Modal Electronics COBALT8 Synthesizer, Analog Modeling Taken To The Next Level

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Modal Electronics COBALT8 is an 8-voice 64-oscillator Synthesizer that takes analog modeling to the next level with innovative oscillator algorithms & more.

The Modal Electronics restarted small with the SKULPT and Craftsynth 2.0. With the Argon8, one then entered the polyphonic synth business again. The journey now continues with the COBALT8, a new 8-voice 64 oscillator analog modeling aka virtual analog Synthesizer.

Instead of modeling certain analog synthesizers from the past, the developers are focusing on progress here too. Powerful oscillator algorithms, a morphable ladder filter, complex modulations, sophisticated sequencing capabilities, and more.

Modal Electronics Cobalt8

Modal Electronics COBALT8

In its virtual analog core, COBALT8 does a lot differently than its competition. It already starts in the two oscillator groups, which clearly goes beyond classic analog-style engines. It has 64 high-resolution oscillators (8 voices and up to 4 in each voice) expanded with drift for a classic analog sound. The oscillator groups house with 34 different algorithms ranging from classic to exotic synthesis techniques. It includes wave morphing, cross-modulation, FM, PWM, bit-crushing, fractal synthesis, and more.

The developers reduce the control to three knobs per oscillator group and a mixer. Thus, you can easily classic analog-style bass, leads, pads but also timbres who shine in a new, unknown sound guise. Then, we have the filter section where Modal has developed an all-new 4-pole morphable ladder filter. Four switchable filter modes, a morph knob, cutoff, and resonance give you many filtering options.


Argon 8 and Cobalt8 are identical in the modulation system: three envelope generators cover the filter, volume, and modulation with switchable types. Three audio-rate LFOs, where two of them are polyphonic. In a modulation matrix, there are 55 destinations where envelopes, LFOs, etc. can be set precisely. With 55 destinations you have a multitude of sound design options. Plus, you have three independent DSP effect engines that host 11 stereo effect processors including chorus, phaser, two flangers, delays, reverb, and more.

Modal Electronics Cobalt8


Cobalt8 also incorporates the same powerful 512-note sequencer with 4 animation lanes as the Argon8 with firmware 2.0. In polyphonic mode, you get 64 steps per voice. Further, you have an arpeggiator, different sequencer trigger modes, hold, inversions, latch,  chord modes, and more.

All of this is built into the same shaped case as the Argon8 wavetable synth equipped with a 37-note FATAR keyboard. With the difference, of course, in a lovely blue finish. Not to forget, it also supports MPE via external keyboard controllers, comes with 300 presets and storage for 200 own creations.

First Look & Sound Demo

I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the Cobalt8 shortly before the release. At first glance a strong virtual analog Synthesizer with a lot of power. It is clear that it does not want to emulate an analog synth from the past. It rather pushes the analog modeling technologies forward. Here is my first look video plus a big sound demo. A complete review was impossible as the device arrived shortly before the release.

Modal Electronics COBALT8 will be available in November with an RRP of £579.99 GBP (including VAT), MSRP, of  €649.99 EUR (including 20% VAT), and MAP of $749.99 USD.

More information here: Modal Electronics

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