Forums > MaxMSP

Using Max to modulate and Exteral Analog Synth??

January 4, 2012 | 3:49 pm

Hello everyone first post here.
I’m trying to understand how I could use MAX to modulate my external modular synth.
At the moment I have this:

which I believe will allow me to connect between the computer and the synth.
What I don’t know how to do is get MAX and the ES-3 module to talk.

Has anyone else experimented with this?
Is there another way besides (Motu Ultralite) to sync max externally to a CV controlled analog synth?

Would love to hear from people!



January 4, 2012 | 4:41 pm

When Dame Fortuna favors me, I’m lucky enough to perform in improvising ensembles with my pal Darwin Grosse (whose name you may recognize from tutorials here). His solution floored me the first time I heard/saw it in action, and continues to do so.

January 4, 2012 | 7:39 pm

Hi Gregory, thanks for the info, this looks really interesting! must investigate further.

At this point I already have a module that can convert information from the computer to convert to cv/gates which is Expert Sleepers module I posted above.

My problem now is figuring out how to use MAX with the ES-3, basically i don’t understand how to get the correct MAX objects/code to link with the ES-3.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



January 4, 2012 | 7:53 pm

Interesting question… makes me want to invest in a modular rig! Just searched for Adat and lightpipe and found this thread:

Good luck,


January 4, 2012 | 8:05 pm

oh and this:
– although this obviously is really really close to the expert sleepers stuff. Ignore me, I’m just babbling at this point :)

EDIT: Oooh, this would be more like it:

January 9, 2012 | 4:48 pm


I suppose you only need to send a DC signal to the right ADAT output. Here is an example. Don’t forget to make sure you routed MSP’s outputs to the ADAT outputs of your sound card.

— Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. —
January 10, 2012 | 1:23 am

Thx for the replies everyone, i’m gonna give this a go, need to find the time to sit down and figure it all out.
Lets keep this conversation going, has anyone been successful with implementing this yet?

would love to hear about results, or hear your advice.


January 10, 2012 | 7:12 am

succesful? Absolutely. It’s the most fun way to augment your analogue rig, in my opinion.

I use MaxForLive objects, so things stay in sync with Ableton Live, and I can quickly grab sounds directly into my project.
This way I can also strap a midi-to-cv converter patch onto a step sequencer or some such, downloaded at random from

September 2, 2015 | 3:02 am

any of you could kindly help me find the VCVI version 2011.? thanks

September 2, 2015 | 1:06 pm

It’s really easy with the ES-3 – all you need to do is to send signals to the correct dac~ channel (to go to the relevant ADAT channel). With the ES-4 and related header modules it’s a little bit more complicated (though still not rocket science).

You can send audio for some cross-modulation goodness, or LFO signals, or essentially fixed voltages using sig~. You can’t really go wrong – just experiment and see what you get.

If you want to control pitch (1v/octave etc.) precisely there are more calculations involved, but it’s not that difficult. I’ve managed to get it working well, even setting up a loop of sorts where the oscillator feeds into Max, is pitch tracked, and used to get the tuning absolutely spot on. Works really well, although as I posted recently it crashes Max4Live (works OK in Max itself as far as I can see though.

One small thing to watch out for – the ES-3 isn’t properly calibrated, so there is usually a small DC offset on each channel. They really are small (don’t really affect audio much, but can get in the way of precise CV control), and although they can be different for each channel, they don’t vary over time, so it’s quite easy to build in a bit of compensation.

I’m really excited by the combination of Max, Expert Sleepers and my Eurorack. It’s given me some sleepless nights, but also some fantastic results..

September 2, 2015 | 1:08 pm

PS @wetterberg – I’m really intrigued by those Stretta links you posted, but it says I’m no authorised to view his blog. Any ideas?

September 2, 2015 | 1:12 pm

What the heck, I’m going to link to my other post –

Cheeky I know, but the sort of people who read this thread are those that might have some ideas on this!

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Forums > MaxMSP