AeManual / KeuerslagerkurtFivesteps

Five Steps

This is a 5 step "arpeggiator", being modular it's a bit more complicated than that.

It takes a CV as input, for example a triangle LFO, and converts it into a stepped CV as output. You can control the five possible CV values that it can output with the five knobs on the front panel. This way, each input gets converted to one of the five output CV’s, generating an ‘arpeggio’ when used for note CV.

The second input voltage (Root CV) gets added with all five values of the output CV. As such, it effectively ‘transposes’ your complete sequence.

This is Kurts Tindie page for this module, his first not sold as a kit.


  • ARPCV - The CV used to generate the arpeggio. This is usually an LFO or envelope, but any can be used, even audio. When you use a triangle LFO, your output will be a rising & falling arpeggio. An input LFO that is a ramp up, would be only a rising arpeggio, and so on.
  • ROOTCV - This CV is added to the CV generated by the knobs. If you start with zero volts and add, it will be a transpose up; if you start with a voltage and change it to zero it will be a transpose down.
  • MULT - a passive mixer /splitter nothing to do with the module's main circuits.


  • Steps (x2) - The stepped CV output. You can see this as the ‘note cv’ from your arpeggio, but it can of course be used to control anything!
  • Trigs - +5V trigger to coincide with each step, for VCAs etc.
  • 2 - +5V when steps 2 to 5 are playing.
  • 3 - +5V when steps 3 to 5 are playing.
  • 4 - +5V when steps 4 or 5 is playing.
  • 5 - +5V when step 5 is playing.


The knobs are not numbered but relate to the steps of the arpeggio generated from 1 to 5 inclusive. From Kurt's page...

''To start, I would like to point out that this version contains a mistake in the PCB wiring. But as I have 20 of these around, I pretty much have to sell them, because it was quite an investment.. The mistake is as follows: potentiometer/knobs 2-5 are in reverse order. So the knobs from top to bottom are: 1 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2. Other than that, the module works perfectly!"

Each Knob sets the voltage added to the previous voltage for each step. So changing knob 1, (the top one), will change all your output notes, effectively tuning your whole arpeggio. Changing knob five will only change the last (or rather, highest) note.

The module basically consists of 4 comparators with fixed thresholds at 0.833V, 1.66V, 2.5V and 3.33V. When you input a CV below 0.833V, the output will be the voltage dialed in with the first knob. When you input a CV between 0.833 & 1.66V, the output CV will be the sum of the voltage of knob 1 & 2. When you input a CV between 1.66V and 2.5V, the output will be the sum of knob 1, 2 & 3. And so on. This way you can create a stepped CV out of a continuously changing voltage (LFO, envelope,..). Or you can use it with the Wonkystuff RBSS as input to fix the changing values to five values of your choice.

Patch Suggestions

The T.W. Quantizer module can be good if you want the CVs from this module tuned to a scale for VCOs, Solina etc.

Kurt here! One of my personal favorite patches with the Five Steps: use an LFO to generate an arpeggio of choice. If you use the Sync input of the LFO to sync it with eg the first beat of your rhythm, your arpeggio will stay nicely on the beat with some tweaking of the lfo speed. Then you can use an Wonkystuff RBSS, clocked to the beat or not, to generate transpositions, by running the RBSS CV out into the ‘Root CV’ in of the Five Steps. Its a good idea to run the RBSS out through an attenuator (eg 2ATT/CV) to limit the range of the transpose to something musical. The output of the Five Steps can be run through the TW Quantizer in order to make the transpositions in key & musical. You can also use the SEQ8 into the ‘Root CV’ input, to generate transpositions that you can control with the SEQ8 CV’s. If you tune this well, you can get great results without the need for the Quantizer.

Fun with audio input: if you input an audio signal into Arp CV in, you will effectively reduce the audio’s ‘bitrate’ to five bits. Your waveform will be reduced from a continuous signal to just 5 possible voltage values, which you can see as the ‘five bits’. If you dial knobs completely down, you will reduce the bits even further. If you use only one knob and tune the others down, you effectively get a 1-bit signal, in other words: a PWM’ed square wave. Can give interesting textures with FMOS as input, or triangle waves, ramps,.. Does not work well with square waves, as these are already 1 bit waves.

With the many possibilities for CVs generated from the module, several modules would partner well with it, including Kurt's own Great Divide and most modules on the T.W. website listing of CV generating/manipulation modules...

Zeno (Keuerlagerkurt) has done an introductory video:-


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Page last modified on November 12, 2021, at 09:32 PM
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