Modular goes desktop with the Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox
The new run of modular gear from Pittsburgh Modular manifests in a standalone unit.
As well as the fearsome price tags associated with the practice, one of the most daunting aspects of diving into the world of modular is surely the space a decent system can require (bolstered by the knowledge your vicious Eurocrack addiction will only require more U’s of rackspace over time). As interest in the practice continues to rise unabated manufacturers seem to be looking to provide consumer-friendly options outside the confines of full-blown racks of gear, with one-frame voices such as the Soundmachines MODULÖR114 serving to bypass the blank canvas fear of starting a system from scratch.
Pittsburgh Modular have already made some impressive moves with their Lifeforms series – a variety of modules that revolve around the SV-1 analogue voice. Featuring two full-range oscillators and a Pittsburgh Modular filter (naturally), the various products available to buy include the System 201 and System 301 which pack the Lifeforms KB-1 pressure sensitive keyboard into the mix. Now that rack-ready capability has been condensed into a desktop unit that should make transporting a modular synthesiser much easier for those who like the sound of the SV-1. The Blackbox features the aforementioned oscillators and filter, and a sub oscillator, dual chained mixers, envelope generator, sample and hold, noise, LFO, VCA and a MIDI to CV converter.
That’s a lot to fit in to a modestly sized box, but there’s still 53 patch points included on the unit (not to mention 21 knobs) so the possibilities are widen open for unique sounds as well as integration with other hardware. Considering the amount of CV-ready kit out there these days, there’s a lot of potential for the SV-1 Blackbox to merge with many a set up. The touted retail price is around the $699 mark, and it will be shipping from August 12. Head to the official site for more information, and watch this demo video for the SV-1 synthesiser to see what kind of sounds you can expect.
Pittsburgh Modular on Juno