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NAMM 2017: Modal Adds New Features For 002 and 008 Hardware Synthesizers

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Posted on: February 11, 2017
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British synthesizer experts Modal have wowed us in the past with their unique and amazing-sounding hardware instruments. So it was great to catch up with them at Namm 2017 and see what they had been working on. The 002 and 008 synths are serious beasts and the company has now built a digital I/O card to add effects and enables them to interface directly with other devices using MIDI over USB and much more. Check out the video below to learn all about them.

 

Modal 002 Specifications

Modal 002

Modal 002

  • 002 provides twelve discrete voices of polyphony with full multi-timbrality if desired
  • Two oscillators per voice with two sub oscillators, which can be switched from being either traditional square wave to having the same waveform as the main oscillator – in effect making four oscillators per voice
  • Analogue / digital hybrid architecture uses NCOs for very high resolution, and very stable oscillators. Over 50 different waveforms, ranging from classic analogue sounds to more unique digital shapes
  • Modal Electronics designed 24dB per octave four pole transistor ladder filter, with some very unusual morphing characteristics or ‘polesweeping’, enabling transition from four pole through bandpass to one pole 6db per octave, or anywhere in between
  • Two LFO’s, one per voice and one global
  • Extensive modulation options, all accessed directly from the front panel – no menu options!
  • 002 features a range of sequencing options – a built in 12 Track, 12 row, 32 step sequencer with 16 dedicated step time editing knobs on the front panel and MIDI sync capabilities. Sequences can also be transposed dynamically while running
  • A very highly featured arpeggiator with a wide range of different modes, including ‘hold’ mode, enabling arpeggiator-based sequences to be created
  • The Modal Electronics Animator, which enables any control parameter on the 002 to be sequenced, enabling very complex filter transisitions, wave form changes and modulation matrix changes to be sequenced
  • Ethernet port to connect your 002 to your network and enable updates via the internet (no more midi sysex dumps) and access to the Modal Electronics cloud features
  • Superb UI, a great departure from the norm of synthesisers, featuring a very high quality 4.3″ screen with wide viewing angle, display is context sensitive where the control parameters of any control knob that is touched by the user, is immediately displayed
  • Twelve ‘quick recall banks’ are accessible directly from the front panel, enabling performing musicians to get rid of their set sheets and build set lists of presets, sequences and animations, all quickly accessible from dedicated front panel buttons. Up to ten banks of quick recalls can be created, making live performance a doddle
  • VCF and VCA envelope generators
  • Four Key Modes – Polyphonic, Monophonic, Unison and Stack
  • Very high quality construction, uses a premium FATAR semi-weighted five octave key mechanism with aftertouch
  • All voice control parameters are accessible from a well designed and intuitive front panel, that follows a traditional synthesiser work flow
  • Pure analogue signal path from the oscillators onwards, no digital conversion.
  • Combined XLR/TRS sockets for balanced / unbalanced outputs. Further, each of the twelve outputs can be brought out individually via a dedicated d-sub socket.
  • Optional Digital Output board providing multi voice outputs over USB (Class Compliant) with FX available 2017.
  • Two audio inputs enabling audio processing from the VCF onwards plus external MIDI in and out
  • XY joystick and Sustain and Expression pedal inputs for performance controls – any control parameter can be assigned to any joystick axis (X+, X-, Y+, Y-) by pressing the dedicated front panel selector button

Modal 008 Specifications

Modal 008

Modal 008

  • 008 provides eight discrete voices of polyphony with an  uncompromising analogue architecture utilising the highest grade components throughout
  • Two 100% analogue VCO’s per voice with two sub oscillators, providing sawtooth, triangle, square with PWM and noise. Each of the waveforms can be blended together to provide completely new complex wave shapes
  • Innovative and extremely flexible 15 multi-mode filter, consisting of traditional modes such as low-pass, band-pass and high-pass as well as more unusual notch, phase and combination modes.
  • Filter overdrive enables the sound to be driven to sonic extremes
  • A range of classic analogue polysynth features such as oscillator and filter FM bringing amazing sonic power
  • Two LFO’s, both capable of reaching audio rates with multiple wave shapes and midi sync
  • 11 modulation sources with unlimited destinations. Each destination can be set its own unique depth, a super smooth sample rate of 10kHz and all accessible from the front panel – no menu diving
  • 008 features a range of sequencing options – a built in 2 Track, 12 row, 32 step sequencer with 16 dedicated step time editing knobs on the front panel and MIDI sync capabilities. Sequences can also be transposed dynamically while running
  • A very highly featured arpeggiator with a wide range of different modes, including ‘hold’ mode, enabling arpeggiator-based sequences to be created
  • The Modal Electronics Animator, which enables any control parameter on the 008 to be sequenced, enabling very complex filter transisitions, wave form changes and modulation matrix changes to be sequenced
  • Ethernet port to connect your 008 to your network and enable updates via the internet (no more midi sysex dumps) and access to the Modal Electronics cloud features
  • Two part multi-timbral (bi timbral) allowing splits across the keyboard or stacks to create amazingly complex sounds
  • Superb UI, a great departure from the norm of synthesisers, featuring a very high quality 4.3″ screen with wide viewing angle, display is context sensitive where the control parameters of any control knob that is touched by the user, is immediately displayed
  • Eight ‘quick recall banks’ are accessible directly from the front panel, enabling performing musicians to get rid of their set sheets and build set lists of presets, sequences and animations, all quickly accessible from dedicated front panel buttons. Up to ten banks of quick recalls can be created, making live performance a doddle
  • Ultra fast (1ms) VCF and VCA envelope generators. VCF-EG is one of the 11 modulation sources that can be freely assigned to any parameter by it’s own unique amount
  • Four Key Modes – Polyphonic, Monophonic, Unison and Stack
  • Very high quality construction, uses a premium FATAR semi-weighted five octave key mechanism with aftertouch
  • All voice control parameters are accessible from a well designed and intuitive front panel, that follows a traditional synthesiser work flow
  • Combined XLR/TRS sockets for balanced / unbalanced outputs. Further, each of the eight outputs can be brought out individually via a dedicated d-sub socket.
  • Optional Digital Output board providing multi voice outputs over USB (Class Compliant) with FX available 2017.
  • Two audio inputs enabling audio processing from the VCF onwards plus external MIDI in and out
  • XY joystick and Sustain and Expression pedal inputs for performance controls – any control parameter can be assigned to any joystick axis (X+, X-, Y+, Y-) by pressing the dedicated front panel selector button

The 002 retails for $4495 or $4995 with the digital I/O card installed.

The 008 retails for $4995 or $5495 with the digital I/O card installed.   

Read more about Modal here. 

 

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