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The concept of control voltage is at the very root of modular synthesizer. The general idea is that analog voltage levels are used control functions and parameters of a module. For example, one control voltage may determine the pitch played by an oscillator; a second control voltage may determine how loud that signal is after it’s passed through a voltage-controlled amplifier.

CV is the most common shorthand to refer to control voltage – for example, when a synthesizer module says it features “CV over the filter’s resonance,” that means there is a control voltage input to control the amount of resonance (feedback) – not just the customary knob on the front panel.

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