Sonic LAB: Taiga Keyboard Synthesizer Review

US Pittsburgh Modular's latest release      11/03/24

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The latest release from Pittsburgh Modular is a supersize version of their Taiga synthesiser. Based on three wavefolding/complex oscillators with multiple seed waves: Sine, Tri, Saw, Square plus blends they give you the backbone of a powerful synthesizer.

Note: We've uploaded a couple of sample sets to our Patreon if you want to grab them

The Taiga Keyboard  adds  a 3 octave velocity and aftertouch enabled keybed, wooden end cheeks, and a couple of modifications that make it a more tweakable instrument.

First up there's an OSC fine tune knob for each - a small thing but makes it way quicker to get three oscillators tuned how you like. Also the function generator which is an assignable digital affair with a single CV out has easier to access settings - all linked to the Mod Wheel and buttons - the 5V output, Tri LFO, Decay Envelope and Random (you can choose one at a time)  are all set by the depth of the mod wheel, and with shift functions, press and hold the assign button to access clock division (LFO and Random) and decay length (Envelope).

With more room to stroll around the front panel, it makes general operation a lot more intuitive.

The other Big addition, is the inclusion of a 24HP module bay, remove the screws from the plate and there's power for three modules - we put the Mutable Clouds in ours - just to add more processing to the overall sound, but you can choose whatever you want as long as it's not too deep - Disting requires a couple of spacers under the fixing bolts to fit in the provided depth.

Aside from these additions, there's no functional difference between this and the Taiga module except cost, with the Taiga Keyboard at $1299/£1150 and the Taiga Module at around $800/£650.

Personally I found he extra size does make more sense of this instrument for performing and working on sounds. We would like to have seen a legato envelope mode, currently every note triggers the envelope, not something you can fix with an extra module, and a couple of the knobs response are quite sensitive - notably envelope release is somewhat on even with a small adjustment at the start of it's travel, ditto FM depth for the oscillators. However this is consistent across both Taiga models.

However, like the original Taiga having the blend of complex West Coast style Oscillators, a multimode filter AND a resonant Low Pass Gate really gives a wide palette of sounds fore the curious synthesist.

If you just want a taste of that there's also the West Pest from Cre8Audio - which while a much less capable instrument will give you more of a West Coast vibe to explore.

Taiga at Perfect Circuit: (affiliate link)


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