"If there were an awards ceremony for synth manufacturers, Modal Electronics would surely stake a strong claim to the title of best newcomer. Having burst onto the scene back in the summer of 2014 (then known as Modulus Music), the British outfit has quickly developed a full stable of keyboards and modules, from their original 12-voice polyphonic 002 keyboard through to the two-voice 001, the 002R rack modules and the flagship 008 “analogue powerhouse.” - Attack Magazine
Here's what Modal say about the 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 2016.
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.