Modal announces new Cobalt8 8 voice virtual analog synthesizer

Bristol, UK: leading British synthesiser manufacturer Modal Electronics is proud to announce availability of COBALT8 — an immensely powerful, eight-voice extended VA (Virtual-Analogue) synthesiser that brings traditional and entirely new analogue-style sound textures to modern music creation and production as an innovative, sophisticated synthesis concept comprising two oscillator groups with selectable algorithms in self-contained elements enabling multiple oscillator modulations, an all-new 4-pole morphable ladder filter with switchable configurations, an unparalleled modulation engine, and much more besides, extending far beyond the limits of its analogue forefathers — as of October 29…
Creatively kickstarting a new synthesiser series by building on the tradition of warm and punchy analogue-style synth sounds seeded by bygone legendary synthesisers, COBALT8 creatively unlocks the full potential of analogue waveforms with up to 64 high-resolution VA oscillators with extended drift — up to eight for each of its eight true polyphonic voices. The two independent and self-contained Osc (oscillator) groups include sine, pulse, triangle, and sawtooth waveforms alongside 34 unique algorithms allowing for complex analogue synthesis techniques, built-in cross-modulation (sync, ring modulation, and more), PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), smooth morphing between VA waves, bit crushing, and filtered noise — unlike any other VA synthesiser before it, increasing creative options for new-generation synth sounds. Speaking of which, Algorithm1 and Algorithm2 each have an associated simple-to- use pair of controls — A1 and B1, A2 and B2 — chosen to suit the particular algorithm or character, providing musicians with the power of traditionally complex oscillator modulations or processes spontaneously.
But beyond COBALT8’s innovative oscillator engine an all-new 4-pole morphable ladder Filter — with Cutoff (frequency), Res (resonance), and Morph controls — has been added by Modal Electronics to inject more warmth and bite into the creative proceedings. Put it this way: with four switchable filter modes to play with, getting creative with the Notch filter or forming unusual synth textures with the Phasor, for instance, is only part of the story since two different characteristics are also available to instil a more subtle behaviour or process the sound with sheer raw power.
Pushing onwards and upwards to tap into its unparalleled Mod (modulation) engine, COBALT8’s three dedicated envelope generators for filter (FEG), amplitude (AEG), and modulation (MEG) are all accessible independently or simultaneously, with negative (reverse) versions for the modulation and filter envelopes, enabling extensive control over dynamics and expression. Switchable envelope types provide greater options for tailoring them to suit specific sound purposes. The three — two polyphonic — audio-rate LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) can be routed to a multitude of destinations using the sophisticated modulation matrix with eight assignable modulation slots and four additional fixed modulation routings with 12 modulation sources and 55 modulation destinations, duly supporting easy assignments of complex routings to keep the sound evolving.


Elsewhere, the integrated 512-note realtime/step sequencer (Seq) features four powerful animation lanes — Anim1, Anim2, Anim3, and Amin4, letting users compose and create complex melodic patterns with ease. Indeed, its polyphonic 64-note step mode (with eight notes per step) enables easy step input for note and animation values. Meanwhile, multiple sequencer trigger modes coupled with the powerful onboard arpeggiator (Arp) — programmable up to 32 steps with rest capability (and up to 2,048 steps before repeating) — alongside other fanciful features (such as chord hold, inversions, transpose, sustain, and latch) all serve to further enhance COBALT8 playability.


Performance-wise, professional keyboard players will, of course, cherish COBALT8’s rugged, road-ready steel and aluminium chassis and premium FATAR TP/9S 37-note full-size key bed. Better still, the velocity-sensitive keys themselves support aftertouch and deliver smooth action with which to express powerful performances, while COBALT8 itself supports MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) for next-generation expressive creativity. COBALT8’s 29 endless encoders (enabling realtime CC), 24 buttons, and a virtually ‘lockable’ four-axis joystick (assignable to a wide range of modulation destinations) provide direct tactile control over all crucial parameters for instant sound adjustments and changes, ably aided by a large 1.54-inch OLED display for instant visual feedback at all times. And all attractively presented in a compact — 55.5 cm/21.9” (L) x 30 cm/11.8” (W) x 10 cm/3.9” — form factor, flexibility and portability guaranteed. Glide/portamento (with both legato and staccato mode), and multiple — Mono, Poly, Unison (2, 4, and 8), and Stack (2 and 4) — keyboard modes are also at hand, as is stereo Width voice control.
Readily reshaping sounds is also achievable using COBALT8’s three phenomenally powerful, independent, and user- configurable DSP-driven effects engines (FX1, FX2, and FX3), in-depth programming provided. Polish to suit with 11 available algorithms adding character and depth — namely, Chorus, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), LoFi, Ping-Pong Delay, Phaser, Reverb, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Tremolo, and X-Over Delay.
COBALT8’s capacity for storing patches, sequences, and effects creations is outstanding. Out of the box, 300 of the total 500 patches are filled with factory creations, carefully programmed by some of the most accomplished sound designers in the world, with eight ‘Quick Recall’ slots always accessible from the front panel for fast loading of favourite patches. Performance enhancements continue with 100 sequences that can be linked to any patch for fast loading of arrangements alongside 100 customised effects configurations.
Thanks to two (Right and Left Mono) unbalanced 6.3 mm (1/4”) TS audio outputs, a 6.3 mm (1/4”) stereo Headphones output, a 3.5 mm (1/8”) stereo Audio In (with an ability to route incoming audio through the effects), 6.3 mm (1/4”) Expression and Sustain pedal connections, 3.5 mm (1/8”) analogue clock Sync In and Sync Out connections (configured to the Teenage Engineering/Korg specification), MIDI In and MIDI Out DIN connections, and also a class-compliant USB MIDI connection to a host tablet or computer, COBALT8 is a perfect fit for any live performance or studio setup.
Saying that, the free MODALapp brings the comfort of screen-based editing on a computer or mobile device to COBALT8 (and all other Modal Electronics hardware). Available as a standalone app for macOS (10.10 or above), Windows (8 or above), iOS (12 or above), iPadOS (13 or above), and Android (6 or above), and also in VST3/AU macOS (10.10 or above) and VST3 Windows (8 or above) plug-in formats for keeping users in the flow while producing music with any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software, it is the perfect companion for synth enthusiasts looking to dive deep into all sound forming and performance parameters to create their own signature sounds, and to backup and manage patches and sequences.
Musically meeting the requirements of next-generation electronic musicians, synth aficionados, and producers alike, COBALT8 is, indeed, an immensely powerful, eight-voice extended VA synthesiser with which Modal Electronics has creatively kickstarted a new synthesiser series.

COBALT8 will soon be shipping and available through selected Modal Electronics dealers worldwide in November 2020 with an RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of £579.99 GBP (including VAT), MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of €649.99 EUR (including 20% VAT), and a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $749.99 USD.

Rob Papen releases new virtual analog vst B.I.T (back in time)


Rob Papen progresses back in time to bring B.I.T. into being as analogue-modelled soft synth fit for today


ECHT, THE NETHERLANDS: virtual instrument and effect plug-in developer Rob Papen Inspiration Soundware is proud to announce availability of B.I.T. — bringing namesake company founder and acclaimed sound designer Rob Papen’s persistent passion for subtractive synthesis into being as an aptly-named, analogue-modelled software synthesizer fit for today’s DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) workflow — as of June 11…
B.I.T. stands for Back In Time — an apt acronym for Rob Papen, collectively or otherwise. On the face of it, namesake company founder and acclaimed sound designer Rob Papen’s passion for subtractive synthesis remains as strong as when he first started working with synthesizers way back when, purchasing an analogue Korg MS-20 semi-modular monosynth and accompanying analogue SQ-10 sequencer at the tender age of 15 — more recently reaffirmed by self-publishing the publicly praised The Secrets Of Subtractive Synthesis combined book and DVD package based on his The 4-Element Synth© teaching method. Moving back to task — to the wondrous world of B.I.T. specifically and Rob Papen collectively, the virtual instrument and effect plug-in developer’s newest software synthesizer sets its inspirational sights solely on analogue-modelled synthesis, rather than combining the best of analogue modelling with hybrid synthesis techniques that have hitherto formed the much-admired musical backbone of the company’s classy creations.
What’s with the apparent change of musical direction, then? The concept behind B.I.T. comes down to this: classic analogue synthesizers still show an appeal that the renowned Rob Papen brand is perfectly positioned to tap in to. This is not surprising since Rob Papen himself still has a pristine example of Roland’s (former flagship) Jupiter-8 analogue programmable polysynth — purchased brand new back in the ‘dying days’ of analogue in 1983 (albeit now seriously sought after and astronomically priced) — taking pride of place in his studio setup; several other analogue classics comfortably reside there alongside it, including that ‘teenage’ Korg combo. Clearly inspired by backward progression, pure analogue-modelled synthesis is the order of the day when it comes to B.I.T. — no spectrum waveforms or samples required!
Really, making the most of Korg’s classic MS-20 requires patch cables, but B.I.T. does not need any as an analogue-modelled software synthesizer plug-in par excellence — despite demonstrating masterful modular-like attributes. An advanced MOD MATRIX makes for painless patching while a smart ADV (advanced) panel positioned below the oscillators offers a helping hand. Activating ADV allows users to quickly make useful connections, such as the LFO and ENV (envelope) to the oscillator parameters. Pushing further forward, B.I.T. also allows OSC 1 to modulate OSC 2 in several ways, which increases its sound palette to take in phase modulation, frequency modulation, and ring modulation.
Musically, of course, any Rob Papen software synthesizer would likely be viewed as being incomplete without an arpeggiator — as, arguably, would Rob Papen’s prized Roland Jupiter-8, and B.I.T. is no exception to this unwritten rule. Indeed, its fully-featured ARP can also work in sequencer mode and has an additional FREE row that can be used to modulate other elements of B.I.T. by using the MOD MATRIX.
Making it to the finish line, B.I.T. brings with it some superb-sounding effects, comprising CHORUSDELAYFLANGER, and PHASER, plus Rob Papen’s proprietary REVERB, so no need (necessarily) to turn to an external reverb of any kind to bring some space to the virtual instrument and effect plug-in developer’s newest software synthesizer.
So while B.I.T. stands for Back In Time it could conceivably stand for Be Inspired Today! After all, Rob Papen has added a 16-voice, authentic-sounding, analogue-modelled software synthesizer fit for today’s DAW workflow to its lengthening line-up of virtual instruments, intermixing innovative design, uncompromising sound quality, and musical, production-grade presets — over 950 this time — to make tracks truly shine. Still better, B.I.T. brings with it the secrets of subtractive synthesis, thanks to namesake company founder and acclaimed sound designer Rob Papen!

B.I.T. can be purchased from authorised Rob Papen dealers worldwide or as a download directly from Rob Papen for an introductory promo price of 79.00 EUR (including VAT)/$79.00 USD until the end of June 2019 — rising thereafter to 99.00 EUR (including VAT)/$99.00 USD — from here: https://www.robpapen.com/buybit.html

B.I.T. Stands for back in time and is a modern take on vintage analog synth modeling

Note that B.I.T. is included in the latest version of the eXplorer 5 bundle (https://www.robpapen.com/eXplorer-5.html), so existing owners only have to download the latest installer and run it to add B.I.T. to their Rob Papen virtual instrument and effect plug-in collection.
B.I.T. is available as a 64-bit AAX-, AU-, and VST-compatible software synthesizer plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.8 – MacOS 10.14) and as a 32- and 64- bit AAX- and VST-compatible software synthesizer plug-in for PC (Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10) — AAX for PT 12 or higher (PC).
B.I.T. uses a serial/license system with activation when registering. (A second serial for a secondary computer is available after registering the original.)
For more in-depth information, please visit the dedicated B.I.T. webpage here: https://www.robpapen.com/bit.html
Some superb-sounding audio demos made only with B.I.T. can be heard here:https://www.robpapen.com/dmdocuments/RobPapen_BIT_Classic_Synth_Demo01.mp3https://www.robpapen.com/dmdocuments/RobPapen_BIT_Classic_Synth_Demo02.mp3https://www.robpapen.com/dmdocuments/RobPapen_BIT_Contemporary01.mp3

XILS-lab updates PolyM to 1.1.0

XILS-lab pushes polysynth hommage beyond the pleasure principal with welcomed PolyM 1.1.0 update additions
GRENOBLE, FRANCE: audio software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of PolyM 1.1.0 — updating its critically-acclaimed, authentic-sounding software recreation of a pioneering polyphonic analogue synthesizer manufactured between 1975 and 1980 (based on divide-down oscillator technology similar to electronic organs and string synthesizers of the time), and arguably made most famous by British ‘new waver’ Gary Numan, notably seen as well as heard when ‘driving’ over an endless ‘synthscape’ in the trailblazing promo video for his 1979 chart-topping ‘Cars’ single; someone since observed that career-defining song’s parent album, The Pleasure Principal, “…is almost an album-length advert for the Polymoog…” — with welcomed additions including a new preset manager and an ability to run as an effects plug-in, plus compatibility with Native Instruments’ Native Kontrol Standard (NKS®), as of October 2…
PolyM first put in an appearance last year, when XILS-lab clearly considered those oft-overlooked Polymoog presets to be well worth revisiting, recreating an ‘unlimited’ polyphony polysynth that was recognisably revolutionary upon its initial release and making it fit for today’s creative computer-based music-makers with a state-of-the-art software makeover. Making that happen took two years — such was the complexity of its inspirational hardware predecessor. PolyM palpably didn’t disappoint, deftly reproducing yesteryear’s divide-down technology with two TOD (Top Octave Divider) oscillators — one for the sawtooth wave and another for the square, slightly detuned for a phenomenal phasing effect (when running independently in FREE mode), yet taking the concept further forward by adding polyphonic pulse width modulation. Meanwhile, in LOCK mode, those two TOD oscillators are almost locked in phase, producing PM (Phase Modulation) instead of FM (Frequency Modulation) when the square wave oscillator is modulated in pitch. The two TODs can also be modulated — tempo-sync-able — in pitch by an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), while the square wave oscillator has it own pulse width modulation by a tempo-sync-able LFO. Alongside a distinctive envelope generator, this represents the musical heart and soul of PolyM, pushing that revolutionary polysynth sound kicking and screaming into the future!
Further features of note include: 71 emulated chips, offering mixer, VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier), envelope, 12dB filter, and pulse width modulation for each of the available notes; stunning-sounding 24dB ladder filter (using XILS-lab’s critically-acclaimed zero-delay algorithm); nine dedicated acoustic filters — STRING, PIANO, ORGAN, HARPS, FUNK, CLAV, VIBES, BRASS, and VOX — carefully recreated from the original (model 203a); RESONATORS filter bank with three parametric (6dB and 12dB) filters matching the original; three vintage — DEL. (delay), PHAS. (phaser), and REV. (reverb) — effects (with adjustable settings from within an Advanced Settings Panel alongside nine modulation slots for furthering sound design possibilities well beyond the scope of the original hardware); and more.
Today, thanks to the PolyM 1.1.0 update, there’s even more to (literally) make a song and dance about. As such, the NPM (New Preset Manager), a newly-integrated, single-window affair allowing users to easily and speedily perform different tasks with welcomed visual feedback — for example, locate and load the best fitting preset in seconds courtesy of a multi-criteria search engine, save/save as presets with (user-generated) tags, batch-tag multiple selections of presets, export/import multiple selections of presets, and select view (such as showing only favourite presets) — represents a major step in PolyM’s evolution; by that same token, those acoustic filters and RESONATORS, as well as the three vintage-sounding effects, are also available to work with other sound sources when running PolyM purely as an effects plug- in proffering plentiful possibilities for modulation; meanwhile, support for Native Instruments’ NKS® extended plug-in format for all virtual instrument developers delivers intuitive and seamless interaction with the German giant’s cutting-edge KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE hardware.
Helpfully, there are now over 300 professionally-programmed presets available as creative kickstarters in PolyM; parameters are all MIDI- controllable, combining to musically position this soft synth par excellence as an innovative instrument of its time while retaining a certain pioneering polyphonic analogue synthesizer’s coveted performance properties of the past. Put it this way: while what the deceased Austrian neurologist (and founder of psychoanalysis) Sigmund Freud would have made of this polysynth hommage is obviously open to speculation, surely the still active Gary Numan should approve… as will anyone’s bank balance by paying (comparatively) so little for so much playing pleasure. Thanks to its welcomed 1.1.0 additions, PolyM pushes beyond the pleasure principal in both senses, so anyone wishing to sonically travel back to the future should seriously consider adding it to their soft synth arsenal — all the more so at an attractive (albeit time-limited) introductory promo price representing a welcomed 40% saving. Best be quick, though — time waits for no man… or woman (or child)!
PolyM 1.1.0 is available to purchase as a USB eLicenser or iLok (1 and 2 dongle hardware or software) protected plug-in at an introductory promo price of €89.00 EUR until October 31, 2018 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of €149.00 EUR — from XILS-lab here: http://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160.html
PolyM 1.1.0 can be directly downloaded as a multi-format (AAX, AU, RTAS, VST), 32- and 64-bit soft synth and virtual effects plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.7 and later) and Windows (XP, 7, 8, 10) from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/polym-p-160/download.html
About XILS-lab (www.xils-lab.com)
Based in Grenoble, France, XILS-lab is an audio software company, created and managed by Xavier Oudin. Having created some of the best known virtual instruments and effects plug-ins on the market for various companies over the last 20 years, today he focuses on bringing his passion for audio, instruments, and music to bear on his own company.Working with highly-skilled professional musicians and sound designers, the company collectively believes that a virtual instrument or effect is not simply a series of mind-boggling mathematical algorithms designed and scrutinised over by bookish PhD engineers but rather a useful and useable musical tool made for musicians. Moreover, XILS-lab loves to create virtual instruments and effects that inspire its users to create more imaginative music than they ever dreamed possible!