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BMC009 - User-Writeable Quantizer PCB | Barton Musical Circuits

BMC009 - User-Writeable Quantizer PCB | Barton Musical Circuits


This is a unique quantizer capable of doing microtonal and octave dependent scaling.  It features a unique interface for creating scales, a "softness" that allows morphing from quantized to unquantized voltages, a built-in sample & hold circuit, the ability to save user-created scales, and bi-polar or unipolar operation.

This is for a PCB (including programmed microcontroller) only suitable for multiple formats.

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Availability:In stock

The User Writable Quantizer is a little different from most other voltage quantizers. It is not loaded with any preset musical scale or mode. Instead the user needs to manually input each pitch that they want to be quantized to. This takes a little bit of time, but it allows users to create scales that are brand new, where the distances between pitches are uneven, or change with each octave. The writing of musical scales can also be mechanized, by using external triggers and control voltages to tell the quantizer when to add new pitches or remove old pitches from the scale.

The User Writeable Quantizer also has a "softness" control which can allow the unquantized voltage to slowly shift into the quantized voltage, or act as a simple slew between quantized voltages. Quantizing can also be turned on and off, which is useful when writing scales and also allows the unit to act as a sample-hold with voltage controlled slew. The name "softness" is a tribute to a feature in an old quantizer design from Bernie Hutchins that was printed in Electronotes.


  • CV Input - This is the voltage that will be quantized and which will also be the guide for when writing scales.
  • Auxiliary CV Input - This is a second CV input that is summed with the main one, it has it's own attenuater.
  • Softness CV input - This is an external CV that is summed with the manual softness voltage, it has it's own attenuater.
  • Write Trigger Input - A gate or trigger input on this jack will cause the quantizer to write the current input voltage into the scale.
  • Erase Trigger Input - A gate or trigger input on this jack will cause the quantizer to erase the current output voltage from the scale.
  • Trigger Input - A trigger or gate input on this jack will cause the quantizer to sample the current input CV. This should be a switching jack normalled to +5V so that when nothing is plugged in, the unit is always sampling input.
  • Quantize Input - A gate input on this jack will cause the quantizer to output the quantized CV instead of unquantized. This should also be normalled to +5V


  • CV Output - The quantized (or unquantized) output voltage.
  • Status LEDs - Technically these aren't outputs, but they provide visual feedback. The red LED turns on when the soft control is slewing and the output has not reached it's goal yet. The green LED turns on whenever the input voltage is equal to a quantized voltage.


  • Auxillary CV Attenuator - controls how much of the Aux CV gets used.
  • Softness - Controls the rate of slew between notes.
  • Aux Softness Attenuater - controls how much of the Aux soft CV gets used.
  • Write button - when pressed writes the current input CV to the scale.
  • Erase button - when pressed erases the current output CV from the scale.
  • Save button - Saves the current scale to the selected memory bank.
  • Load button - Loads a scale from the selected memory bank. When held with the erase button at the same time, clears the current scale
  • Bank select toggle - Selects which memory bank should be used in save/load operations. Should be a center-off type toggle and normally kept off to guard from accidental save/load button presses.
  • Up/Down/Both toggle - This selects whether the quantizer always quantizes to the note above, the note below, or whichever note is closest.
  • Quantize on/off toggle - Turns quantizing on or off.
  • Bipolar toggle - Puts the unit in either unipolar (0v to +10v) or bipolar (-5v to +5v) range.
Additional Information
More Information
Brand Barton Musical Instruments
Additional Resources Build Guide

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