Cre8Audio have announced their first products, the beginnings of an eurorack-compatible modular synthesizer system. The debut system currently consists of a few pieces: NiftyCase (a powered case with MIDI to CV), the Chipz module (a dual VCO and LFO), and the Cellz module (a programmable CV touch pad), and a complete NiftyBUNDLE case-plus-modules set.
The company describes itself as “a company that no one has heard of prior to this press release.”
In addition to being a powered 84hp eurorack compatible modular synthesizer case, NiftyCASE features USB MIDI and 5 pin Din MIDI to CV/Gate conversion. The design of the case simplifies integration of modular synthesis into computer and traditional MIDI environments.
Technical specifications. NiftyCASE also features a significant 2.5A of total power for installed modules. 1500mA +12V, 500mA -12V, and 500mA +5v is supplied for module power consumption.
The Chipz module is a dual voltage-controlled oscillator / low-frequency oscillator module. The voltage-controlled oscillators are derived from classic lo-fi sounding wave shapes, designed to be full of character. Cre8Audio’s product description says “we started with the idea” that Chipz would be a 3 oscillator synth that reminds the user of “the sound of their Commodore, Atari, and NES systems.”
Beyond “chiptune” sounds, each Chipz module VCO features 5 different waveshapes – sine, triangle, saw, square, and noise. Users can morph between waveshapes with the turn of a knob. VCO #1 – Chip1 has an integrated filter, VCO #2 – Chip2 has integrated width control, aka duty cycle of the waveform can be modulated to shape the sound. Chipz dual LFO also features 5 different waveshapes, sine, triangle, saw, square, and random. Users can change between each of these waveshapes with the turn of a knob.
The module’s manual comes in the form of a five-minute video.
Technically speaking, Cre8Audio says that the Cellz module is “a dual unipolar control voltage generator …but really it’s just simply a funky module you can use as a controller or a wacky sequencer.”
Cellz works like 3 modules in one: a controller, sequencer, and an arpeggiator. Each of the 16 “Cellz” can be individually tuned to output 2 different CV values. The user then can play each cell by touching it. Cellz automatically cycle and can be arpeggiated while touching multiple Cellz at the same time. Alternatively, users can build their own sequences that run automatically by feeding / inputting Cellz clock, gate, or even an LFO.
Here’s how Cellz sounds:
Included in the NiftyBUNDLE:
- NiftyCASE 15v 2.4A Switching PSU with NA, EU, UK, and AU blades
- Box ‘O’ Cables (2x 45cm, 2x 35cm, 2x 20cm cables)
- 2x Cre8audio “8” panel blanks for covering unused rack space
The synth’s creators say NiftyBUNDLE is “designed to dropkick new users into the modular world” or allow more seasoned modular to expand their modular collection at a low price (see pricing and availability, below).
Pricing and Availability. Cre8Audio’s NiftyCASE is MSRP $249.99 (Street $199.99) US. The company’s Chipz VCO/LFO module is MSRP $149.99 (Street $99.99 US). The programmable Cellz CV touch pad module is MSRP $149.99 (Street $99.99 US). The “whole mess of synthy fun” NiftyBUNDLE is MSRP $569.96 (Street $269.99 US). All of these will begin shipping “in a few days,” according to Cre8Audio, and can be pre-ordered from the Cre8Audio online shop, or find a dealer near you at this link.