Pittsburgh Modular explores darkness with the Scary Safari Series #4 modules

SYNTH ANATOMY uses affiliation & partner programs (big red buttons) to finance a part of the activity. If you use these, you support the website. Thanks! 

Pittsburgh explores darkness with the new Scary Safari Series #4 with three new limited-edition modules: The Wolf, A Filter of Crows and Dynamics Controller Bat.

Superbooth 22 is getting closer every day and next week Thursday it will already start. Many new products, as well as new manufactures will celebrate their premiere in Berlin at the FEZ.

Pittsburgh Modular, one of the most well-known Eurorack manufacturers, is back this year with a booth (Z391). And the team of Richard Nicol and Michael Johnsen will bring us three new modules from their experimental Safari line-up. A perfect moment to kick off the Superbooth 22 news coverage.

Pittsburgh Scary Safari Series

Pittsburgh Modular Scary Safari Series #4

Pittsburgh Modular’s fascinating Safari is a series of modules in which the developers break new ground and try new ideas. They are basically proof of concept modules that are only produced in small numbers. They are also very different in front panel design. Each has a very beautiful, artistic design which gives them a very unique charm.

In the new Scary Safari Series #4 for Superbooth 22, Richard and Michael, the developers explore modern takes on analog synthesis using discrete components that have stricter tolerances and smaller footprints. They say these components are also providing solutions to issues that have plagued legacy designs.

There are three new limited modules for the new Scary Safari Series #4.

Pittsburgh Modular A Filter of Crows

A Filter of Crows

The first module is a new unique filter that builds on the Series #1 Crow module and squeezes three analog features into a single module. It all starts with an ultra-gain preamp that pushes signals with up to 75x gain overdrive without sounding harsh. Then, it flows into the PGH filter, a 12dB state variable filter with manually selectable and stackable filter responses.

It gives you lowpass, bandpass, and highpass filter responses with the option to enable/disable them individually for instant parallel processing. According to Pittsburgh Modular, the filter offers a complete sweepable range without any noticeable dead spots. They have been working on this continuously for 12 years and are further developing the circuit in every new module.

In the last step, the filter has an additional resonant stability circuit that provides near-infinite resonance without slipping into self-oscillation. The Pittsburgh developers give you two modes. Either you set it to the stable mode where the module keeps the resonance under control resulting in a clean, organic filter timbre.

Or you can go to the wild territories in the unstable mode where the module begins to self oscillate. It is then capable to create harmonically complex sounds ranging from ringing fuzz to heavy distortions to an extremely musical total failure. The latter sounds like a lot of fun and would certainly be better for me.

Pittsburgh Modular The Wolf

The Wolf

The Wolf is a new channel Strip VCA module for Eurorack. The second in a short time. But this one is designed differently. It is based on a unique three-circuit concept. First, it gives you a custom pre-amp with variable gain control that shifts between 5x and 7x gain followed by a soft-clipping limiter. The more you push the signal, the more character the pre-amp throws onto it. So it ranges from fully transparent to warm saturation to overdrive.

Next step in the circuit is a three-stage semi-parametric 15dB EQ with controls for the low and mid-range channels, as well as a fixed frequency high shelf. The EQ section is followed by an additional soft-clipping limiter for keeping the signal smooth.

Wolf has a built-in VCA with high-quality, low noise characteristics with both manual level and CV attenuator controls. Lastly, you get metering in form of green, yellow, and red LEDs that give you instant visual feedback.

Dynamics Controller Bat

Lastly, we have the Dynamics Controller Bat, cool name btw is a Pittsburgh Modular’s take on the classic Buchla lowpass gate featuring a resonant filter and VCA. The module gives you organic, complex and rounded sound due to the unique nature of lowpass gate circuitry. Unlike a VCA, which simply changes the loudness of the sound, a lowpass gate makes it louder and produces more harmonic content.

Pittsburgh Modular Dynamics Controller Bat

Pittsburgh Modular has also expanded Don Buchla’s concept with a voltage controllable response curve and variable resonance. This eliminates the static response times of classic lowpass gates. This allows for all the sonic depth of the LPG while providing the same kind of sustain control offered by a more traditional VCA.

So the Dynamics Controller Bats gives you the best of both worlds, a natural and alive sound that is completely controllable. Sounds very interesting.

Three exciting modules from Pittsburgh Modular modules for Superbooth 22. Especially the unique take on the lowpass gate is very interesting.

Pittsburgh Modular Scary Safari Series #4 modules are available now in limited quantities, each for $249 USD. There will only be 200 of the Wolf and Filter of Crows and 250 of the Bat.

More information here: Pittsburgh Modular 

Eurorack News


  1. These are very fun but the prices are creeping into a collector range for what you get.. But I’m a Pittsburgh fan so I hope they sell well for them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.