Pittsburgh Modular Blackbox Portable Modular Synthesis
Desktop Portability with Analog Power and Modular Flexibility
The Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox is a complete, standalone desktop format modular synthesizer. A full compliment of analog tools for sonic experimentation stuffed into a portable, powered steel enclosure. Two patchable oscillators and our legendary state-variable filter are paired with a perfectly curated set of synthesis components including a dual sub oscillator, dual, chained mixers, a plucky, four stage envelope generator, sample and hold, noise, low frequency oscillator, voltage controlled amplifier, a feature rich MIDI to CV converter, and a pair of utility signal splitters.
A self-contained modular powerhouse, the Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox provides absolutely everything you need to create gigantic and iconic synth sounds, in the studio or on the go.
Your Sound, Your Way
Pre-patched under the hood, patch cables are not necessary to get started. But as soon as you begin patching, you will feel the power provided by the 53 patch points and 21 knobs. By breaking each feature of the synthesizer out with patch cables, a tremendous amount of flexibility and control emerges to patch up any sound your imagination can dream up. All the tried and true analog classics are there at your disposal: sine, sawtooth, triangle and square. In addition, our exclusive and powerful blade wave on Oscillator 1 adds a unique weapon to your sonic arsenal. Deep modulation options award you complex control of nearly every function of the SV-1.
A Team Player
We’ve designed the Lifeforms SV-1 to be patch compatible any eurorack synthesizer regardless of size. In a smaller system, the SV-1 provides a wide variety of synthesis options through a hefty set of synthesis tools. Combined with a larger collection of modules, you can unlock never-before-heard expressiveness and unparalleled control over the rich feature set of the SV-1. The ability to patch and integrate the SV-1 with other existing eurorack compatible gear gives you truly infinite modulation and expansion options. The Lifeforms SV-1 module can also be removed from the Blackbox and inserted into a larger Structure eurorack enclosure or any other eurorack format case as your system grows.
Integrated Synthesizer Components
The MIDI to CV converter enables you to connect all your MIDI-compatible gear and convert it to control voltage right inside the SV-1. Volt per octave and gate outputs allow you to connect to your MIDI keyboard or DAW and take control of the SV-1 your way.
Extensive patch options give you access to glide, CC, and velocity. A digital clock-syncable LFO with triangle and quantized random voltage waveforms provides even more modulation options. A clock input allows you to override the internal or MIDI clock and sync to external CV and gate clock signals. A built-in arpeggiator provides all of the deep arpeggio responses from the MIDI 3, including as played, double triggered, random, and random with random gate. This unlocks another level of playability and the capacity to create complex and fresh musical patterns out of just a few notes.
Oscillator 1 and Oscillator 2
Our next-generation dual analog oscillator provides the sonic framework for massive synth sounds or deep exploration of west coast style frequency modulation. Sine, triangle, saw, and square waves are at your control, all available to modulate via FM and hard sync. As a bonus, Oscillator 1 also contains our unique blade wave. The shape of the blade wave can be controlled using the width CV input, creating a sweeping or chorusing effect. Oscillator 2 is normalled to the FM of Oscillator 1, providing jaw-dropping analog FM bass, deep percussive hits, searing leads, and thick, warm analog pads which all come to life from these two modern, organic sounding oscillators. Both analog oscillators dip well below audio rate, allowing them to function as voltage controllable LFOs.
Modulation and Tools
A wide-range utility LFO with triangle and square wave outputs is ideal for VCA or Filter frequency sweeps. Or, turn it up and release the dynamic FM capabilities of either oscillator. A Tools section provides access to two sub-octave oscillators, derived from Oscillator 1’s core frequency. Analog noise and sample & hold finish out the Tools section — the hold function is initially pre-wired to MIDI clock, and equips you to create perfectly timed, random voltage steps.
This versatile four channel mixer comes pre-wired for fast access to Oscillator 1’s sine, saw, pulse and sub. However, you are just a patch cable away from instantly making your own unique blend of waveforms from the SV-1. The mixer can be split into two independent two channel mixers simply by patching into the top output.
State Variable Filter
Rich and thick, the sound of the revered Pittsburgh Modular Filter is unmistakable. Absolutely stunning harmonic character with voltage control over the entire frequency range. A provided attenuverter lets you dial in exactly how much CV to feed the frequency input, even inverting the input for dramatic changes in modulation. Separate highpass, lowpass, and bandpass outputs are provided as breakout options, each with their own powerful sonic timbres. Turn up the resonance for an added growl, giving your tones an aggressive edge that no softsynth can match.
Four Stage Envelope Generator
Designed specifically for the Lifeforms SV-1 with a plucky, organic feel, our four-stage analog ADSR allows you to generate envelopes with remarkable, precise control over each stage. Pre-patched to receive gate signals directly from MIDI, the gate input may be overridden by any available clock, trigger, or square wave source.
Voltage Controlled Amplifier
The amplifier section not only controls the overall level of the output, but is voltage controllable. A clean, responsive VCA, capable of everything from transparent control to mild overdrive contours audio or CV signals. The ADSR is pre-patched to the level CV providing shape to the synthesizer audio.
Two unbuffered audio or CV splitter sections allow you duplicate your signal in creative ways, routing a single audio or CV source to multiple destinations.
Line Level and Headphone Outputs
High quality stereo headphone amplifier and monophonic line level outputs controlled by a master volume knob.
Patch Cables: 6 Nazca Audio Brand braided patch cables.
1/8" stereo jack to midi connector cable.
Enclosure Power and Specs
Black powder coat steel construction.
Aluminum faceplate with embedded graphics to prevent patch cord scratches.
Dimensions: 9 3/4" x 5 1/4" x 2 1/2"
Weight: 4.5 lbs
Power: 1.5A +15v DC power adapter