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Univer Inter Is Noise Engineering’s Long-Awaited MIDI-to-CV Answer

MIDI. You know it. You love it. You’re lukewarm on it. Wait, maybe you don’t like it? Actually, you hate it. MIDI might as well be a curse word and none of the 127 channels shall defile your analog bliss!

Not all of our internal dialogues are that extreme, but figuring out how to blend the DAW and Eurorack can be a major headache. Or costly. Or a costly major headache.

Now the fine folks over at Noise Engineering have survived the parts shortage rollercoaster in developing the Univer Inter – a chainable 8 output, 6HP MIDI-to-CV converter and USB MIDI interface.

That’s kind of a mouthful. Put simply, the Univer Inter (and other MIDI-to-CV converters) enables you to bring digital signals into a control voltage-based analog system. This results in a “hybrid system”. Digital and analog. Friends forever.

Let’s do a quick feature rundown:

  • Inputs
    • USB In (Type B)
    • MIDI In (TRS Type A)
  • Outputs
    • MIDI Out (TRS Type A)
    • 8 assignable CV or gate inputs
    • configured via the improved NE Customer Portal

Deceptively simple, deceptively powerful. Ease-of-use is such an important factor when it comes to MIDI implementation.

We’re huge fans of Hexinverter and the Mutant Brain, but (on our count) a 6-step process involving SYSEX exports & additional programs like MIDI-OX isn’t the smoothest of setups. Noise Engineering might be a little out there on the naming and panel design fronts, but their software and UX/UI design is top notch and they clearly focus on usability.

We heavily suggest checking out NE’s excellent documentation. Their Univer Inter manual is detailed, easy to read, and doesn’t contain fluff.

But wait, there’s more! /end Informercial voice

Are you into polyphony and mystified by TipTop’s upcoming ART standard? Well, Kris @ Noise Engineering has some good news on module chaining and polyphonic patching:

For users interested in more complex polyphony Patches, two Univer Inters can be chained together for a total of 16 CV outs from a single MIDI connection. our-voice polyphonic patching with aftertouch and velocity, eight-voice simple polyphony, 16-channel CC-controlled modulation, or complex drum triggering are all simple to configure and control.

Note that the max chain is two modules / 16 outputs, but this is a great feature that allows the Univer Inter to expand with your system.

The Univer Inter ships with a 5-pin MIDI to TRS cable and a MIDI A to MIDI B cable. You can pre-order for $275 on the Noise Engineering site and the module ships from NE and retailers starting June 29, 2023.

Can’t wait to see what everyone does with this. Happy patching!

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