The ConVertor comes equipped with an audio input in 6.3 mm jack format. It is followed by a preamp, which can boost the level of incoming material by up to 40 dB. Signals can be prepared for CV extraction via two filters. In detail, there are a three-stage high-pass circuit (16 Hz, 80 Hz, 160 Hz) with a slope of -12 dB per octave and a continuously adjustable low-pass (80 Hz to 6 kHz) with a slope of -24 dB per octave. The ConVertor analyses audio material with the help of the so-called ACO chip, an in-house development of Sonicsmith. Additionally, there is an envelope follower. The following control voltages can be tapped off the unit:
- Pitch CV signals in the range of 0 V to +8 V. (1 V per octave)
- Gate and trigger voltages with a signal strength of 9 V. (Threshold for gate / trigger activation: -48 dBu)
- Envelope follower signals with a fixed decay time of 43 milliseconds. A potentiometer allows users to attenuate and / or invert control voltages generated by the envelope follower.
There are dedicated mini jack outputs for pitch and envelope follower signals. Gate and trigger voltages share one stereo socket. (L = Gate / R = Trigger)
A side-chain input can be used to feed a second audio signal into the ConVertor. The audio input is followed by a three-stage level section (Off / 0 dB / +15 dB) and another envelope follower with a shorter decay time (15 milliseconds). It can be used as an alternative to the instance described above. The bipolar attenuator remains in the signal path. – A great addition for arpeggios and so forth.
Main and side-chain inputs feature thru outputs which allow users to tap off audio material in front of the level adjustment stages and feed it to other equipment.
The ACO chip not only serves as CV extractor, but is also part of the synthesis system. More precisely, the component produces sawtooth and rectangular waveforms. A mixer makes it possible to crossfade between both waves. For pitch alterations, there are coarse and fine tune potentiometers. Both parameters can be modulated via CV inputs.
After the oscillator section, a VCA was placed in the ConVertor’s signal flow. It is controlled by one of the envelope followers. Additionally, there is a CV input. In order to produce the most complex sounds possible, input material, processed only by the high-pass filter, can be mixed with the synthesis signals. A gate socket allows musicians to quickly deactivate oscillators and VCA. If the low pass isn’t needed in the control path, it can be switched to the synthesis path. The output level is adjustable via a potentiometer.
The ConVertor can be powered by an external power supply or a 9 V battery.
Audio output (6.3 mm)
Audio input (6.3 mm)
Side-chain input (3.5 mm)
Main and side-chain thru outputs (6.3 mm)
Pitch CV output (3.5 mm)
Envelope follower output (3.5 mm)
Two-channel gate and trigger output (3.5 mm)
Gate input (3.5 mm)
CV inputs for coarse and fine tuning plus the VCA (3.5 mm)
Connector for an external power supply
(Tip = positive / Ring = negative)
ConVertor is powered by a 9 V DC power supply (sold separately) or a battery.