I’ve been playing around with Xfer Record’s Cthulhu a lot lately, and one of the things that was always confusing for me when I started learning how to use it was how to get it to actually produce sound in Studio One. When I first started using it I always got bewildered as to what actually produced the sound in Cthulhu. Cthulhu does have a sound generator that you can use to test with, but I would always forget how to get an actual synthesizer to run through Cthulhu.

The trick is that you have to set Cthulhu as the input on whatever synthesizer you want Cthulhu to work with. For the longest time I would get it backwards and try to set the synthesizer as Cthulhu’s input. But it finally clicked for me that Cthulhu is acting like a surrogate midi controller (sort of like a virtual keyboard) and THAT is what would control the synthesizer’s sound… not the other way around.

In this video I’ll walk you through how to set up Cthulhu to use with a synth that I like, the Tyrell N6 (currently available as a free download here). The Tyrell N6 has a nice classic vibe, a sort of a Juno-ish sound, and is one of my favorite instruments. Though I’m using Cthulhu with Tyrell in this video, you can use any software synth and get similar results.

I use the MPD218 quite a bit for beat making, and I especially like to use it with Cthulhu. The combination of Cthulhu with a controller like the MPD218 makes for a very natural way to improvise chord changes and rhythms.

Akai MPD218

Enjoy, and as always if you have any questions let me know in the comments.