µMIDI... what is everyone using for MIDI-to-CV duties?

I was just pondering over the options that a new µMIDI 1U module could bring and thought it would be good to open a discussion on how people are doing MIDI-to-CV conversion, and what they are using it for.

I am currently running dual 7U-104HP cases, with µMIDI 1U, Expert Sleepers FH-2 and a Frap Tools USTA for sequencing. The FH-2 was my first MIDI-CV module in this setup, and I used to complain that trying to get more than 2 voices plus clock and run gates out of 8 ports was painful. Rather than buy and expander - I bought a µMIDI 1U. And then… I got USTA, which changed my workflow a lot.

Continued from the discussion in 1U modules:
@Terrarium: Before I had USTA, the FH-2 was always in use. Now, I have been using the FH-2 for more complex sequences that I would not typically do with USTA - typically one or two voices with pitch/gate/trig, with a few extra modulation CV controls coming from Ableton. Once in a while, I’ve been just using it as a source of Ableton-sequenced CV to create long shifting modulation or control movements.
But for the most part, µMIDI has become my primary MIDI-CV source for one articulated/dynamic voice, and USTA has been doing the more looping/pattern segments, background stuff. So the FH-2 is not getting used as much as it should. In fact - I’ve really only been using it like another µMIDI - pitch, gate, trig, and a CC or two.So now - just having a pair µMIDIs would make up for not having the FH-2. And there is a USB port in my lower 7U case already there waiting for a second one.
IMHO - the FH-2 is the pinnacle of MIDI-CV converters. It can do a ridiculous amount of things (Arps, Euclidean patterns, LFOs, Envelopes…), but I rarely use those features. Ableton does most of that - and the UI is much better. so what I really need is already in µMIDI - I just want more ports. And based on what Danjel said in the Perfect Circuit video - the option to reconfigure what those ports do would be amazing.

When I started in eurorack, I found that MIDI-CV was critical. But now with USTA, I’m finding I am using it less - but still heavily dependent on MIDI-Clock and run. If I ever got Tête and Tetrapad, I think my reliance on creating melodies and voice sequences on Ableton/Push 2 would drop to 5% of the time.

My opinion of µMIDI: for a 1U module that integrates with the 7U cases. Genius. Clocking and the features of those four ports for time control - genius. I only have two issues. Firstly that it is permanently configured as one voice with 6 CV/Gate channels. And the second is that pitch can only do 0-10V unipolar, not -5/+5 bipolar, but you can work around that. It’s a pain - but doable. Hopefully the new µMIDI will change all that.
The other good experience with µMIDI - is that it plays well with others. The clock is rock solid. I have it patched up to send 24PPQN and reset to Pamela’s NEW! workout, Run gate to USTA, and multed the 16th note clock output to send timing to Planar2, USTA and Mimeophon.

What other modules are people using to communicate out of the modular?

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Thanks for explaining your setup! I also have the FH-2 plus expander and it’s great but my brain hurts when I think of program it, and I’m not using its full potential. Seems like there’s a lot of people that wants something in between an FH-2 and something like hexinverter/cv.ocd and hopefully the new umidi with expander can be that.

Hermod by squarp, from Paris with love.

I am a firm believer that your assessment of the FH-2 as the pinnacle of MIDI-to-CV is correct. It is one of those modules that is so powerful and useful that I ended up buying 3 of them to facilitate multiple rigs simultaneously. Their versatility, expandability, and total configurability both directly on the module and in a more friendly web UI more than makes up for the steepish learning curve. But compared to a Disting mk4 its not bad, mainly due to the better screen. Also, FH-2 is great with the 7u cases, as you can wire it to one of the DIN jacks for MIDI input, no breakout needed.

Also having a uMidi, I’d say you nailed it’s problem spots. The lack of bipolar CV is my main frustration with it. But there is definitely something to be said for a dead-simple-to-configure utility that lets you skip the manual and just get straight to making music. I am a big fan of the Vermona qMI2 for exactly this reason as well. But like all Vermona modules, the qMI2 is an HP hog. The Mutant Brain / CV.OCD is nicely flexible and a solid output / HP ratio, but I typically consider a modules being impossible to reconfigure without a PC as a strike against it. But the I also have mixed feelings about the ratio of 4 CV : 12 gate outputs, but frankly for the size of the Mutant Brain it’s actually hard to beat.
But I’d say that after the FH-2, my next most heavily used MIDI-to-CV is Yarns, or more accurately, the 6hp Michigan Synth Works clone mBrane. I originally was drawn to it for the SH-101 style sequencing, but it didn’t take long before I was turned off by the limited performability of its implementation of what I usually consider one of the most fun styles of performance sequencer. But what Yarns/mBrane excels at is ease of on-the-fly reconfiguration directly on the unit, and some other particularly well implemented features like easily switchable divided/multiplied clock outputs and synced LFOs, including mod-wheel controlled pitch modulation like classic synth keyboards.

I’ll save my thoughts on trigger / gate MIDI converters for another day. But I do have some definite favorites in that arena as well. :smile:

And yeah, the importance of MIDI is very dependent on one’s workflow. I greatly value reproducibility for the sake of building live sets that don’t have to be mostly improvised. Particularly the ability to recreate pieces originally written in Ableton on outboard gear. Squarp Pyramid is my primary sequencer, supplemented by a 512 Vector.

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I have a 3U and 1U uMIDI.
More than anything I use them to clock the whole modular from Ableton, or from Machinedrum MIDI and clocking and resetting 2 Arturia BSP at the same time.
I end up using the Mod & CC outs to get Ableton envelopes into CV form as well. Sometimes they are just like odd wave LFO’s that I can draw in for me to modulate stuff with.
I use a couple other things for more MIDI to CV when needed but mostly the 2x uMIDI.

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