CV Expander / effect box
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Old 28-06-2017, 04:01 PM   #1
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CV Expander / effect box

Anyone have any suggestions for a CV expander, that's not specifically made for one synth or another, but can be used as a stand-alone CV router/effects/expander? Would be nice if it has some tricks like built in LFO, but not needed.

Not a Modular module either, but a desktop box kinda thing.

Does anyone know if the moog expanders would work, tho pricey for what im interested in.

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Old 29-06-2017, 01:29 AM   #2
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

I'm sure you could find something like that, I'm curious why you wouldn't want a modular unit tho? I'm sure you could find something like that easily as a single module, and you could just buy a small box or something, throw them in there and you'd have your desktop unit.

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Old 29-06-2017, 01:44 AM   #3
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

In fact some of those needs you wouldn't even need active devices i.e. no power strip, a router and switcher, maybe even a unity gain module.

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Old 29-06-2017, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

Ya I thought about doing a small modular rig with a few select CV modules, but... Once you start looking at that, you find that the more advanced ones will cost you about $500, then you need a box, another $200 depending on if you build or buy and power supply and then your looking at upwards of $1000.

I was hopping that someone had created an all-in-one small desktop unit that would cover this.

I found the Moog Moogerfooger CP-251 , for about $900, theres gotta be something for less, its 2017 and we're just talking about voltages for fuck sake lol
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Old 29-06-2017, 11:35 PM   #5
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

What are you using it with?

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Old 30-06-2017, 02:15 AM   #6
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

I have a Mother-32, a Korg MS20, SQ-1 sequencer, Sherman Filterbank and Artura Beatstep pro (which fucking died on me 2 days ago, only had it for 3 days..anyway, working with their support on it), I'm also looking at some of the Dreadbox synths as well, and I wanted a method for fucking with all these devices CV ins and outs, add CV delays or randomness, or just you know, fuck with the signals in whatever ways..

Maybe I'm over thinking it or going about the idea the wrong way.
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Old 30-06-2017, 02:28 AM   #7
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

Are you using a DAW or MIDI? If so, maybe something like the [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
or a [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
would do what you're wanting. Stand alone, fairly affordable and offer a couple CV outs.
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Old 30-06-2017, 01:08 PM   #8
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

Take a look at Roland's Aira FX boxes. You can pick up a Bitrazer for about $150 now. It's a distortion/bit-reduction unit, but it has a bunch of CV in and outs and dedicated knobs.

And then via apps/computer you can load different virtual modules (LFOs, envelopes, oscilators), and get super freaky with routing, both internal and external:

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Old 30-06-2017, 03:07 PM   #9
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

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Originally Posted by iDoG View Post
Take a look at Roland's Aira FX boxes. You can pick up a Bitrazer for about $150 now. It's a distortion/bit-reduction unit, but it has a bunch of CV in and outs and dedicated knobs.

And then via apps/computer you can load different virtual modules (LFOs, envelopes, oscilators), and get super freaky with routing, both internal and external:

Am I right in what your saying, that the Roland Aira has a dedicated app/editor for manipulating its operation?
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Old 30-06-2017, 03:24 PM   #10
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

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Am I right in what your saying, that the Roland Aira has a dedicated app/editor for manipulating its operation?
Yep. You can either use mobile devices via audio port or mac/pc editors via USB or audio. They just pushed an update and added a bunch of new virtual modules. Here's the full list:

LFO, ADSR, NOISE, SAMPLE & HOLD, RING MOD, FILTER 6 dB, FILTER 12 dB, TONE, AMP, MIXER, STEREO MIXER, CURVE CONV, GATE DIVIDER, TRIG TO CV DELAY TIME, MIDI CLOCK TO GATE, SHORT DELAY, TUBE CLIP, COMPRESSOR, NOISE GATE, 3 BAND EQ, LOGIC OPERATION, CROSS FADER, SWITCHER, ENVELOPER, TRIGGER TO LFO RATE CV, FILTER 18dB, FILTER 24dB, FORMANT FILTER, SAW OSCILLATOR, SQR OSCILLATOR, MIDI NOTE TO CV/GATE
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:11 PM   #11
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

I bought my Bitrazer a few months back, but didn't really have time to dive too deep into it. Thanks to this thread, I figured it was time to do so. And this thing is fucking awesome. Get it, man, you won't regret it.

You can basically disconnect the hardwired connections completely and turn it into this hybrid midi controller that does a lot of interesting things. So it has 8 inputs and 2 outputs and all of them can take/send audio, gates, and CV. In fact, if anything, you can use it as an interface/mixer. All the channels show up independently and you can plug 8 audio channels in, so you can record things independently or just use it as glorified mixer.

Now the customizer is where this thing really shines. You can turn it into a synth, since it has Saw and Square wave oscillators. It shows up as a midi device in your DAW. One of the customized modules is Midi-to-CV. So you basically can send midi from your DAW, convert it to CV. Feed it into an oscillator. Add amp, envelope, filter. Boom, you have a complete one voice synth and it actually sounds pretty good.

The biggest limitation is that you only have 6 slots to fill, which is not a lot. Since Roland discontinued these, I doubt they'll be updating them. But if by some chance they do push an update to at least double the number of slots, this thing will really become a total powerhouse.

It really comes alive when you pair it with an SQ-1. For example, I created an envelope. Assigned one of the Griffers (that's what they call knobs/buttons on the front panel) to Decay. But then that Griffer itself has a CV in. So get SQ-1 to send CVs to that and now you have this sequence where your decay is being changed by SQ-1. Send that to your MS-20's LP filter cutoff input and go nuts.

You have things like Gate Dividers and Logic operators. So you can have feed a sequence from SQ-1 into it and transform it into something else. Then if you use stackable cables or Erthenvar IV cables, you can basically use the original from SQ-1 for one parameter and the transformed one for another. Since it has 2 outputs, you can do that independently for both sequences of SQ-1.

I've been having so much fun with it the past few days. Hooked up my Kastle to it. Built a simple patch with an envelope and filter, neither of which Kastle has. Hooked up SQ-1 to both and I was instantly in loopy techno heaven.

So many possibilities with this thing and since you have all this semi-modular gear, I think you'll be able to make full use of it. Here are all the modules. You can stack all the inputs and outputs as many times as you like for every module:

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Old 06-07-2017, 02:40 PM   #12
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

Pic is a no show, but thanks so much for the info, I will def check this out..
I have a sherman filter bank which is basically a synth without a oscillator, so the fact you can make this a synth voice is interesting as well.

Is this full on digital? or are the oscillators digital? Guess I can find out via web.. either way, thanks again!
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:49 PM   #13
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

Ok, looked into these devices, damn... Wish I had found these earlier. Not that expensive for any of them and they all seem to be programmable. So even the delay can become a CV effect box im guessing. Interesting.

Thanks for the info iDoG, I'll order one or 2 this weekend
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:46 PM   #14
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Re: CV Expander / effect box

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Originally Posted by agent View Post
Ok, looked into these devices, damn... Wish I had found these earlier. Not that expensive for any of them and they all seem to be programmable. So even the delay can become a CV effect box im guessing. Interesting.
Basically, they have 4 distinct hardware units. Each unit has something that's pre-wired (delay, distortion, bit reduction, granular reordering), but then the customizer and all the modules are the same between the units. Roland put them out for $300 initially, but I guess the sales were pretty disappointing and they discontinued them, blowing out the rest of the stock for $150. At this point, only Bitrazer and Torcido (distortion) are around for that price. The other two units are back in the original price range, since they are the more interesting ones.

For your other question, yeah, it's all digital. But the oscillators sound pretty good to me. Definitely have their own character.

Here's a big thread on muffwiggler about these boxes and you can see the picture with all the modules there:

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