Modal Electronics Cobalt8 Synthesizer Series
Modal Electronics have brightened up the synth world once again with the incredible Cobalt8. This 8-voice synthesizer features Modal’s unique Extended Virtual Analogue sound engine, which combines the most desirable characteristics of classic analogue synthesis with innovative sonic capabilities. On top of this fresh take on virtual analogue, the Cobalt 8 is equipped with a wealth of inspiring features, modern capabilities and robust build quality - everything you’d expect from a premium instrument.
Modal Electronics’ Cobalt8 has been bestowed with 8 voices of true polyphony, allowing you to pull off stellar pads & rich strings as well as silky leads & girthy basses when used monophonically. A key part of the Cobalt 8’s potent sound is the high-resolution & eminently flexible Extended Virtual Analogue oscillators.
Each of the Cobalt8’s voices boasts up to 8 oscillators (which can be stacked for earth-shattering 64 oscillator sounds) and two completely independent oscillator groups. Within each group are an impressive array of 34 algorithms, which range from morphable traditional analog waves to more complex waveforms that harness PWM, Sync, Ring Mod, Noise and more. The Algorithms are altered with a pair of easy-to-use controls, which have been meticulously dialled in for each algorithm. While the Cobalt 8 can pull off quintessential analog sounds with ease, when you start exploring what makes the Cobalt 8 unique, that’s when it starts to come to life.
If you want to inject some vintage sloppiness into your sounds, you can crank up the Extended Oscillator Drift control to accurately emulate the inconsistency of old analogue components. Combined with the Width control, which gradually distributes the voices across the stereo field, you can create all kinds of luscious patches before touching the Filter, Effects or Modulation.
The Cobalt 8 features a freshly designed and 4-pole Ladder Filter emulation, which is capable of self-oscillation and - most excitingly - morphing. The Filter offers ample sound sculpting possibilities and tonnes of warmth with its four switchable configurations, which includes two kinds of Low Pass (Resonant, which maximises resonance response & Balanced, which features low-end compensation), a balanced High Pass and a Balanced Phase (a dual Notch shape that’s perfect for swirling textures).
There are plenty of ways to shape, manipulate and evolve the Cobalt8’s sound engine. First up are the trio of versatile LFOs (2 polyphonic & 1 global) that can run into audio rates, be synced to an internal or external clock, feature 7 shapes, and have three types of re-trigger mode (Retrigger, Free & Single). Next are the 3 four-stage Envelope Generators - amp, filter & modulation - which allow you to choose from 8 types for precise tailoring of your patches.
When you’re ready to start routing, you can utilise the 12-slot modulation matrix (8 user-assignable & 4 hard-wired) to effortlessly assign the 12 sources to the 55 destinations.
Exciting Performance Features
The Cobalt 8 features a powerful sequencer and arpeggiator, which have been thoughtfully designed to be intuitive & inspirational composition & performance tools.
The 512-note Sequencer can record polyphonically in both real-time (with a handy built-in metronome) or step mode. Within both modes are 4 lanes of Animation, which you can use to manually record parameter motion to your sequence. You can engage the Seq Loop (which loops selected parts of the sequence) and Seq Hold (which holds & repeats the current step) for on the fly variation. Once your sequence is going, you can play over the top with any remaining voices, overdub new notes or replace existing ones.
The programmable Arpeggiator is instant fun and features up to 32 steps with rest capability for rhythmic variations, a variety of clock divisions & play modes, adjustable swing & gate length and a Latch mode.
Gorgeous Stereo Effects
The onboard stereo effects are primed to add lush depth and ethereal space to your sounds. The Cobalt8’s potent FX engine contains 3 totally independent and user-assignable slots, with 11 algorithms within each one. With various types of modulation, delay and an expansive reverb to choose from, polishing and adding character to your patches is a breeze. The numerous parameters for each effect can be modulated, allowing you to deeply integrate them as part of the sound design if you so choose.
Plenty Of Presets
There are plenty of slots to store your custom creations within the Cobalt 8, with 500 in total. Modal Electronics has outfitted the Cobalt 8 with 300 top-notch factory presets from leading sound designers, so you can start exploring it as soon as you’ve plugged it in. Plus, there are 100 custom effects configurations & sequence slots that you can apply or link to any patch.
Modal has kitted the Cobalt8 out with an extensive range of connectivity, so you can easily hook it up, clock it and sequence it with your external software and/or hardware. There’s USB MIDI, 5-pin MIDI I/O, 3.5mm Sync I/O, foot controller inputs as well as inputs that allow you to use the built-in effects with other audio sources. You can also Poly Chain to Cobalt8 units together for twice the polyphony and oscillators.
Deep Editor App
The Cobalt 8’s tactile and immediate interface makes quick adjustment and editing of parameters dead easy. However, the free MODALapp is available as a standalone app or as a VST3 & AU plug-in if you want to dive even deeper into the Cobalt 8’s performance features & other sound parameters whilst enjoying the comfort of screen-based editing. The MODALapp can also be used to update the Cobalt 8’s firmware and act as a librarian to manage & back up your programmes.
An advantage of the Cobalt8 range is that it comes in a variety of formats, allowing you to choose the ideal version for your needs and playing style. There’s the compact Cobalt8, the highly portable 8M module and the expressive 5-octave 8X. The Cobalt8 and Cobalt 8X both feature a premium, semi-weighted Fatar keybed which is velocity and aftertouch enabled. What every Cobalt8 model has in common is an intuitive interface with great-feeling controls, a rock-solid steel & aluminium chassis, MPE support and a robust X/Y joystick for pitch & modulation.
Be sure to update your Modal Electronics Cobalt synth to v1.1 and download the stunning AlgoRhythms preset pack. This free pack presents an inspiring selection of polyrhythmic patches. AlgoRhythms gives you 30 unique sounds, 20 sequences, 25 rhythmic sounds and 5 highly expressive performance-based patches at your disposal. Each one highlights the powerful new features that v1.1 introduces.
Buy a Modal Electronics Cobalt8, Cobalt 8M or Cobalt 8X from GAK today and discover the power of the Extended Virtual Analogue sound engine.