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An offset voltage is a constant control voltage (CV) signal that can be added to or subtracted from other CV signals to change their overall level or range. An offset voltage is typically generated by a dedicated module or a specific function within a more complex module.

Offset voltages are used in various applications within a modular synthesizer, including:

  1. Transposing pitch: When an offset voltage is added to a pitch CV signal, it transposes the pitch up or down by a fixed amount, depending on the value of the offset voltage.
  2. Modifying modulation depth: By adding or subtracting an offset voltage from a modulation signal, such as an LFO or an envelope, you can change the modulation depth or range.
  3. Shifting signal range: Offset voltage can be used to shift the range of a bipolar signal (oscillating around 0V) to a unipolar range (positive or negative voltage only), which can be useful when working with modules that only accept unipolar signals.
  4. Creating manual control: Offset voltage can be manually adjusted to create hands-on control over certain parameters, such as filter cutoff frequency or amplitude, without the need for additional modulation sources.

Offset voltage is an essential tool in modular synthesis, providing a simple yet effective way to adjust and manipulate control voltage signals to achieve the desired behavior and sound.