Superbooth 22: Cre8audio East Beast, a new semi-modular analog Synthesizer with a spiced-up East-Coast engine in collaboration with Pittsburgh Modular.
In mid-April, Cre8audio, makers of the NiftyCase, expanded their portfolio with the NiftyKEYZ, a modular keyboard with 4 voice polyphony and cool extras. After that came the Function Junction, a clever multi-functional module where the review is in the works.
Two new products in one month. That doesn’t stop the company from introducing something new exclusively for Superbooth 22. In Berlin, they will premiere the East Beast, a new affordable semi-modular Synthesizer.
Cre8audio East Beast
For the development of the East Beast, Cre8audio has once again teamed up with Richard Nicol and Michael Johnsen of Pittsburgh Modular.
East Beast is an East-Coast-style semi-modular Synthesizer that has a fixed signal flow. But if you patch it, you can break it in a matter of seconds and wild new sound possibilities open up. The structure consists of 9 individual patchable modules: an oscillator, filter, envelope, VCA, LFO, multi-mod tool, sequencer, MIDI to CV converter, and a button keyboard.
The core is based on Pittsburgh’s oscillator that entered the 5th generation made from 100% modern components. It offers sine, triangle, sawtooth, square, and pitch noises as waveforms that can be combined. Plus PWM and linear FM via dedicated hardware controls. The developers promise a very rich-sounding oscillator with unique timbre and very stable tuning.
Then, it hosts an original PGH multimode filter, which the developers say has a creamy smooth character with no dead spot. It gives you lowpass, high-pass, band-pass, or a combination of the three for an even wider sonic palette. There are no built-in effects, and thus the pure audio signal path ends at the main VCA output.
Analog Meets Digital Modulation
On the modulation side, it has a newly-developed analog envelope generator designed for fast, percussive attacks. Also analog is the dual-range LFO with a triangle wave output with audio-rate modulation capabilities. A little weak with a single waveform, here I would have liked another waveform or two.
Besides the analog modulation system, Cre8audio also incorporated a digital multi-mod tool with a dedicated CV output. It can either be a random number generator, an additional LFO, or an envelope generator. I like the mix of analog and digital here.
Right out of the box, East Beast has a fixed signal flow also for the modulations. However, by patching the 18 Eurorack compatible patch points, you unchain them and can use them differently. For this, it includes independent mod outputs (env, LFO…)
MIDI, CV/Gate & Sequencer
East Beast works like a classic synth without a patch cable via MIDI or with the integrated keyboard. Cre8audio has taken care of all those who want to plug it into their modular synth. Remove it from the case and it becomes a 40HP Eurorack fully-featured voice module with CV/gate inputs.
Further, it includes a clock-synced arpeggiator and a 32-step sequencer. It is powered by an internal clock controllable i.e. clockable via tap tempo, manually, or via an external source.
First Impression & Availability
The new Cre8audio/Pittsburgh semi-modular mono synth looks very wild. The engine, however, is not that super wild as the interface suggests. It’s classic subtractive but spiced up with some unique bits.
So only by exploring and patching it, you can unchain the beast from the East Coast side and discover wild, unusual timbres. An exciting package for the asking price. I’m looking forward to hearing more demos.
Cre8audio East Beast will be available in June 2022 for 249€/$249,99 USD street price. MSRP 349,99€. It includes the synth, power supply, 5x Nacza Noodles patch cables, and two 3.5mm to 5-pin MIDI Din adapters.
More information here: Cre8audio
East Beast is available for pre-order here