Software and hardware for professional audio and music production.

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converter 1.5


A completely free application for use in commercial and non-commercial music projects and studios, converter is a very powerful and flexible real-time application providing an advanced midi input processor, clock sync'ed lfo to midi generators, filter bank -based audio to midi converter, gameport or joystick to midi converter, and mouse or touchpad to midi converter in an all-in-one solution. Targeted in such a way as to add value and utility to older computing equipment which might otherwise be discarded into the environment, converter provides reliable performance on par with outboard hardware devices with its default settings on older 486 or Pentium computers. Considering that many of these older computers can be found almost for free, this hardware/software combination provides a surprisingly cost-effective studio tool. With its modern graphical aesthetic, converter never looks or performs like it’s operating on anything remotely old or obsolete.

Take a synthesist's approach to midi stream generation and transformation with converter.


  1. 8 clock-synchronizable LFO generators with a variety of modifiable waveshapes, used to generate oscillating streams of midi control data, or as an internal modulator
  2. midi clock generator with tap tempo supporting fractional bpms, and programmable metronome click track generation auto-sync'ed to internal or external clock
  3. 6 highly programmable filter bank - style audio channels for audio to midi conversion in trigger or continuous controller mode
  4. 2 channels of ultra-fast spectral analysis with approximate frequency detection and bandwidth activity analysis, and oscilloscopes for all audio channels
  5. programmable midi input processor with assignable internal / external modulation sources, flexible enough to perform sysex data format conversion in real-time
  6. comprehensive and intelligent support for joystick/gameport and mouse to midi input enabling the design of many types of customized midi controller devices, from simple knob or fader surfaces, touchpad and ribbon style devices, to photoresistive (laser -> photoresistor) 'beam controller' performance apparatus
  7. comprehensive and customizeable midi data / message display of both raw incoming midi data as well as midi messages transformed or generated by converter
  8. provides the real-time performance and response times required for professional use either live or in the studio (3ms latency default, faster if desired)


There are far too many features embedded in converter to fully itemize here; for a more complete overview of converter and all of its functionality, feel free to check out the manual here.

In order to view the manual, you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader (version 3.0 or higher). You can download Acrobat Reader here.

Version 1.5 of converter represents a major move forward from previous versions, and is a highly recommended upgrade for users of previous versions of converter.

Version 1.5 is backwards-compatible with all previous version program (.set) files.



applications & uses

just a few of the many potential uses of converter...

  1. add additional controller functionality or midi data support to equipment with limited controller programmability or primitive midi interfaces (such as vintage midi synthesizers and drum machines, drum pads, stage lighting controllers, effects processors, etc.)
  2. clock-synchronized low frequency oscillators can add synchronized sound-shaping features to classic synthesizers – useful in sequencing environments
  3. provides new possibilities in sampling by providing a new type of envelope follower, allowing one sound to adopt various rhythmic or dynamic inflections of another sound in real-time (as a basic example, impose a rhythmic pulse to a filter on a sound on a synthesizer, based on a drum loop passed into the audio input in converter)
  4. enables sounds on an external midi device to be triggered from audio input peaks, for example a mic’d snare drum could trigger a sampled snare sound etc.
  5. provides quick and easy master midi clock for a midi setup in a live performance application or creative studio environment
  6. trigger sound, lighting, or other events from objects on a stage in a live theatrical, musical, or new media performance
  7. provides a useful tool for debugging or testing midi systems / implementations
  8. provides relevant and interesting uses for otherwise abandoned legacy (i.e. “obsolete”) hardware – material which is classified as ‘dangerous goods’ or is otherwise non-biodegradable



hardware requirements

There are some specific things converter requires in order to operate. As converter is designed to take advantage of older systems, the following hardware standards are supported and can be found in a majority of these types of computers. For a full overview of supported hardware and input devices, take a look at the manual.

  1. 486DX/33 as an absolute minimum; Pentium 100MHz or faster strongly recommended
  2. SVGA video card with at least 512k of video memory
  3. DOS - the version which comes with Windows 9x is more than sufficient

One or more of the following soundcards, or a 100% compatible alternative, is also required - ISA-bus cards are recommended as many PCI cards do not properly implement audio or midi input functionality under DOS (and converter is intended to provide utility to older hardware, not the latest 24-bit audio interfaces):

  1. Roland or UART-mode MPU-401
    LAPC-1, SCC-1, MPU series, Soundscape, Terratec, ESS, Turtle Beach, etc. etc.
  2. Soundblaster
    SoundBlaster 2.x
    SoundBlaster Pro and 100% compatibles
    SoundBlaster 16 / 32 / Awe32 / Awe64
    Avance Logic ALS-100, ALS-100+, ALS-200, etc
  3. Gravis Ultrasound
    'classic', Max, P&P/Pro