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Old 08-06-2014, 09:29 AM
JES JES is offline
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Default CV to Audio Levels in Live

Hi All (but probably Jim),

I'm setting up a stack to run my modular by sending CV out the audio outputs of my interface. I'm using Ableton Live, a RME Babyface and the Expert Sleepers ES-3.

My issue is that if I use the interval seq or even mono note, I'm getting clipping in Live. I can use Live's utility plugin to reduce levels, but I worry that I'm unintentionally scaling the CV when I do that, since we're talking about voltages here.

By comparison, if I use the Silent Way plugins, I don't get the really hot levels. I even ran the Silent Way LFO through the audio of a Numerology stack and didn't get the hot levels. In fact, the LFOs are slightly attenuated if I run them through the audio mixer (mixer module maximum is 110 instead of 120--I think that's the issue).

Any advice would be welcome (including "this isn't an issue, just use Live's Utility plugin to drop the levels").

Thanks.

--JES

PS/Edit: Octave offset (in mono note) appears to have no effect on the output levels

Last edited by JES; 08-06-2014 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:12 PM
jim jim is offline
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Probably some scaling is in order. Internally, Numerology's 'CV' levels cover a variety of ranges suitable for the type of information they carry. Modulation signals are usually either -1 to +1 or 0 to +1. Interval values (say from an Interval Seq) can be -12 to +12, -24 to +24, etc.

The Audio2CV module doesn't do any internal scaling, it just copies the CV values to the audio output, so you have to (and get to) manage any scaling necessary. The host and audio interface are both expecting that digital audio values only range from -1 to +1 -- anything greater (or less than) that range and you'll get clipping.

So my guess is that you have a CV signal source that is ranging to great, and you just need to scale it down a bit (w/ a BinaryOp or Scale & Offset module). If you know exactly the range of the source -- say -12 to +12, then multiply the CV signal by the reciprocal -- i.e. 1/12 or 0.0833. You may also want to trim the range a bit further to make sure you avoid any clipping -- or just to make the range going to the modular to be more in line with what you want. For instance, if you're using an LFO in Numerology to modulate filter cutoff, you have the option of attenuating it either in Numerology or (usually) on the filter module itself. Either way, you want to make sure the min/max values of the LFO stay within -1,+1.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:09 PM
JES JES is offline
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Thanks Jim. This is helpful to know. If I'm running a mono note to CV, what would I do to insure proper pitch? Or is this a case where it would be easier to run the mono note into a Silent Way Voice Controller and allow it to do the scaling and calibration for pitch?
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:46 PM
jim jim is offline
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Anytime I send pitch where I care about accurate tuning, I do use Silent Way VC -- specifically to handle calibration. Theoretically you can do it by hand w/ a Scale&Offset module, but I haven't actually tried it.

Jim
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:57 AM
JES JES is offline
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That totally makes sense.

Which leads me to a followup question in terms of thinking about my setup. I'll use the mono note paired with a voice controller. But now I want to ask more about your setup. If it's posted somewhere else here, just point me to the thread.

For modulation CVs (or even for static ones), what do you use? Do you just send a modseq out via CV-to-audio? Or do you use the mononote also as a kind of modulator? Silent Way has the step LFO of course, but that will be less fun to play live than Numerology…..
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:41 PM
jim jim is offline
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For non-pitch CV's I always use direct sources from Numerology -- LFO's and Modulation Seqs. I send the CVs into the CvToAudio module, then to the modular via an ES-3. I use TouchOSC (or similar) w/ simple custom templates to control rates, levels, etc.

One setup I've played with quite a bit is a Dual LFO with the rate of one LFO modulated by an 8 step ModSeq. I mapped most of the controls I expect to use to a template in TouchOSC and control it from an iPad -- image attached below.

The goal is to use Numerology as an extender to an intentionally very-small modular. Which, btw, currently consists of the ES-3, MakeNoise DPO, MMG & Optomix, w/ two Tiptop Z4000's, and STG .COM & .MIX -- so a pretty small setup -- there are no built-in LFO's, for example. I have enough extra modules to make at least 2 more small systems, so I'm currently trying to decide how to organize those...

Anyway, back to extension -- I setup modules in N4, route via the ES-3, and setup control surfaces for the iPad. I tend to go for relatively straightforward setups that have a couple twists -- an LFO where the rate can be sequenced, for instance. Or a ModSeq where it's rate can be sequenced as well. One a setup is running, I leave it alone for a while and just play with it until I get to know it.

Cheers,
Jim
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