With the CRAFTsynth, British synth makers Modal Electronics made a departure from their flagship synth lines to create a low-cost DIY monosynth that could be built in 10 minutes with no tools or solder. For only £79, the whole package is rather impressive. Now, Modal have announced the follow-up: the CRAFTrhythm, a £99, 8-track sampling drum machine.
The CRAFTrhythm has the same form as the CRAFTsynth but is a totally different animal. Each Modal CRAFTrhythm track has an individual level and pan control, low pass resonant filter, and pitch and time modes (SPEED, STRETCH and SHIFT), and they also each have their own envelopes. A built-in 16 step sequencer allows for 16 recallable patterns and up to 16 part pattern chaining, with realtime and step input. In addition, a groove control afford control over the swing/shuffle amount and then provides eight preset grooves that allow for triplets and other non-conventional rhythms.
You can store up to 64 16-bit mono audio samples with a sample rate of 44.1kHz, and allows users to upload their own samples into the onboard memory. The onboard factory sound bank includes several drum, percussion and rhythmic sounds and effects created on the CRAFTrhythm’s bigger brothers Modal 001, 002 and 008. Up to 8 kits, combining chosen samples and parameter settings, can be created and stored on the Modal CRAFTrhythm, allowing for on-the-fly sample and parameter changes, ideal for live performances.
While the front panel controls offer a decent amount of parameter adjustment, the CRAFTrhythm it can also be used in conjunction with the Modal CraftApp (Win, MacOS, iOS & Android). FThe app can be used to dig into more parameters and allows drag-and-drop sample management as well as kit and pattern editing. The CRAFTrhythm can connect to a computer, tablet or phone via class-compliant USB-MIDI, allowing compatibility with external MIDI software and devices. It can be powered either over the USB Mini B connection of with three AAA batteries.