Modal Electronics have announced a free update to their cool monophonic synthesizer kit, CRAFTsynth. The leading new feature is Poly mode where you can wire up multiple CRAFTsynths to create an awesome polysynth. So, for four voices you’d need to buy four of these. For that sort of price you could alternatively get a Roland SH-01a or for a bit more the Korg Minilogue. Which would you go for?
4 voice CRAFTsynth
I think Poly mode is brilliant. What a great way expand upon the CRAFTsynth you found in your stocking on Christmas morning. But whenever this sort of thing appears, like with Dreadbox’s Polychain, it makes me wonder about the economic sense. Great idea, but now I’ve actually got to buy three of these to get a chord, or four if I’m serious about it.
Currently, in the UK the CRAFTsynth is going for £79, so four of them would cost £316. The new Roland SH-01a, SH-101 reissue but with 4 voices, is available next month for £339. And you don’t have to build it, and it has a sequencer and lots of lovely sliders and stuff. The Korg Minilogue is a bit more of a stretch at £525 but then it is analogue and comes with a full-size keyboard. So, I don’t mean to be down on the fabulous little CRAFTsynth, it’s a great thing, but some perspective is always helpful.
So, I don’t mean to be down on the fabulous little CRAFTsynth, it’s a great thing. But some perspective is always helpful (except when dealing with modular synthesis when perspective is the last thing you need). What is cool about Poly mode is that if you have a CRAFTsynth then it’s an affordable way to build up a little array of them over time to give you greater flexibility.
Along with Poly mode comes a MIDI panic button, the forwarding of incoming clock to the synth and a CraftApp Virtual MIDI port. The Bluetooth MIDI side has been improved and optimised as well as several other tweaks and bug fixes.
The update is free and is available from the Modal Electronics website.
Here’s a glimpse of the Poly mode from NAMM earlier in the year: