A quantizer is a module that takes a continuous control voltage (CV) input and constrains or “quantizes” it to a specific set of discrete voltage values, usually corresponding to musical pitches or notes. Quantizers are often used to ensure that CV signals controlling the pitch of oscillators conform to a particular scale or tuning system, resulting in a more musical and harmonically coherent output.
Quantizers can be used with various CV sources, such as LFOs, envelope generators, or random voltage generators, to create melodic sequences, arpeggios, or harmonically related modulations. Most quantizer modules allow you to define the scale or tuning system to which the input CV will be quantized. Common options include chromatic, major, minor, and various exotic or microtonal scales. Some quantizers also provide user-customizable scales, allowing for more unique or experimental tunings.