MATRIXSYNTH: Modal Electronics Introduces New Mini Three Octave 001 Synth, 002R Rack & 008 Black Analog Synth

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Modal Electronics Introduces New Mini Three Octave 001 Synth, 002R Rack & 008 Black Analog Synth

Update: pics of the 002R rack & 008 added below.
Update2: 002 press release added below. 008 should follow soon. These are literally just coming in.
Update3: 008 specs added below.
Update4: additional preliminary US pricing from the distributor:
002R 12 voice retail $2995. shipping in 2 - 4 weeks
002R 8 voice retail $2595. shipping in 2 - 4 weeks
001 retail $1995. shipping in 30 - 60 days
008 retail $5495. shipping summer 2015
Update5: 008 press release added below.
Update6: more pics added.

We saw the teaser pics here and here. We now have the details in via the press release.

001 Press Release:

"Honey, we shrunk the synth... Modal makes smaller super-synth reality at Musikmesse 2015!

BRISTOL, UK: breakthrough British electronic musical instruments manufacturer Modal Electronics is proud to present 001, an analogue/digital hybrid synthesiser that the (synth) world has been waiting and asking for, featuring two discrete voices from its high-flying, highly-specified 002 super-synth in a more cost-effective, compact form factor, and representing the first of three new ‘numerical’ products that it is simultaneously showcasing at Musikmesse 2015, April 15-18 in Frankfurt, Germany...

All three of these new synthesisers share the OS (Operating System) common to 002, so speed of development is now rapidly accelerating. Amazingly, within mere months of 002 taking the synth world by storm at the time of its July 2014 launch, then turning heads and opening ears at The NAMM Show 2015, January 22-15, in Anaheim, California, today’s amazing announcement — after all, no other synthesiser manufacturer has delivered such a diverse range of cutting-edge instruments in less than a year — coincides with Modal Electronics experiencing rapid growth, establishing a growing global network of authorised dealers while expanding its home-grown talented team by hiring some of the most brilliant (synth design) minds in the UK.

Who better to formally introduce 001, then, than one of the most brilliant synth design minds in the UK — Modal Electronics co-founder and Director Paul Maddox: 'While we were elated by the worldwide reaction to 002, we were also aware that, for some, 002 was out of their reach. Also, in many modern music styles, a full 12 notes of polyphony isn’t always required. We’ve had a passion for monosynths for years — ever since creating the Monowave, but with 001 we wanted to create an outstanding performance instrument with sonic abilities to keep its users creative for many years to come. Through some innovative design work, we have managed to squeeze not one, but two discrete voices from 002, making it a truly duophonic — not a paraphonic — instrument.'

It is that... and much more besides, more like. Unlike other instrument designs that claim to be two-voice affairs, 001 is, indeed, a true two-part multitimbral, duophonic synthesiser. Simply speaking, it takes the power and flexibility of 002 to deliver two, fully-featured 002 voices in a compact casing that feels as good to the touch as the good looks that it inherits from its bigger-sized sibling. Speaking of which, its FATAR TP/9 three-octave, velocity-sensitive key mechanism with aftertouch is a joy to play — just like the five-octave version found on 002. Many modern music styles may not necessarily need 12-note polyphony, but make no mistake: 001 is a synth soloist’s dream machine... and a sound designer’s dream come true!"



002 Press Release:

"Modal rocks… and rolls 002 super-synth into rack-mountable form factor at Musikmesse 2015!

BRISTOL, UK: breakthrough British electronic musical instruments manufacturer Modal Electronics is proud to present 002R, responding positively to numerous requests for a ‘non-keyboard’ form factor 002 version of its high-flying, highly-specified super-synth, and representing the second of three new ‘numerical’ products that it is simultaneously showcasing at Musikmesse 2015, April 15-18 in Frankfurt, Germany…

[This section is the same as in the above] All three of these new synthesisers share the OS (Operating System) common to 002, so speed of development is now rapidly accelerating. Amazingly, within mere months of 002 taking the synth world by storm at the time of its July 2014 launch, then turning heads and opening ears at The NAMM Show 2015, January 22-15, in Anaheim, California, today’s amazing announcement — after all, no other synthesiser manufacturer has delivered such a diverse range of cutting-edge instruments in less than a year — coincides with Modal Electronics experiencing rapid growth, establishing a growing global network of authorised dealers while expanding its home-grown talented team by hiring some of the most brilliant (synth design) minds in the UK.

Who better to formally introduce 002R, then, than one of the most brilliant synth design minds in the UK — Modal Electronics co-founder and Director Paul Maddox: '002R was designed to address two issues — firstly, studios and musicians who may not necessarily have room for a full-sized 002; secondly, several customers have requested an expander for 002 to increase polyphony count, especially when used in multitimbral mode which comes with OS 7.25.'

Flying in the face of desktop synth mania, Modal Electronics opted to take the power and flexibility of 002 and — after an astronomical amount of design work — repackage it into an industry-standard 3U rack-mountable form factor. Why? Well, simply speaking, there’s too much ‘technology’ inside 002 — no fewer than 11 circuit boards! — to make a desktop version. The very nature of discrete analogue circuitry simply wouldn’t allow for it, in other words.

When designing 002R, Modal Electronics decided to make it available in two versions — 002R(12), providing the full 12 voices of 002, and 002R(8), providing eight voices of 002 sound — perfect for those on a tighter budget, or perhaps wanting it to act as an eight-voice expander for an existing 002. Either way, both versions are fully patch compatible with 002, offering all of its fanciful features — not least an amazing analogue/digital hybrid voice architecture with either eight or 12 voices of polyphony (up to 12-part polyphonic). Voices can be played in unison or ‘stacked’ for more complex timbres. The Animator allows for monumental modulation flexibility, bringing 12 animated ‘rows’ of parameter sequencing into productive play. Speaking of sequencing, the onboard Sequencer supplies two tracks of 32 steps, each with up to 12 notes/parameters, providing polyphonic part playback. Performance-wise, an advanced Arpeggiator abounds with multiple modes and features to musically die for.

Front panel access to all the key features needed for studio and live usage are all present and accounted for — for example, Quick Recall of preferred presets and instant part Select (in multitimbral mode). Modal Electronics’ proprietary Quick Navigate functions allow any edit page, parameter on a page, and associated values to be instantly edited using the three ‘macro’ keys.

Key to accessing the underlying power of 002R really becomes readily apparent, however, when using the Modal Web interface… use any HTML5-compatible web browser — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, et al — on any platform that supports a browser — desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet — for full control and editing of 001R’s functions via its Ethernet connection… no need for a plug-in! Indeed, Internet-connectivity for straightforward software updates is a breeze, as will be accessing additional features from Modal Cloud — coming later this summer. So watch this space…

Featuring the same high-quality constructed chassis as its keyboard-based brother, 002, 002R also includes a back panel-positioned expansion slot — for forthcoming fanciful digital expansion card accommodation, providing two channels of 24-bit/192kHz Audio Out(put) over USB into its user’s favourite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Again, as is the case with both 002 and its Musikmesse 2015-announced smaller sibling, 001, 002R includes an internal, worldwide — 60 Watts | 100 - 240V | 50 - 60Hz — auto-sensing Power supply with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) mains inlet — no wobbly ‘wall wart’ hiding here, thanks very much!

Modal Electronics’ one and only 002R will be being demoed and displayed in Hall 5.1, Stand A76 at Musikmesse 2015, April 15-18 in Frankfurt, Germany. Get down there today and come check it out! We would welcome making your musical acquaintance, whether your super-synth preference remains racked or otherwise. Either way, Modal Electronics’ British-built synthesisers will surely rock your musical world.

002R is scheduled to ship in late-May 2015. Available through Modal Electronics’ growing global network of authorised dealers, its retail price will start at £1,795.00 GBP (plus VAT)/£2,154.00 GBP (including VAT); €2,395.00 EUR (plus VAT — varying rates throughout Europe); and $2,595.00 USD (plus sales taxes where applicable) for the 002R(8) eight-voice version. Likewise, the 12-voice version, 002R(12), will be also available in late-May 2015, retailing at £1,995.00 GBP (plus VAT)/£2,394.00 GBP (including VAT); €2,595.00 EUR (plus VAT — varying rates throughout Europe); and $2,995.00 USD (plus sales taxes where applicable). Alternatively, 002R(8) can be expanded to a full 12-voices at a later date for £329.00 GBP (plus VAT)/£395.00 GBP (including VAT); €449.00 EUR (plus VAT — varying rates throughout Europe); and $495.00 USD (plus sales taxes where applicable)."

008 Keyboard Specs:

"- 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 16 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 it’s 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 Q2 2015.
- 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"


008 Press Release:

"Modal puts pure analogue attraction at pole position, promoting polysynth powerhouse at Musikmesse 2015!


BRISTOL, UK: breakthrough British electronic musical instruments manufacturer Modal Electronics is proud to present 008, an eight-voice, 16-VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator), and 16-sub-oscillator pure analogue polysynth powerhouse par excellence, representing the third of three new ‘numerical’ products that it is simultaneously showcasing at Musikmesse 2015, April 15-18 in Frankfurt, Germany…

[This section is the same as in the above] All three of these new synthesisers share the OS (Operating System) common to 002, so speed of development is now rapidly accelerating. Amazingly, within mere months of 002 taking the synth world by storm at the time of its July 2014 launch, then turning heads and opening ears at The NAMM Show 2015, January 22-15, in Anaheim, California, today’s amazing announcement — after all, no other synthesiser manufacturer has delivered such a diverse range of cutting-edge instruments in less than a year — coincides with Modal Electronics experiencing rapid growth, establishing a growing global network of authorised dealers while expanding its home-grown talented team by hiring some of the most brilliant (synth design) minds in the UK.

Who better to formally introduce 008, then, than one of the most brilliant synth design minds in the UK — Modal Electronics co-founder and Director Paul Maddox: 'Modal Electronics is, first and foremost, a synthesiser company, and, rather than being married to any one particular synthesis technology, we understand that synthesists want access to a wide range of sounds in their sonic palette. For many, the sound of pure analogue VCOs, VCFs, and VCAs hold a special place in their musical hearts — hence us taking the decision to take a radical new design approach to creating a new breed of analogue synthesis engine, married to an astonishing level of control provided by the OS, as already ably demonstrated in 002.'

As an equally attractive alternative to the amazing analogue/digital hybrid voice architecture beating at the musical heart of Modal Electronics’ breakthrough British-built 002 super-synth, 008 employs an entirely new and incredibly innovative pure analogue voice engine employing components of the highest order throughout to create an uncompromising analogue voice architecture. As such, 008 should not be viewed as an 002 replacement, but rather provides discerning musicians with wide-ranging, replacement sources of top-notch timbres to die for — digital purity (002) or analogue grace (008), clearly choices are to be had here. However, 008 duly demonstrates that Modal Electronics is not simply a ‘one-hit wonder’, but rather remains clearly committed to continuing to bring the best synthesiser products in the world to market. Moreover, 002 will continue to be developed for many years to come, keeping digital denizens of Modal Electronics’ ever-expanding synthesiser world as happy as their alternative analogue well-wishers. Why don’t we take a closer look at 008’s amazing analogue attractions residing within its graphite-finished good looks?

Let’s start at its musical core, then. The two-part multi-timbral (bi-timbral) design supports splits across the same FATAR TP/9 five-octave, velocity-sensitive key mechanism with aftertouch as used on 002 and also ‘stacks’ to create complex sounds. Saying that, 008 comes complete with eight voices with 16 VCOs and 16 sub-oscillators of pure analogue awesomeness. As such, each voice provides two VCOs with two sub-oscillators. Each VCO is 100% analogue, providing sawtooth, triangle, and square waveforms with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and noise. Each can be blended to provide completely new, complex wave shapes. Additionally, a range of classic analogue polysynth features, such as oscillator and filter FM (Frequency Modulation), make for amazing-sounding sonic firepower. Furthermore, an exclusive, extensive modulation matrix system provides an almost unlimited supply of modulation possibilities. Its innovative, impressively flexible filter design combines various traditional modes, such as lowpass, bandpass, and high-pass, with additional modes of notch filters, phase filters, and combinations thereof — 16 different filter types in all, actually. An additional filter overdrive — first implemented in 002 — enables the sound to be driven to sonic extremes! Ultra-fast (1ms) filter envelopes enable snappy-sounding sounds to be quickly created with the greatest of ease while the filter envelope is assignable to any parameter. Pushing the design envelope further still, two LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) with multiple wave shapes are both capable of reaching audio rate and also sync-able to MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

Indeed, just like its 001, 002, and 002R brethren, by being based around Modal Electronics’ extraordinary OS, 008 also makes much use of a 4.3-inch, full-colour, context-sensitive display — first shown on 002, bringing all of 002’s OS-based fanciful features to bear on its younger synth sibling, such as Modal Electronics’ proprietary Animator, allowing for monumental modulation flexibility by bringing 12 animated ‘rows’ of parameter sequencing into productive play. Speaking of sequencing, the onboard Sequencer supplies two tracks of 32 steps, each with up to 12 notes/parameters, providing polyphonic part playback. Performance-wise, an advanced Arpeggiator abounds with multiple modes and features to musically die for. Furthermore — just like its 001, 002, and 002R brethren before it, 008 is Internet-connectable for straightforward software updates, as well as additional features from Modal Cloud — coming later this summer. Similarly, 008 fully supports the Modal Web interface… use any HTML5-compatible web browser — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, et al — on any platform that supports a browser — desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet — for full control and editing of 008’s functions via its Ethernet connection… no need for a pesky plug-in!

Returning, briefly, back to its impressive hardware, 008’s solid steel chassis shares the same high-quality construction attributes as 002 before it — albeit sporting stealthy graphic good looks that are as easy on the eye as they are to the human touch, while still beautifully complimenting its instrument family members’ matching colour scheme. Similarly, two — Left and Right — Audio In(puts), permitting processing of external audio using 008’s amazing-sounding analogue filter stage are rearward residing. There, too, resides an internal, worldwide — 60 Watts | 100 - 240V | 50 - 60Hz — auto-sensing Power supply with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) mains inlet — no wobbly ‘wall wart’ hiding here! — alongside an expansion slot — for forthcoming fanciful digital expansion card accommodation, providing eight channels of 24-bit/192kHz Audio Out(put) over USB into its user’s favourite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Well, that surely says a lot about Modal Electronics’ daring, dazzling design, doesn’t it?

Indeed, Modal Electronics’ one and only 008 will be being showcased as a technology demonstrator in Hall 5.1, Stand A76 at Musikmesse 2015, April 15-18 in Frankfurt, Germany. Get down there today and come check it out! We would welcome making your analogue acquaintance, albeit it true or otherwise!

008 is scheduled for full release this summer when it will become available through Modal Electronics’ growing global network of authorised dealers.

For more in-depth information about 008, please visit the Modal Electronics website: www.modalelectronics.com"

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