West Pest is an affordable and experimental semimodular synth

·Managing Editor
·2 min read
Cre8Audio

It's only been a couple of weeks since Cre8Audio unveiled its first self-contained synth. But the company is back already with a companion to the East Beast, called the West Pest. As the name implies this is a West Coast style synth, made to complement the Beast's east coast flavor.

Just like the Beast this is an analog semi-modular synth built in collaboration with Pittsburg Modular. It has a 20-point patch bay, a one octave keyboard, a 32-step sequencer, an arpeggiator and a "digital multi-function tool" that can be an extra envelope, LFO or a random generator.

In fact the two have more in common than not. Physically they're nearly identical, but with slightly different control layouts and graphics. And they're both just $250, which is stunningly affordable for an analog modular synth.

Of course what separates the West Pest from its sibling is its core sound and design features. Its main oscillator is described as "buzzy" and instead of a filter to shave off harmonics, it has a wave folder to add more. Rather than a traditional envelope and filter combo, the Pest has a Dynamics Controller module, that combines the functions of an envelope generator, VCA, and a low pass filter, which sounds more-or-less like a low pass gate. And there's a generative sequencing function for getting truly unpredictable with your bleeps and bloops.

West Coast style synthesis has enjoyed something of a resurgence these last few years. Small companies like Erica Synths and big players like Korg have dabbled recently. And the OG of the form, Buchla, came roaring back in 2020 with an updated take on the iconic Music Easel. So it would make sense for a company like Cre8Audio looking to make a splash with it's first couple of synths to give it a try too.

The West Pest is available to preorder now for $250 and should be shipping "imminently."