Superbooth 2019: Ableton’s CV Tools beta gives you external synth control from Live 10

Includes 10 modules covering communication, modulation and more.

Ableton has collaborated with Skinnerbox on CV Tools, a beta offering of 10 modules aimed at letting you control modular synths from within Live 10. Here are the highlights:

The basics

The premise of CV Tools is to establish communication and control between Ableton Live and modular/CV-based gear. All you need is a DC-coupled audio interface.

Instrument modules

Ableton CV Triggers
CV Triggers

Each CV module is designated with specific communication and modulation capabilities. CV Instrument, for example, lets you control a modular instrument with MIDI and provides a variety of modulation and voicing choices. Another module that falls under the instrument umbrella is CV Triggers, a sequencer tool tailored to modular drum modules.

Modulation and Sync modules

Ableton CV Shaper
CV Shaper

In the modulation basket, you’ll find useful tools such as CV Shaper, which lets you draw out CV shapes in Live before sending them out to your modular devices. CV Envelope Follower allows you to control your modular rig with audio signals from Live, while CV LFO instantly adds more LFOs to your modular system.

Another noteworthy mention is CV In, which allows you to modulate Live’s parameters from an external synth.

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Sync modules include CV Clock In and CV Clock Out. The latter lets you tempo-sync hardware modules from Live, while CV Clock In slaves your Ableton system to your Eurorack hardware.

Modules with standalone facilities

Ableton Rotating Rhythm generator
Rotating Rhythm Generator

If you aren’t in possession of a modular synth rig, don’t fret. The polyrhythmic beat-concocting Rotating Rhythm Generator and powerful CV Utility modules can still be used for a modular-style workflow within Live or with hardware that’s MIDI enabled, rather than sporting CV I/O.

Here’s a quick overview of CV Tools:

CV Tools is presently available in beta and runs in Ableton Live 10.1 beta. After the beta window, Ableton plans to provide the pack for free to Live 10 suite owners.

Download CV Tools here. More info on all 10 modules at ableton.com.

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