Elysia Character Discrete Class A saturation and distortion

The Elysia Karacter is a really interesting rack unit and not just because it’s a high quality distortion or saturation.  The Karacter gives you a ton of tone shape characteristics and control in one simple 1u rack space. Control Voltage seems to be a buzz these days and for good reason. Control voltages give you extremely fast precise control over parameters and allow for easy interaction not just with modular gear but with various studio pieces. Karacter Gives you CV control which isn’t very common in units of this style. Lets talk more about the sound. There are a few modes of color to grab from this unit, the first of which is saturation. Continue reading

Modal Announces 002R rack mount 8 or 12 voice synth!

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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…
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.IMG_5517 copy

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.
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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).
For more in-depth information about 002R, please visit the Modal Electronics website: www.modalelectronics.com

Modal 008 8 Voice analog Power house!

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  • 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
    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…
    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.

Modal announces New Smaller Super Synth! The 001!

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.
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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!
Taking a technical trip beneath its beautifully-designed bonnet, each of those two voices has two 002 NCOs (Numerically-Controlled Oscillators) — Osc1 and Osc2, combining to enable exceptionally high resolution and stability with wide-ranging waveform selections — with two 002 sub-oscillators, each capable of following those primary NCOs to effectively enable four oscillators per voice. Thereafter, the true pure analogue ladder VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) features Modal Electronics’ unique filter Slope mode, making hardware morphing of the filter through a range of modes a breeze to work with and delight to listen to. Thanks to Modal Electronics’ impressively innovative OS with the same 4.3-inch full-colour, context-sensitive display to die for found on the 002, Modal Electronics’ proprietary 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.

Vince Clarke Makes a splash in Eurorack with High quality Tuning modules

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Vince Clarke keeps tuneful tracks tuned with namesake clever CV/Gate tuning system
BROOKLYN, NY, USA: synth-pop Svengali Vince Clarke is proud to announce that he will be releasing a series of creative and utilitarian modules for the ever-present Eurorack small-format modular system under the namesake Clarke company name, designed and built to exacting standards in close collaboration with British ‘boutique’ analogue synthesiser and accessory designer/manufacturer Analogue Solutions, starting with the now-available Auto Tune — a self-contained, expandable Eurorack-compatible MIDI-to-CV converter/calibration system offering an uncomplicated solution to the problems of tuning and scaling both vintage analogue synthesisers and modern Eurorack VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) modules — as of March 18…
So why simultaneously sidestep into this creative and utilitarian synthesiser module manufacturing (ad)venture alongside superlative synth-pop music compositional creativity? Who better qualified to address this than the Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter himself… hardly surprising, really, since Vince Clarke can, of course, comfortably find his way around a notable number of synthesisers, too, as attested to by the well-earned songwriting success-funded collection of analogue classics currently residing at his NYC studio, relatively recently relocated from a custom-built cabin in rural Maine to inner-city Brooklyn. But this is no millionaire’s museum piece, but rather a unique personal workspace, where each and every awe-inspiring analogue instrument included in his sizeable collection of vintage and modern synthesisers comfortably housed within regularly earns its keep on a variety of musical projects, be they synth-pop based or otherwise. “For those of you who work with synthesisers using CV and Gate, you will all be aware of the problems of calibration,” notes Vince Clarke, continuing: “Having tried many a cumbersome software-based package over the years, I wondered if there might be a neater solution — a kind of all-in-one MIDI-to-CV convertor with auto-calibration.”

And, as if by musical magic, the collaborative Clarke company concept was born. And with it the first of those creative and utilitarian modules for the ever-present Eurorack small-format modular system that is increasingly popularised (and heavily populated) by an ever-growing band of merry ‘boutique’ manufacturers now numbering hundreds worldwide… welcome into the world Clarke’s clever Auto Tune system! So, let’s learn a little more about what it is, what it does, and how, exactly, it does it…

 
In a nutshell, then, the Auto Tune system consists of a VCM20 master module, which can control up to 16 VCS20 slave modules, each of which provides one channel of CV (Control Voltage) and Gate. With 16-bit voltage resolution and a tune time of 10 seconds, this straightforward system can compensate for VCO alignment issues and environmental factors that cause tuning drift quite literally at the push of a button!