The M700 is a complete 4-part virtual analog polyphonic synthesizer in the form of a Eurorack module. It’s compact, MIDI-controlled and very un-modular.
Before we talk about the M700 it’s worth mentioning the M800-Series that we first saw at Superbooth 2019. It was a virtual analog polyphonic synthesizer in Eurorack form based on the Raspberry Pi3 with a large touch screen for editing. Looks a bit like the 1010Music modules. The system could be expanded with control modules to lend physical controls to the main sound engine. In the video from Superbooth it looks pretty great and sounds amazing but it does leave me wondering about the modular context in that the interaction is very much MIDI-based rather than CV and perhaps this would be better in its own box, although the ability to easily expand does make the Eurorack form attractive.
I’ve not heard anything more about the M800 but since being on the SoundMit virtual stream over the weekend showing the M700 they’ve also released this video on the M800 which is amazing. Also, please consider subscribing to the video channel as I just doubled their subscriber count and this is interesting stuff.
Onto the latest development which is the M700. As far as I can gather, it’s a more compact and possibly affordable version of the M800. It follows the same idea of being a polyphonic and multitimbral virtual analog synthesizer. This time it’s in a much smaller module, with a little screen for parameter display and is based on the Raspberry CM3+. It has a stereo audio path running from the oscillators to the stereo filters, stereo amp and a bunch of stereo effects. You have MIDI in/out on minijack and a USB port for direct connection of a MIDI controller.
While there are 4 CV outputs and 4 Gate outputs these appear to be for pass through MIDI-to-CV conversion or can use the output of the built-in arpeggiator and sequencer, although as I understand it those will only be available in a forthcoming M700AS version.
The two oscillators can run in two modes: VS or Variable Shape and WT or Wavetable. In VS mode you can generate your classic analog waveforms. In WT mode you can morph through 256 table positions. Each oscillator can run up to 4 instances of itself giving you 8 oscillators per voice. I’ve not seen any information on what the voice count is.
The M700 is an entire synthesizer and so there are envelopes and modulators, filters and amplifiers all built-in. Although it is editable from the front panel it would be quite a job working on a little screen and single encoder so thankfully there’s a software editor that gives you a fabulous looking interface to control everything.
Mayer is also working on a hardware voice controller for it called the M701 Synth Voice Controller. That is definitely going to appeal to the modular space.
At SoundMit Mayer provided a demonstration of the M700 which gave you a good idea of what it sounded like but they didn’t really delve into much of the detail. So the M800 and M700 remain a bit of a conundrum. Polyphonic synthesizers within the modular space without CV control or much patchability but with the potential to offer a lot of sonic possibilities. Many hardware sequencers feature MIDI outputs and polyphonic sequencing so it could be a really convenient way of bringing some big sounds into your typically monophonic modular system.
The M800 is available for €1,950 whereas the M700 is sold out but presumably coming soon for €865. Interesting stuff. Check out the video below for the M700 presentation from SoundMit.
- Mayer website.