Random Thoughts and Questions

I think we need a thread for short questions and random thoughts that don’t warrant their own threads.

I’ll start - what’s a good way to get either control voltage signals or MIDI signals from my computer to my synth? I have a USB controller that I use through Ableton, but I’d like to be able to send that signal to the synth to use it as a controller. Is there a (cheap) outboard device which I can use to send MIDI/CV from Ableton back to the synth? It’d be great if it also had an output to send line-level audio as well. Does such a thing exist?


And this wonderful video to keep this thread random:

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If I understand the question I think what you’re looking for is a USB MIDI to CV converter. I haven’t used one but for instance

Or for DIY

For line level audio output from the synth you need an entirely different module, such as

The obvious Kosmo choice:

Why not the #1007?


But that only does DIN MIDI, doesn’t it? I guess I may have misinterpreted the question, but I thought it sounded like @BlackDeath needed USB MIDI to CV.

That would work if I could get the device I’m after, something which will allow me to send MIDI from Ableton to an external device (CV would of course also work).

My reason behind all this is that I can’t really play the piano. However, I can play the guitar quite well. So, I’ve converted my 8x8 64-key Launchpad into a virtual guitar layout using MIDI mapping, which allows me to shred to my heart’s content. It works really well, I’d like to make a video of it but I don’t have enough hands.

That project is here: https://github.com/Miserlou/LaunchBoard

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That’s exactly what a MIDI to CV converter does.


I still don’t understand why you can’t do that with the #1007. Are you saying you don’t have MIDI out from Ableton?

Yes, how can I get MIDI out of the box? I’m looking for an outboard device which does all of this at once, and so it can be powered by USB power rather than the 12V in the synth. I’m sure something like this exists, but I haven’t been able to find the right combination of terms to Google.

It looks like I may be able to achieve this with an audio interface like this: https://www.amazon.com/PreSonus-AudioBox-USB-Recording-System/dp/B071W6YVDR/ref=sr_1_25?dchild=1&keywords=usb+midi+output+device&qid=1604757614&sr=8-25 and then the LMNC MIDI Sumo, although that’s a quite expensive combination just to turn some beeps into boops. I thought there might be a much cheaper solution.

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This DIY project is exactly what I’m imagining, but I can’t find a commercial equivalent: http://little-scale.blogspot.com/2017/11/usb-midi-to-eight-gates-and-sixteen-cv.html

Here we go!

Only $29, but I think it’s discontinued… https://reverb.com/uk/item/20435221-dsp-synthesizers-umidi2cv-plus

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The Mutable Instruments CV Pal does this and is available as DIY.

I saw that, it’s out of stock unfortunately.

So, I figured out that the now-discontinued uMidi2CV plus is actually nothing more than custom firmware running on an Adafruit ‘Trinket’: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3500

So, I think it should be possible to create a MIDI-to-KOSMO box for less than $10 dollars in parts and a Sunday afternoon of microcontroller programming!

Sure, that works. Thonk also has the CVpal PCB/panel/chip in stock for £19.


The Doepfer module I posted above converts USB MIDI to CV and gates, just like that device. So does the DIY project from elkayem I posted. And there are other commercial USB MIDI to CV modules as well.

As does the CVpal. Cheaper.

Discourse works much better if you create new topics for new questions. It keeps the discussion focused, makes it easier for people who know the answer to find the topics (and for discourse to point you to existing threads), and makes it easier to find and link to the answers in the future.


That’s probably true for “proper” topics, but honestly in my experience it’s better for internet communities to have a place for idle chatting and kicking around ideas that don’t deserve their own threads.

For instance, I’m thinking that rather than continuing to try to find cut-to-size EU aluminium panels, I might just by the Ikea Bror shelf: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/bror-shelf-black-40382785/#/30333842 and an angle grinder. Then I’ll have all the metal I need, I can cut it to size myself, and I’ll have an angle grinder, and, most importantly, I won’t have to deal with import taxes and delays…

I agree with @fredrik. Other people now or later may have the same question about MIDI/CV and would have an easier time finding your question and its responses if it were a topic on its own. It very much deserves its own topic, as do most on-subject questions.


LOL , kinda missed the point of the song …

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