So here it is - the brand new British Poly Synth from Modulus Music - Modulus .002 - as you may have noticed, creators of the Modulus .002 are just down the road from us. As a result we managed to talk them into popping into Sonic Towers for an exclusive first look at the brand new synth (12 voices no less).
Together with Paul Maddox - synth designer and Philip Taysom - his business partner, plus Luca Mucci - product specialist. It's incredible to think that this has been put together in just over 12 months.
In this presentation we look at Modulus .002 serial number 001 - literally the first off the production line. As a result, this is early in it's life and has not been voiced and tweaked, so we look at the synthesizer structure and features. We hope to get another look at it in a couple of weeks to hear it in it's full glory after the patch designers have been at it. But initial impressions are of an extremely capable and large sounding synthesizer.
This new hybrid synthesizer uses digital oscillators, as with other new polysynths, they allow more control and are stable as you like - these are NCOs (numerically controlled oscillators - which have a much higher resolution than regular DSP ones), each with Saw/Tri/Square/Sine plus over 50 additional waves - Paul is a major fan of the PPG so expect a flavour of that. Each Oscillator has a Sub Osc that can be square or the selected wave at an octave down. After this, there's a full analog path through the VCA and discrete transistor ladder filter - 12 of them. One LFO per voice, plus a global LFO - one for each voice. Additionally it has an animator (32 steps, 12 parameters for each step) plus arpeggiator and 32 step, 12 track sequencer.
We can't pretend the modulus .002 is a cheap instrument, the attention to detail with the case, knobs (rotary encoders throughout), buttons screen and beautifully constructed with thick metal plate case and a large, paper white LCD display.
Expected Worldwide shipping end of this month, priced £2995 +VAT / $5200 / €3750
- Two oscillators per voice with two sub oscillators, however modulus.002 has a unique feature enabling the subs to be switched from being either traditional square wave to having the same waveform as the main oscillator - in effect making four oscillators per voice
- Analogue / digital hybrid architecture uses NCOs for very high resolution, and very stable oscillators
- modulus designed 24db per octave four pole transistor ladder filter, with some very unusual morphing characteristics or 'pole-sweeping', enabling transition from four pole through bandpass to one pole 6db per octave, or anywhere in between.
- Two LFO's, one per voice and one global
- Extensive modulation options, all accessed directly from the front panel - no menu options!
- modulus.002 features a range of sequencing options, a built in 16 Track, 12 row, 32 step sequencer with 16 dedicated step time editing controls on the front panel and MIDI sync able. Sequences can be transposed dynamically while running. A very highly featured arpeggiator with a wide range of different modes, including modulus 'hold' mode, enabling mini arpeggiator sequences to be created. Arpeggios can be saved as sequences for latter recall and editing in the sequencer
- The modulus Animator, which enables any control parameter on the modulus.002 to be sequenced, enabling very complex filter transitions, wave form changes and modulation matrix changes to be sequenced
- Superb UI, a great departure from the norm of synthesisers, featuring a very high quality 4.3" screen with wide viewing angle, display is context sensitive (if desired, can be changed in settings) where the control parameters of any control knob that is touched by the user, is immediately displayed.
- Twelve 'quick recall banks' are accessible directly from the front panel, enabling performing musicians to get rid of their set sheets and build set lists of presets, sequences and animations, all quickly accessible from dedicated front panel buttons. Up to ten banks of quick recalls can be created, making live performance a doddle.
- Very high quality construction, uses a premium FATAR semi-weighted five octave key mechanism with aftertouch
- All voice control parameters are accessible from a well designed and intuitive front panel, that follows a traditional synthesiser workflow
- Pure analogue signal path with combined XLR/TRS sockets for balance / unbalanced outputs. Further, each of the twelve outputs can be brought out individually via a dedicated dsub socket.
- Two audio inputs enabling audio processing from the VCF onwards
- XY joystick for performance controls - any control parameter can be assigned to either joystick access by pressing the dedicated front panel selector button
- Ethernet port to connect your modulus.002 to your network and enable updates via the internet (no more midi sysex dumps) and access to the Modulus cloud features