WNAMM09: New MOTU Virtual Instrument

Volta instrument plug-in brings CV control to AU hosts      21/01/09

WNAMM09: New MOTU Virtual Instrument

Buying Choices
MOTU has introduced Volta, a virtual instrument plug-in that allows users to play and automate modular synthesizers -- or any hardware equipped with control voltage (CV) inputs -- from their favorite host audio workstation software. Here's what they have to say about it in their press release...
The first product of its kind, Volta receives conventional virtual instrument input such as MIDI notes, MIDI controller data or even high-resolution audio track ramp automation and then responds by outputting a corresponding control voltage signal, which the host software then routes to the outputs of any DC-coupled audio interface connected to the computer. The resulting DC voltage can then drive a standard CV input, such as those found on classic modular synthesizers, modern analog mono synths and even popular effects processors such as Moogerfoogersâ„¢.
"If you have CV-controlled analog gear that you've been dying to incorporate into your computer-based studio, it's time plug it in and let it rip because now you can use it with same level of convenience and control as a virtual instrument," said Jim Cooper, Director of Marketing at MOTU. "Volta represents a major breakthrough in operating CV gear from Digital Performer, Logic, Live, Reason or any other Audio Unit host software."
MIDI sequencing
Volta allows users to play CV-controlled oscillators with MIDI notes by simply "playing" Volta as they would any other virtual instrument via either MIDI track data or live input from their MIDI controller. Volta converts the MIDI note data to control voltage signals, which then trigger the external hardware. Because host software can pre-buffer MIDI data during playback, the timing between the external hardware audio output and the host software timeline can be sample-accurate (with hosts that support sample-level precision).
Instant tuning and calibration
Virtual instrument operation
Track freezing
Complete automation
In addition to these external automation sources, the Volta plug-in itself provides LFOs, a pattern sequencer, a trigger sequencer and even MIDI beat clocks. These automation sources can be freely applied to any Volta CV outputs, and they can of course be synced to the host tempo and timeline.
A simple user interface
Each instance of Volta supports up to 24 output slots, and users can invoke as many instances of Volta as their hardware allows. For example, a MOTU PCI-424 system with four 24io interfaces provides 96 channels of output.
Summary of advantages
  • Familiar virtual instrument operation -- Volta operates within the host software as a standard Audio Unit (AU) plug-in.
  • Total recall -- all Volta-controlled parameters are saved with the host session.
  • Automated tuning and pitch calibration -- Volta tunes and calibrates the pitch of external hardware oscillators at any time with the click of a button.
  • Sample-accurate precision -- the timing between the external hardware and the host timeline can be sample-accurate (with a supporting host).
  • Tempo sync -- all parameters such as LFOs, etc. can be tempo-synced to the host software.
  • Track freezing -- through Volta, external hardware oscillator output can be captured as digital audio using the host software's standard track freezing features.
  • MIDI CC control and automation -- play or sequence MIDI CC data to control your external hardware.
  • Very high resolution automation -- use host ramp automation for smooth changes without "zipper noise".
  • Built-in control sources -- the Volta plug-in itself provides tempo-synced LFOs, pattern sequencers, trigger sequencers and even MIDI clock as control sources. Compatibility and availability
    Volta can be used with any MOTU audio interface with quarter-inch outputs, as all MOTU quarter-inch outputs are DC-coupled. This includes MOTU's PCI-424, Firewire and USB audio interfaces. Compatibility with third-party DC-coupled audio interfaces is also planned.
    Pricing and Availability:
    Volta is expected to ship Q1 of 2009. Pricing has not yet been announced. More information:

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