Music

Modal's Skulpt synth gets huge sounds from a small box

Modal's Skulpt synth gets huge...
Modal says that the Skulpt is small enough to fit in a backpack, can run of battery power for 12 hours and brings "big features" to a musician's rig
Modal says that the Skulpt is small enough to fit in a backpack, can run of battery power for 12 hours and brings "big features" to a musician's rig
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Graphic of the Skulpt synthesizer's user interface featuring 13 encoders and 16 keys
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Graphic of the Skulpt synthesizer's user interface featuring 13 encoders and 16 keys
Modal says that the Skulpt is small enough to fit in a backpack, can run of battery power for 12 hours and brings "big features" to a musician's rig
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Modal says that the Skulpt is small enough to fit in a backpack, can run of battery power for 12 hours and brings "big features" to a musician's rig
The Skulpt synthesizer can run for 12 hours on six AA-sized batteries or can be powered over USB
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The Skulpt synthesizer can run for 12 hours on six AA-sized batteries or can be powered over USB
Parameters can be tweaked using the 13 front panel encoders and notes entered on the 16 keys to the front of the Skulpt
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Parameters can be tweaked using the 13 front panel encoders and notes entered on the 16 keys to the front of the Skulpt
Around back, there's MIDI in and out via 5-pin DIN and Class Compliant USB, an included headphone jack and Sync in and out
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Around back, there's MIDI in and out via 5-pin DIN and Class Compliant USB, an included headphone jack and Sync in and out
The Skulpt synth features four polyphonic voices, with eight oscillators per voice
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The Skulpt synth features four polyphonic voices, with eight oscillators per voice
The Skulpt synth offers frequency and pulse-width modulation, eight mod slots with eight sources and 37 destinations, three envelope generators, two low frequency oscillators and a 2-pole resonant VCF
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The Skulpt synth offers frequency and pulse-width modulation, eight mod slots with eight sources and 37 destinations, three envelope generators, two low frequency oscillators and a 2-pole resonant VCF
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Modal Electronics out of Bristol, UK, has announced an upcoming portable synthesizer that's based on the voice architecture of its Craftsynth. The Skulpt polyphonic synthesizer rocks 32 oscillators divided between four discrete polyphonic voices, includes a dazzling array of modulation opportunities, a step sequencer and an arpeggiator, and can run for up to 12 hours on battery power alone.

The Modal Skulpt synthesizer is reported to be the first in a new family of portable electronic instruments from the company. Despite its relatively compact 255 x 135 x 68 mm (10 x 5.3 x 2.67 in) proportions, there's a lot on offer for the sonic scientist.

"Small enough to fit in your backpack or sit on your master MIDI keyboard, yet powerful enough to bring big synth features into a musician's rig, Modal Skulpt redefines what it means to be portable," said the company in a press release.

It features four "virtual analog" polyphonic voices, with eight oscillators per voice and waveforms that can be morphed between oscillators. Parameters can be tweaked using the 13 front panel encoders and notes entered on the 16 keys to the front. The panel can also be used to control external MIDI software and hardware.

Graphic of the Skulpt synthesizer's user interface featuring 13 encoders and 16 keys
Graphic of the Skulpt synthesizer's user interface featuring 13 encoders and 16 keys

Musicians are offered frequency and pulse-width modulation, eight mod slots with eight sources and 37 destinations, three envelope generators, two low frequency oscillators and a 2-pole resonant VCF that can be controlled from low pass, through band pass, up to high pass. A MIDI scalable delay section and cooked in distortion can also be dialed in.

The Skulpt includes a 128 note sequencer too, with the ability to store up to 64 sequences in the device's memory, and an arpeggiator with selectable division, direction, swing and octave range. Around back, there's MIDI in and out via 5-pin DIN and Class Compliant USB, an included headphone jack and Sync in and out.

It can be powered over USB or by six AA-sized batteries for 12 hours of cable-free portability, and tips the scales at under a kilo (less than 2 lb) with batteries installed. All of the synth's features can be tweaked and fine-tuned via a software editor, which works across OS X, Windows, iOS and Android platforms.

No firm pricing information is available, but you can expect it to go on sale for less than US$300. A Kickstarter production jaunt is due to start from July 13. You can get a taste of what's on offer in the video below.

Source: Modal Electronics

Modal Electronics SKULPTsynthesiser

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