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One of the things that makes the QuNexus so special is that it can act as a portable CV keyboard. But what does that mean?

CV, or control voltage, is an analog method of controlling synthesizers and drum machines. It is essentially a zero to +5 volt signal used by analog instruments to control various parameters including pitch and trigger type events which are also called gate signals.

QuNexus CV Example

QuNexus controlling the Oberheim SEM via CV

Not all synths are set up to receive CV and the devices that send CV are also rare so musicians with CV controllable gear are likely to seek out devices like the QuNexus to unlock the hidden potential in their analog synthesizers.

The easiest way to learn CV is to try it. Plug the CV1 out cable into the VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) pitch input on an analog synth that accepts the 0-5V standard. Now when you play keys on the QuNexus the oscillator will track to the notes you press on the keyboard.

Unless your VCA (voltage controlled amplifier) is set to fully open you won’t yet hear a sound. This is because you need to send a gate signal to your instrument so that your instrument knows when note events have occurred. A gate signal is essentially the note on and off messages of the analog world.

This kind of signal is not different from other CV signals but are actually a type of CV signal that is always either full off (0V) or full on (+5V). Try plugging the QuNexus CV out into your synthesizer’s envelope gate input. Now when you hit the keys you can hear notes – all without MIDI.

The next question is, what are you going to do with QuNexus’ remaining CV outs? One possibility is to assign pressure to CV2 and tilt to CV3. It’s up to you to decide what you want to modulate. Possibilities include the filter cutoff frequency, pulse width modulation, tremolo, vibrato, and more. When in doubt, just patch into any patch point and see what happens.

Disclaimer: KMI takes no responsibility if this article contributes in any way to your analog synthesizer purchasing habit.