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Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

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EPTC
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Post by EPTC »

daveholiday wrote:I just "bit the bullet" and ordered an Encore Expressionist a couple days ago. It really seems like the "cats ass" (fuck that meow bullshit) when it comes to convertors. It works for me as I already designed a couple 1U rack spaces in my new case.
Congrats on the Expressionist! I've wondered about that a number of times. Incredible price on it right now and I know I'll regret not getting one if I never take the same plunge as you.

How do you enjoy the programming component? The one thing that keeps me from getting one is the lack of feeling like it's very configurable on the fly. But all those waveforms and outputs (and voltage options) makes it really best of class. A front panel i/o patchbay really seems like the way to go, too.
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BTG
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Post by BTG »

I’m using an analog craftsman repaneled Kenton pro solo and so far it’s great.
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Post by daveholiday »

EPTC wrote:
daveholiday wrote:I just "bit the bullet" and ordered an Encore Expressionist a couple days ago. It really seems like the "cats ass" (fuck that meow bullshit) when it comes to convertors. It works for me as I already designed a couple 1U rack spaces in my new case.
Congrats on the Expressionist! I've wondered about that a number of times. Incredible price on it right now and I know I'll regret not getting one if I never take the same plunge as you.

How do you enjoy the programming component? The one thing that keeps me from getting one is the lack of feeling like it's very configurable on the fly. But all those waveforms and outputs (and voltage options) makes it really best of class. A front panel i/o patchbay really seems like the way to go, too.
I just ordered it so I am not too sure how quickly I will get it. I have heard that Tony at Encore is, at times, preoccupied with a "real" job so it may be a week or two. I am covered with MIDI/CV convertors right now with the TeeBee so not a big deal.
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Post by daveholiday »

BTG wrote:I’m using an analog craftsman repaneled Kenton pro solo and so far it’s great.
I assume that is a custom piece? I've not ever seen one before!
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Post by BTG »

daveholiday wrote:
BTG wrote:I’m using an analog craftsman repaneled Kenton pro solo and so far it’s great.
I assume that is a custom piece? I've not ever seen one before!
Yeah, but I’m sure he would do another now that the layout and template is sorted. Ping tony if you’re interested.
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Post by daveholiday »

BTG wrote:
daveholiday wrote:
BTG wrote:I’m using an analog craftsman repaneled Kenton pro solo and so far it’s great.
I assume that is a custom piece? I've not ever seen one before!
Yeah, but I’m sure he would do another now that the layout and template is sorted. Ping tony if you’re interested.
Do you have a pic of it by chance... 1 or 2 wide?
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Post by BTG »

daveholiday wrote:
BTG wrote:
daveholiday wrote:
BTG wrote:I’m using an analog craftsman repaneled Kenton pro solo and so far it’s great.
I assume that is a custom piece? I've not ever seen one before!
Yeah, but I’m sure he would do another now that the layout and template is sorted. Ping tony if you’re interested.
Do you have a pic of it by chance... 1 or 2 wide?
It's 2U -- Tony and I went back and forth on this but having room for the extra jacks was more important than saving 1U for my case.

Bad pic is on MG.
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Post by daveholiday »

EPTC wrote:
daveholiday wrote:I just "bit the bullet" and ordered an Encore Expressionist a couple days ago. It really seems like the "cats ass" (fuck that meow bullshit) when it comes to convertors. It works for me as I already designed a couple 1U rack spaces in my new case.
Congrats on the Expressionist! I've wondered about that a number of times. Incredible price on it right now and I know I'll regret not getting one if I never take the same plunge as you.

How do you enjoy the programming component? The one thing that keeps me from getting one is the lack of feeling like it's very configurable on the fly. But all those waveforms and outputs (and voltage options) makes it really best of class. A front panel i/o patchbay really seems like the way to go, too.
I finally received The Expressionist last week! It is quite easy to set up right from the start for basic duty. I was able to have all 8 channels of CV/Gate set up to work with my MC-505 in a matter of minutes. As for on the fly changes...it might be a bit clunky if you are trying to change a bunch of stuff at once, but I am not sure what you would need to change "on the fly". I haven't experimented with the LFOs yet....but intend to do so tonight!
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Post by Rex Coil 7 »

daveholiday wrote:
EPTC wrote:
daveholiday wrote:I just "bit the bullet" and ordered an Encore Expressionist a couple days ago. It really seems like the "cats ass" (fuck that meow bullshit) when it comes to convertors. It works for me as I already designed a couple 1U rack spaces in my new case.
Congrats on the Expressionist! I've wondered about that a number of times. Incredible price on it right now and I know I'll regret not getting one if I never take the same plunge as you.

How do you enjoy the programming component? The one thing that keeps me from getting one is the lack of feeling like it's very configurable on the fly. But all those waveforms and outputs (and voltage options) makes it really best of class. A front panel i/o patchbay really seems like the way to go, too.
I finally received The Expressionist last week! It is quite easy to set up right from the start for basic duty. I was able to have all 8 channels of CV/Gate set up to work with my MC-505 in a matter of minutes. As for on the fly changes...it might be a bit clunky if you are trying to change a bunch of stuff at once, but I am not sure what you would need to change "on the fly". I haven't experimented with the LFOs yet....but intend to do so tonight!
If you ever end up adding Euro there are a number of gate fired switching modules that would permit you to re-route various CV/Gate signals coming from the Expressionist.

Same goes for 5U, there are any number of switching modules and distributors that might be used for that purpose.

Of course, there's always DIY. Since you're becoming more self confident, making up a manual switching module (designed to suit your own needs) would be a great place to begin with designing and building your own module that would be used to distribute the outputs of the Encore Expressionist. Rotary switches (the exact same brands that are used in Dot Com modules ... "Lorlin" ... see link) can be had for ~about~ $5 bucks each. Or just go with toggle switches.

ROTARY SWITCH EXAMPLE - LINK = https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Lo ... ID92H9U%3d

Just sayin'. :despair:
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by mishap »

So, I'm looking into getting a more robust MIDI-2-CV device for my Synthesizers.com system. I have the older Q104 MIDI Interface, but would like to get a little more out of MIDI then it provides.

Reading the thread, several options seemed to present themselves but...
As of 9/22/2022:
The Encore Expressionist seems to be unavailable: http://www.encoreelectronics.com/cont_product.html
The Oakley midiDAC is in the same boat: http://www.oakleysound.com/mididac.htm

The Kenton MIDI-2-CV controllers are still available: https://kentonuk.com/product-category/m ... onverters/
As is Sixty Four Pixels CV.OCD: https://www.tindie.com/products/hotchk1 ... to-cv-box/

This might sound crazy, but has anyone used the PAiA 9700 MIDI to CV converter?: https://paia.com/proddetail.php?prod=9700K
I'm wondering if I should just get the kit then build my own 5U panel. A 16 position BCD switch can be used instead of 4 of the dip switch positions and an a 2nd 16 position BCD switch can be used for the Mode settings (V3 firmware).
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by davebr »

sduck wrote: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:31 pm MOTM 650. If you can find one. No, you can't have mine.
Yep.
mishap wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:25 pm Reading the thread, several options seemed to present themselves but...
As of 9/22/2022:
The Oakley midiDAC is in the same boat: http://www.oakleysound.com/mididac.htm
I got one of the last midiDAC boards that I used for my Buchla-format midiDAC page. It is a very nice design and works quite well. I liked the various features that were included.
mishap wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:25 pm This might sound crazy, but has anyone used the PAiA 9700 MIDI to CV converter?: https://paia.com/proddetail.php?prod=9700K
I'm wondering if I should just get the kit then build my own 5U panel. A 16 position BCD switch can be used instead of 4 of the dip switch positions and an a 2nd 16 position BCD switch can be used for the Mode settings (V3 firmware).
I converted my MIDI2CV early on to 5U. I don't use it as a keyboard controller but rather as an 8 channel expansion for my PSIM. Details are on my DJB-017 PAiA MIDI2CV module.

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Micronians
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by Micronians »

mishap wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:25 pm
The Encore Expressionist seems to be unavailable: http://www.encoreelectronics.com/cont_product.html

I know a few composers who have the EE but still prefer to use the old Roland MPU-101 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by Flareless »

I've used the PAiA 9700 MIDI2CV module in MU format as well.

My conversion was not nearly as cool as Dave's (who's incredible work inspired me to do mine :hail:). I wrote about the conversion here and here.

The MIDI2CV is a very handy controller with all its various modes.

At some point, however, mine died and now it lies in the pile of stuff I'll look at soon. Now I use a Dotcom Q174 / Q175 combo and and a MidiSizer Midi2CV Mk2.

The MidiSizer module is a very easy build and it features a number of different modes (like the PAiA). It even features a polyphonic mode.
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by SynthBaron »

What really sold me on the new Kenton Pro Solo Mark 3 was the built in optional slew limiter on the Aux CV outputs, Having to add a separate one in the past to smooth out things like aftertouch and mod wheel digital stepping (only 128 values is VERY noticeable), is a godsend. From experience, I think keeping a digital MIDI-to-CV off your synth power supply is probably a best practice anyway. A custom trunk line 5U patch panel to bring up the voltages and gate for easy permanent patching access would be ideal, though.

It also seems like the "fastest" MIDI-to-CV converter I've ever used too. Like ZERO perceptible latency between hitting a key and a gate firing off, and perfect multi-triggering. Stuff based on newer fast 32-bit microcontrollers like the Mark 3 makes a big difference. Even the newest Q174 Dotcom one is based on an ancient 25 year-old 8-bit microcontroller platform.
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by kindredlost »

Always wanted one of those Kenton units but have been using the MOTM 650 and Q104 forever and recently got an ALM023 mmMidi eurorack module with the expander. It's only a two channel device but will use any midi channel you set it for and the expander outputs individual gates for all twelve intervals of the scale which is pretty unique. I don't have the time to repanel it into 5U but I should.

I also have been using the Arturia Keystep Pro alot lately. Four discrete channels of cv gate and velocity along with midi 1-4. Mini-keys though so not so great for expression or players.
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by burdij »

Warning . . . shameless plug ahead:

I have these two 5U MIDI to CV converters. The first is a four channel unit with MIDI clock recovery. Recently, I have added USB MIDI DEVICE capability through a rear panel USB connector.

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The second is an eight channel unit with MIDI clock in and out. This unit supports both DIN MIDI and USB MIDI. The unit also has USB MIDI HOST support. There are two auxiliary analog I/O ports with assignable functions. Each channel has a CV output and a gate output.

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Both units can be connected to an expander module to add an additional 8 CV and 8 gate outputs.
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by mishap »

burdij wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:39 am Warning . . . shameless plug ahead:
Hooray for shameless plugs, especially when indicated as such!

Also, thanks to all the responses to my prior post. Lots to think about here!
I appreciate the time and effort you have all put in as well as the links to the amazing 5U formatting work on the conversions.
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Re: Best 5U MIDI to CV Converter

Post by umma gumma »

That Grove one looks pretty slick!!
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