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Modal announce Cobalt5S 5-voice polysynth

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S

Bristolian synth boffins Modal Electronics have unveiled a new portable instrument, called the Cobalt5S. As the name implies, it draws on the powerful virtual analogue synth engine used in their Cobalt series, but which is presented here in a miniature, bus-powered format.

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S touchpadThe Cobalt5S’s touchpad responds to pressure as well as X/Y movement.A five-voice poly, the Cobalt5S boasts up to eight oscillators per voice, which combine with its 40 sound-shaping algorithms (including oscillator sync, ring mod, waveform morphing and more) to yield what Modal describe as a “nefarious palette of sound”. The filter is the same self-oscillating 4-pole morphing ladder design as found in the larger Cobalts.

Modulation options include a polyphonic LFO, a global LFO, and three envelopes, all of which are assignable via the eight-slot modulation matrix. The Cobalt5S is also ‘MPE ready’, so if you’ve got a compatible controller you can take advantage of fully polyphonic modulation and expression.

In terms of hands-on control the Cobalt5S sports 16 rotary encoder/switches, a 37-note mini keybed with aftertouch, and a three-dimensional (up/down, left/right and pressure axes) touchpad, which can be assigned to pitch or any of the other modulation destinations. The newcomer also incorporates a step sequencer (with animation lanes), a programmable arpeggiator, and a hi-res oscilloscope display.

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S top panel

Finally, as on other Modal instruments, the Cobalt5S is compatible with the free MODALapp control software, which lets you perform detailed editing from any Mac/Windows computer or iOS/Android mobile device.

The Cobalt5S is available to pre-order now for delivery in around two weeks’ time, at the enticing price of just £379 in the UK, or $449 in the States. To hear Modal’s new synth in action, check out the video below.