Modal Electronics Cobalt5S, the Cobalt virtual analog Synthesizer for mobile musicians

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With the Cobalt5S Synthesizer, Modal Electronics is introducing its innovative extended virtual analog synthesis into the mobile music making world.

The brief public leak of the new Modal Synthesizer was true. Modal Electronics today officially introduced the Cobalt5S, a new portable virtual analog Synthesizer.

It’s the little brother of the Cobalt8 series. The engine is a bit slimmed down on the engine side, but you get a lighter, more compact (56,5 x 16,2 x 5,7 cm) instrument that can also be operated with a power bank.

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S

Like its big brothers, the Cobalt5S uses the innovative extended virtual analog synthesis engine with the same powerful 40 algorithms. You get here classic shaping algorithms such as PWM, sync, or FM but also more complex and unique ones. Including fractal synthesis, reverse, window, metal, ring mod…

The implementation of this is particularly noteworthy. Instead of using many shaping parameters, you can achieve a lot with just a few controls. Kind of macro controls. Big difference is the number of polyphony. The Cobalt5S has 5 digital voices instead of 8.

Then, you have the 4-pole morphable ladder filter with resonance with four different configurations (resonant low pass, balanced low pass, balanced high pass, and balanced phase). A filter that adds analog-style juice to the digital sounds.

Modulation side, you have three advanced envelopes and two multi-wave LFOs giving you tons of options to add movement to your sounds. All this is controllable via a solid modulation matrix with 4 fixed routings and 8 assignable slots. To polish your sounds, you have a dual FX-engine with different delays, reverb, and more.

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S


Due to the compact design, the Cobalt5S also has a different keybed that is adapted to this. It features a 37-note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. I haven’t played it, but it reminds me of the mini keys from the Keystep series. No polyphonic aftertouch support for the keys but the extended VA engine has a full MPE implementation.

Further, you have an arpeggiator and real-time step sequencer onboard with motion recording. X/Y control is also onboard but without a physical joystick. Here implemented with a touchpad that also has an additional Z axis giving you hands-on X/Y/Z control. The instrument has 16 high-quality encoders with which you can tweak parameters on the fly.

Plus, a display gives you visual feedback of the waveforms and the structure of the menu. Modal Electronics ships its latest synth release with 200 factory sounds and 100 sequencer patches. Like on all Modal synths, the COBALT5S is fully compatible with the free excellent MODALapp for editing parameters, firmware updates and preset management. It runs on macOS and Windows and mobile devices such as iOS and Android devices.


On the backside, you have a socket for the headphones, stereo out on left/right mono outputs, a sustain pedal input, MIDI interface, sync in/out, USB and a power supply input. The matching power supply is not included, for a reason. The power comes from the USB port and therefore you can use a power bank as well. This makes the Cobalt engine more mobile than ever.

Modal Electronics Cobalt5S

A nice offshoot of the big Cobalt Series, which comes with a very unique, soft warm sound. Now in a much more “on the go” design but not less exciting. I didn’t get the Cobalt5S to test however the complete test for the Cobalt8 can be found here including in-depth sound demos of the oscillators.

What Says YouTube About The COBALT5S?


Modal Electronics COBALT5S is available now for 459€/$449 USD.

More information here: Modal Electronics 

Available at our partner for pre-order

Thomann Perfect Circuit 

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