MIDI-CV converters (was: Building my first synth...)
Christopher_List at sonymusic.com
Tue Feb 6 09:33:53 CET 1996
> I just had an idea - I have an old XT laying around, with an original
> MPU-401 in it. If I made a D/A circuit board, and it was controlled by
> the PC hardware, it should be possible to develop the code on the PC
> and run it to make a very high-powered MIDI-to-CV controller. The D/A
> could be an 8- or 16-bit discrete R-2R ladder, driving an big analog
> mux into a bunch of S & H's, with some gate latches as well. It would
> probably be easy to go to sixteen or thirty-two analog voltages. The
> software could do all of the demux scanning probably, reducing the
> hardware requirements. There could be a graphic user interface for
> setting up the channels etc. This all could probably be done in
> something easy like Visual Basic or Visual C....
Sounds brilliant, Gene! I don't know why, with all these companies (OK, so
there's only 1 or 2 of 'em) making MIDI to CV converters, someone hasn't
already done this! In fact (total brain storm here) a sound card with an
amplifier could be used as a one-channel midi-CV converter - Left for the gate,
right for the CV... - Sorry, I'm getting crazy...
Back to the original topic. The cool thing would be to have a utility type
program that could run on your PC or Mac which commandeers the parallel port
and one of your MIDI output ports. The utility would have a little patch-bay
kinda setup thing, like all device drivers, and could route the midi data from
one (or more?) midi out ports to the various CV channels. - Then you could just
route your sequencing software to the out-port assigned to the converter - or
use midi mapper to route an input port to the converter output port. I bet the
software would be totally easy to write and could have all kinds of features
that would be a real drag to put into a hardware-based Midi-CV converter.
Now THIS is a seriously marketable product!
Unfortunately, I've never done any device driver or serial / parallel port
coding. Although I've seen some decent books on the subject.
I gotta go on some kind of "Unlimited Power" wheat-grass juice diet plan or
something so that I can get by on only 3 hours of sleep a night and work on all
these projects (sigh)...
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