LittlesBits USB I/O Will Not Work

When I try to use my Little Bits USB I/O module for my Little Bits synthesizer, my computers will reconize it but when I try to send MIDI notes to it with Ableton, nothing happens. What is going on?

  • Thanks

The USB I/O module is actually recognized as an audio interface. In order to make any sense out of midi info you need to get the dedicated MIDI module here

If you really start to go down the rabbit hole you could get a control voltage plugin for you DAW of choice, route your MIDI info through your DAW and convert it to control voltage that can be sent to your bits through the USB interface. There are some program suggestions on the USB I/O product page here:

Hope that helps ;D

But how would I use Ableton then?

The primary function would be as an audio interface in order to use it as an output module to connect directly to Ableton and use your DAW to record any audio coming out of your circuit. You should also be able to send audio from your DAW into the LittleBits as well to use the effects, or mix some samples into your patch. The audio quality isn’t quite CD quality, but is decent at 44.1 12 bit.

In order to control the circuit from Ableton your going to need a plugin that converts Ableton information into control voltages (CV). There are a handful of plugins that essentially convert information from your DAW into CV and sends it to your audio interface (in this case the USB I/O). You then assign this to an output on your audio interface and then can patch the CV out to an input (for LittleBits the output of the USB I/O audio interface is the out bitsnap which can be connected be the rest of the synth circuit). You can also use these plugins to send CV to your normal audio interface as long as it has an output that is DC coupled. If you have a CV LittleBits you could even use the USB I/O to send CV to a Eurorack modular synth using the plugin you choose.

Another feature of these plugins is that they can receive CV from the USB I/O and convert it into information your DAW can use. Essentially you could set up a little bits hardware controller for your DAW. I haven’t expored this yet, but plan on it in the near future ;D

The USB I/O page listes a few plugins you can use: “This allows you to use software programs like Max, PD, and CV Toolkit with w27 USB I/O to control littleBits modules by creating “virtual” littleBits modules like sequencers, low frequency oscillators, and much more. You can also control the aforementioned programs with littleBits modules to create hardware controls for your software”. I personally use Expert Sleepers, Silent Way plugin and recommend it especially if you have one of their Eurorack modules. You don’t need one of their modules for it to work though I have not tested it out with the LittleBits yet so I would get the free demo to see if it works. I have not tried any of the other plugins listed, but will probably check them out just to see what kind of features they have.

I hope that helps. If you do choose one of the other plugins it would be way cool if you posted whether it work :smile:


1 Like


I have also been trying to get CV out via the USB module to work in Ableton. In the CVTools mentioned in the reply. you can set the output module to littlebits.
Now Ableton Live also comes with cvtools, but here, nothing special can be set for littlebits. I could not get cv out to work.

Did anyone try this?

Cheers Chris