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
Marty Ahlijanian
August 26, 2012 @ 7:48 am
I bought one new at Sam Ash in NY in 1978. Gigged all around southern New England with it for 6 years and NEVER had a minute of trouble. Fantastic price ($500) compared to the big guys - and later bought a Crumar Orchestrator (became proficient with pliers and Super Glue with that bad-boy). If buying one today, keep in mind that it needsa full hour to warm-up before the oscillators stabilize - otherwise you will experience pitch drift and have to re-tune all nit long. Sold it in the mid-90s, but really miss it. Marty Ahlijanian
Paul Jones
August 19, 2012 @ 9:08 pm
The sounds this thing can make using Syncying and vco pitch mod are of the scale. And the bottom end it can produce is stunning. Requires very careful tuning to get the sexy bass tones but my god are they powerful and sweet.
June 10, 2012 @ 3:43 pm
I had one of these when they first came out great sound had the Arp sound but with a little more humf...............for a low cost unit worked good.
May 27, 2012 @ 3:21 am
synth repair services have replacement slider knobs in all colours :)
March 13, 2012 @ 3:12 pm
Can anyone tell me where I can buy replacement slider knobs for an SRM, please. Preferably Uk supplier. Many Thanks.
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  • Check Price
  • 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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