Pittsburgh Modular Introduces Taiga Keyboard, With Eurorack Modular Expansion Bay


Pittsburgh Modular’s Taiga analogue synth just got upgraded with a keyboard and expansion bay for Eurorack modules: ‘Install a 4th or 5th oscillator and create truly monster sounds’

Last year, we reported on the release of Pittsburgh Modular’s Taiga, a new semi-modular analogue synth that promised to “push the boundaries of analogue synthesis”.

Today, Pittsburgh Modular has introduced the Taiga Keyboard, a 37-key modern analog synthesizer with features something we don’t see in a great deal of hardware synths: a modular expansion bay.

In its original format, Taiga is a desktop synth that can be operated standalone in a wooden enclosure or form part of a Eurorack setup as a 60hp module.

The new synth builds on PM’s Taiga synth module, adding full-sized keys, additional modulation, a unique modular expansion bay, and more. Taiga Keyboard’s larger format let them spread out the controls and add larger knobs, for better performance ergonomics. There are also additional modulation sources, more controls, a full-size 37 key premium aftertouch-enabled keybed, and a unique modular expansion bay.

The expansion bay offers 24hp of powered Eurorack space, meaning you can expand the synth with any modules of your choosing, augmenting its capabilities with anything from additional oscillators and filters to sequencers, effects or even a sampler. Pittsburgh says this means Taiga Keyboard can be “customized to meet the unique needs of any artist”.

In addition to the synth’s 37-key, velocity-sensitive and aftertouch-enabled keybed, you’ll find dedicated pitch and modulation wheels. Taiga Keyboard’s larger size has allowed Pittsburgh to include larger knobs and a more spacious interface, along with a second analogue LFO.

Aside from these upgrades, Taiga Keyboard shares the same architecture as its little brother, and is equipped with three analogue oscillators that offer four core waveforms alongside wavefolding and pulse-width modulation, running through a two-pole, 12db/octave analogue filter.

Key Features:

  • Taiga Keyboard oscillators – Waveforms generated by the three Taiga Keyboard oscillators stretch beyond the basic geometric shapes and sounds associated with analog synthesis. Taiga Keyboard waveforms pass through up to three proprietary, cascading waveshapers designed to precisely manipulate their symmetry and harmonic content. In addition, each oscillator includes a robust six-stage wave folder to add even more complexity and depth to the diverse sonic palate of Taiga Keyboard. Dedicated coarse and fine controls deliver maximum flexibility & control over the full range of each oscillator.
  • The “Pittsburgh Filter” – The Pittsburgh filter has defined the sound of Pittsburgh Modular from the moment it was introduced. They say that it offers “a warm, smooth sweep through the full frequency range and a sweet resonance that does not roll off the low end.”
  • Pittsburgh Dynamics Controller – By simultaneously managing both amplitude and harmonic content, the Pittsburgh Dynamics Controller expands beyond the VCA found in other synthesizers. When used in low pass gate mode, sounds shed harmonic content and become warmer as they decrease in volume. This mimics how sound waves react to their environment.
  • Open Architecture – Taiga Keyboard has an internally defined signal path. Patch cables are not necessary to begin exploring. Plug the output into a speaker or DAW and Taiga Keyboard is ready to go, but the 64-point patch bay gives you a fully modular instrument, with access to an even deeper set of features and tools.
  • Modular Expansion Bay – The keyboard also offers a 24hp powered Eurorack Modular Expansion Bay, so you can customize theTaiga Keyboard to your needs. Just remove the metal plate that covers the bay and add Eurorack-compatible modules.

Taiga Keyboard sound demo, with PM founder Richard Nicol and engineer Dr. Michael Johnsen:

Features:

  • Paraphonic synthesizer with unique additive elements
  • 37 note aftertouch equipped keybed with full-sized keys
  • Fully patchable – use Taiga Keyboard’s components as separate modules with external devices or reroute its internal patching.
  • 24hp powered Eurorack Modular Expansion Bay
  • 64 point patch bay for rerouting internal signal flow and integrating external sound and modulation sources
  • Controllable via MIDI, CV, and integrated pseudo random sequencing mode
  • Clock-synced arpeggiator
  • 3x Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer developed 100% analog oscillators, each with dedicated coarse and fine controls
  • Oscillator waveforms – sine, triangle, and saw – Waveforms can be combined
  • 3x Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer 6 stage wave folder/shaper circuit – folds inputted waves back onto themselves to increase harmonic content
  • Oscillators include frequency modulation (FM)
  • Noise generator – pitched somewhere between pure white and pink noise. Perfect for percussion or adding a bit of edge to a sound.
  • Variable state, multi-mode “Pittsburgh No-Dead-Spots” filter (lowpass, bandpass, highpass, modes can be combined)
  • Sample & Hold circuit
  • 2x Analog ADSR / envelope generators
  • Pittsburgh dynamics section – an alternative to an envelope generator and a VCA, the dynamics controller is a Pittsburgh Modular invention that adds a dimension of control over a vactrol-less lowpass gate circuit, adding release time.
  • 2x Dual range analog LFOs with square and triangle wave outputs.
  • LFO Range High: 2 Hz to 500 Hz Low: 41 seconds to 5 Hz
  • Dual Channel Mixer – 2 2-channel mixer and a 3-channel mixer joined together, capable of mixing both audio or control voltages.
  • Preamp that uses a high gain, soft clipping overdrive limiter circuit to increase the level of audio signals. The preamp can be used to cleanly increase the level of external audio to internal signal levels, or it can be used as an overdrive / limiter for internal signals.
  • Digital multi-mod tool – modulation control via CV, random generator, and extra LFO and envelope generator
  • Internal clock with tap tempo and can be clocked via an external source.
  • Built-in clock divider
  • Echos – 100% analog bucket brigade delay
  • Included in the box – 1x Taiga Keyboard, 1x Taiga Keyboard wall-wart power supply, 10x Amazing Nazca Noodles Patch Cables

Taiga Keyboard Sound demo:

Nicol & Johnsen will be hosting live streams today (March 4, 2024) on the Pittsburgh Modular YouTube page at 2 pm EST and at 8 pm EST. They will be discussing the technology & research behind Taiga, demoing its capabilities, as well as hosting Q/A sessions. Recordings of the live streams will be available on demand afterwards.

Taiga Keyboard is priced at $1299/€1359. Taiga Keyboard is available now via the Pittsburgh Modular website. Taiga Semi-Modular Analogue Synthesizer is available for $799.99 via Amazon website.

 

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