Modal Electronics COBALT8 8-Voice Extended Virtual-Analogue Synthesizer
The Modal Electronics COBALT8 is a high-quality, 8-voice extended virtual analogue synth. It takes the sonically rich, snappy, and warm analogue synth sounds of iconic models from the past, and develops further on this solid auditory foundation. This updated take on analogue tones makes it the perfect modern addition to your arsenal, whether you're a sound designer, producer, or musician. With a new oscillator engine, extensive modulation options, an arpeggiator, morphable 4-pole ladder filter, step sequencer and more, there's plenty to experiment with.
Every component used in the construction of the COBALT8 contributes to a premium playing experience. A durable aluminium/steel chassis provides a solid platform, while the superior FATAR 37-note key bed - with full-size keys - is smooth, responsive and features channel aftertouch.
Hands on controls are present in the form of 24 buttons, 29 endless knobs, and there's even an X/Y joystick which can be used for changing modulation and pitch. Altering your sounds goes even further too via the integrated stereo effects engine, augmented by a 3-slot FX engine. Throw in 11 FX algorithms - flanger (neg), flanger (pos), phaser, chorus, lo-fi, stereo delay, rotary, reverb, X-over delay and ping-pong delay!
The COBALT8 packs some in some serious sonic firepower. Use the monophonic bass/lead patch for powerful low-end tones, or the eight true polyphonic voices for luxurious, decadent synth pad chords and strings.
That's not all though; two dedicated oscillator groups, featuring 4 oscillators on each, can create virtual-analog sound with unrivalled ease. 34 additional algorithms - from ring modulation, to sync and waveform morphing - increase your creative toolkit even more.
A self-oscillating 4-pole morphable ladder filter (with resonance) sprinkles a sharper bite and rich warmth onto your sounds. Four filter modes and two contrasting characteristics can then be swapped between with ease.
Finally, three audio-rate LFO's (two of which are polyphonic), can be routed via the modulation matrix. They can then be synced to an external or internal tempo. It's augmented with three envelopes for the amp, filter and modulation - ensuring you've got precise control over both expression and dynamics.
You'll be able to build dynamic and layered melodies from the ground-up using the onboard 512-note realtime step sequencer (with four animation lanes). It's bolstered by a polyphonic 64-note mode, as well as various sequencer trigger functions and a built-in arpeggiator. Sustain, latch, transpose, inversions and chord hold performance options round out the proceedings.
With expression and sustain inputs, USB inputs, headphone monitoring, a MIDI in/out (letting you sync alongside external equipment), and dedicated line inputs, you've got every connectivity option you could ever need.
You'll be able to easily store any sequences you create, as well as effects and patches; there's room for a 100 custom configurations in all! You'll also be able to harness around 300 (of a total 500) patches which contain factory banks that have been programmed by leading sound designers.
This free app gives you streamlined editing functionality on both your smartphone and and computer. Use it to manage your sequences and patches, and build your own unique sounds from the ground-up. It's available standalone on iOS, Windows, macOS iPadOS and Android platforms.
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.
- Play rich analogue-style sounds driven by COBALT8’s Extended Virtual-Analogue Synthesis, combining traditional technology with modern synth features
- Create your own signature sounds by harnessing the power of COBALT8’s unique waveform architecture with 34 complex sophisticated algorithms and Modal’s morphable 4-pole Ladder Filter
- Bring performance to a new level with MPE support, the integrated 512-note Realtime/Step Sequencer, 32-step programmable Arpeggiator and powerful Animation Lanes
- Express yourself with the class-leading 37-note key bed with aftertouch, built into a road-ready aluminium enclosure
- Integrate COBALT8 into your production and live performances with the full-size MIDI connections and the 3.5mm Sync Ins and Outs
- Access all synthesiser functions and update COBALT8 via the free MODALapp, available on macOS, Windows, iOS, iPadOS, Android and AU/VST3
- Polyphony: True 8 voice polyphonic
- MPE: Supports MPE-compatible MIDI controllers, allowing you to apply polyphonic control and expression to individual notes
- 64 high-resolution virtual-analogue oscillators, up to 8 per voice
- Two independent and self-contained oscillator groups with sine, pulse, triangle, sawtooth waveforms, 40 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
- 4-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
- Three incredibly powerful independent and user-configurable stereo FX engines for Chorus, Chorus v2, 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
Sequencer and Arpeggiator
- Polyphonic Real-time sequencer with 512 notes and four recordable/editable parameter animations (Delay FX, LFO’s, sequencer and arpeggiator can be either clocked internally or externally)
- Polyphonic Step Sequencer with 64 steps, 8 notes per step, 4 lanes of Parameter-Lock style animation, Step Input mode, multiple playback modes including gate modes and rest function
- Built-In sophisticated programmable arpeggiator of 32 steps with rest capability with up to 2048 steps before repeating
- 500 patch memories, all fully editable and ships with 300 factory programs
- 100 sequencer presets that can be linked to any patch for quickly loading arrangements
- 100 FX presets
- 8 Quick Recall slots accessible from the panel for quickly loading your favourite patches
Controls and Performance
- Premium FATAR 37-key Keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch
- 29 endless encoders, 24 buttons
- 4-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
- Chord Invert control to easily create chord inversions and variations
Inputs and Outputs
- 6.35 mm / 1/4″ TS dual-mono line outputs
- 6.35 mm / 1/4″ TRS headphone output
- 3.5 mm / 1/8″ TRS stereo audio input
- MIDI DIN In and Out
- 3.5 mm / 1/8″ TS Analogue clock sync In and Out
- Class compliant MIDI over USB connection
- 6.35 mm / 1/4″ TRS expression pedal input
- 6.35 mm / 1/4″ TS sustain pedal input
- Keyboard Type
- Modal Electronics
- Key Size
- Full Size
- Number of Keys
- Key Action
- Built-in Effects
- Maximum Polyphony
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