides Pitch-bend data. Well, if I’m being honest, I do own one now, but it’s still in prototype form https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxu7g7eB55b/ so don’t expect it anytime soon. It will be ultra cool though :star_struck:

Feel free to ask more questions if you have them. My favourite device so far is the ADDAC222 which offers different modes of triggering. There is nothing else that does automatic triggering of the MIDI Notes when a 12-tet note has been hit by the CV, it’s absolutely lovely as it allows you to go crazy with the CV you send. It’s also, by far, the most performable CV-to-MIDI module out there. And yes, I’m very much looking forward to the Befaco design, but I still think the ADDAC222 will hold its own ground (disclaimer: I was a beta tester for the ADDAC and I might end up testing the Befaco as well, so take my biases under consideration).

You should also look at the C2M module by mxmxmx, which is DIY, in case you’re inclined to make your own. It’s also open source, so that might be something you can coax to your advantage?

Anyway, here to help :slight_smile:

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thanks for this very helpful and valuable info! much appreciated, indeed.

that looks sick. looking forward to its commercial availability.

“jazz-based,” as in, your improvisations are referential to a pre-defined harmonic structure (e.g. improvising to the chord changes of “All the Things You Are”)? How might this be accomplished? via varyingly gated sequencer permutations of salient intervals (note-events)? Or do you mean the timbral textures in your work evoke jazz (MIDI-triggered sampled saxophone, piano, double bass, etc)? I only ask because the methodological distinctions between them are so vast (and very complex)… I’m very interested!

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The answer is both. I use external synthesizers, which are better suited to modeling of physical instruments, so my instrumentation is (sometimes) derived from jazz instrumentation. That’s not always the case, I have a few diverse setups, but when that happens I’ll mostly work around typical or a-typical combinations of chords and scales. That’s not hard to achieve; one solution I’ve found is by having a sequencer define both your chord structure and your scale structure. If you use programmable quantizers, you can have your scale match the chord, which is the groundwork required for such a jazz setup, coming from jazz theory.

Here’s a couple of examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1btU5ceDHQs VS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeKnHJA0e-o using the same setup (what I call my jazz setup). The prototype module you saw comes after working with this setup and will solve some of the issues I’m facing with it. Long story! I have a long way to go with my sound design skills, but it’s something I’m working on. Took a detour with piano design and woodwinds, but I learned a lot and I intend to apply this knowledge on my brass sound. I’m happy with the double bass so far; not so much with the drums.

But I digress. Honestly, sequencing-wise you can do whatever you want with the proper mindset. You don’t have to improvise, it can be very structured, or not. Case in point, the examples below are using similar principles but are quite diverse:

Abstract : https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwe9W0KFhMu/
Minimalism : https://www.instagram.com/p/BpKedHJh7Ph/
Moondog inspired jazz : https://www.instagram.com/p/BU-Hsd-hU7N/
Guitars : https://www.instagram.com/p/BU_zGZShjGP/
Funk : https://www.instagram.com/p/BVZc7a3g88j/
Solo : https://www.instagram.com/p/BVajUWBgmgj/
Drumming : https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ3Er8wASEv/

Thanks for sharing your work. In the examples you so generously linked here, I unfortunately find very little evidence of any engagement with the formal or structural conventions of jazz, beyond the level of kitsch. Or, rather, “jazz” is, at the present historical juncture, perhaps kitschy anyway (formal stagnation, cultural obsolescence, etc), so perhaps to invoke it as a compositional identifier is indeed appropriately conventional. If your work is indeed engaging with kitsch forms in earnest, then that’s okay. However, this is not necessarily clear, given that you appear to believe your work as demonstrating literacy of and fluency with e.g. chord-scale relationships indicative of ‘jazz’ theory. Though I would disagree, given that its harmonic content—at least present in the works you’ve shared here—is quite low-level in complexity: i.e. I-V, I-♭v, I-♭iii, etc. Its texture and harmonic rhythm is often homophonic or isorhythmic (due to use of ostinati that solely comprise the aforementioned intervals, or a simple i-iii-V arpeggiation ostinato, etc)—whereas nearly 100% of so-called jazz from James P. Johnson to Warne Marsh to Cecil Taylor to Weather Report (the genre accommodates a very wide swath!) is polyphonic and contrapuntal. As you know, the fundamental principle of so-called jazz improvisation is emergent harmonic tension-and-release, achieved through voice-leading, chromaticism, intra-tonic modulation (e.g. chromatic mediant movement). (This is even present in relatively “static” harmonic environments found in the work of Coltrane post-'59, Davis post-'69, et al.) Quantizing scale and chord structure to be grounded as symmetrical strongly delimits the maintenance—or, better, adaptive extrapolation and mutation—of this principle. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, the rhythmic content of your work is devoid of syncopation, hemiola, clave, microrhythmic and pulse-stream modulation, complex hypermeter, etc.—in other words non-grid-based rhythmic morphologies. (cf. Benadon (2009) for a formal description of some of these morphological characteristics).

I’m not trying to appear like the Jazz Police or something. I realize that to invoke words like “convention” and “tradition” is potentially tiresome and stodgy. fwiw, I find the neo-con strain of Jazz to be abhorrent, which only serves to hamstring and suppress potential innovation (not to mention erase a lot of important past innovations in the music beyond The Golden Era). And your work appears to me to exactly the sort of formal innovation that folkloric musics like jazz need, through its novel use of contemporary and sophisticated instrumentation (modular synthesizers, which have a similarly folkloric tradition). But my intention is merely to clarify (for myself and others, hopefully) the function of ‘jazz’ in relation to your work. I apologize if I appear hectoring or pedantic, because this is not my intention—I hope my comments are received in the spirit of mutual respect and seriousness with which we approach music.

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I hope it’s not just me, but it seems to me that this post would have much less of a chance of coming across as hectoring or pedantic if it was in answer to a question about the relation of the poster’s work to jazz, instead of unasked for, in a thread about converting CV to MIDI.

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Okay, though I hope not, insofar as I initially posted on this thread asking about CV-to-MIDI equipment. As you’ll see in the above posts, @ParanormalPatroler responded with some useful advice while also mentioning their own work and its relationship to jazz. I asked a question about the latter point. They responded in some detail while also providing 9 video examples of such work. Given the number of provided examples, I interpreted this as implying that not only the work, which centrally deploys CV-to-MIDI, but its aforementioned relationship to and use of jazz warranted comment. I apologize if my interpretation was misguided. I certainly didn’t intend for the thread to occupy the present tangent, as indicated by my first post here, but I don’t find it necessarily unproductive.

Thanks chenghiz. I don’t take criticism to heart, whether warranted or not, so I didn’t take offence - but still, thanks. qwoned I am really sorry to disappoint. Please notice that I never claimed fluency. My work is sometimes based on jazz theory, as my chord-scale structures are derived from there, namely in one particular setup where my patching is more or less set in stone.

I guess the only link that would be readily available for you to dissect would be the only thing that actually has a relevant tag assigned to it: “Moondog inspired jazz”. If you don’t find it justifies the jazz title, then by all means, you are better suited to giving tags than I am; I was re-listening to Moondog for a while and looked into his methodology - so please feel free to let me know if I did it justice or not.

In any case, I’m not here to defend my work, but I will say that I fully acknowledge I have a long way to go before someone writes an academic paper about it. :wink: To get somewhat back into the CV-to-MIDI discussion, and seeing as you’ve raised a few points about areas were you’ve found the above links to be lacking in terms of practical attributes that would justify them as following a jazz formula (e.g. “microrhytmic modulation, complex hypermeter” etc. You even mentioned clave, which is funny as you will never find son clave playing on my ride), I’m happy to report that I’ve solved some of these problems in ways that I’m very happy with, at least for now. An example of a CV-to-MIDI solution on drumming would be one of my first etudes on drumming accents on the modular system (see last link). I have a bunch of etudes on different aspects but not all of them are online and not all of them are successful. As I said, still a long way to go but getting there! I should post more often, I mean the last post related to jazz studies was made years ago, but that’s besides the point. The links above can should serve as an example of how you can push a system to very diverse directions.

I see where you’re coming from qwoned. It’s helpful to know how people will scrutinize the music, so thanks for sharing your critique. Getting a “literary critic” to fact-check my naïveté invigorates me and reminds me what I’ve set up to do.

PS: Oh, and thanks for the Benadon paper! That will come in handy.

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Holy cow! New chord based CV to MIDI module coming from SDS Digital. Has some very cool tricks going on. I love weird gate-based sequencing so this is right up my alley. The demo at the end of this is really impressive. Sandrine makes some of the most unique designs in modular, I just love her stuff.

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@qwoned I used a 192-2 for a short while, however was never satisfied that the timing of the notes it sent was tight enough. As mentioned above you need to be sure your sequencer sends trigger cv fractionally after note cv. The 192-2 works by updating the pitch information each time it receives a gate, kind of like a sample and hold.

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Just wanted to report that I acquired the Kenton PRO CV to MIDI and am returning it. Granted, I was using it with Serge DUSGs & SSG (which are the only ‘VCO’ sources I have), which caused the MIDI results to be way too unstable (pitch bend data? forget it), requiring an undesired amount of voltage offsetting and attenuation. Using the SQ-1 (the only sequencer I have) was fine but a bit limited, I think we can agree, mostly due to inability to alter frequency value of steps via CV. Sending the Kenton multiple variant clock sources as CV instead of gate yielded interesting albeit very limited intervallic results for obvious reasons. But I can imagine that perhaps others with more ‘stable’ signal sources would have better results with the Kenton? Thank you for your report @Paul_Booshank! I have the 192-2 on my wishlist should I decide to try again.

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There’s another video of the Melisma, made by Sandrine, in case you missed it:

Feel free to ask questions that you might have about the module. It’s still not 100% there yet, but I’ll try my best to answer. :slight_smile:

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This thing is going to be so much goddamn fun to control polysynths with. And perfect timing for me, since I recently decided to dedicate about 3/4 of my larger case to sequencing.

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I can’t tell you how happy I am that you like it! It’s a niche design for sure, but it’ll help integrate external synthesizers within the Eurorack system in a fascinating way. What with all the random and sequencing options (both CV and Gate) in Eurorack these days, the sky is the limit.

Melisma allows you to “preprogram” your progressions and move through them using gates/triggers. You can have different lengths of Root / Chord Type lists and then use your triggering to create progressions, or you can control everything via CV. There are lots of ways to go about it, and nothing requires deep menu diving.

To be honest I end up forgetting to patch the thing - it’s so fun to play by hand that I end up fooling around with it manually.

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Sounds like exactly the sort of thing I’d get along with. The sequencing rig I’ve been putting together is all based on comparators and derivators fed by LFO’s and complex envelopes.

How involved are you with SDS Digital’s designs? I wasn’t aware that you worked with her on these modules.

I’ve only worked with Sandrine on Melisma so far (I’m the “K” on the panel), but it’s been very creative working with her, so there might be more things coming out of our collaboration. Admittedly, I’m a fan of her modules; she packs a lot of amazing ideas in each one, and even though that might seem a bit daunting at first, in truth they are all exceptionally clever designs - perfectly suited for performance, never limiting the user.

I have her RTM module heading my way as we speak (something for the Physical Modeling case :wink: ) and I’ve already thought of a lot of ways to use it.

The Melisma originated as an ideal solution to some CV-to-MIDI problems I’ve been having the past two years. The way I solved them left me wanting straightforward and more musical options. This is part of what I mentioned earlier when I hinted that each element pointed out by qwoned, can be conceived as patch problem to be solved. These ideas, in addition to the myriad clever stuff Sandrine casually brought to the table, are what Melisma is all about.

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Melisma looks pretty sweet…Her whole vibe in general appeals to my 90s sensibilities. …if and when i go euro i mite just end up with one of these…Thanks for putting her on my radar

This cool thang however is more relevant to the buchla easel clone format zone im into and its even normalled to some of the 208 cvs…they have a standard 4U module too…im gonna get one as soon as I can spare some cash

I’m in the process of trying to sync Ableton, Eurorack, and an Elektron Digitone. The sync and latency problems are really bad at the moment. To solve this I’m trading in my ES-8 for a thunderbolt audio interface (8Pre Clarett) and I bought a Bastl Instruments Klik. (I was trying to avoid getting the ERM Multiclock because of the price.) So, my idea was to use the Klik to clock my modular, then sync my Digitone with a CV to MIDI converter. Then I stumbled upon this page and saw that the QuNexus works as a converter. That’s when I realized that my Arturia Keystep Pro has a CV Sync input. Can I plausibly do the following?

  • Audio clock out from Ableton into the Klik
  • Klik into my Eurorack system (Pamela’s New Workout.)
  • Clock out from Eurorack into the Keystep Pro
  • Keystep Pro MIDI out into the DIgitone

Is this a potential MIDI sync nightmare or something that can work? I’m assuming Ableton and the Digitone’s MIDI settings will have to be perfect but as of now I’m not sure what to watch out for.