Programmable module with usb midi input and cv outs

I am looking to build a cv generator (desktop or eurorack, doesn’t matter) that takes in midi input, executes further processing of said input via my program to spit out cv/gate output(s). The programming can be done in arduino, rPi or any similar platform. I am comfortable working with the limitations of the programming environment. The only expectation is that I would prefer not to use a computer in the execution path. Would like it fully OTB.

I am finding a few programmable devices like Rebel Technology OWL, DU-INO, Monome’s Norns, ADDAC001, nw2s, Salt, O_C (maybe?) and a few others. They all seem to miss one aspect or another. OWL and Norns are audio output devices focusing on some form of DSP whereas I am primarily interested in midi/cv processing. DU-INO is flexible but lacks midi inputs.

Why midi input?
My primary input device will be some grid controller (Adafruit Neotrellis, Novation Launchpad Pro or even monome grid (though I don’t know much about serialosc). All of these seem to only output midi. I am yet to find a grid controller that spits out cv.

What am I hoping for?
You awesome folks to suggest an awesome grid controller with cv output (or) a desktop/eurorack programmable module based on arduino etc. that can take usb midi input and spit out cv outputs.

Is my only option to introduce a midi-cv converter in the pipeline? (something like: grid controller midi -> midi to cv converter -> DU-INO program -> cv)

Plaaas haalps! :slight_smile:


What about a module like the Shuttle Control?

Thanks! As a midi-cv converter, it will definitely work. I am assuming it doesn’t have any inserts to add any custom programming, correct?

Not that I know of, but the extensibility via the program editor is deep. Depends what your custom code is doing I guess. Good luck!

Ah, didn’t know that! will check it out, thanks!

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Ah, yes, I suppose adding Crow will solve for the problem as well. That’s a nice suggestion. At least, it gives me the choice to compare the du-ino programming platform vs Norns.

OWL has DC coupled outputs eh! That’s pretty cool. By any chance, would you know if it can do the full 5v? That would be awesome.

Teensy is a great platform for turning MIDI into voltage.

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That’s awesome. I think OWL definitely is an option then. As a single module, it also is the most appealing. Yeah, polyend poly will be similar to shuttle control or FH1/2 in its ability to custom program.

I haven’t really described what I want to achieve. I am hoping to program Indian music scales/modes which translate simple midi into accurate and expressive cv. Apart from microtones, there is a lot of very precise glides etc. which ornament those modes. That’s what I want to program for, which I can only achieve by in-depth customization.


Teletype plus grid ops will do all of this.


Thanks! Yeah, looking into teensy as well. As a first step, I was hoping for a programmable box that will help me quickly decide on hardware and then get into the programming. If not, I can definitely look into coding against teensy and then think about building the hardware around it.

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Pretty new to the monome ecosystem. Reading up on grid ops now. Will get back here once I have had a chance to understand it a bit more!

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I was just going to suggest checking out the euroshield 1 which I’ve just started playing around with. It might not have enough CV I/O but it does MIDI via TRS minijacks. I’ve really enjoyed it so far and the shield + teensy was pretty cheap comparatively.


I think you just might have solved the problem! I didn’t catch the DC coupled outs of euroshield1 when I was reading up on it earlier. At that price point, it is a great buy for my basic experimentation, for sure.

I think I am still going to spend a good amount of time understanding teletype + grid ops suggestion, since I have fallen in love with the grid and am just looking for an excuse to buy it, I guess :D.

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Nice, the euroshield was perfect for me since I’m new to the electronics thing and just wanted to be able to program a teensy to interface with something that speaks CV. If you’re more comfortable with the hardware side of things though this project a friend of mine recommended recently might also be worth a look:

It looks like a much more capable setup than the euroshield but I’m personally not quite comfortable enough to attempt a project like that yet!

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I have some background in this, having designed and built a few microtonal quantizers based on Arduino/AVR micros and various DACs (from icky Microchip through really excellent and pricey Maxim parts). Teletype is easier to deal with, especially with one or more of the Telex output expanders.

To give you an idea, I presently have a Teletype+Grid (I have an older Grid 64) (edit: quantizer) routine that can do up to a 64 note octave or non-octave based scale with notes selectively enabled by Grid buttons. This is one part of a larger “scene” (see the docs) that has three 64-note note-entry style sequencers, a derivative of the Mutable Grids drum sequencer (with bitpacked drum patterns derived from the Grids source code), a playable keyboard mode, and a bunch else besides. It’s a super flexible and productive platform that requires no hardware hacking.


yup, no not my scene either! More of a programmer than a hardware person. Euroshield will work nicely with a launchpad or I can link a usb interface (I have a midisport uno) to connect to any usb midi grid controller like neotrellis.

That sounds ridiculously awesome :). What you describe is where I want to go with my goal. A very playable and configurable setup where I can switch between multiple ragas (modes) and play with the expressivity specifically required by the selected raga.

I am glad to see that you have specifically built microtonal quantizers. With teletype and grid, what was your primary programming in your particular project? was it more max/msp or was it more of the teletype language thingy?

Teletype is its own environment, there’s no personal computer involved–for which I am grateful!

I am allergic to pd/Max and computers in general for music. :smiley:

Teletype code is very terse and direct. It reminds me of programming older HP RPN calculators, which is actually really nice.

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Lol, I hear ya! I am friendlier with my computers although I cannot say that for pd/max, and since my day trade is in computers, I would rather stay away from it if I can manage that :).

Good to know that teletype alone was able to serve your needs. Makes me more eager to take a dive into it. Time to check out more videos now.

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I’ve been looking at a teensy 4 to do something similar. It has support for usb midi host and usb midi and, with a little extra hardware, din midi.

If you implemented sysex handlers on the teensy, you could use access it via midi with an HTML 5 webpage and implement a gui interface that way.

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