Here's What Modal say About the COBALT8X:
Building on the tradition of warm and punchy analogue-style synth sounds, conceived by legendary synthesisers from the past, COBALT8X unlocks the full creative potential of analogue waveforms. This powerful, inspiring instrument reinvents the aesthetics of analogue sounds and invites musicians, producers and sound designers to explore a new era of virtual-analogue synthesiser textures, far beyond the limits of its analogue forefathers.
On top of the innovative oscillator engine of COBALT8X, we added a new morphable 4-Pole Ladder Filter. Combined with Modal’s unparalleled modulation options, an inspiring real-time / step sequencer, the energising arpeggiator, the Premium FATAR 61-note keyboard, MPE, studio-quality effects and MODALapp integration, COBALT8X is the perfect synth for everyone who wants a versatile electronic music instrument to play vintage synth sounds and is eager to enter new sound dimensions.
Eight true polyphonic voices tempt players to lay out wide string or rich synth pad chords, while a monophonic bass or lead patch, played with 64 oscillators can shake the walls of every stadium. And with the avant-garde sound forming features, every synth enthusiast can refine his performance with sounds that no other synthesiser is able to generate.
Two independent oscillator groups with up to 4 oscillators each generate not only powerful virtual-analogue goodness, but like no other synthesiser before, 34 unique complex algorithms like Sync, Ring Modulation, Waveform Morphing, and many more are available to increase the creative options for new-generation synth sounds. Each Algorithm has a simple-to-use pair of controls selected to suit the particular algorithm or character, providing musicians the power of traditionally complex oscillator modulations or processes spontaneously.
COBALT8X’s newly designed, self-oscillating 4-Pole Morphable Ladder Filter with Resonance injects more warmth and bite. Switch between the four different filter modes, get creative with the Notch filter and form unusual synth textures with the Phasor. Two different characteristics allow to instil a more subtle behaviour or process the sound with sheer raw power.
Three flexible audio-rate (2 x polyphonic) LFOs can be routed to a massive amount of destinations using the modulation matrix and sync to internal or external tempo. Three dedicated envelopes for the filter, amp and modulation allow excessive control over dynamics and expression. Switchable envelope types provide greater options to tailor the envelopes for specific sound purposes. COBALT8Xs sophisticated 12-slot modulation matrix supports easy assignments of complex modulation routes to keep the sound evolving. Four common modulation routings are pre-set here to free up space for more exciting ideas.
The integrated 512-note Realtime / Step Sequencer with four powerful Animation Lanes invites to compose massive and complex melodic patterns. The polyphonic 64-note step sequencer mode enables easy step input for note and animation values. Multiple sequencer trigger modes coupled with the powerful onboard arpeggiator (programmable up to 32 steps) and performance features such as Chord Hold, Inversions, Transpose, Sustain Latch.
Professional keyboard players will love COBALT8X’s rugged steel and aluminium chassis and the premium FATAR 61-note full-size key bed. The keys support channel aftertouch and deliver smooth action to express powerful playing performances. For direct access of the parameters, COBALT8X features 29 endless knobs, 24 buttons and an X/Y joystick for pitch or modulation, and MPE support offers new ways of creative expression for sophisticated performers.
Reshape your sounds completely with the onboard stereo effects engine. COBALT8X comes with a 3-slot FX engine with in-depth FX programming. To polish the sound, a total of 11 FX algorithms add character and depth, including Chorus, Phaser, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), Tremolo, LoFi, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Ping-Pong Delay, X-Over Delay and Reverb.
Set to be played in any synth environment, COBALT8X comes with all physical connections required. Control the synth using USB, monitor with headphones or using the dedicated line outputs, sync with external gear using the full-size MIDI in and out or the 3.5 mm Sync in or outputs and take control of your sound using the built-in Sustain and Expression inputs. By poly-chaining any two COBALT8X devices, the amount of voices is easily doubled to 16 voices and 128 oscillators.
There is plenty of room to store patch, effects and sequence creations. Out of the box, 300 of the total 500 patches are filled with factory patch banks, carefully programmed by some of the most accomplished sound designers of the world. One hundred customised effects configurations and sequences can be stored as well to be applied to any sound while performing.
The free MODALapp brings the comfort of screen-based editing on your computer or mobile device. Available as a standalone app for macOS, Windows, iOS, iPadOS or Android systems and in VST3 and AU plug-in formats it is the perfect companion for synth enthusiasts looking to deep dive to all sound forming and performance parameters to create their own signature sounds, and to backup and manage patches and sequences.
What’s New in COBALT8 Firmware 1.1?
- With the introduction of COBALT8 Firmware v1.1, users have access to 6 new algorithms firmly focussed. On FM and AM oscillation models, complete with dual controls for precise sound sculpting capability.
- These new algorithms include:
- FM Saw: Square: Frequency Modulation using a Sawtooth as the carrier and a Square as the modulator with full control over FM Depth (A) and Modulator Frequency Ratio (B)
- FM Square: Square: Frequency Modulation using a Square as both the carrier and modulator with full control over FM Depth (A) and Modulator Frequency Ratio (B)
- FM Tri: Square: Frequency Modulation using a Triangle as the carrier and a Square as the modulator
- with full control over FM Depth (A) and Modulator Frequency Ratio (B)
- Noise AM Saw: Sawtooth Wave amplitude modulated by a filtered noise source with full control over AM Depth (A) and Noise filter cutoff (B)
- Noise AM Square: Square Wave amplitude modulated by a filtered noise source with full control over AM Depth (A) and Noise filter cutoff (B)
- Noise AM Tri: Triangle Wave amplitude modulated by a filtered noise source with full control over
- AM Depth (A) and Noise filter cutoff (B)
In addition, Firmware v1.1 adds a raft of new feature updates and workflow enhancements including
a Master Clock Mode to continually send MIDI clock information to compatible studio peripherals.
- True 8 voice polyphonic
- 64 high-resolution virtual-analogue oscillators, up to 8 per voice
- Two independent and self-contained oscillator groups with sine, pulse, triangle, sawtooth waveforms, 34 different algorithms including: complex analogue synthesis techniques, built-in crossmodulation (SYNC, RM, and many more), PWM, smooth morphing between VA waves, bit crushing, filtered noise.
- Extended Oscillator Drift
- Four-Pole Morphable Ladder Filter with Resonance and four switchable configurations
- Resonance and Balanced Filter Modes
- Three dedicated envelope generators for AMP, MOD and FILTER that can be accessed independently or all three simultaneously including negative (reverse) versions for MOD and FILTER ENVs
- Three audio-rate LFO’s with tempo sync (two poly, one global) with seven different shapes
- Eight assignable modulation slots and four additional fixed modulation routings for common assignments with 12 modulation sources and 55 modulation destinations
Sequencer and Arpeggiator
- Realtime sequencer with 512 notes with polyphonic mode and four recordable/editable parameter animations (Delay FX, LFO’s, sequencer and arpeggiator can be either clocked internally or externally)
- Built-In sophisticated programmable arpeggiator of 32 steps with rest capability with up to 2048 steps before repeating
- Three incredibly powerful independent and user-configurable stereo FX engines for Chorus, Phaser, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), Tremolo, LoFi, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Ping-Pong Delay, X-Over Delay and Reverb that can be arranged in any order
- Patches: 500, all fully editable and ships with 300 factory programs
- Sequencer: 100 sequences that can be linked to any patch for quickly loading arrangements
- FX: 100 presets
- Eight Quick Recall slots accessible from the panel for quickly loading your favourite patches
Controls and Performance
- Premium FATAR TP/9S 61-note Keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch
- 29 endless encoders, 24 buttons
- Four-axis joystick that can be assigned to a huge range of modulation destinations and virtually ‘locked’ when desired
- Multiple keyboard modes (Mono, Poly, Unison 2, Unison 4, Unison 8, Stack 2 and Stack 4)
- Glide/Portamento with both legato and staccato modes
Enclosure and Display
- Road-ready steel and aluminium enclosure
- 1.54-inch large OLED display for instant visual feedback at all times of playing/editing
Inputs and Outputs
- 2 x unbalanced 6.3 mm (1/4”) TS outputs (L/R)
- Stereo 6.3 mm (1/4”) stereo headphone output
- Stereo 3.5 mm (1/8”) input with ability to route incoming audio through the FX
- 6.3 mm (1/4”) sustain pedal jack
- 6.3 mm (1/4”) expression pedal jack
- 3.5 mm (1/8”) Analogue clock sync in and out (configured to the KORG / Teenage Engineering specification)
- MIDI DIN in and out
- Class-compliant MIDI over USB connection to host computer or tablet
- Power: DC-9.0V - 1.5A centre-positive
- Free MODALapp software editor for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android
- MODALplugin to access COBALT8X within your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), with VST3 and AU versions available
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 95 x 31 x 38 cm (37.4 x 12.2 x 15 inches)
- Weight: 9 kg (19.64 lbs)