All posts tagged “CV”
This tutorial discusses the concepts of control voltages (CVs) and Gates in Propellerhead’s software. Of course, they’re not really voltages because everything is happening within the software running on your PC or Mac. But the concepts are the same so, before going on to discuss how to use them, let’s first take the time to understand where CVs and Gates came from, what they are, and what they do.
We’ll begin by considering one of the most fundamental concepts in synthesis: there is no sound that you can define purely in terms of its timbre. Even if it seems to exhibit a consistent tone and volume, there must have been a moment when it began and a moment when it will end. This means that its loudness is contoured in some fashion. Likewise, it’s probable that its tone is also evolving in some way. So let’s start by considering an unvarying tone generated by an oscillator and make its output audible by playing it through a signal modifier — in this case, an amplifier – and then onwards to a speaker of some sort. We can represent this setup as figure 1.
Spidey Senses Tingling
Right, so… where were we? Oh yes, Spider CV Merger & Splitter, the other eight-legged freak in the Reason terrarium. Now, this is the evil twin of Spider Audio, and this one you have to handle with caution because the webs of cables that can build up around these things can become more or less impenetrable. While it may be tempting to try and be as economical as possible (for example, using both the split and the merge sections on a single unit), we encourage you to spread the burden across as many Spider CV units as possible – they are the most CPU friendly Reason units of all, and it’s going to be a lot easier to track down the right cable if they aren’t all on top of one another. And now, on with the show.
You have to see it for yourself. You either love it or ignore it; there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding this particular Reason device. Without generalizing too much, it can perhaps be said that traditional keyboard players are the first to ask “What’s that thing for anyway?”
The fact is that the Matrix can be most anything you want it to be, whether you’re a keyboard virtuoso or a ‘paint-by-numbers’ kind of composer. Think of it as your trusty house elf, the one that performs tedious automation chores while you concentrate on more important things. Or, think of it as the bug in the electrical system – plug it into any of those mysterious CV/Gate connectors on the back panel and interesting and unpredictable things may happen.