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

Max for Live and Volta: Are we scientists?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDJdq3WlLdc

I am thrilled with all the new enhancements in Ableton Live 8. Two other NAMM 2009 announcements having me scratching my head a bit though. Max for Live and Motu Volta are two new products that have a large buzz around them in the blogo-twittersphere. Max for Live is an extended version of Ableton that will allow you to create your own instruments and effects. It uses a flow diagram, object and element metaphor as it’s interface. Motu Volta is software that turns MOTU and RME audio interfaces into highly editable CV (control voltage) interface.

The question I keep asking myself is, “Will these new tools help me make better songs?”. Since I already own Ableton Live, a Motu interface and several vintage analog synths with CV there is no doubt my curiosity will lead me to my credit card.


Volta First Look from Matthew Davidson on Vimeo.

What excites me about Max for Live more than programming my own devices will be the devices other people come up with. I own a Kenton Pro-2000 CV to MIDI interface but because digital audio recording is so easy these day I rarely use it. I just record my old synths as audio and manipulate them after the fact. As much as Volta intrigues me I fear it may put an unnecessary software layer between my hands and hardware knobs.

I  know Max and Volta are completely different beasts but I think you get my point here right? I guess there is a time for right brain knob twisting and song writing and a time for left brain analytical sound design.

What do you think?