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Modal 002
Old 11th July 2014
  #151
Well it's always nice to see something like this happen. When compared to some other options it looks appealing and good value for money, though it's far above my reach.

I think the most important next step for them is to make sure the thing works right and is stable. If it's buggy it's really going to hurt their reputation as the first (probably very few) user reports come in.


I am not saying this with any experience, but I do have a feeling that most recording studios don't care about gear like this. Soft-synths really are good enough for many people who are not deeply into electronic music. I see pictures of famous bands using mostly digital gear and even workstations so I don't think they really care all that much about analog sound. Just my impression.

It will be interesting to me to see how they do. I hope they do well and release a cheaper version. 6 voices maybe, I dunno. But it strikes me that sometimes companies release an expensive synth which lacks certain features, then a cut-down version which actually has more features or more attractive aspects. I don't really dig that myself.
Old 11th July 2014
  #152
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by payt View Post
I dunno.. i'm not sold on the looks. I actually think I like the Andromeda better.. lol.. but not crazy aout those constellations of knobs to be honest. The front panel looks kinda messy.
You're crazy... Andromeda better looking?

The layout seems great to me.. like an Oberheim but makes better use of the space.

I'd take this over a Matrix 12 anyday.
Old 11th July 2014
  #153
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Synthbuilder's Avatar
I should be having a go of one in a couple of weeks time when Paul will be bringing it to Cambridge for the annual Synth-DIY meet. It does seem to me to be very much a polyphonic version of the Monowave - even the most excellent de-rez button is there.

The filter is my idea. I didn't know it was going to end up in the 002, but Paul and I worked on the design for the original Tempest polysynth project several years ago. The filter is pretty useful and can do the string/pad thing very well; just set the slope to above the -6dB/octave setting for a good pad sound. Remember too that one can select the waveform, and, hopefully, there's a duller sawtooth type thing on offer.

I was a bit disappointed to see no mention of morphing wavetables. So that will be the first thing I'll be looking for. And I was really hoping for PWM of all the other waveforms too - now that would really open it up.

Lack a proper left hand controller does dampen my enthusiasm, but I don't think I was ever going to be in their expected customer base. I'm far too tight. I mean I'm still excited about the Blofeld.

Tony
Old 11th July 2014
  #154
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
when he played a run on that bell tone with a bandpass filter env.. i had to change my pants.
+1

Speaking of features, the modulation matrix reminds me of the Nord concept, except they added 3 sources per slot, instead of just one. Still a bit limiting, so.... if that is the concept, fine, but then they should at least expand it sonically:

1) Filter FM
2) Oscillator X-Mod

Now we are talking Prophet 5 territory. Combined with digital waveforms, it could probably cover Prophet VS duties as well. At this point - the price is justified.
Old 11th July 2014
  #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
By the way, where is the FM? From a Rolls Royce priced synth i expect Rolls Royce features. Otherwise, wallet stays in the pocket.
Actually even cheap Kia has more features than Rolls Royce. You don't buy luxury car like Royce for it's features. It does the basic set very well. FM is not on many ppls list on synth features...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevism View Post
uhhhh even if this was the same price as the p12, i think the p12 would eat it for breakfast…
Only if P12 would sound as good…
Dave should team up with them and buy/steal their oscillator designs :D
Old 11th July 2014
  #156
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cane creek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bouhalassa View Post
Looks and sounds amazing, but with the ongoing sheer drop in royalties/album sales (thank you streaming services), coupled with the ever diminishing mid-level TV soundtrack work (thank you music libraries), I'm wondering who the intended clientele are?
I don't make music for a living however i have a well paid job and love synths, so maybe I'm the intended client ?
Old 11th July 2014
  #157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bouhalassa View Post
Looks and sounds amazing, but with the ongoing sheer drop in royalties/album sales (thank you streaming services), coupled with the ever diminishing mid-level TV soundtrack work (thank you music libraries), I'm wondering who the intended clientele are?
Absolutely Ned. Battle-hardened professionals should be asking themselves, between drooling over various reviews and youtube clips, how does this thing pay for itself ? I'm sure top Hollywood composers won't think twice, but anyone down here in TV land will struggle to convince their accountant and spouse !
Old 11th July 2014
  #158
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Ned Bouhalassa's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
I don't make music for a living however i have a well paid job and love synths, so maybe I'm the intended client ?
Very good point!
Old 11th July 2014
  #159
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Soundsauca's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post
I do not understand the appeal of wood paneling on modern synths.

So weird to me.
Totally agree, Ultra modern top panel, I quite like the curvy vector clouds around the parameters but visually wood just makes me loose wood. Still it's only aesthetics.
Old 11th July 2014
  #160
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EvilDragon's Avatar
I like wood side panels. Classy. Doesn't matter if it's a vintage or a modern synth.
Old 11th July 2014
  #161
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tehlord's Avatar
 

If you talk to a guitarist they'll tell how how many reasons a well built guitar is worth $5k or more.

We are too used to cheap throwaway crap from (now) Novation and Arturia.
Old 11th July 2014
  #162
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Soundsauca's Avatar
 

Yeah I appreciate most people do. I think with me I grew up with boring black synths and LCD displays. Maybe it affected my perception.
Old 11th July 2014
  #163
211726
Guest
All,

I've been following the thread for a while and I know I'm opening up myself to a load of questions, but I'd like to clarify a few points;

In terms of modulation;

There are six modulation sources, each has 8 destinations.
You can use all six at the same time, so you could;

route LFO1 -> Osc1 pitch and Osc2 pitch
route aftertouch -> Drive
route note number -> Osc1 and osc 2 waveform
route velocity -> Polesweep
route LFO2 -> Filter cutoff and resonance
modulation wheel -> Drive

in order to keep the panel size down we 'merged' these into two sets of three. You press the source switch to select which you want to edit, then press the destination you want to send it to, and adjust the depth to suit your need.

in addition, you can map any of the 4 axis of the joystick (X+, X-, Y+, Y-) to any parameter on the synth.

and finally there is the animator, which is triggered when you press a note, has 32 steps each with it's own step length, you can 'animate' up to 12 paramater (any parameter) in this fashion. Oh, and it's midi syncable.

There are two LFOs, one per patch, and one per voice. the per voice one (LFO2) has a 'single shot' mode, giving effectively a third envelope, ideal for those hard sync sounds. There's also a delay and note follow for LFO2.

So I think it's pretty flexible in terms of modulation.

The filter is a transistor ladder filter, the same architecture that was used on the Monowave. It has a very big and unique sound unlike any CEM filter I have ever heard in my life.
The 6dB low pass option (one pole mode) has a very big and bright 'fizzy' sound, that coupled with the ability to morph between the 4 pole, bandpass and one pole gives this polysynth a whole world of sonic options that have not been available previously on other synths.
Whilst Tony and I did discuss this filter, we arrived at the same conclusion via separate paths, my inspiration came from the filter section in the Oberheim Xpander, which used a very limited 'mixer' to get the different filter slopes.

The end cheeks are not wood, they are made of leather (it's more environmentally friendly than wood). The case is made of high grade steel and the knobs are turned aluminium.
The Joystick is a VERY high quality unit made in Japan (the best joystick makers in the world in fact) and is designed to last (we've drop tested a 1Kg weight onto the joystick and it didn't even scratch it).

Whilst I understand the obvious comparisons between the P12 and 002, they are two very different beasts sonically, you might as well compare a CS80 and Jupiter 8, both are stunning sounding, but both very different sonically and in approach.

Cost wise, yes, it's expensive, but we're not expecting to sell 10,000 a year, that would be unrealistic for a company like us.
There is a lot inside 002, and a lot of time and effort has gone into bringing her to market.
We're very proud that the unit is designed, manufactured and assembled in the UK (the PCBs are soldered and assembled in the UK, the cases are made in the UK, even the leather is made in the UK) and we're proud to be supporting and helping British industry by doing so.

Our goal was simply to make the best possible, high quality, synth that we could. Something that gave the musician an instrument and not a toy made of plastic.

We wanted to make "machines for musicians".

Paul
www.ModulusMusic.co.uk

Last edited by 211726; 11th July 2014 at 01:08 PM.. Reason: Added name
Old 11th July 2014
  #164
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Soundsauca's Avatar
 

^ I wish you guys the very best, I applaud you for taking the brave step you have done in realising such an instrument. Also to come here and explain in more detail is admirable. All the best.
Old 11th July 2014
  #165
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
Paul, so was that stepping that I heard in the bass example actually aftertouch>cutoff? If so, I would definitely suggest adding some slew limiting to aftertouch before it hits the mod destinations...
Old 11th July 2014
  #166
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cr73645's Avatar
I really like the idea behind this project (giving musicians a real instrument and not a toy), but there's something that I didn't really enjoy as much as needed to buy something with this price tag: the sound. A lot of respectable opinions here sound-wise, but I really think that the 002 sounds very bright and buzzy... unlike others, I'm not hearing warmth at all. Maybe it's just me, but that my opinion, and I'm not at all against digital oscillators (I have a wonderful hybrid synth - Ambika).
Old 11th July 2014
  #167
211726
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Paul, so was that stepping that I heard in the bass example actually aftertouch>cutoff? If so, I would definitely suggest adding some slew limiting to aftertouch before it hits the mod destinations...
That was in fact the joystick, ironically it responds too quickly, so yes we will be adding slewing to that at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cr73645 View Post
I really like the idea behind this project (giving musicians a real instrument and not a toy), but there's something that I didn't really enjoy as much as needed to buy something with this price tag: the sound. A lot of respectable opinions here sound-wise, but I really think that the 002 sounds very bright and buzzy... unlike others, I'm not hearing warmth at all. Maybe it's just me, but that my opinion, and I'm not at all against digital oscillators (I have a wonderful hybrid synth - Ambika).
Thanks for your comment, Every synth has it's own character which is wonderful as it gives musicians a wider palette of sounds to chose from when creating music.
I'll be honest and say at the moment we've not had much time to develop much in the way of sounds as we've been flat out getting the hardware and software done.
Anyone who's played a memory moog will know just how warm those filters can sound. We are working on sound sets and we hope these will better show the sonic capabilities of 002, we'll be publishing more sound examples as we go.


to round up, we never expected to please everyone, the design process is one of trade offs, for example; discrete transistor ladder filter with morphing (great sound) means more parts and more to set up (higher cost).

But we did want to show that we're dead serious about our instruments and that we're here to stay.

Paul
Old 11th July 2014
  #168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthbuilder View Post
I should be having a go of one in a couple of weeks time when Paul will be bringing it to Cambridge for the annual Synth-DIY meet.

Tony
Hi Tony - I didnt know about this - can anyone turn up to this meet?
Old 11th July 2014
  #169
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enossified's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cLoudForest View Post
Being able to edit the synth via a web page hosted on the synth just doesn't offer the same advantages as a VST editor plugin.
Only if you look at it with a DAW mentality.

They mentioned someone being able to edit your synth remotely over the network, that's pretty cool, esp. since web collaboration is the future.

It's certainly useful for touring...rent an 002, just show up and configure the whole thing from your phone!

A browser interface makes it more universal. I expect we will see more of this, there's lots of iOS apps in the pro audio market and SMPro has already introduced PA mixers with browser based control.
Old 11th July 2014
  #170
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ranzee's Avatar
Paul (Vacoloco) - I applaud you and your team for taking this idea and making it into a reality. The synth sounds absolutely amazing - you have created a synth that sounds brilliant without needing effects to "sex it up" - this is a true musician's instrument!

I have been waiting for a synth manufacturer to make a decent poly synth - and you guys have done a great job! I am definitely going to put some money away bit by bit to get myself one of these - and look forward to further development with this.
Old 11th July 2014
  #171
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genetic92's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacoloco View Post

We wanted to make "machines for musicians".

Paul
Modulus Music
Hi Paul, you guys are heroes! Really appreciate your time by responding here too..!

With the 'machines for musicians' in mind, can we expect more similar affordable products from you guys (Since the majority of Musicians aren't very rich. )? Like a cut down version of the Modulas 002? Something like a Six Voice maybe?
Old 11th July 2014
  #172
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacoloco View Post
All,

In terms of modulation;

There are six modulation sources, each has 8 destinations.
You can use all six at the same time, so you could;

route LFO1 -> Osc1 pitch and Osc2 pitch
route aftertouch -> Drive
route note number -> Osc1 and osc 2 waveform
route velocity -> Polesweep
route LFO2 -> Filter cutoff and resonance
modulation wheel -> Drive

in order to keep the panel size down we 'merged' these into two sets of three. You press the source switch to select which you want to edit, then press the destination you want to send it to, and adjust the depth to suit your need.

in addition, you can map any of the 4 axis of the joystick (X+, X-, Y+, Y-) to any parameter on the synth.

and finally there is the animator, which is triggered when you press a note, has 32 steps each with it's own step length, you can 'animate' up to 12 paramater (any parameter) in this fashion. Oh, and it's midi syncable.

There are two LFOs, one per patch, and one per voice. the per voice one (LFO2) has a 'single shot' mode, giving effectively a third envelope, ideal for those hard sync sounds. There's also a delay and note follow for LFO2.

So I think it's pretty flexible in terms of modulation.
Kudos Paul on the 002, it looks and sounds excellent. It's great to see a UK entry into the analogue-digital hybrid polysynth market and I wish you every success with it.

On the modulation options: does each source-destination pair have an independently settable depth? For instance, if you're routing LFO1 to both the oscillator frequency and the oscillator wave can you set different modulation depths for each of those destinations? From looking at the panel some people might assume that all destinations get the same depth for a given source but maybe you can change them independently by pressing and holding a destination switch and then moving the depth knob to affect only that destination?

At some point on this thread someone mentioned that they thought that the depth of a modulation routing could itself be modulated but it's not clear from the panel how you'd achieve that. For example, could you use aftertouch to shape the depth of LFO1 being applied to oscillator frequency?
Old 11th July 2014
  #173
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by genetic92 View Post
Something like a Six Voice maybe?
I don't think the number of voices is going to make the big difference. Reducing the case and the number of knobs and picking a cheaper display would probably do more to reduce the price than making a 6-voice.

(that said, this in an Xpander package would rock)
Old 11th July 2014
  #174
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genetic92's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
I don't think the number of voices is going to make the big difference. Reducing the case and the number of knobs and picking a cheaper display would probably do more to reduce the price than making a 6-voice.

(that said, this in an Xpander package would rock)
Would love it if they would make a cheaper case, keep the knob per function, skip the display, or a cut back display would be fine. If less voices would be needed to keep price down, I won't mind making it a 6 voice. But no less.
Old 11th July 2014
  #175
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Synthbuilder's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
can anyone turn up to this meet?
Yep. Saturday is the main day. More details here:

Synth DIY event

Room booking for overnight stays has finished. But everyone is welcome on the Saturday.

Tony
Old 11th July 2014
  #176
211726
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by genetic92 View Post
Hi Paul, you guys are heroes! Really appreciate your time by responding here too..!
Thank you, we've all worked really hard and we're happy to answer questions wherever possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genetic92 View Post
With the 'machines for musicians' in mind, can we expect more similar affordable products from you guys (Since the majority of Musicians aren't very rich. )? Like a cut down version of the Modulas 002? Something like a Six Voice maybe?
Sadly I can't discuss future products, sorry but I'm sure you understand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cLoudForest View Post
Kudos Paul on the 002, it looks and sounds excellent. It's great to see a UK entry into the analogue-digital hybrid polysynth market and I wish you every success with it.
Thank you.
The guys in the team have worked really hard, and we're all really pleased at the response 002 is receiving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cLoudForest View Post
On the modulation options: does each source-destination pair have an independently settable depth? For instance, if you're routing LFO1 to both the oscillator frequency and the oscillator wave can you set different modulation depths for each of those destinations? From looking at the panel some people might assume that all destinations get the same depth for a given source but maybe you can change them independently by pressing and holding a destination switch and then moving the depth knob to affect only that destination?
There is one depth per source currently, but for future revisions who knows? that's one of the joys of using digital for many parts of the synth

Quote:
Originally Posted by cLoudForest View Post
At some point on this thread someone mentioned that they thought that the depth of a modulation routing could itself be modulated but it's not clear from the panel how you'd achieve that. For example, could you use aftertouch to shape the depth of LFO1 being applied to oscillator frequency?
The depth, and the destinations, can be controlled using the Animator, or of course you could use the joystick axis, so typically, you could route the Y+ (up on the joystick) to LFO depth.

Paul
Old 11th July 2014
  #177
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login's Avatar
Paul,

Can the step sequencer record in real time?
Old 11th July 2014
  #178
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genetic92's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacoloco View Post
Sadly I can't discuss future products, sorry but I'm sure you understand.
No problem! It was worth a shot!
Thanks for taking the time to respond, much appreciated.
Old 11th July 2014
  #179
Gear Addict
 
Endorfinity's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by marino View Post
Cons:
Digital oscs
this is not a con
Old 11th July 2014
  #180
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enossified View Post
Only if you look at it with a DAW mentality.
The Modulus guys drew the comparison to VST editor plugins not me, and the main advantage they have as far as I'm concerned is just being able to save your patch as part of a DAW project which you just don't get with a local web server built in to the 002.

Note I'm not criticising the cloud functionality, which I do think has great potential, although I did think that they could have made a more compelling case for it other than the scenario of "a programmer in the UK programming a synth in Hollywood" which makes it sound pretty niche, whereas actually the cloud features could really be more widely beneficial. The offsite patch storage stuff would be awesome whether you're a touring musician, session guy or just a studio-based musician.
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