Octave The Cat

Octave The Cat Image

Octave released this analog classic - the Cat - during the era of the Minimoog and ARP Odyssey synthesizers. The Cat is actually very much like the ARP Odyssey, so much so that ARP had sued them in the late 1970's for cloning their designs. The Cat is a monophonic/duophonic analog synthesizer with 2 oscillators capable of square and sawtooth waveforms. VCO 1 also has a triangle waveform. Each of the waveforms can be played simultaneously and mixed together and there are additional sub-octave oscillators on each oscillator to blend new and interesting sounds.

Octave The Cat Image

The original Cats were purely monophonic, but then came the SRM update which added the duophonic (2-voice) capability. The Cat (SRM) has a 2-note sample-and-hold feature for each voice too! The Keyboard can be switched between 2-voice (poly) and 1-voice (mono) modes. In mono mode the 2 oscillators can be stacked for a rich mono-bass or mono-lead synth sound. Poly mode limits the richness of the sound because each VCO becomes a separate dedicated voice. In this mode you can create slightly more complex melodies with overlapping notes or very basic pads. The sub-osc plays at an octave below the actual note played which nicely adds some warmth or bottom to your sounds. It has been used by The Dust Brothers, Chemical Brothers, Devo, Rod Argent, David Bedford, Lyn Berger, Dave Greenslade, OMD, Loaded and Mixmaster Morris.

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39 Visitor comments
G.L. Moody
January 17, 2009 @ 2:39 pm
I have a CAT in excellent condition that I am willing to part with but, only to a person who will treat it with the utmost care and handling.
December 17, 2008 @ 2:22 pm
Actually, ARP never sued Octave for cloning their designs. They were going to, but when Octave confronted them with the fact that nearly all of ARP's ideas were copied as well, including the duophinic capability, they backed off and were never heard from again. Plus, i know the guy who founded Octave. Carmine told me that the idea he had in mind when designing the Cat was to have an affordable synth (Only $300.00 at the time), that sounded like a Moog and an ARP. He took all the features from the synthesizers that he liked and put them into one low cost package. He also made a moduolar synthesizer for his college thesis!
Mark Duff
October 22, 2008 @ 8:30 am
Amazing synth , super fat and super flexible. Made some amazing bass sounds and effects with it. I use it a lot in my music
September 9, 2008 @ 3:06 pm
amazing piece of gear! have had this model for a while, and love it from live jam's to recording with samples in mind. very thick sounds, capable of some nice harmonic leads and strange sounds galore. wish i had the cat stick for it :]
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Mono/Duo-phonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCO's (2 sawtooth, 2 square wave, and 1 triangle) plus 2 sub-oscillators
  • LFO - 1 with sample-and-hold
  • Filter - 1
  • VCA - 1 VCA, 2 EGs- AR and ASDR
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - CV/Gate
  • Date Produced - 1976-81

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