Forums > MaxMSP

using msp to voltage control analog modular synth

Jan 09 2012 | 8:03 pm

how does one use msp to voltage control analog modular synth’s?
my goal is to use a dc coupled audio interface and max/msp patches to control analog modular signals (amplitude, frequency, etc)

a dc coupled audio interface is necessary to maintain a steady voltage usable for appropriate results..

perhaps a good patch to start with would be stretta’s VCVI suite for m4l?:

what are the good patching practices for this type of work? specifically, i am looking for advice on sending signals out of the patchers, through a dc coupled interface, and into analog modules.

-send a signal from [line] or [curve] with [sig~] to voltage control envelopes
-sequence frequency/pitch from msp generators

let me know if i can clarify. all help/thoughts/discussion is greatly appreciated. thanks!

Jan 10 2012 | 1:29 am


not sure what the question is, but i do it, and it works

i am sending control to the cv input of a wmd geiger counter disrtortion : yes i use either line~ or sig~ (in the 0-1 range) which i send through the outputs 7 and 8 of my RME FFace400 sound card. Don’t know what to tell more precisely : in my case no notes, pitches etc – i just choose by ear what pleases me……
but works like a charm



Jan 10 2012 | 7:15 am

shit, I wrote a thing about it yesterday, must have gotten lost in the ‘tubes.

Anyway; yes. It’s just about the easiest thing, just connect adsr~ or some such directly to your audio output.
If you need something calibrated, just use stretta’s building blocks.

I use a motu ultralite mk3 and a motu 828mkI for this, it works brilliantly.

Jan 10 2012 | 7:16 am

honestly, there isn’t much advice to give; dive in and try it out. The patches you’ll be building are really quite simple, for the most part.

Two cycle~ objects phase modulating each other? Connect to output, shoot it into a synth and you’ll have a LOT of fun right there.

Jan 10 2012 | 5:57 pm

glad to hear of others success and enjoyment. seems easy enough. building a frequency calibration patch is a bit confusing, but as already stated, i will use stretta’s work as a starting point.

Jan 10 2012 | 8:28 pm

well, it’s not a "starting point" as much as "a one-stop solution" :)

Jan 10 2012 | 10:37 pm

Ah, I didn’t know you could CV with audio signals. Is there any precaution to take with this such as keeping it within a certain range?

Would you be able to control pitch with this?

Gonna try it out on the Uni modular when I get a chance.

Jan 11 2012 | 5:44 pm

indeed you can control pitch. check out the link (my first post) at the top of this thread. vcvi contains a frequency/pitch calibration module.

Jan 11 2012 | 6:03 pm

You can control everything in your modular with MaxMSP. The MOTU Ultralite mk3 works well for CV duties and an Arduino controlled through Maxuino via Ableton or within MaxMSP is perfect for gates/triggers.

May 17 2013 | 6:19 am

For those without DC-coupled interfaces, there are the Expert Sleepers modules (yes, that’s me), which connect to your interface via ADAT or S/PDIF.

The ES-3 & ES-6 will send/receive CVs directly as audio (so just connect via a dac~ or adc~). For the other modules I just released some externals so you can directly drive those from Max too:

I’ll admit to being very new to Max, but this is the start of an effort to support the Max community more closely than I have previously been able to.


May 23 2013 | 6:42 am

hi expertsleepers.

just wanted to say: it is amazing and exciting news that you will be supporting max more fully. welcome. if only more developers thought like you.

i just watched the videos for your new externals – great stuff, thanks.

(by the way, in the ‘ESX-4CV’ video you were looking for [phasor~], not [saw~]!)


May 23 2013 | 7:44 am

Very, very awesome expert sleepers. I’ve been wanting this for the modular at one of my schools for a long time. (have been doing ad hoc)

@OP Getting the tuning right is another matter, of course. (and my understanding is that Silent Way (I think MOTU has a competing product, too?) does this as well?)

It should be possible to come up with a calibration routine where you measure the frequency of the oscillators. The usual pitch-tracking suspects (fiddle~,pitch~,fzero~) might not be ideal for this (I’m seeing ±0.5 Hz from fzero~ tracking a saw~).

Aug 10 2013 | 7:58 am

Expert Sleepers,

Great news. Hope you will support the pc as well.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

Forums > MaxMSP