Interface for using monome with analog synths

  • How are people using their monomes with analog gear (i.e. Control Voltage gear)? What interfaces are you using to convert MIDI to CV and/or trigger? I have a Kenton ProSolo now but I think maybe the Analogue Solutions MT16 may be a great solution for having 16 individual triggers at my disposal (no pitch CV though).

    Any ideas? I was initially just going to sample my modular synth but I think this may allow me to do it a little more "live".

    Monome 64 in two days......

  • yeah, I use the Kenton Pro 2000 to drive my analogs. I've haven't done to much besides CV and Gate, I know with the Pro models you can assign MIDI CC to an LFO, or VCF if the synth has patch points for that. I've controlled a Moog Prodigy, Arp Odyssey and Korg MS-20 with different Max patches. What kind of modular do you have?
    Also check out Stretta's blog he controls his Doepfer with Monomes.

  • i have a x0xb0x - which has CV outputs and drives my mono/poly well - ill have to try and see how the 64 can work into this setup once it arrives.

  • I've got an Analogue Systems 8000 system with a rackmount dual sequencer on top. (Kind of like Radiohead's idioteque setup)

    I think I'd like to have the monome be able to act as a sequencer for multiple sounds on the modular. It seems like the Analogue Solutions MT16 would be a good choice. It has 16 individual triggers, just no pitch CV. I figure I'd be using the monome for more beat triggering uses instead of pitch controlling. Not sure. And the MT16 is about 1/2 the price of the Kenton (I already have a pro solo.)

  • I use the Doepfer MCV24, which they've decided to stop inflicting on their customers. I like the fact that the jack field is in the front, and I like the 24 outputs. My likes stop about there. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any Doepfer product with an LCD screen. This is, by far, the most user-hostile piece of equipment I've ever used.

    The Kenton interfaces are a better choice, IMO.

    However, going out of the computer to a MIDI interface to a CV interface is really unsatisfying for a number of good reasons. Analog is such a vibrant market right now, the time is ripe for a direct, multichannel Firewire or USB to CV interface. It could talk OSC, as well as interface to a DAW via a virtual instrument plug in interface (notes and automation data go in, control voltages and triggers go out. Simple, and it will work with anything.) I want to be able to send high resolution control data to my analog synths. ARGH. Why doesn't this exist?

  • @stretta: i've envisioned this product also. perhaps we should collaborate?

  • great idea, i could use one. love to help out to get it going, if i can

  • something like this

    http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007/11/dtronics-usb-to-cvgate.html

    http://www.dtronics.net/

    To me that looks a bit limiting...What is it thats giving you guys the headaches? I run all my MIDI through a merger then the Kentons are always ready for action. I can see this tiny box being more portable thats for sure.
    Tehn you have any analog gear?

    woops just noticed this works on Windows XP....and 90 euros...ouch.

  • Yup. I know about that - it isn't multichannel. It is a step in the right direction, but not close to what I have in mind.

    Mainly the problem with MIDI to a MIDI to CV convertor is the limitations of MIDI. Resolution. Or, let's say you wanted to do alternate scales and tunings. You can smooth out a coarse 0 - 127 MIDI controller with a lag processor, but why should you have to? Wouldn't it be better to have 65,536 values? Or how about 16,777,216?

    What about MIDI timing? Audio interfaces can be sample-accurate. What if your analog synths were sample accurate too? Can you imagine?

    Think of the possibilities of a high-resolution CV interface when used with a monome. A stribe. Max. Reaktor. It is pretty amazing.

    Last year I made a video of the 40h controlling a doepfer vocoder
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2OOiDGt7rY

    This was accomplished by sending eight channels of CC data over MIDI to the CV interface. That's a lot of data, and it wasn't too smooth. We can do MUCH better than that.

  • Maybe I'll hold off on the CV convertor for now. : )

    I've got to do some more research and see how the monome and modular work together when I receive it (and fill the gaps from there).

    It would be great to see a convertor with at least 8 pairs of CV, triggers, and polyphony ability for a reasonable price....and with USB....am I dreaming?

    Thanks for all the responses by the way.

  • I built two of these:

    http://www.paia.com/proddetail.asp?prod=9700K

    -Colin

  • so, an electrical engineer friend of mine wants to know why you can't drive your analog gear with cv generated by pumping the appropriate audio signals out of a DC coupled audio interface?

  • @ asaun

    You can, provided the audio interface is DC coupled. Some are. Most are not. Some can be modified to be DC coupled - it wouldn't take much.

    The main issue is the voltages output by audio interfaces are not in the range required for CV. Some +/-5v, some +5, some +10v, some +15v. If you're driving pitch, then this needs to be calibrated to conform to 1v/oct. Again, it wouldn't take much to do some output amplifier modification. The cool part about using an audio interface is the sample-accurate nature.

    After that, it is simply a matter of software.

  • maybe helpful: http://www.synthesizers.com/gates.html