MATRIXSYNTH: Introducing the Pittsburgh Modular Voltage Lab 2

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Introducing the Pittsburgh Modular Voltage Lab 2

video upload by Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers

"Standalone Modern Analog Synthesis Laboratory
Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers’ long-anticipated successor to the Voltage Research Laboratory is filled to the brim with interesting new inventions, such as several new wave-shaping technologies, an addictive tactile performance controller, and more…"

The New, Experimental Synthesis of the Voltage Lab 2

video upload by Jorb

0:00 Intro
2:27 Hands on Begins
4:58 Oscillator One
11:01 Oscillator Two
16:29 Quick Look at Function Generators
18:26 Quick Look at Dynamics Controllers
19:04 FX
21:02 Chance Sequencer
22:37 Touch Controller Begins
26:56 Step Conditions
28:10 Step Jump Explained

Geek Chic // Sonic Experiments from the Voltage Lab2

video upload by Starsky Carr

"Dusting the cobwebs from my vintage 1950's lab coat - it was all the rage once honest.

Going into lab rat research mode and seeing where the maze takes me..

... and here's the results.

Just a little taster while I open the lab book to record apparatus, method, results, discussion and conclusion.

0:00 Bunsen Burner Big Beats
2:15 Plucking Pipettes (no pipettes were harmed)
3:06 Test Tube Techno (it's not techno)
5:59 She's Alive
7:44 Naked Flame
10:00 Medical Skeleton (its the Bare Bones)"

Pittsburgh Modular Voltage Lab 2 - Just Jammin'

video upload by

"Fascinating new modular system from Pittsburgh with a decidedly West Coast bent. Too soon for a review, but here's half an hour of playing with the rather remarkable sequencer, the timbre of the oscillators and other bits and pieces. I added some reverb via the Chroma Console but otherwise it's all the VL2."

The Sweet Spot: Voltage Lab 2 Semi-Modular Synthesizer
video upload by HAINBACH

"As anyone who has ever tried to assemble a modular synthesizer, it is not easy to create a cohesive instrument, especially if you try to narrow it down to a portable case. In comes The Voltage Lab 2 that Pittsburgh Modular send me to play with (thanks for that!) - it is a semi-modular self contained synthesizer, and to me it hits the sweet spot between functionality and musicality."

Also see The Lab Report Episodes for audio demos.

Press release follows:

May 14th, 2024 - Pittsburgh, PA Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers today announced Voltage Lab 2, a standalone dual oscillator analog synthesizer synthesis laboratory with a unique integrated touch-sensitive performance controller.

Voltage Lab 2 is a playground of new analog synthesis tools. Like its predecessor, it explores many new ideas in analog synthesis, plus many of the uniquely Pittsburgh inventions found in the original Voltage Research Laboratory. This painstakingly curated collection of synthesis tools is paired with a specially designed Touch Controller to provide hands-on performance control.

Voltage Lab 2 is sure to take the user into new sonic realms, countless hours of musical exploration, and inspired composition.

Voltage Lab 2 oscillators
Voltage Lab 2 includes a pair of Laboratory Oscillators. Each with a unique set of newly invented waveshaping tools designed to expand the sonic potential of analog synthesis.

Laboratory Oscillator 1
Oscillator 1 introduces Center Clipping to analog synthesis. Center clipping unlocks independent control over the top and bottom of the waveform, allowing for detailed manipulation of harmonic sand timbre without affecting pitch. It does this by processing waveforms from the center out as opposed to traditional methods which work from the peaks inwards.

Laboratory Oscillator 2
Oscillator 2 introduces a host of new sonic possibilities with two new waveshapers. Pulse Symmetry and Reflection.

Pulse Symmetry creates a new species of pulse wave that adds a step between the top and bottom of the waveform. The resulting wave looks like a set of stairs where the depth of the center step can be adjusted in addition to the pulse width.

Wave Reflection takes the bottom half of the waveform and reflects it onto the top half. Each waveshape responds to this differently. For example, a saw wave morphs into a triangle while triangle and sine waves lose their fundamental harmonic and jump up an octave.

Pittsburgh Dynamics Controller
Our new Dynamics technology imparts Voltage Lab 2 with a uniquely organic depth and presence. By simultaneously managing both amplitude and harmonic content, the Pittsburgh Dynamics Controller expands beyond the one-dimensional VCA found in other synthesizers. It does this by utilizing new advancements from traditional low pass gates to add additional definition and dimension to the voices of the Voltage Lab 2.

When used in low pass gate mode, sounds shed harmonic content and become warmer as they decrease in volume. This mimics how sound waves react to their environment. Because of this connection, the Voltage Lab 2 sounds more natural or complex compared to other instruments.

Touch Controller 2
The Touch Controller 2 enables artists to blend traditional pitched performances with the freedom to openly experiment, creating a flexible playground for music creation. Two independent channels offer a combination of real-time, expressive playing and in-depth sequencing. Assignable scales, step conditions, jumps, chance effects, generative sequencing, and a host of other tools come together allowing musicians to both create and interact with complex systems.

A Florist and Echos
The Voltage Lab 2 includes a set of analog time based effects, Florist and Echos. The Florist is a flanger/chorus hybrid that focuses on brighter, short time shifts with highly controlled feedback allowing for maximum ringing before self oscillation. Echos is a more traditional, darker analog BBD delay that also utilizes highly controlled feedback to provide a larger number of repeats before falling into self-oscillation. Both effects are perfect for traditional workflows and unconventional experimentation.

Complete set of modular tools
The Voltage Lab 2 includes a host of fully modular, analog and digital synthesis tools to support and enhance its core functionality. Analog tools include flexible mixers, a pair of complex function generators, noise, sample and hold, and an LFO. Digital tools cover external MIDI, arpeggiator, and a robust chance sequencer. The Voltage Lab 2 toolset is deep enough for all types of sonic experiments.

Voltage Lab 2 has an expected street price of $1999.99 USD and is available for pre-order from and Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer dealers worldwide. It’s expected to begin to arrive in user’s hands sometime in June 2024.


Check with dealers on the right for availability.

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