LIFEFORMS SV-1B BLACKBOX
Dual oscillator modular synthesizer packed with full compliment of analog tools for sonic experimentation and stuffed into a portable 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 Complete Eurorack Synthesizer
The Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV-1b 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 Pittsburgh Filter are paired with a perfectly curated set of synthesis tools. The Lifeforms SV-1b Blackbox provides absolutely everything you need to create gigantic and iconic synth sounds, in the studio or on the go.
Sound is Important
The original Lifeforms SV-1 eurorack format synthesizer module is legendary for its deep, analog sounds capable of pumping out everything from roaring bass and cutting leads to absolute chaos. The SV-1b shares this same bold, powerful core while fine tuning the details. We have made a countless number of small tweaks and adjustments to the original SV-1 synthesis engine to improve the stability and functionality of the SV-1b. The sound is what matters, and this is still the East Coast analog monster to beat.
Analog is Important
From the custom designed oscillator core to the iconic sound of the Pittsburgh Filter, the SV-1b showcases the true power of analog synthesis. The oscillator core used in the SV-1b was developed by Michael Johnsen and Richard Nicol to pair the visceral size and depth of vintage oscillators with the tracking and stability needed by modern instruments. The result is a palate of waveforms tuned to perfection with proprietary analog designs and countless listening tests. The Pittsburgh Filter is the heart of the SV-1b. The first collaboration between Michael and Richard, it defines the sound of Pittsburgh. Buttery smooth, the filter adds a depth and weight to waveforms so it never sounds dull. Michael’s liquid resonance circuit allows the Pittsburgh Filter to overdrive smoothly and never lose the bottom end regardless of how high you turn up the resonance. Everywhere is a sweet spot.
Patching is Important
The SV-1b Blackbox is not a semi-modular synthesizer with limited signal path options. Each module within the SV-1b Blackbox can be used independently to the rest of the system. The SV-1b is pre-patched (normaled) internally so patch cables are not necessary to get started. But as soon as you begin patching, you will appreciate the unrestricted creativity of the 53 patch points and 21 knobs. By breaking each module of the SV-1b out with patch cables, a tremendous amount of flexibility and control emerges to patch up any sound your imagination can dream up.
The MIDI to CV converter enables you to connect all your MIDI-compatible gear and convert it to control voltage right inside the SV-1b. Volt per octave, gate, CC, and velocity outputs allow you to connect to your MIDI keyboard or DAW while a digital LFO with sine, triangle, square, and quantized random voltage waveforms provides clock sync’d modulation options. A clock input allows you to override the internal or MIDI clock and sync to external CV and gate clock signals. The built-in arpeggiator unlocks another level of playability and the capacity to create complex and fresh musical patterns out of just a few notes.
Oscillator One and Oscillator Two
The custom core, dual analog oscillators provide the sonic framework for massive synth sounds and a deep exploration of east coast synthesis. Sine, triangle, saw, and square waves are at your control, all available to modulate via FM and hard sync. Oscillator One also contains our unique blade wave. The shifting saw-like shape of the blade wave can be controlled using the width CV input, creating a sweeping or chorusing effect. Oscillator Two is normaled to the FM of Oscillator One, providing jaw-dropping analog FM bass, deep percussive hits, searing leads, and thick, warm analog pads which all come to life from these two Pittsburgh designed, organic sounding oscillators. Both analog oscillators dip well below audio rate, allowing them to function as voltage controllable LFOs.
A 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 One’s core frequency. Analog noise and sample & hold finish out the Tools section.
This versatile four channel mixer comes pre-wired for fast access to Oscillator One’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-1b. The mixer can also be split into two independent two channel mixers for maximum patching flexibility.
Smooth and thick, the sound of the revered Pittsburgh Modular Filter is unmistakable. 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.
Designed specifically for the Lifeforms SV-1b 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 unified volume knob.
SV-1b Module Specifications
Panel size: 48hp
Power Usage: +12v 230mA, -12v 200mA. Does not require +5v. Includes reversed power polarity protection.
Enclosure Power and Specs
Black powder coat steel construction.
Dimensions: 9 3/4" x 5 1/4" x 2 1/2"
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Power: 1.5A +15v DC power adapter
Patch Cables: 6 Nazca Audio Brand patch cables.
1/8" stereo jack to midi connector cable.
Click below to download the .pdf manual.