Controlling CV via MIDI

Hey guys.

What do you all use for controlling the non-MIDI gear from your computer?
My idea right now is to buy a cheap, used audio interface with ADAT output and buy Expert Sleepers’ ES-3 Lightpipe/CV interface to get 8 CV outputs.
But I’m curious to hear other people’s experiences.

Do you use MIDI --> CV converters? If yes, did you buy a finished product or build a DIY solution (which?)?
Or do you use your audio interface and Expert Sleepers’ Silent Way?
And does Silent Way work well with all DAW’s? And is it easier or more complicated to work with than ordinary MIDI --> CV converters?

I’m looking for a cheap solution (possibly DIY) that can be achieved by a dedicated DIY beginner :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance, guys!

My MIDI/CV convertor is from Sequentix :wink: I didn’t say the C word!

A device with a good #channel / price ratio. It doesn’t use MIDI, but a network interface instead - so less latency and no driver problems.

MIDIbox CV - or you might wait for the V2 version .

the muc is a very versatile and quite affordable midi-cv/gate/trigger interface…

[edit:] oh and apparently, there is also now a diy kit version.

also, the diy guys over at have an interesting diy midi-cv/gate kit going. i believe there are two versions, one very minimalistic mainly to retrofit old analog synths, the other one much more versatile. but the documentation is all in german - afaik it simply consists of the thread linked above. at least i’m not aware of any other online documentation.

[sigh] once again, the link to the forum doesn’t work for reasons unknown to me. here it is again for you to copy and paste:

I got the kenton pro-solo MKII and absolutely love it. It has a some great additional features like. Not too bad of a price.

Thanks guys! Every suggestion except the Kenton is new for me.
@pichenettes: The Alyseum really looks interesting! But how does it work? Do you load a VST that you control it from? Does it have all sorts of features in the software such as LFO’s, envelopes arpeggiators and such?

It looks really relevant, thanks! But it seems it’s shipping from the US. I’m in Denmark, so I’d like to avoid ordering from the US because of the extra customs expenses.

@mic.w: The MUC 400 DIY kit seems like a cheap way to fill my needs :slight_smile:
Thanks for mentioning the other DIY possibility. I’ll probably try to chew my way through all the German words one of the next days. My German is a bit rusty but I’ll take that as a challenge :wink:

@qp: Thanks, but I’m looking for a bit more CV outputs and the multi version gets quite a bit more expensive.

I’m surprised that no one is using Expert Sleepers’ stuff. Is that a coincidence or did you choose not to go for it for some specific reason? From what I’ve heard, it’s really good and has a bunch of interesting possibilities plus I heard that it has lower latency than common MIDI --> CV converters.
Which brings me to my next question. Do you experience any latency with your MIDI --> CV converters?

You need to install a piece of software, and once configured, it is like sending CC or notes to a virtual MIDI port. There is no high level stuff like LFO and arpeggiators - just message conversion/translation. If you want LFOs and arpeggiators and modulations running on the computer, I guess Silent Way is the way to go… But you asked for a MIDI interface so I thought you were more interested in sequencing notes and events…

Thanks for the info.
And yes, a MIDI interface is what I am after. I am just curious cat who wants to know all the details :slight_smile:

Price wise I’d say that I like the Expert sleepers ES 3 module, but since my main audio interface doesn’t have a ADAT connection, I’m not too sure about getting it :confused:
(They do have a phono/aux version as well though)
I could use the 8 mono outs on my audio interface, but it would still be a bit bleh… I need to do more tests :confused:

Don’t forget Midiimplant…

Thanks for the feedback, guys.
I haven’t decided yet but now I have a lot more to choose from! :slight_smile:

I just want to let you know that I found what I think is a good solution.
I found a reasonably priced, used MOTU 828 MK3 that I will pick up tomorrow and will run it with Silent Way.
It’s got 8 DC coupled outputs that I can use for CV without any adjustments. If I need it, I can get an ES-3 and plug it in the ADAT lightpipe for an extra 8. This will be fairly a cheap way to reach the goal and at the same time, I am getting 8 good analog inputs as well as a bunch of digital ones.

Man those things aren’t exactly cheap :confused:

Yes, it’s one of the better and more expensive cards.
But I needed a new audio interface anyway so that heightens the value for me. The former owner put the price a bit too high to begin with. I saw that the add had gotten no bids for a month so I made him an offer and he accepted :slight_smile: I got it for 3.000dkk, which around half of what it costs in the shops now.

And the great thing about MOTU cards, in relation to analog synths, is that in general, they work with the Silent Way software without needing any extra hardware. All I need is to modify a few cables and I’m set for CV action :slight_smile:

i have a firewire MOTU 828mk2 for sale for 250 euro. It’s got some issues though. Display light is broken and one of the mic inputs makes noise of it’s own. But other than that it’s working perfectly and reliable. I have the silentway software and you get it for free with it.

I just got home with my mk3 so I don’t need any more MOTU’s :wink:
But maybe you should put it in the marketplace here if you haven’t already!

i have a doepfer dark time which is fine. i’ll ditch it when the qunexus comes out though…