Bristolian synth boffins Modal Electronics have unveiled a new portable instrument, called the Cobalt5S. As the name implies, it draws on the powerful virtual analogue synth engine used in their Cobalt series, but which is presented here in a miniature, bus-powered format.
A five-voice poly, the Cobalt5S boasts up to eight oscillators per voice, which combine with its 40 sound-shaping algorithms (including oscillator sync, ring mod, waveform morphing and more) to yield what Modal describe as a “nefarious palette of sound”. The filter is the same self-oscillating 4-pole morphing ladder design as found in the larger Cobalts.
Modulation options include a polyphonic LFO, a global LFO, and three envelopes, all of which are assignable via the eight-slot modulation matrix. The Cobalt5S is also 'MPE ready', so if you've got a compatible controller you can take advantage of fully polyphonic modulation and expression.
In terms of hands-on control the Cobalt5S sports 16 rotary encoder/switches, a 37-note mini keybed with aftertouch, and a three-dimensional (up/down, left/right and pressure axes) touchpad, which can be assigned to pitch or any of the other modulation destinations. The newcomer also incorporates a step sequencer (with animation lanes), a programmable arpeggiator, and a hi-res oscilloscope display.
Finally, as on other Modal instruments, the Cobalt5S is compatible with the free MODALapp control software, which lets you perform detailed editing from any Mac/Windows computer or iOS/Android mobile device.
The Cobalt5S is available to pre-order now for delivery in around two weeks' time, at the enticing price of just £379 in the UK, or $449 in the States. To hear Modal's new synth in action, check out the video below.