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Cherry Audio Releases Octave Cat Softsynth



1976 wasn’t only the American bicentennial, it was also the year of the affordable CAT synth. 2023 is the year of the software version.

Cherry Audio keeps introducing excellent software synths for very reasonable prices. Their latest is the Octave Cat, a recreation of the CAT synth from 1976, for which they collaborated with the original designer.

But you may or may not have noticed a detail in the picture at the top of this story: several notes on the keyboard are sounding. Unlike the original, this one is 16-voice polyphonic. And of course it has other modern features like MIDI, patch saving, and so on.

Here’s the company release:

Cherry Audio is proud to announce 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’s 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.

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 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.

Current price: $49

Click here for more info

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