Released in 1976, the Octave Cat was a biting analogue synth in the vein of the Arp Odyssey, but came at a significantly lower price. Now Cherry Audio has collaborated with Carmine Bonanno, the instrument’s original designer, to release a plugin version.
The software emulation replicates the Cat’s dual-oscillator design, and also brings you its aggressive resonant filter, flexible modulation system, oscillator cross-mod and oscillator sync. Enhancements include expanded 16-voice polyphony - the original was duophonic - sample and hold glide, built-in effects and a dual-step sequencer.
You also get MPE support, more than 300 presets and extensive MIDI mapping features. There's more than one way to skin this Cat, too: you can make it look like either the Mark 1 or SRM version of the hardware.
Carmine Bonanno says that, as well as sounding just as good as his original synth, the new plugin “goes way beyond what a hardware CAT is capable of.” Explaining further, he adds that “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." Cherry Audio's enhancements, he believes, make the plugin “incredibly more versatile than a hardware Cat."
If a real Cat is what you’re looking for, Behringer has a keyboard-free desktop clone that can also be used in a Eurorack setup.
The Octave Cat plugin runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats and is available now priced at $49 (regular price will be $69). Find out more and download a demo on the Cherry Audio website.