Pittsburgh Modular Microvolt 3900

thanks, xidnpnlss, appreciate the response. I put an email into them earlier today, so I’ll post here if I hear anything back that’s helpful.

In the meantime, i managed a work-around by patching the mix out > the wavegenerator FM input, this effectively works as a coarse tune, in case others are seeking the same solution.

Curious. Anyone use the Microvolt 3900 without midi? No example I’ve seen on YouTube, etc., controls through CV alone. And the manual does not really talk about this either, unless I’m missing something.

I never use it without midi, unless when I want to play random unquantized noises. Now that I have an A4 this may change a bit.
Is there something specific you want to do ?

I have… what about it? You need to control the pitch and the gate with cv.

I owned one for a couple years and used it with just fine without midi. Works like you would imagine any other modular/semi-modular gear would work. The manual says what each patch point does.

Yeah, I got it working without midi. But it definitely took some experimentation on my part because I’ve never used modular or even semi-modular gear before. Like which gate input jack to use? Also, the manual never specifies whether or not the arp can be used without midi. Doesn’t look like it.

Yes, I can easily control the pitch, but the manual does not specify which gate input jack to use.

I use an AK and want to use the Microvolt like a normal synth. I think I have figured it out, but not sure, since I have not seen any other patches for CV only use—not online nor in the manual.

The MIDI Note On/Off controls the Envelop Gnerator which is normalled to the VCA. You shouldn’t have to use any patch point if you are using MIDI.

Ah I think I see the dilemma. I don’t know how the AK’s CV works, but if it has a gate out, try the “Envelope In”

I remember being a bit frustrated by the manual myself sometimes.

But I’m using the AK which can control the Microvolt only via CV. I’m not concerned about midi control. I can do that with my other sequencers.

Edited post above because I realized what you were getting at…

On modular, and most synths in general, the VCA is the final section that you would use for gates. I don’t have a Microvolt any more, but looking at a picture, there is a VCA section.

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If the AK does Gate outs, “Envelope In”. If it does CV envelopes, “VCA dyn” (iirc). The “VCA In” is actually for audio.

The AK does have gate outs, so I will see if the Envelope In works the best. Thanks!

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With modular you decide what you want to use to gate the sound. You can use the envelope or the vca, but you must route them to do that on the microvolt. You could actually use the function generator too if you wanted. You just need something to close the vca on each note.

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This makes a lot of sense, and conforms to what I am experiencing so far.

New synth on the way from Pittsburgh Modular. Not sure how it might compare to the 3900, but worth watching. ( thread )

It’s called the Taiga.

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While the Microvolt seems super well made, the thing is delicate! I mean that it’s easy to damage parts (knobs, sliders, etc.) in transport or in a live situation. I lost a button somehow. Should I rackmount it?

I got a digital deckcover with the Velcro for mine. But I guess the controls are not the greatest… I find it charming they are so crappy…lol. it kinda goes with the book size vibe… but I got a slider kit for it and the thonk knob covers and it feels much better. I also like it how it came though too. It is a ton of stuff packed in the size of a hardcover is crazy.

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Good idea. I wonder where I can get the buttons though. Thonk doesn’t seem to have them. I will probably have to contact Pittsburgh directly.