Modal Electronics Argon8 is a powerful 8-voice wavetable Synthesizer with advanced sound design features for under $700 USD.
When Skulpt Synthesizer kicked off on Kickstarter in 2018, a comeback also started for Modal Electronics. New team, new products, etc. The first products are small portable synthesizers: Craftsynth 2 uses wavetable and Skulpt virtual analog synthesis. Both synths sound great and can be seen as synth appetizers or first look what the new Modal team is capable to develop. After these two little firstfruits, now comes something thas has even more power and possibilities.
Modal Electronics has today announced Argon8, a new hardware wavetable Synthesizer that incorporates the DNA and heritage from their highly acclaimed Modal 002. But with a big difference: the price. Five years on from Modal 002’s introduction, Modal Electronics has created a completely new Synthesizer that takes much of the sound design capability and functionality of the Modal 002 and places it in a compact and price-conscious package.
Argon8 is an 8-voice digital Synthesizer that is based on advanced wavetable Synthesizer with up to 64 oscillators (4 per voice in all modes). The oscillators include 120 wavetables and offer further sound-shaping possibilities via 28 different wavetable processors (de-rez, wavefolders, waveshapers…) similar to the Craftsynth 2. The signal goes further in two pole morphing resonant filters and in a powerful multi-fx processor with three engines (reverbs, delay…)
On the modulation side, it offers a huge modulation matrix (12x 52 destinations) with three envelope generators including reverse versions, two audio-rate LFO’s and the possibility to assign parameters to an X/Y joystick. Argon8 features also a powerful arpeggiator and sequencer with up to 512 steps. The hardware can save up to 500 patches and is fully editable via the free MODALapp. Also nice, it includes a FATAR TPS9 full-size keyboard with both velocity and aftertouch.
In my opinion, Argon8 is a powerful Synthesizer that offers many features for an excellent price-value ratio (under $1000). Looking forward to check out the final version.
- True 8 voice polyphony
- Road ready Steel and Aluminium chassis
- 120 carefully crafted wavetables split into 24 banks of 5 morphable waveform sets,covering virtual analogue classics through to cutting edge EDM and many from the original Modal 002 as well as a whole range of mathematically generated tables. Additional PWM bank and 4 noise/modulation banks accessible on Oscillator 228 static wavetable processors including de-rez, wave folders, wave shapers, phase shapers and rectify that can be applied to the 120 wavetables to give a mind boggling array of permutations and new waveshapes
- 32 high resolution wavetable oscillators, 4 per voice, with 8 types of oscillator modifier including: Phase Mod (FM), Ring Mod, Amp Mod, Hard Sync and Windowed Sync
- FATAR TP9/S Full size 37 key keybed with both velocity and aftertouch
- 1.54 inch large OLED display – that provides instant visual feedback to the user at all times of playing/editing
- Bourns continuous rotary encoders throughout as standard
- A 4-axis joystick that can be assigned to a huge range of modulation destinations and virtually ‘locked’ when desired
- Three dedicated envelope generators for AMP, MOD and FILTER that can be accessed independently or all three simultaneously including negative (reverse) versions.
- Two pole morphing resonant filter
- Waveshaping distortion
- Three incredibly powerful independent and user configurable stereo FX engines that can create sophisticated Delays, lush Reverbs, Flanging, Phasing, and Rich Choruses
- Glide/Portamento with both legato and staccato modes
- Hugely powerful “Mod Matrix” with eight assignable slots with four additional fixed routes, 11 mod sources and 52 destinations
- 500 patch memories, all fully editable and ships with 300 factory programs and 200 user patch spaces. Patch upload and download through the free MODALapp
- Two Audio rate LFO’s with tempo sync (one poly, one global). Polyphonic LFO can sync to frequency divisions
- Inbuilt sophisticated programmable arpeggiator of 32 steps with rest capability with up to 2048 steps before repeating
- Real time sequencer with number 512 steps with input quantise and four recordable /editable animations
- Multiple keyboard modes, Mono, Poly, Unison 2, unison 4, unison 8, Stack 2 and Stacks
- All time-based FX, LFO’s and sequencer arpeggio can be either clocked internally or externally
- Sync in/out
- Full size MIDI five pin din sockets
- Full size quarter inch jacks for both audio and external control such as sustain and expression.
- 3.5 mm stereo input with ability to route incoming audio through the FX
- Free dedicated app that works on Mac, PC, iOS, Android and works under VST3 and AU.
Modal Argon8 provides a Class Compliant USB MIDI connection, enabling Argon8 to play in an integrated setup with MacOSX, Windows or iOS & Android tablets and phones as well as a VST3 and AU plugin for DAW applications. Argon8’s completely new sound engine enables extremely complex synthesis creation that we believe is hitherto unprecedented at this price point and even for products that are much, much higher.
The level of sophistication of Argon8 is a testament to the dedication, and culmination of almost six years hard work by the young development team based in Bristol – England.
Update: Pricing will be $699 – £579 – €649 and will be available later this year.
More information here: Modal Electronics