MIDI-CV converters (was: Building my first synth...)

johns at oei.com johns at oei.com
Tue Feb 6 10:31:19 CET 1996

     All you guys...
     I can't see any reason to go to all this trouble to build-build-build 
     when you can simply buy a DAC card for your old PC and (viola) you 
     have instant analog voltages.  Now your job is reduced to simply 
     writing a program that will interpret the MIDI data and send the 
     appropriate commands to the DAC card.
     Last year, I did just that.  I had an old 286 PC serving as a door 
     stop.  I needed a cheap CV for my Prophet so I bought a 2 channel PC 
     DAC card for $165 and wrote a cheap and dirty program to control it 
     with data from my MIDI card.  You can use a cheap parallel port card 
     as the gate signal (or you can use the 2nd channel of the DAC as 
     I think the convenience, reliablibity, and hideaway packaging of this 
     approach makes it worth the expense which is right in line with a 2 
     channel DIY or standalone CV.  But I must admit that if you want more 
     channels (more than 2), I think these cards get pricey.
     Or you could (very nicely) produce a PC card based MIDI-CV.  You would 
     write a Windows MIDI device driver that would receive MIDI messages 
     and control a DAC card that you would install in your Windows PC.  
     I'll bet this would be cheaper than buying a standalone unit.
     John Speth - johns at oei.com

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