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Tips for successful oscillator calibration with Volta

Tips for Successful Oscillator Calibration with Volta

Volta's automatic pitch CV calibration feature works by transmitting various control voltages to an oscillator's pitch modulation input and then analyzing the period of the audio signal that the oscillator generates. The calibration procedure is described in detail in the Volta User Guide.

Here are some additional tips for successfully calibrating your oscillators:

  • The calibration feature works best with simple waveforms that have a strong fundamental and little harmonic content. A sine wave will be best; a sqaure wave or other complex waveform will not produce very good results. Additionally, the waveform should be unmodulated. It is recommended that you disconnect other modulation sources such as LFOs or envelope generators from the oscillator during calibration.
  • Calibration will fail if the audio signal from the oscillator output is not strong enough. Increase the oscillator's output gain or the audio interface's input trim so that the signal that reaches Volta is as hot as possible without clipping. Also make sure that you're using a properly wired cable according to the type of outputs jacks and input jacks you're connecting. Using the wrong type of cable can decrease the signal level. Refer to the Volta User Guide for more information about proper cabling.
  • Before automatic calibration, it is important to adjust the oscillator's pitch with its coarse tuning control so that the pitch indicator in Volta's calibration display (the red line) settles within the middle frequency range (the gray area in the display). The pitch indicator should be steady inside this range, not moving back and forth. If the red pitch indicator is not present at all, then the audio signal is not returning to the selected calibration input on the audio interface.
  • Engage the Preview button in the Calibration tab to patch through the audio return from the oscillator to the Volta instrument track's output. You will hear the signal produced by the oscillator to ensure that it is not distorted.
  • Volta's pitch analysis can be affected by the host DAW's audio buffer size setting. If you have followed the calibration instructions in the Volta User Guide and the other suggestions on this page but calibration still fails, try increasing the host's buffer size setting. Remember that higher buffer size settings cause longer latency times, so you may want to revert the buffer size setting to the lower value after successful calibration.
  • If your audio interface features built-in mixing or effects processing, make sure that all effects are disabled for the outputs being used for CV. The built-in mixer should not be attenuating the CV outputs. For example, an 896mk3's EQ, compression, and reverb effects should not be applied to the outputs being used for CV.