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Robot Definition

“Volt per octave” is a control voltage (CV) scaling standard used in analog synthesizers and modular synthesizers to represent the relationship between voltage and pitch. It is based on the principle that a change of one volt in the control voltage corresponds to a change of one octave in the pitch of the controlled oscillator or filter.

In a volt-per-octave system, doubling the frequency (raising the pitch by one octave) requires an increase of 1 volt in the control voltage. This linear relationship allows for precise and predictable control of pitch across a wide range of frequencies.

The volt-per-octave standard is widely used in synthesizers, as it simplifies the process of creating harmonically pleasing musical intervals and ensures compatibility between different modules and devices. Other control voltage scaling standards exist, such as “Hertz per volt” used in some older synthesizers, but volt-per-octave is the most common and widely adopted.

Human Context

1v/Octave is the language of pitch in your modular synthesizer. Every sequencer in Eurorack is outputting two, if not three, signals:

  1. Pitch
  2. Gate
  3. Velocity / Modulation

Pitch can often be labeled as CV or V/Oct. Regardless of label, the sequencer and your oscillator have

1/Octave Reference Material