Controlling CV with Volta and Ableton Live.

using ableton live to send CV signals. from dan kirkhus on Vimeo.

Motu’s Volta is a software that turns an ordinary Motu audio interface into a CV controller. I’ve been watching a few videos here and there of people using Volta and this thing has got my interest. I have a good bunch of old analog synths in my studio and more control is always a good thing (except if you’re a teenager).

“Using ableton live and a handful of LFO type wav files to modulate external analog gear. fun stuff. (if you’re not interested in the “how” and just want to see the frostwave spaz out, jump to 3:30 or so.) this stuff *only* works with MOTU audio interfaces (see: volta). this is an easy and free way to send beat-synced LFOs to your outboard modular gear; moogerfoogers, sherman filterbank, little phatty… anything with a CV input… i recommend setting the warp method to “Re-Pitch” to keep LFOs smooth at extreme BPMs. or don’t… and get cool glitches.” – Dan Kirkhus

Thanks to Dan for posting this video. I think you also made me drop some coin on Frostwave Resonator. I always forget how great the MS20 filter sounds! See Dan’s Resonator video: click here

More about Motu Volta: click here

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

7 thoughts on “Controlling CV with Volta and Ableton Live.”

  1. He’s not using volta – not that I know of, anyways – he’s using simple cv generated with an audio waveform in Live. It uses the MOTU interfaces, which is where it’s similar to Volta.

    It’s actually interesting, because there seems to be a concensus forming that you can’t do audio-cv out *without* volta, which, thankfully, you can.

    1. Your right! This is what I get for making a post at 8AM. I just re-watched the video and this IS even more interesting… I’m going to leave the post title as-is and let it just be part of the discussion.

  2. Yeh I cant wait to get a Volta – it will be great fun :) – means I’ll have to buy a bloody decent mixer though :s

    That Frostwave Resonator sounds amazing – what a great filter :)

  3. I just sold my Resonator! :P

    I also wanted to add that the comment about it only working with MOTU interfaces isn’t correct either. This trick will work with any DC coupled interface – but of course the majority of them do seem to be made by MOTU!

  4. hi oliver, just saw your post and thought i’d weigh in…

    it’s true, no voltas were harmed in this video. :) i’ve got the same batch of videos posted on youtube, with text annotations, if more explanation is needed. also, i’ve been meaning to edit my “motu only” statement(s), as a few people have pointed out that it’s not exactly correct.

    the cool thing here is, as andreas pointed out, volta is not required to send CV signals if you have a dc-coupled interface. that’s good news for anyone who doesn’t use a mac, and anyone who wants to experiment on the cheap. not that i think volta is expensive for what it does.. the auto-calibration alone is worth the price.

    no matter how you do it, using live and all of its looping and sampling tools as a modular hub is really powerful.

  5. oh, and i emailed paul perry at frostwave shortly after these vids were posted. he replied with “thanks… now i see why i have to make more resonators!” so it’s just a matter of time before you can get one, i guess.

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