Analog Is Important


Friends and Synthesists,

Happy New Year, and thank you to everyone who has supported Pittsburgh Modular over the past 8 years. Every Microvolt, SV-1, Lifeforms module, and Structure case we build means a tremendous amount to us. It makes everyone in our shop (Danielle, Michael I., Michael J., Perry, Ross, and me) proud to see our devices inspiring artists around the world.

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Herman Pearl for introducing me to Michael Johnsen 7 years ago. Michael is the finest analog synthesis engineer in the world, and he designs musical circuitry with a curiosity and joy that is infectious. His pure love and deep understanding of analog synthesis inspires me, and my favorite days are the ones we spend brainstorming and troubleshooting new ideas. Analog synthesis is exciting because it is very much a work in progress.

Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers is a tiny company that has made a substantial impact on modular synthesis because of our commitment to analog innovation. Take a look at our dynamic filter circuit as an example. The dynamic filter is based on a proprietary Vactrol-less low pass gate circuit that gives our modules a unique organic warmth. This circuit solves an engineering problem that has plagued West Coast style synth manufacturers since Don Buchla began using the Vactrol as a voltage controlled resistor in the 1960s.

We are excited for 2019. The new instruments and modules we are working on will be much more experimental than in the past to line up more with our current interests. A groundbreaking cascading analog delay, unique experimental synthesizer laboratory, next generation signal processors, and more. The Microvolt was our first step away from traditional synthesis and we are not looking back.

Analog is important.

Thank you,
Richard Nicol
Founder | Designer
Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers