Using Keystep to control the Minitaur through CV

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Enron Tycoon
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Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:34 am

Using Keystep to control the Minitaur through CV

Post by Enron Tycoon » Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:39 am

I've recently been learning to use drum machines and synths (with a Keystep, Volca and MicroBrute). I've gotten a Minitaur, I thought it would be the same as the MicroBrute - just hook up the pitch/gate/filter cv and go. I've seen a few people saying something to the effect that a Keystep can short a Minitaur because it goes beyond 5v, can someone clarify A: Can I actually irreparably break the Minitaur with the Keystep, and if the answer is yes then B: How do I go about mitigating this risk while connecting the Keystep to the Minitaur?

This is the post I read if it helps clarify my concern:
Hello dear developer! First, thank you for this great product - I love it more with each passing hour :)

I'm trying to connect KeyStep with Moog Minitaur through CV. Mod and Gate outputs are easily configurable to a Moog spec, but there's a slight problem with the pitch.

Basically I'm trying to configure KeyStep to only send notes between C0 and C5 and voltages from 0V to 5V.

Minitaur accepts 0..5V range, 1V/octave (it only plays notes up to C5) and it is explicitly advised against supplying negative voltage or voltage higher than 5V to Moog CV inputs.

It is now possible to set 0V MIDI Note to C0 correctly, but there is no way to limit it upwards.

In order not to break Minitaur we would have to never play notes higher than C5 which seems fine in theory, but in practice… accidents happen, especially in creative setting or when we sequencer, arps, pitch mod etc. Very easy to go past the limit and thus shoot more than 5V.

Now… It is of course possible to build such voltage limiter and put it between KeyStep and Minitaur, but it's really a non trivial solution. Also, I didn't found any of the shelf solution in the market.

It seems that software solution would be much simpler and fool/accident-proof.

One last question: What happens if I set 0V MIDI Note to C0 and play lower notes, like C-1? Will the voltage be negative or still 0?

If it's still 0 than that's exactly what would be great to have for the upper limit too! Just one more dropdown in MIDI Control Center :)

Thanks!
Thanks in advance for any help - I know I'm probably just being paranoid but I haven't even played the Minitaur since getting it for fear of shorting it

mfl
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 4:39 pm
Location: Montréal

Re: Using Keystep to control the Minitaur through CV

Post by mfl » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:44 am

Sending voltages slightly above 0-5v (0-10v) or slightly below (-5v) won't break your Minitaur but won't allow you to go beyond its note range limit.

I don't own a keystep but I've been sending voltages slightly above and bellow 0-5v from my theremin on a daily basis for over 2 years without any noticeable problems.

The Pitch CV can only raise the pitch above the last MIDI note message it received up to the Minitaur's limit (remembering the last note after powering off) and can't lower the pitch bellow that MIDI note. It's a useful behaviour when mixing CVs and MIDI but can be a bit confusing when using only CVs.

That being said, a simple eurorack CV offset / attenuator can definitely help.

(edit: typos)
Last edited by mfl on Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Etherwave+ > Eurorack > [CV cables] > Minitaur , Sirin < [USB cables] < Bidule < nanoKontrols

mfl
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 4:39 pm
Location: Montréal

Re: Using Keystep to control the Minitaur through CV

Post by mfl » Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:04 pm

(rephrasing a bit)

sending very high voltage in the CV connectors could definitely fry your Minitaur but unless your Keystep is severely broken, it should not be possible to break your Minitaur hooking it to a Keystep even if the Keystep is not properly calibrated.

the notion of 'very high voltage' is not well defined (and I don't think anyone has tested what's the maximum a Minitaur can handle) but it should be way above 5v.

going outside of the 0-5v range is not recommended (and should be avoided) but the Minitaur is solid enough to handle more.
Etherwave+ > Eurorack > [CV cables] > Minitaur , Sirin < [USB cables] < Bidule < nanoKontrols

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