Pittsburgh Modular Taiga 2.0, new firmware adds tons of functionality to the semi-modular synth

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Pittsburgh Modular Taiga, a new semi-modular analog Synthesizer combining classic and novel nature-influenced east/west synthesis concepts. 

In early 2023, Pittsburgh Modular released the Taiga, a semi-modular Synthesizer that creatively combines East and West Coast ideas. Good news coming from Pittsburgh Modular for all existing and potential new users.

They have just dropped Taiga 2.0, a new firmware update with new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

Pittsburgh Modular Taiga 2.0

Pittsburgh Modular Taiga 2.0

Taiga 2.0 is here and brings some additional functionality. First, the built-in arpeggiator now has playback directions that can be selected using the LFO mode button while in arpeggiator mode and holding the edit and clock buttons. The random ARP order will override these settings.

The new firmware also offers good new sound design possibilities. For example, you can now clock the wave shape (seed) and filter. Once connected to the clock button, the seed or filter mode will randomly change every time there is a clock pulse, enabling the user to have shapes randomize while holding a note.

It also ships with additional and reworked functions in the modulation tool. This includes rewritten mod wheel functionality to fully utilize all eight scaling for each mod mode.

Then, the 0-5v mode has been upgraded with four additional sub-modes: 0-5-0v center low, edges high, 5-0-5v center high, edges low, 5-0v Inverted, and 0-5v. T

The LFO also benefits from an increased range and better responsiveness at low frequencies. It ships with four new sub-modes: sine, triangle, saw, and square with PWM control. The same applies to the envelope mode, which also has improvements and adds four new envelope sub-modes: percussive, swell-y triangle, reversed percussive, and sustain-y. 

Also, the random mode gets a power boost. It comes with more distinct random timings, and these also benefit from an increased range to better fit in musical results. There are also four new sub-modes: soft random, triangular random, sawed random, and sample & hold.

Lastly, Pittsburgh Modular Taiga 2.0 offers a new velocity-scaled mod tool that gives you velocity-scaled envelopes, voltages, LFOs, and random generators. To access the functionality, hold the edit and octave buttons and press the arp/random button. This feature also works with the random velocity modes.

Sounds like an excellent update for the Taiga Synthesizer. The new update is available now as a free download from the official website.


Article From January 31, 2023

It’s no secret that the US-based Pittsburgh Modular is working on a new semi-modular Synthesizer. More precisely, a successor to their lovely microvolt 3900 and Voltage Lab synths. The developers involved the community in the research and development activities. Among other things, with the products from Cre8audio or with the experimental Safari modules.

Now the instrument is ready. Pittsburgh Modular has posted teaser videos for their new Synthesizer on social media for a few days. You couldn’t see anything, you only heard short developer stories and first sound demos. The curtain fell today, and Pittsburgh Modular released Taiga, a new 3-oscillator semi-modular paraphonic synth.

Pittsburgh Modular Taiga

Pittsburgh Modular Taiga

The developers took a little longer, but now Taiga is officially here. Visually, it continues the new Pittsburgh Modular design line introduced with the experimental out-of-the-lab Safari modules. Colorful knobs and a faceplate with light-colored accents take us into the wild nature where Taiga is at home.

Technically, Taiga is also a continuation of the interesting themes Pittsburgh embarked on with the Safari. They are modernizing analog synthesis with new ideas. In Taiga, you can find east as well as west-coast-oriented features. It’s, however, not a 100% takeover of all the Safari modules feature set, but they took the best bits from them and incorporated them in the design of their new semi-modular synth.

3 Taiga Oscillators

Taiga is a semi-modular Synthesizer with both a fixed and a breakable signal path. You can just start right out of the box and go deeper by starting to patch. It combines three newly developed Taiga oscillators plus waveshaping and wave folding stretching beyond the classic shapes and sounds associated with analog synthesis.

“The waveform passes 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”, says Pittsburgh Modular. That sounds like a lot of fun. There is also a four-channel mixer with a built-in noise generator and the option to create feedback. 

Pittsburgh Filter

A filter should not be missing. And they have fine-tuned this over the last few months and years. You could already see it in others releases like the East Beast Synthesizer in collaboration with Cre8audio. Pittsburgh Modular describes it as: “a signature gummy and relaxed sound with no dead spots that have been tweaked to perfection.”

The Pittsburgh filter is a multimode filter and has classic control elements, including a cutoff and resonance knob. CV animations are possible via the two-frequency CV pots. Richard Nicol and his team promise: “a warm, smooth sweep through the full frequency range and a sweet resonance that does not roll off the low end.” So you do not get a classic infused ladder filter that loses its juice at high resonance. 

Pittsburgh Modular Taiga

Pittsburgh Dynamics Controller

Then Pittsburgh also adopted the innovative dynamics controller unit from the Safari series. It consists of a combination of VCA and a west-coast-infused lowpass gate that gives your sounds a very organic depth and presence. This section simultaneously manages both amplitude and harmonic content.

It makes your sound warmer by decreasing its volume. According to the devs, this mimics how sound waves react to their environment.

Analog Echos, Mixer, MIDI to CV, and more

That’s not all. Modulation side, you can work with two envelope generators, LFO, a noise generator, and a digital modulation tool with CC mappings. A hybrid path they have already taken with the East Beast / West Pest. I like it.

Further, you get a preamp with a soft-clipping overdrive limiter circuit for extra juice and an analog BBD delay to the round of your sounds. This is CV controllable and can sound clean but also dirty at the same time. It also hosts a clock-synced arpeggiator with an internal clock generator with tap tempo and a MIDI to CV converter.

Pittsburgh Modular Taiga package

Semi-Modular Goodness

And as already written, Taiga is a semi-modular synth and logically has patch points and not too few. With its 60 patch points, Taiga offers the user many patch options. From simple to complex meshed sounds. Alongside, it also includes a MIDI input in the patch bay, dedicated outputs as well as a headphone output. You can also use it as a Eurorack module

Of course, as is so common these days, there was a social media explosion of 1-day video reviews.

First Impression

I haven’t had Taiga in my hands or in the studio to test it yet. But I like what I’ve heard so far. Pittsburgh Modular built here a very original semi-modular analog synth. Very welcome in times when many companies tend to release clones of old classics.

Taiga combines the best bits of what they have already teased in their Cre8audio co-developments but expanded again and in mature form. A beautiful instrument with a lot of originality and character.

Pittsburgh Modular will be available soon for 799,99€/$799,99 USD MAP in the PM shop and at retailers.

More information here: Pittsburgh Modular

Available for pre-order at my partners

Thomann Perfect Circuit 

Hardware Synthesizer News

Eurorack News


  1. Weren’t we just talking about this problem? Of all those “reviewers” only Robin Vincent was honest enough to include the tag (required by YouTube’s terms of service) indicating the content is a “paid promotion”.
    Why have the others not included this tag? Obviously it’s because they think it will hurt their credibility and want to either ignore the issue completely or make their own mealy-mouthed explanations.
    Again, whether or not a free synth is adequate payment for their ad-making services is irrelevant. The YouTube TOS require this tag.

    • The YouTube TOS are different for each country in accordance to the local law. A creator in USA can be obliged to disclose things that someone from Canada or Europe does not have to. Might be part of the reason why channels handle this differently.

  2. You have a lot of energy to spend over a tag that you mistakenly thinks conveys more than, let’s say Loopop’s carefully delivered disclosure. Your lame insult directed at these reviewers aside, you mis-characterize their work to label them as paid-promotions. They have definitely help me become a more informed consumer, and I have never felt they were merely promoting a product. Do you actually take the time to watch their reviews? If you do then you should see your diatribe as a bit comical if it wasn’t carrying so much negativity.

    • How many of those reviewers compare the Taiga to other manufacturers products?
      Hence, it’s obviously a promotional review for the benefit of the manufacturer, rather than an objective balanced review for the benefit of the customer.
      Yes, they include some cons along with the pros.
      It’s a strong product for sure. But for £800, the consumer would really like to know what else that money could be spent on to achieve similar results.

  3. Simple. Their content wasn’t and isn’t paid promotion. No need for the tag. Not a question of honesty, just one of understanding.

    • But it is. If you knew anything about YouTube you’d know that. Instead you want to be a smug fanboi White Knighting your favorite idols.

    • I’m on the side of activating the YouTube banner as “free gear” is a kind of payment. I always activate the banner when I get a device for a video. If you look at YouTube for the exact information of the “Paid Promotion” banner, you can see that free gear you get to promote a product is part of it. It’s a transparency minimum of what YouTubers should do to inform their community about it easily and directly.

      • As a (new) consumer, when you watch a video and see the “Paid Promotion” banner, it immediately gives you a feeling that the tester perhaps doesn’t express his/her honest opinion about the product. But when you are a tester and don’t accept free gear from developers, you have nothing to test at all in the first place and can’t compete against other Youtubers. I understand loopop’s “disclaimer dilemma” and I think it is also a consumers’ job to find out, who is trustworthy and who is not.

        • Loopop always has enough to test in his room since he is filled with free gear from developers. They love him for his videos. I don’t see a problem with the paid promotion banner as it is more about transparency to the viewers. Since almost no major YouTuber nowadays still reviews gear he/she doesn’t get from the brand, you always have to question the videos that say nothing about this. And with the YouTube income that you make from that particular video review, you can rarely pay the costs of the device. So it doesn’t make sense to a major YouTuber to buy the gear to review. It’s a minus business. And it’s not a dilemma, it’s straightforward.

          • Well then it is obvious, everybody is paid anyways and the “Paid Promotion” button is overrated. :o)

            Cool synth from Pittsburgh Modular by the way! Thomann price is 899.-€, maybe next christmas… if they build enough.

    • Many retailers sell them, like Thomann, Perfect Circuit, etc. For the business, they teamed up with Cre8audio thus I think they are made in China. But most of today’s synthesizers are made in China today so not a big thing

      • Depending on your way of thinking, it can be a big thing from a political standpoint. But what are the alternatives (including all the components of a synth) , Moog, Sequential?

      • So there’s no problem right up to the point when China invade Taiwan?
        Everything’s just fine to support China up till then?
        China exploit our democracy.
        They have their very own police departments in our countries to hassle exiled dissidents. 54 stations in 21 countries.
        They dragged into their compound and beat up a protester outside the Manchester Chinese embassy. Then denied it to the world.
        Our synth companies should make better choices when they source their components and labour. It’s a simple fact that China do not have a monopoly on any component or technology. They’re just one of the cheapest and easiest to get them from.

        • Nobody cares, people want good and cheap products. With your political reasoning, 90% of consumer products should be banned and you will probably walk naked. Made in the US, bad since they are engaged in wars and putschs in all corners of the world, made in Russia bad, made in China bad, made in Thailand bad since it is a dictatorship, anything made outside the EU should be banned.

  4. Closed-mindedness masquerading as thought, as usual. Trouble thinking, hurl insults. Classy. A paid promotion is easy to spot. A review requested by a company, and funded by a piece of their gear, is something else. The difference is easy to understand. And so you are the guardian of the integrity of Ebay — go for it. I am glad they have you as their champion. I am interested in the opportunity to see Youtubers putting new gear through their paces, and I usually learn something in the process. It is so easy to be on the attack.

    • Just imagine, you have a “paid promotion”-labled and very positive synth review on Youtube, but something is wrong with the first charge of units, that come to market. Do you want to be made responsible for developer mistakes and be sued for false advertising?

  5. I pre-ordered it. Expected early April. I see a great little modular synth that has capabilities that can’t be slotted in any one category, or compared to some other run of the mill reissue. So I’m putting my money down and I’m pretty sure I will not be disappointed. And yes,I watched all those YouTube reviews and could care less if they are paid or not paid or free gifts or whatever. I think the combination of all the reviews gives a pretty good picture of what this synth can do and its creative potential in my music. At the end of the day, we are here because we want to create music, right? Who cares if the YouTubers are being paid or not. If you are naive enough to fall for some promotional video for a $200 synth that will purportedly do anything, then that is your mistake to learn.

  6. Wow the comment section really exploded on this article.. Regardless, I think this synth looks bad a$$. I haven’t watched any vids on it other than Pittsburgh modular release video. That alone has perked my interest. Like a west coast mini moog++. and at a price that suggests this company is not focused on greed. also, thank goodness they didn’t stick with their recent graphic design style. The features of their recently released modules are sweet, but I cant rack something so ugly. This beauty however is a dif story.

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