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Modal 002

Modal 002 (here early 2014 version named Modulus 002)

There are some typical British things that ended up as not being widely accepted out side the Commonwealth. Think of the left hand driving, mint sauce on main course meat, diagonal cut toasted slices, and universities researching about the difference of milk or tea poured in cups first for the 4 o'clock tea time.
The UK was also special in building some very unique synthesisers with some slightly to totally different concept in design and/or user interfacing. Remember physic laboratory like design and the pin matrix of the EMS VCS3 and Synthi A. The compact cheesy looking (just looking!) yellow Wasp synth in the plastic housing, the 3D section dividers of the Oxford synth to protect the knobs. But they are all now classic high praised and priced synths.

So what is so different about a synth with plenty endless encoder knobs to turn, a mixture of digital waveshapes and a fine analog filter with a unique Slope parameter, a build in step sequencer, built in Arpeggiator and a special Animator to modulate a played note while it sounds, a colour graphic display and all this packed in a transportable stylish package?
Well, the new thing is, that this synth is now reality! Others stopped to do such an Über-Synth at different levels to built a mass market compatible product and therefore dismissed a feature or two to serve the need of serious synth players. Others reached the technically limits with the best available electronics to early. Others added features but missed to add some access to use them without a manual on your lap.
Others built genre defining low pass filters, but missed to add some new and exciting features.
It needed not only an stage experienced electronic wizard at Modal to reach the goal, but also a team of designers, software engineers, and financial advanced CEO to coordinate the start of a new company and pushing the limits beyond the barriers of revised old concepts.
The synth you bought is hard to described in one word. "Umpf" (greetings to Mr. R. C.) was the insiders single word description for Paula Maddox's first mono synth called the MonoWave. And his second major hardware synth (hence the name 002?) might be nailed down by the word "goosebumps".

Modal 002 voice boards
The 3 voice boards of 4 voices each

This newer British polysynth with digital NOS oscillators (not based on fixed sample rate = less aliasing) and analog filters got 12 voices. It is packed in a well designed metal housing with leather end checks on the left and right.
All those knobs are endless encoders. The display is a coloured one. And the sound is the best of both worlds:

Modal 002 ladder filter
The ladder filter made from discrete SMD components

Added also, is the feature to use the provided suboscillators of both oscillators not only with the typical square wave but also with the same waveshape as the oscillator itself. Some nice filter drive is added via a dedicated parameter in the mixer section. The transistor cascade filter got a unique Slope parameter to blend it from a 4-pole lowpass to 2 -pole bandpass to 1-pole lowpass. The envelopes are very well scaled to get fast timings and long sweeps in their range. Two LFOs are available. Added is also a multiple row 32 step sequencer, a parameter sequencer of several rows triggered per note (called "Animator") and full multimode for layering and splitting sounds. And an arpeggiator too.
Of cause the used Fatar keybed is velocity and aftertouch sensitive.
And there is more then enough memory to store your sound and sequences and animations in one of the 9999 memory locations per type on board.

And its a great addition to the Modal 008.