Pittsburgh Modular embraces the darkness with Scary Safari Series #4
Pittsburgh has three new limited edition “Scary Safari” modules in the disturbing shape of The Wolf, A Filter of Crows and Dynamics Controller Bat.
Scary Safari Series #4
Continuing the Safari Series of limited edition modular experiments, we have three new and dark modules from Pittsburgh Modular. The idea is that the company wants to explore modern takes on discrete component-driven analogue synthesis. It is making the best use of stricter tolerances and smaller footprints while trying to solve problems that plagued legacy designs.
These discoveries will end up in future synthesizer designs from Pittsburgh Modular, but on the way, it likes to release small quantities of modules that demonstrate the developments.
We got a slight hint of these new modules, along with plenty of others in Richard Nicol’s live stream on the Series #3 Llama and Polar Bears percussion modules.
A Filter of Crows
This unique filter module builds on the Series #1 Crow module and combines three analogue functions in one module. The first function is an ultra-high-gain preamp. It can wind up to 75x gain overdrive without completely falling apart. This feeds into the PGH Filter, a 12dB State Variable Filter, which Pittsburgh says has no dead spot. It’s been a staple of Pittsburgh Modular’s module lineup for 12 years, and the company has been continually refining it to produce a rich and evenly sweepable range.
Finally, the filter has an additional Resonant Stability Circuit, which, if you want, keeps the resonance under control so that it can go all the way to 11 without falling into self-oscillation. Although why would you want to do that when Unstable mode is much more interesting? With the stability turned off, A Filter for Crows will fight and spit at you, and it plummets towards total tonal failure.
The Wolf is a channel strip and VCA to control gain, add boost and cut in some EQ. Within The Wolf Preamp, you’ll find gain of between 0.5x and 7x followed by a soft-clipping limiter that’s looking for a smooth overdrive and saturation.
Next, we have the Wolf three-stage Semi-Parametric 15dB EQ. It has sweeping low and mid-range channels and a fixed frequency high-shelf. There’s another soft-clipping limiter to add another layer of protective saturation.
The Wolf VCA itself is high quality, low noise, linear and straightforward. You’ll find helpful LEDs all over the front keeping you updated on what’s going on.
Dynamics Controller Bat
It desperately wants to be called the Dynamic Bat Controller and probably will be. In any case, this is a resonant filter and VCA, Pittsburgh Modular’s reinterpretation of the classic Buchla lowpass gate.
Bat offers an organic, complex and rounded sound due to the nature of lowpass gate circuitry that mimics the characteristics of how sound works in natural environments. Louder sounds produce more harmonic content.
Typically lowpass gates have static response times due to the nature of the circuit. But, Pittsburgh Modular have found a way to add a voltage controllable response curve and variable resonance. This gives it a sustain you’d normally find in a VCA. That’s going to be interesting to check out.
Scary Safari Availability
All three cost $249, and there will only be 200 of the Wolf and Filter of Crows made and 250 of the Bat. Richard Nicol goes into all the detail on the Pittsburgh Modular YouTube channel.
- Pittsburgh Modular Filter of Crows: Pittsburgh Modular
- Pittsburgh Modular The Wolf: Pittsburgh Modular
- Pittsburgh Modular Bat: Pittsburgh Modular