East Beast and West Pest assessment: inexpensive intros to the addictive world of modular synths


Picture Credit score: Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The filter might be the star of the present, by the way in which. Usually it’s what brings essentially the most character to the sound of a synth, and this one delivers. It’s variable state, going from low go, to band go to excessive go. However it might probably additionally mix these in fascinating methods. It does acid bass strains and nasal reedy sounds. There’s a motive the filter cutoff knob is about 4 instances bigger than all the opposite controls on the entrance panel: It’s in all probability essentially the most highly effective device right here for shaping your sound.

Each Cre8Audio and Pittsburgh Modular wish to brag that this distinctive filter has “no lifeless spots”, that it’s actually “all one giant candy spot”, and you understand what, they’re in all probability proper. I had an actual arduous time making this filter sound unhealthy. Regardless of how a lot you crank the resonance, in each mode, even with the filter mod set to ludicrous ranges, it’s surprisingly musical. It doesn’t self-oscillate, which could be a bummer for some, nevertheless it doesn’t trouble me an excessive amount of.

West Pest

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The West Pest is kind of just like the East Beast’s hippy cousin. It’s a tad unusual, and has to do the whole lot somewhat in a different way, nevertheless it’s no much less compelling – only a bit more durable to tame. It has lots of the similar options and a really related oscillator, nevertheless it trades the variable state filter and ADSR envelope for a lowpass gate and provides a wave folder.

I’d enterprise to say that, just like the East Beast, the Pest is most snug with bass and plucky leads. However the timbre is totally totally different. It’s extra aggressive and sharp, buying and selling within the creamy goodness of its counterpart for the plasticky weirdness extra usually related to Buchla synths.

As a result of it travels in much less acquainted territory, it might probably really feel somewhat more durable to make work in an association. However, it may be a extra satisfying solo instrument. Each synths have strong randomization options, together with randomly biking by means of oscillator waveforms and generative sequencing capabilities, however these really feel extra at residence on the West Pest.

Cre8Audio East Beast & West Pest

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

Setting the digital mod device to random, and connecting it to the discharge mod jack will alter how lengthy notes ring out. Then utilizing the random sample generator with morphing will play a constantly evolving sequence. After which you may get the oscillator wave to alter for each notice, supplying you with one thing really unpredictable. Feed that by means of an epic reverb pedal and also you’ve received a customized, soothing soundtrack for working or studying to.

Sure, you might accomplish an identical factor with the East Beast because it has a lot of the similar randomization instruments (save the discharge mod), and it’s in all probability the extra versatile instrument, however I discover the outcomes on the West Pest extra pleasing. And, actually, this is without doubt one of the methods I usually use synths in my studio – passively as a kind of fidget toy or to set a temper whereas I plug away on enhancing articles for Engadget.

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