Modal Electronics’ Cobalt8 pushes the boundaries of virtual analogue

64 oscillators with true eight-voice polyphony, 34 algorithms and a whopping 512-note sequencer.

Bristol-based synth manufacturer Modal Electronics has unveiled a new synth series with the Cobalt8. The eight-voice polyphonic virtual analogue synth extracts some useful elements from the successful Argon8 wavetable synth and combines them with some seriously powerful algorithms and features.

Cobalt8 is packed with 64 oscillators for true eight-voice polyphony, with extended drift for a touch of detuned analogue sound. These are split into two groups of 32, with over 34 unique algorithms to create complex synth patches, with built-in cross-modulation, PWM, wave morphing, bit crushing and filtered noise for deeper sounds.

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Cobalt8’s oscillator section feeds into a new 4-pole morphable ladder filter, with the usual cutoff and resonance parameters, plus a Morph control. This lets you experiment with four switchable filter modes and craft unusual textures.

Three envelope generators comprise the modulation section to manipulate filter, amplitude and modulation with switchable envelope types. There are three LFOs, two of which are polyphonic, and can be routed to 55 modulation destination using a sophisticated modulation matrix with 12 sources.

An onboard 512-note sequencer will be more than enough to develop intriguing ideas and patterns, with four animation lanes to automate parameters in the sequence. Polyphonic mode gives you 64 steps per voice for more advanced patterns. Elsewhere, an arpeggiator, multiple sequence trigger modes, chord modes and other fancy features will help for more performable parts.

Modal Electronic’s new VA synth features three effects engines with 11 different algorithms to polish off your sound. This includes chorus, two types of flanger, LoFi, ping-pong delay, phaser, reverb, rotary, stereo delay, tremolo and X-over delay. You can also store up to 500 patches with 300 presets readily available out of the box.

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Cobalt8 is made from steel and aluminium with a FATAR 37-note full-size keyboard. These are velocity-sensitive and equipped with aftertouch, as well as compatible with MPE for more expressive performances. The OLED display will be your main visual aid, but Modal has created a companion app for a more detailed look at what’s going on under the hood. MODALapp is available as a standalone app for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android, as well as a VST3 and AU plug-in.

Cobalt8 will be shipping in November and will cost £580. Find out more at modalelectronics.com

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