Quantize CV input based on a MIDI chord using Hermod

Is it possible play a polyphonic chord on a midi keyboard and have Hermod apply that to a CV input giving a quantized CV output?

For example you could have a CV sequencer like Make Noise Rene generating a sequence in C Major, going into the Hermod CV input A and then out CV 1. Then from your Midi keyboard you could quanitize the CV out by doing one of the following:

A) Play 1 note (D) and the sequence is transposed to D Major.
B) Play 3 notes (D, F, A) and the sequence is quantized to only use those three notes of the D-minor chord.
C) Play 2 notes (D, F) and the sequence is transposed/quantized to the D minor key.
D) Play anything on the keyboard, and Hermod figures out which key you’re playing in an quantizes to that key.
(Imagine a jazz pianist + modular synth)

Are any/all of those options supported with Hermod?


A) Can be achieved using the SCALE effect and the ModMatrix
B) Possible by recording the chords (all notes at once) and then using ARPEGIATOR with Style = Random
C) This is a classical quantizer job, can be handled with SCALE
D) “Figuring out” the scale is actually not possible sometimes. But of course, it’s possible to play a random note from a dynamically evolving scale. See the SCALE and ARPEGIATOR effects for details. Also don’t forget that you “feeback patch” Hermod, i.e. controlling a parameter defined in the ModMatrix from the CV out of a particular note or modulation track.

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I actually use the Instruo QPQ for this, along with the Hermod for sequencing the MIDI part, but I’m running into some issues with Hermod’s MIDI. Still trying to get that all figured out!

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I think you can stop doing this. Hermod, among many other things, is a very powerful and flexible 8 channel quantizer. For example, you can thread four unquantized CV tracks using the four CV ins. The remaining four CV outs can be fed from MIDI inputs or internal tracks. All Hermod effects work in “real time”, i.e. they are applied to incoming signals (whether it is MIDI or CV signals), not just recorded tracks,
…I just had a good laugh when I saw the price of your quantizer. For this much money, you can get an additional Hermod! The pricing of certain modules in Eurorackland is really ridiculous :laughing:

Thanks for your ideas @AndreasSteiner.

Are you suggesting that the chords would have to be recorded into Hermod in advance? Ideally I’d like to be able to hit some chord I’ve never played before on the midi keyboard during a performance and have the pitch quantizer match it.
Also, I want Hermod to use the midi chord to quantize the CV A input (not arpeggiate) and output the quantized pitch to CV1. Is that possible? (Doesn’t seem like ARPEGGIATOR would be used.)

I can see that basic pitch quantization looks like it can be done with SCALE. But, I’m not seeing how the scale can be changed based on a midi chord. E.g. SCALE has KEY and COLOR. The KEY might be set in the modmatrix based on midi ROOT NOTE, but that looks like it may be the root note of a midi track. Can it detect the root note of the current chord?
Also, I don’t see anything in midi that would be used to set the scale COLOR.
E.g. the hitting midi notes (D, F#) would need to set scale ROOT NOTE = D and COLOR = MAJOR. Then hitting the midi notes (C, D#) would need to set scale ROOT NOTE = C and COLOR = MINOR.
Is that possible using midi & scale in the modmatrix?

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I contacted Intruo about their Quad Performance Quantizer (QPQ). It seems like exactly the functionality I was looking for. However, it is currently out of production and would have to be a custom build. Also, they would want to make some design updates to the board before building another. End result is that the price for one has increased to US $730.

They also have a single CV input version, the “Performance Quantizer” with built in keyboard buttons - which could be handy for when you want to choose the quantization directly rather than via midi. They say it is also out of stock, so it would also be a custom build with a board design update. But, they’re willing to do it.

B) no, this is your interpretation. Hermod quantizes anything that comes in, whether recorded or played live.
C) scale has transpose, see the manual for details. All effect paramters can be changed via the modmatrix. Hermod doesn’t just take MIDI inputs, it has four inputs, which alliws you to simultaneously quantize two CV/gate tracks

@denneyjs wow that’s expensive! Do you have any idea what the updates are?

Yeah, probably expensive because it would now be a custom build for the one person who orders the next one.

He didn’t say what the updates would include. It was described as a needed “design revision”.

@cowboy Since you have the Instruo QPQ, you understand exactly what I hope to do with the Hermod (if I order one). Based on the content of this thread or other sources, do you think the QPD functionality can be replicated by the Hermod?

If not, what part of that midi-influenced quantization has not been working for you?

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I have the QPQ, PQ, and came up with the design idea for Instruo last year. Also have the Hermod and would be interested to know if Hermod is able to provide the same functionality. Will investigate further and report back with my results.


@bc3 @denneyjs It would be good to know if Hermod can do what QPQ does, since while QPQ is cool, the firmware is pretty buggy and IMO incomplete. I got Jason to give me the source when I ordered mine, and I’ve been modifying it to get it to do what I want it to, but it’s been a bit of an uphill battle.

@denneyjs I’ve found that, of the the 3 modes in which the QPQ operates, momentary and toggle modes aren’t particularly useful for what I need. Chord latching mode is more like what I want, but it has issues when the same note is played in multiple octaves. Also, even though the QPQ works in omni mode (all channels) it’s not channel-aware, so it can behave a little erratically when receiving data from multiple channels simultaneously. Finally, there’s no way to differentiate between an input CV plugged in with a voltage of 0 vs a voltage of 0 due to an input CV not being connected, which means that the LED display always shows activity for C for all 4 channels even if they are disconnected (as long as C is one of the MIDI notes selected to be quantized).

The last one is a hardware issue, but maybe there’s a software workaround. The others are just software issues, and can be fixed. I’ve spent some time completely rewriting the firmware, but have been taking a break from that. In the short term, I’ve just modified the existing firmware to work around some of the issues I’ve seen, and change the functionality of chord latching mode to be more in-line with how I want it to behave.

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The 0 voltage note sounds like a major bug the QPG. Maybe the hardware revision Jason described would be needed to address issues like that (although I imagine the firmware could be updated to just drop that low C).

So Hermod might be the only hope for now.

Bastl told me they had also gotten multiple requests to add this functionality to their 1983 module. They aren’t doing it for v.1 but are considering whether to do it as a later update.

FYI, via email Squarp verified that Hermod cannot do my cases B, C, or D.

So I’ve been looking into quantizers that allow Scale to be selected cia CV. So far nothing has quite fit the bill.

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You can select a scale by CV on Hermod. Just insert a Scale effect and change Scale and/or Colour in the ModMatrix using CV inputs A-D

Yeah, the Squarp folks also pointed out that scale type could be selected via CV input. But my goal was to quantize based on MIDI input (like the Instruo QPQ which is no longer in production).

Maybe there is some kind of self patching workaround. I don’t see how a CV input solution could work for my case B).

I guess for case C) I could have two notes from MIDI coming out of Hermod and run them through a precision subtractor to to determine the interval: 1/3 volt is a Major 3rd and 1/4 volt is a minor 3rd. Then patch that back into Hermod to select the scale. But what is the volts —> scale type or “Color” mapping that Hermod uses? (Probably not 1/3 v —> Major and 1/4 v —> minor.) Is that mapping listed anywhere?

Also can Hermod set note priority such that the lowest note always goes to CV out #1?

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@denneyjs did you ever figure this out?

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I did not figure it out.
But I also suggested the feature to BASTL. They liked the idea and said they’d incorporate it into their ‘1983’ module.

I am particularly interested in your “case B”, quantise input to played midi notes.
I have been trying to get Os (Expert Sleepers) to do it for either Disting or FH-2. I think it would be quite easy for him to implement. If a few more people ask him about this, he might very well make it happen…

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