Modal COBALT8 Virtual-Analog Keyboard Synthesizer, 37-Key

Reach beyond the limits of analog. The Modal COBALT8 synth creates inspiring tones with complex oscillator modulations, warm filters, and powerful effects.

Building on the tradition of warm and punchy analog-style synth sounds, conceived by legendary synthesisers from the past, COBALT8 unlocks the full creative potential of analog waveforms. This powerful, inspiring instrument reinvents the aesthetics of analog sounds and invites musicians, producers and sound designers to explore a new era of virtual-analog synthesiser textures, far beyond the limits of its analog forefathers.

On top of the innovative oscillator engine of COBALT8, Modal added a morphable 4-Pole Ladder Filter. Combined with Modal's unparalleled modulation options, an inspiring real-time / step sequencer, the energizing arpeggiator, the Premium FATAR 37-note keyboard, MPE, studio-quality effects and MODALapp integration, COBALT8 is the perfect synth for everyone who wants a versatile electronic music instrument to play vintage synth sounds and is eager to enter new sound dimensions.

Eight true polyphonic voices tempt players to lay out wide string or rich synth pad chords, while a monophonic bass or lead patch, played with 64 oscillators can shake the walls of every stadium. And with the avant-garde sound forming features, every synth enthusiast can refine his performance with sounds that no other synthesiser is able to generate.

Two independent oscillator groups with up to 4 oscillators each generate not only powerful virtual-analog goodness, but like no other synthesiser before, 34 unique complex algorithms like Sync, Ring Modulation, Waveform Morphing, read more and many more are available to increase the creative options for new-generation synth sounds. Each Algorithm has a simple-to-use pair of controls selected to suit the particular algorithm or character, providing musicians the power of traditionally complex oscillator modulations or processes spontaneously.

COBALT8's self-oscillating 4-Pole Morphable Ladder Filter with Resonance injects more warmth and bite. Switch between the four different filter modes, get creative with the Notch filter and form unusual synth textures with the Phasor. Two different characteristics allow to instil a more subtle behaviour or process the sound with sheer raw power.

Three flexible audio-rate (2 x polyphonic) LFOs can be routed to a massive amount of destinations using the modulation matrix and sync to internal or external tempo. Three dedicated envelopes for the filter, amp and modulation allow excessive control over dynamics and expression. Switchable envelope types provide greater options to tailor the envelopes for specific sound purposes. COBALT8s sophisticated 12-slot modulation matrix supports easy assignments of complex modulation routes to keep the sound evolving. Four common modulation routings are pre-set here to free up space for more exciting ideas.

The integrated 512-note Realtime / Step Sequencer with four powerful Animation Lanes invites to compose massive and complex melodic patterns. The polyphonic 64-note step sequencer mode enables easy step input for note and animation values. Multiple sequencer trigger modes coupled with the powerful onboard arpeggiator (programmable up to 32 steps) and performance features such as Chord Hold, Inversions, Transpose, Sustain Latch.

Professional keyboard players will love COBALT8's rugged steel and aluminium chassis and the premium FATAR 37-note full-size key bed. The keys support channel aftertouch and deliver smooth action to express powerful playing performances. For direct access of the parameters, COBALT8 features 29 endless knobs, 24 buttons and an X/Y joystick for pitch or modulation, and MPE support offers new ways of creative expression for sophisticated performers.

Reshape your sounds completely with the onboard stereo effects engine. COBALT8 comes with a 3-slot FX engine with in-depth FX programming. To polish the sound, a total of 11 FX algorithms add character and depth, including Chorus, Phaser, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), Tremolo, LoFi, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Ping-Pong Delay, X-Over Delay and Reverb.

Set to be played in any synth environment, COBALT8 comes with all physical connections required. Control the synth using USB, monitor with headphones or using the dedicated line outputs, sync with external gear using the full-size MIDI in and out or the 3.5 mm Sync in or outputs and take control of your sound using the built-in Sustain and Expression inputs. By poly-chaining any two COBALT8 devices, the amount of voices is easily doubled to 16 voices and 128 oscillators.

There is plenty of room to store patch, effects and sequence creations. Out of the box, 300 of the total 500 patches are filled with factory patch banks, carefully programmed by some of the most accomplished sound designers of the world. One hundred customised effects configurations and sequences can be stored as well to be applied to any sound while performing.

The free MODALapp brings the comfort of screen-based editing on your computer or mobile device. Available as a standalone app for macOS, Windows, iOS, iPadOS or Android systems and in VST3 and AU plug-in formats it is the perfect companion for synth enthusiasts looking to deep dive to all sound forming and performance parameters to create their own signature sounds, and to backup and manage patches and sequences.
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- Polyphony: True 8 voice polyphonic
- Oscillators: 64 high-resolution virtual-analog oscillators, up to 8 per voice
- Two independent and self-contained oscillator groups with sine, pulse, triangle, sawtooth waveforms, 34 different algorithms including: complex analogue synthesis techniques, built-in crossmodulation (SYNC, RM, and many more), PWM, smooth morphing between VA waves, bit crushing, filtered noise.
- Extended Oscillator Drift
- Filter: Four-Pole Morphable Ladder Filter with Resonance and four switchable configurations
- Resonance and Balanced Filter Modes: Modulation
- Three dedicated envelope generators for AMP, MOD and FILTER that can be accessed independently or all three simultaneously including negative (reverse) versions for MOD and FILTER ENVs
- Three audio-rate LFO's with tempo sync (two poly, one global) with seven different shapes
- Eight assignable modulation slots and four additional fixed modulation routings for common assignments with 12 modulation sources and 55 modulation destinations
- Sequencer and Arpeggiator
- Realtime sequencer with 512 notes with polyphonic mode and four recordable/editable parameter animations (Delay FX, LFO's, sequencer and arpeggiator can be either clocked internally or externally)
- Built-In sophisticated programmable arpeggiator of 32 steps with rest capability with up to 2048 steps before repeating
- FX
- Three incredibly powerful independent and user-configurable stereo FX engines for Chorus, Phaser, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), Tremolo, LoFi, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Ping-Pong Delay, X-Over Delay and Reverb that can be arranged in any order
- User Memory
- Patches: 500, all fully editable and ships with 300 factory programs
- Sequencer: 100 sequences that can be linked to any patch for quickly loading arrangements
- FX: 100 presets
- Eight Quick Recall slots accessible from the panel for quickly loading your favourite patches
- Controls and Performance
- Premium FATAR TP/9S 37-note Keyboard with velocity and channel aftertouch
- 29 endless encoders, 24 buttons
- Four-axis joystick that can be assigned to a huge range of modulation destinations and virtually 'locked' when desired
- Multiple keyboard modes (Mono, Poly, Unison 2, Unison 4, Unison 8, Stack 2 and Stack 4)
- Glide/Portamento with both legato and staccato modes
- Enclosure and Display
- Road-ready steel and aluminium enclosure
- 1.54-inch large OLED display for instant visual feedback at all times of playing/editing
- Inputs and Outputs
- 2 x unbalanced 6.3 mm (1/4") TS outputs (L/R)
- Stereo 6.3 mm (1/4") stereo headphone output
- Stereo 3.5 mm (1/4") input with ability to route incoming audio through the FX
- 6.3 mm (1/4") sustain pedal jack
- 6.3 mm (1/4") expression pedal jack
- 3.5 mm (1/4") Analogue clock sync in and out (configured to the KORG / Teenage Engineering specification)
- MIDI DIN in and out
- Class-compliant MIDI over USB connection to host computer or tablet
- Power
- Power: DC-9.0V - 1.5A centre-positive
- Editor Software
- Free MODALapp software editor for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android
- MODALplugin to access COBALT8 within your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), with VST3 and AU versions available
- General
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 55.5 x 30 x 10 cm (21.9 x 11.8 x 3.9 inches)
- Weight: 5.6 kg (12.35 lbs)
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 14.85 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 6 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AMS-COBALT8
Scratch and Dent
Shipping Weight: 14.85 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 6 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AMS-COBALT8
Shipping Weight: 14.85 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 6 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AMS-COBALT8

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (1 ratings)
Submitted August 29, 2021 by Maria L in Poconoes, PA

"Great Synth for Unique Sounds"

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This synth is not the type one gets for electric piano, or standard sounds, although if you work at it, it can probably do that kind of stuff. To me, the strength of the Cobalt is its ability to sound truly different from the pack. Want weird drones, metallic bells phasing, unearthly kind of pads? Then this is your synth. The presets are wild, and you can easily (tweak) go in any direction with a lot of hands on parameters. The only thing I dislike is that switching patches is like a two step operation instead of just moving to say a6, you move to a6 and then enter. It’s a pain, and I can see it being trouble in a live situation, but other than switching patches it is a fun board and sounds pretty unique. It’s not overly analog sounding to me-more of the digital seems to dominate, but personally I don’t care. The build quality is quite nice for the price, I think it looks smashing, and the sturdy chassis is ready to go on tour, unlike a lot of other sub 1k keys. I think Modal has a winner here.

Musical Background:

Since the 1980s

Musical Style:

Futurepop, Synthpop, techno, house, post punk, rudimental drumming
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