This is a device that I am incredibly proud of. What started as a simple way to get a precise fixed CV value, evolved into a feature-rich – yet tiny – general-purpose CV utility.

You can get it now from the Rack Extension shop.

When designing Dual CV Source, I set myself two rules:

Rule 1: Keep it 1U in size.

This was a real challenge, given how much functionality I wanted to pack in. But it was important for me to keep the device small, so that it wouldn’t feel like it was hogging rack space when you just want to drop in a quick static value source or attenuverter.

Rule 2: Don’t implement anything time-based.

Knowing what to cut is important. This means: no LFOs and no envelopes. Fortunately Reason’s built-in Pulsar device has those features. And keeping them out of Dual CV Source ensures that the user interface is simple and understandable, and it simplifies the implementation.

Within those two restrictions, my goal was to implement every major utility function you would find in a typical modular setup. So there’s a MIDI-to-CV, a quantizer, a sample-and-hold/track-and-hold. You can offset and multiply signals. And there’s a variety of other maths and logic functions.

I did cheat a little bit on Rule 2 by including a latched random number generator. While it would have been simple enough to just generate purely random numbers, I felt it was important that the random numbers were consistent between different playbacks, so the random number generator works from note timing and note values. So the same note in the same place will give you the same random number – no matter how you change the other notes in the song, the BPM or the sample rate.

(I felt that random number generation was such a common use-case that it needed to be a built in function, rather than having the user set up a random LFO and a latch. There’s also a built-in Velocity Hold function for the same reason.)

To mention a few more features: The whole device supports up to 4-channels of polyphony. The MIDI-to-CV is configurable (choose your note mode, retrigger and sustain options). And there’s support for the full CV range (values up to ±10,000).

Oh, and the displays are fully interactive! So if you need to enter a precise value or note, you can modify each digit individually.

There’s so much in Dual CV Source that I wrote a complete user manual, and it came in at a healthy 20 pages. I hope that the device is intuitive enough without needing the manual, but if you want to know exactly how something works, the details are there.

If you use CV in your songs, then my hope is that Dual CV Source will become an indispensable part of your workflow. And if you don’t use CV yet, then perhaps Dual CV Source – with its ability to digitally and graphically visualise CV signals – will help you get started in this exciting layer of production.

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