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Ableton Live now talks modular with CV Tools

10 new Max for Live devices allow integration of Live with CV-powered synths

Ableton's CV Tools: integrating the worlds of modular CV-based creativity with computer-based composition.Ableton's CV Tools: integrating the worlds of modular CV-based creativity with computer-based composition.

Ableton chose the Superbooth synth exhibition to announce the beta release of CV Tools, a set of 10 Max for Live instruments developed in conjunction with electronic music duo (and Max ninjas) Skinnerbox. The new instruments generate or receive pitch, control, clock and trigger CV, and can be connected to any analogue equipment capable of receiving or sending control voltages — although of course a hardware CV interface is required (and is not supplied with CV Tools).

The main CV Tools screen in Ableton Live.The main CV Tools screen in Ableton Live.

The CV Tools are designed not only to pass basic pitch and timing information between Live and a connected CV synth, but also to provide an interface between the deeper capabilities of CV-based and modular synth systems and Live’s software-based programming environment. So automation curves in Live can be converted to CVs with the CV Utility tool, and summed, multiplied or shifted as with CVs before leaving Live. The CV Shaper tool allows you to draw your own control curves in Live before outputting them to your synths, and the CV Clock In and Out modules enable a modular system to follow tempo changes in Live — or Live to follow tempo changes made on a modular system. Two of the new CV Tools also output MIDI, allowing the integration of non-CV-based hardware and software instruments.

Best of all, the new software tools are free to any Ableton user running Live Suite version 10.1 or Live Standard with Max for Live. The beta versions are available to download now at the link below.

Here's our video report from Superbooth 2019 where we got a chance to see it in action.

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