Modal Electronics 002 by Synth Guru
Developer: Modal Electronics
The Modal 002 is a 12-voice analog-digital hybrid synthesizer featuring two high-resolution NCO oscillators per voice (plus two sub oscillators). Additional features include two LFOs, VCA, four-pole transistor ladder filter with real analog morphing, two modulation matrices and a very powerful Sequencer and Arpeggiator. The 002 has a very high quality FATAR semi-weighted five octave keybed with aftertouch and a high resolution 4.3” LCD screen. The hardware has been manufactured with state of the art high-quality components, white metallic case, aluminum turned encoders. Among the many connections, Modal 002 features an ethernet port to connect your synth to your network and enable updates via the internet (no need for MIDI sysex dumps) and access to the Modal cloud features via HTML Web User Interface.
One of the pleasures of owning this synth is the large color LCD display that lets you see everything that’s under the hood. The mod matrix is amazing! Here you can clearly see and route every possible modulation at the touch of a button. The large color LCD display is an achievement in its own, displaying every single parameter in sharp detail and contrast. Turn any knob, dial, or press any button and 002 immediately displays the specific parameter on the LCD screen. This gives you absolute control of the source to modulation destination. No complicated menu diving here! There’s not too many hardware synths in today’s market that display the ADSR map on the viewing screen, 002 is fortunately one of them.
I’ve had my 002 for several years now and I can tell you it’s a very deep instrument and a true joy to play. I own synths from five other manufacturers and I can honestly say that Modal Electronics has made a clear and defined footprint on the synth industry.
The 002, just like other synthesizers, has a unique personality and a character that definitely sets it apart from the rest. To the best of my knowledge there’s no other synth like it in the world, that has ever been manufactured, that comes close to the 002. It sits in a prestigious league of its own! The sounds are mesmerizing as 002 has 50 waveforms to choose from, each adds beautiful musical timbres to the overall sound. The sound is rich and warm, and the bass is deep and powerful. In addition, 002 comes with a very powerful sequencer, animator, and arpeggiator. With the sequencer and animator enabled, one can achieve sounds that closely emulate todays powerful modular synths. It’s as if 002 had three separate synthesis engines under one roof. The synth is built like a tank but just not any tank. It’s a true work of art, not only in the advanced internal components but also in the beautiful design that makes up the exterior. A solid metallic body with a silky-smooth paint job and it’s easy to see labels for all the knobs, dials, and buttons. The knobs and dials are not the cheap plastic or rubber ones that most synths have. These are made from machined aluminum. The end cheeks are made from rich classy English leather and embossed with the Modal logo! The Fatar keybed is exquisite! In addition, you can type in the IP number displayed on your instrument and have access to the web based editor and make parameter changes from any device when connected to the internet. One of the many highlights is the massive patch storage capacity for storing your sounds, an amazing 10,000 locations. Need to update your 002? No problem! Just hook it up to the internet via an Ethernet cable and download your update without the hassle of Sysex dumps. Modal Electronics advanced technology again scores big as they are the first company to achieve this. This synth is not cheap, but worth its weight in gold and in multi-timbrality. It’s been designed to last the test of time. When you buy this synth, you are making an investment that will give you years of musical satisfaction and a journey of endless sonic possibilities. Modal Electronics treats their customers like true first-class clients. They really take good care of you and respond quickly to provide detailed answers to all your questions. They let you know directly when an update is available and ready for download. What I really admire about Modal Electronics is the speed at which updates for the OS are released, approximately two per month and periodically a mega update full of enhancements and new features. It’s like feeding your synth a very special tasty treat! :-p With 002, you are the captain and the synth is your ship. Together you will sail a vast ocean full of rich warm tones surrounded by clouds full of magical timbres all around. 002 truly delivers, you won’t be disappointed!
* Please see below to view pics of the Modal Electronics 002.
Sound Quality: The sound quality of this synth is mind bending. The sound is filled with beautiful timbres and warm overtones, it’s truly remarkable and versatile. With 50 waveforms at your disposal, you’ll be designing unique sounds to fill your studio with multi-timbral magic. With the Sequencer and Animator combined, incredible sounds can be achieved.
Features: When it comes to features, this synth is absolutely loaded. One of my favorites is the powerful and versatile sequencer and animator. The sequencer is a 12 track, 12 row, 32 step sequencer with 16 dedicated step time editing knobs on the front panel with MIDI sync capabilities. The Animator enables any control parameter on the 002 to be sequenced, resulting in very complex filter transitions, wave form changes and modulation matrix changes to be sequenced. Rich British solid Leather end cheeks. Machined Aluminum knobs, and state of the art electronic components are just the beginning of what can be expected from this synth. (The leather end cheeks were discontinued as standard issue over animal rights, but can be still be custom ordered.) Standard issue now consists of black acrylic cheeks. Additionally, customers can request other materials such as wood or machined aluminum for an additional fee. Another feature that ranks high on my list of favorites is the large LCD screen that lets you view literally everything that’s being modulated with just the push of a button. You’ll never run out of patch storage with 10,000 locations within the sound banks. There are also 12 patch recall buttons to quickly enable some of your favorites. There are no pitch/bend wheels however, there’s an XY joystick that delivers true precision in control for pitch and bend. I could go on, but you owe it to yourself to play or buy this synth and see for yourself.
Bang for buck: Honestly, the bang for the buck here is quite pricey but has gotten better as prices have been reduced over the years since it was first manufactured. On the other hand, you truly get what you pay for, and that is superior luxury and craftsmanship.
Overall: This is an exceptional sounding hybrid synthesizer that proudly stands its own ground. The sound is unique and one of a kind. Highly recommended for collectors that can appreciate a luxurious and high-quality instrument that’s loaded with exceptional features and state of the art electronic components. Highly recommended for musicians and sound designers alike. If you love synthesizers as much as I do, you’ll be making a solid investment in what will be a lifetime of musical enjoyment.