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MOTU Volta - CV Controller Plugin

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Quick Overview

What is Volta?

Volta is a virtual instrument plug-in that turns your audio interface into a voltage control interface.

Any hardware device with a control voltage (CV) input can be placed under precise digital control from your favorite audio workstation software. You can play and automate modulars, analog synths - even effects processors.

Imagine being able to play and automate your CV-equipped analog gear from Digital Performer, Logic Pro, or Live with the same level of control, precision and convenience as a virtual instrument.

ARP 2600

Here are just a few examples of what you can do with Volta:

  • Perform MIDI sequencing with external modular synths with sample-accurate precision (if your host sequencer supports sample-accurate MIDI).

  • Automatically calibrate and tune oscillators with the click of a button.

  • Use ramp automation in your host audio software to control filters, envelope generators, effects processors and other voltage-controlled external gear.

  • Apply LFOs, step sequencers and pattern sequencers to CV inputs and tempo-sync them to your host software timeline.


Whether you’re a seasoned modular synthesizer devotee or simply a computer-based studio owner dreaming of adding that rich, coveted sound only true analog synths can deliver, Volta finally enables you to easily incorporate CV-equipped analog gear into your computer-based studio with all the control, precision and convenience of a virtual instrument.

Signal Path

To use Volta, simply instantiate it as an instrument plug-in in your host software.

You then trigger volta with MIDI notes and a variety of other control sources, and Volta outputs corresponding control voltage (CV) signals to the audio outputs of a DC-coupled audio interface. The resulting CV signals are routed to the CV inputs of your external hardware. Audio output is routed back to Volta.

Volta signal path

As you can see, the signal path for Volta is a simple loop: a control voltage signal goes out to the external hardware. Pitch information comes back in, through Volta, as a normal digital audio stream that feeds into your host audio software mixing environment.

From there, you can mix, process and master Volta's audio output just like any other virtual instrument.


Volta is easy to use but offers plenty of advanced programming features.

The upper portion of the Volta window displays 24 output "slots", which represent the audio outputs on a connected audio interface. Simply drag any control source onto the desired output slot. Click the source to view its settings at the bottom of the window.

Main Features:

  • Lets you control external modular synths or other CV-equipped gear from your computer.

  • Works with Digital Performer, Logic Pro, Live and other Audio Unit instrument hosts that support side chain outputs.

  • Works with any MOTU audio interface equipped with TRS outputs, including the 24io with 24 TRS outputs, expandable to 96.

  • Familiar, easy-to-use instrument plug-in operation within your favorite host software.

  • Provides 24 control outputs per plug-in instance. Use as many instances as needed.

  • Converts MIDI track data to control voltages to play modulars, analog synthesizers and other CV-equipped sound sources.

  • Sample-accurate MIDI playback with supporting host software (such as DP).

  • Provides seven different control source types, including MIDI notes, MIDI controller data and audio track automation, plus tempo-synced sources such as LFOs, clock pulses and trigger/pattern sequencers.

  • Provides one-click pitch and octave calibration per oscillator using either Hz/V or V/oct tuning standards.

  • View at a glance the total calibrated range for each oscillator/interface combination.

  • Sync multiple drum machines, arpeggiators and other clock destinations with independent PPQ resolution for each device.

Standard virtual instrument plug-in that turns an audio interface with DC-coupled outputs into a voltage control interface.

System Requirements:

Universal Binary Mac compatibility

  • Mac OS X (version 10.4 or later)

  • An audio sequencer software package that hosts MAS or Audio Unit (AU) instrument plug-ins and supports multiple instrument sidechain outputs, such as Digital Performer, Logic, or Ableton Live. 

  • An audio interface with DC-coupled outputs, such as any MOTU FireWire, USB2, or PCI audio interface with quarter-inch TRS outputs. 

  • The proper cable type for your interface. 

  • External audio hardware which responds to control voltage signals, such as modular analog synthesizers, vintage monosynths, etc.