We saw their teaser video last week and now Cherry Audio has announced the release of Octave Cat, a virtual synthesizer instrument designed in collaboration with Carmine Bonanno, the original designer of the CAT synthesizer. Originally released in 1976, the Octave Electronics CAT was an affordable alternative to expensive portable analog synthesizers of the day.
Cherry Audio says that their Octave Cat has successfully replicated the sound and feel of one of history's most beloved synthesizers, taking it to new heights with added features that that further enhance its sonic potential. Here's the details in their own words...
The Cherry Audio team is thrilled to mark another milestone in their mission of creating modern tools that honor the classic designs of history's greatest synth innovators. Revolutionary for its time, The CAT featured flexible modulation, howling audio-range oscillator cross-mod, and fierce oscillator sync, at a price less than half of competitive instruments. Cherry Audio spared no effort in crafting the Octave Cat with the utmost respect and attention to the original classic. Octave Cat retains all the growl of the original hardware's fat and savage duophonic sound and replicates the CAT's uniquely aggressive resonant four-pole 24 dB/oct filter.
Like Cherry Audio's other acclaimed emulations, the Octave Cat feature set has been thoughtfully updated for the modern studio environment -- Octave Cat expands on the original with enhancements including 16-voice polyphony, sample and hold glide, and interchangeable skins for the CAT's Mark 1 and SRM versions.
Octave Cat's secondary panel view reveals dual eight-step classic-style sequencers with tempo sync, quantization, and keyboard transpose, independently assignable to pitch, cutoff, and amplitude. Octave Cat also includes studio-quality effects featuring distortion with tube and fuzz, a 2/4/8/12-stage phaser, flanger/chorus, three syncable delay types, and five reverb styles. With support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE), over 300 expertly designed presets, and extensive MIDI mapping functions, Octave Cat will satisfy both vintage synth aficionados and professional modern music producers.
Bonanno notes that Octave Cat feels and sounds just like the real instrument. "Better yet," he adds, "it goes way beyond what a hardware CAT is capable of. For instance, on a hardware CAT, you can't save a patch, you can't control modulation with an external MIDI controller, you don't have full polyphony, etc." With Cherry Audio's enhancements, he says, "it makes the Cherry Cat incredibly more versatile than a hardware CAT."
Despite its affordable introduction, the price of an original CAT has doubled over the past few years and could set today's vintage synth enthusiasts back $2000 or more. Committed to accessible and innovative music technology for any budget, Cherry Audio continues beating expectations, offering the Octave Cat at an astoundingly low price anyone can afford: only $49 (list $69). With its authentic retro sound, an array of features, and modern enhancements, Octave Cat complements any musician's production toolbox.
Octave Cat is available now at cherryaudio.com and authorized resellers worldwide for Windows and macOS, with macOS 13 Ventura and native Apple M1 (and greater) processor support. Octave Cat is provided in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats, and a free 30-day demo is available.
Pricing and Availability:
On offer at $49 (Regular price: $69)
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