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Univer Inter

Introducing Univer Inter

Univer Inter was announced way back at NAMM of 2020. A lot of things have happened since then, but we’re thrilled to say that Univer Inter is now finally shipping and available. We’ll dive into Univer Inter’s history a bit more in a future blog post; this will be the first of a number of articles on the subject of UI, with an overview of the module and some discussion of general use and features. As well as a brief history of the UI, we’ll go over the technical development of the module and chat about a few patch configurations in upcoming posts.

If you can’t wait another second to get your hands on a UI, you can order one from our webshop or your favorite retailer right now. If you’d rather get a bit more detail on what exactly it can do (or you just want to get some ideas while you wait for your UI to arrive), read on.

What is Univer Inter? 

Univer Inter is a module that converts MIDI data into voltage. Interfacing modular synthesizers with MIDI gear can be a bit of a challenge, so we designed UI from the ground up to be as broadly applicable and easy to configure as possible. It has a USB B device port, so you can connect it to your computer to get MIDI out of, for instance, your DAW, or you can use an adapter to plug it into an iPad or other tablet and use MIDI apps to control your Eurorack system.

Noise Engineering Unver Inter


UI also has TRS MIDI type A jacks and includes a TRS to DIN adapter so that you can plug DIN MIDI devices into it directly and generate voltage from them. On top of MIDI to CV conversion, UI can function as a bidirectional MIDI to USB interface, making it easy to control DIN MIDI devices with your DAW or tablet, too. 

UI has 8 CV outputs, but if you need even more connectivity, two UI can be chained together with a TRS cable to function as a single 16-output converter. 

Why do I need a MIDI to CV converter? 

MIDI devices are abundant. Here at NE, we all have a plethora of MIDI-capable gear in our studios, and sometimes it’s nice to sync up a drum machine, say, to a Eurorack sequencer, or use a MIDI sequencer to control a BIA. If you have any MIDI gear in your studio, you’ve probably found a time when you wanted to make it work with your modular system, but doing so can be quite a challenge: most modules don’t take MIDI in natively, and many converters are designed to do just one thing, or are difficult to reprogram. 

Univer Inter was designed from the ground up to work however you need it to, and with whatever style of modules and MIDI gear you have in your studio. MIDI is also expansive and incredibly powerful; we found instances where we wanted to turn virtually every type of MIDI message into voltage. UI can do just that, with some help from its configuration webapp. Speaking of… 

Configuring UI 

As part of UI’s launch, we revamped our Customer Portal and added a configuration app for Univer Inter. We wanted configuration to be quick and painless: UI can be configured while powered on and attached to your case, and reprogramming just takes the click of a single button. 

Univer Inter configuration app

We’ve included a number of presets to get you started, including options for monophonic and polyphonic sequencing, clocking, drum sequencing, and CC control. You can also create your own presets with the easy-to-use dropdown menus in the configuration area, save them to your UI, and even download configurations to share them or back up as SysEx files (which can be loaded back into the app for further editing later on). 

Output types

Each of UI’s outputs can be assigned to one of over 20 different functions. For basic melodic sequencing, the Note category includes 1V per octave pitch CV, as well as gates and triggers, plus velocity CV output options.

Pitch output options

If you’re a fan of chords and complex sequencing, the Poly category contains outputs that are similar to the Note category – except they’ll distribute themselves over however many outputs you assign them to, using a round-robin distribution algorithm. 

Let’s say you have four (or two, or eight – however many you want!) voices you’d like to sequence in your system with a single keyboard. Set four outputs to Poly Pitch and four to Poly Gate, and you’ll be able to play your Eurorack like a polysynth. 

This output selection would give you a pair of just two outputs, with velocity and aftertouch per voice -- less voices, but more expression. 

Polyphonic output selection for Univer Inter

The Sync category contains everything you’ll need to synchronize sequencers to a MIDI clock, including start messages (useful for resetting and keeping everything in phase), extensively dividable clock outputs, and run gates for DIN-sync-style destinations. 

Of course, modular is all about the modulation; most MIDI modulation (say that ten times fast) comes from CC messages, and the CC output can be assigned to any CC you need. You can also use velocity or even pitch bend messages to add expression and variety to your patches.

Sync and CC output types for UI

Connecting to your studio

I primarily create music in the DAW, so keeping all my gear synced to a DAW clock is a huge help in my personal workflow. Recently, I’ve been using a UI in a configuration that allows me to synchronize a sequencer in my rack, as well as sequence a couple of voices from the DAW, while also using the USB to MIDI capabilities of UI to clock a drum machine. It’s nice having UI act as a single hub for everything, and it makes creating music with whatever gear I want to a breeze. 

 UI connecting a computer, a drum machine, a Eurorack sequencer, and a Eurorack voice

Our friend Jeremy of Red Means Recording fame also put together a fantastic video demonstrating how he’s been using a couple of Univer Inter with his gear, including some Elektron gear, Ableton Live, and even a wind controller. Impressive stuff! 

Got an idea? We want to hear from you. 

We’ve heard from many users that have ideas for new UI functionality and additions to the configuration app. We think this is incredibly cool, and we plan to continue adding new updates to the UI as time goes on. If you have an idea for something we could add to the Univer Inter (or have a question about how UI works, or just want to say hi), we want to hear from you! Drop us a line through our contact form

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