pest vs. brute

Pittsburgh Modular has been teasing a new synth, the Taiga, over the past few days and revealed everything yesterday, among the usual host of reviewers/”synthfluencers” on YouTube.

There are some fantastic sounds in the thing. It’s a 3-osc all analog synth where, crucially, each oscillator has its own wavefolder and a selection of hybrid shapes designed to complement them. In several of the demos there are absolutely stunning moments where the sound is just gorgeous.

But the rest of the synth’s features aren’t that impressive to me. A decent mixer section with a preamp, OK, good idea. The standard PGH filter, which sounds nice with some material but not super exciting IMHO. Their LPG, which can sound nice under CV but it’s no Natural Gate. Envelopes about which several reviewers complained about the knob response. A monophonic BBD which sounds really dark and a bit metallic, complementing some material but sounding pretty awful with other material. And a pricetag more than twice what I paid for the Minibrute 2S, which it would compete for space with in my setup.

Mmm. Hard sell there. But the nicer end of those sweet spot sounds intrigued me, and reminded me how much I liked the Double Helix when I had it, and how nice some of the demos of the PGH/Cre8audio West Pest demos and recordings are. And… it turns out the oscillator/folder design is really an iteration on the design in the West Pest. And that one is roughly Strega-sized, costs a lot less, and has a patchable audio input for its wavefolder, and a resonance control that other folders lack. Now we’re talkin’.

So I just bought a used WP. It is… kind of doubtful that it will fit on the wee shelves next to the Strega and 0-Ctrl, though that’s where it would be most suitable. But I may wind up deciding that the Pest and some other small bit of gear can take over the space where the Minibrute is, or I may find another solution.

I used the MB2S a few times during Jamuary, but nowhere near as much as the Strega. Which is true outside Jamuary as well, perhaps even more so. What I like most about the Minibrute 2S is the way the filter really warms up and rounds off when Brute Factor is turned up to maybe 1/4 to 1/3, and the way the filter interacts with the two oscillators. The oscillators themselves aren’t super thrilling. The sequencer is not that fun, but tolerable for simple short sequences.

So, we’ll just see how this goes.

5 days ago I ordered some dog food and cat litter from Chewy. This has resulted in a total of twenty-one (21) emails. 9 of them were from Chewy, 11 from FedEx, and one from PayPal. Part of the excess was due to a one-day delay due to weather conditions, but… geez.