Arduino Control Voltage: CVBoard

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CVBoard is a board designed to generate two Control Voltage (CV) signals using Arduino. This prototype is destinated to analog synths and EuroRack modules enthusiast.

CVBoard  has two jack outputs from which it is possible to take the CV signals, driven by Arduino’s digital ports that support Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), and connect it directly to analog synths and EuroRack modules.

The idea to develop this board was born from the curiosity to experiment how to control with Arduino the oscillator of a Moogerfooger MF102 Ring Modulator pedal using Control Voltage. The board, in fact, it was designed to produce two 0-5V variable signals, as required by the Moog standard.

The images show the tests we have made with the first prototype made by hand using a stripboard. To start the experimentation, we tried to control the oscillator frequency and the LFO speed of our Moogerfooger.

In this video we present a first demonstration of its possible use.

From this first prototype we derived this DIY kit to make CVBoard.

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CVBoard was born with the intention of controlling the Moog pedal, but, according to the technical specifications of the A-100 system of Doepfer, it is also compatible with the standard adopted by the EuroRack modular synthesizers. In fact, in the modular systems the Control Voltage Trigger, Gate and clock signals are all defined in the range 0 / + 5V and, therefore, they are absolutely compatible with the signal produced by CVBoard. While the LFO signals are defined in the range -2.5V / 2.5V (5Vpp), so CVBoard still needs a small change (a capacitor and an extra switch should be enough) to generate LFO Control Voltage signals compatible with the standard used in the modules.

Possible application

CVBoard can be used in different ways and all, yet, to be tested. The board can be used to drive hardware devices through a computer connected to Arduino. In this way, Arduino can become an interface that allows communication, through the Control Voltage, between the computer and the world of hardware tools capable of responding to this type of analog signal. It is, therefore, interesting to experiment a digital control approach of “analog” devices, as already widely experimented in the 60s and 70s in the early stages of computer music research.

In this video we show how to use a laptop and a smartphone to control an analog device.

An other possibility is to program Arduino to execute algorithmic composition programs and therefore operate without a computer to create sequencers or control voltage generation tools made through precise compositional hypotheses. Finally, the possibility of experimenting with the use and integration of sensors and systems typical of Physical Computing in the field of modular synthesizers is also very fascinating.

This video show a first test we did to control a modular synth using an ultrasonic distance sensor attached to Arduino. CVBoard and Arduino allows to transform the distance measured by the sensor into a signal capable of modifying the sound produced by the modular synth.

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CVBoard it is also available on

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