Hi,

First post here and just starting to dip my toes into the deep ocean of modular.

I'm looking at the specs of Odessa and it says that the pitch CV V/Oct input accepts voltages in -5V to +10V range.
All other CV inputs on the Odessa accept -5V to +5V.
I've gathered that my control modules operate in the range of -5V to +5V.
My question:
What happens if I send CV only in the range of -5V to +5V to the Odessa's CV V/Oct input?
What will I be missing in the functionality of the Odessa in theory and practice?

Thanks for the help!


Ahhhh...I see the problem here. Xaoc seems to use that higher voltage figure for pitch because they're anticipating people using offset generators. For example, let's say you add an octave controller such as ALM's Beast's Chalkboard. What that is is a dual DC offset source with an internal precision adder, and each time you change octaves on the device downstream from it, you're changing the offset by 1V values per octave. So if you were at the top end of your keyboard controller and you still wanted to go up another octave, the Odessa will be able to make sense of that.


I haven't had the Odessa for a while so I can't be of much help, but I seem to remember the HEL expander accepted only positive voltages and their CV inputs (HEL and Odessa) summed each other, so you could transpose one with the other. Maybe it has something to do with that (or not). Just putting it out there in case it helps.


@happygolucky, since you said you are just looking to get into modular, I will point out some things that may be new to you as a newcomer to modular. If they are obvious, please forgive me.

— modular controls are not all equal. Different controls may have different usable ranges. Those usable ranges may change depending on the patch you have at the moment. Most module designers tend to offer a usable range for a control PLUS considerably more than that, so that users can explore and creatively “misuse” modules also.

— what does this mean? Let’s look at some of the controls you are mentioning. Pitch control is normally volt per octave. So a 15 volt range gives 15 octaves! A large keyboard is 88 keys or roughly 7 octaves. So Odessa has a pitch input range roughly 2x that of a piano. There is almost no musical use case that uses that much pitch range. So IMO you will be fine if you are limited to less than all 15 volts of pitch control.

— practically, you would normally be driving oscillator pitch with control voltage coming from a sequencer or some alternative to that. If you’re using a sequencer, you can tune that output up or down as needed on the sequencer itself. So your final pitch is a function of your sequencer setting and oscillator setting. You’re not reliant on the oscillator settings alone.

— what about the other control values on Odessa? I personally can’t remember a patch where I’m using the full available range of any one parameter. Rather, there are “sweet spots” in and around the patch and the challenge is to find those and constrain the modulation to move around the sweet spots. If anything, I want a type of “modular microscope” that makes small settings and small changes easier to hit. Practically, something like 4MS SISM is extremely helpful to take a modulation source like a LFO then use scale and shift to constrain the modulation to a range that is musically appealing for that particular patch.

— In the broader picture, if Odessa is inspiring to you then yes look to creat a rig using Odessa with enough supporting modules to make it shine. I have Odessa but have not spent enough time with it yet to have a real sense of its possibilities. So beware it is fairly unique and IMO pretty deep. But it is cool IMO and the manual is good.

Not sure if this speaks to your question or not but I hope at least some of this helps. Cheers!


Thanks a lot for all the replies! Summed up they give me a much better idea of Odessa. Extra thanks to Nick, your explanations were really helpful as I really am just at the beginning of my journey and trying to grasp the basic concepts of sculpting sound with a modular system.
The Odessa is deep but (because of it?) a fascinating module. Maybe I should've started out with a simpler OSC but I couldn't resist it!


@happygolucky, glad this helps. A couple additional comments:

-- don't rely on my view alone or primarily. I'm a longtime musician & synthesist, but still new-ish to modular. Yes I've learned a lot and got some great sounding rigs together. But I still have a lot to learn.

-- regarding Odessa, if its inspiring to you, that's a good reason to consider it! IMO since modular is relatively expensive vs other alternatives, to me that suggests using modular where modular shines, such as having unique module designs that are difficult or impossible to emulate well in other setups. I LOVE unique oscillators and have a bunch of them. To me that's a big reason I got into modular.

-- as you get your ideas together for what will be in your first modular rack, do kick it around with people on MG. The MG crew helped me a lot to get a good initial modular setup while I still understood very little. BTW, think "balance" in terms of #s and types of modules, there's a number of basic utilities and CV needed to get a rack that works and has some depth to it.