MATRIXSYNTH: Octave Kitten Roar

Monday, April 13, 2020

Octave Kitten Roar

Published on Nov 30, 2013 Nels Truesdell

"Playing with the kitten's wicked filter. listen to it roar :)
Echo is coming from a 1964 ep-2 echoplex"

Rusty sounds for a rusty synth. Cool cat.

via this auction

"Octave Kitten monophonic analog synthesizer in fair condition with some rust on the front panel. This unit is mostly working except for a few minor functional issues, please read full description. Comes with hand drawn schematic for repairing!!

I originally got this from a friend who said it had lived in a basement for ~30 years. I cleaned all the keyboard contacts of any rust and got the synth fully working for awhile. Then it crapped the bed and I had to bring it back to life for a second time. Since then it has acted a bit estranged and I haven't had much time to work on it. Im mainly trying to sell this since I moved into modular gear, but I used this unit for bass lines in many of my songs. Overall it has a vast sound selection for anyone looking for a vintage synth. Even with its altered function I find that I am still able to get a lot of amazing sounds from this device.

Several knobs have lost their intended travel however still retain their function and can act strange depending on their setting. I will list any issues that I have noticed thus far for anyone interested in obtaining this synth to refurbish. I will also try to fix the easy issues and take them off the list as I complete them.

CV modulation depth for the LFO and S + H has issue where the modulation is modest for most of the knobs travel and then increases depth around the last 70% of the turn.

If the sustain slider is below 3/4 of its travel, the envelope will re-trigger/loop in Attack - Decay mode for the duration of the gate signal. The lower sustain is the faster AD loops. This is a function that I believe is intentional as you can loop the ADSR with or without holding a key down however the speed aspect seems to be something that is wrong. That and the sustain travel is abnormal.

VCO modulates a VERY small amount by the envelope, just under a semitone, if the LFO is set slow or fast this is less noticeable.

All voice sliders will distort the mixing amp stage before the filter if turned up all the way. If voices are turned down a bit this does not happen.

Several keys will alter pitch after releasing, mainly due to how slow you release since the keybed is comprised of pairs of metal tines making contact with a metal bus bar for gate and CV. If the one of the tines is released before the other this is why this happens.

Some of the jacks are a bit rusty but still function 100%. I've had some moments where depending on the contact with the cable used, it may need to just be plugged in and out a few times to remove the outer layer of oxidation on the metal. Some de-oxit spray would also fix this.
Noise slider cap is missing.

Other than that the unit is still kicking and looking for a good home! I made a hand drawn schematic awhile back as well and can provide a copy when purchased to help with fixing the unit."

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