We all saw this coming: Just like the ARGON8 the COBALT8 has spawned a bigger COBALT8X with 61-keys and a smaller COBALT8M desktop version.
It was inevitable. As soon as we clapped eyes on the COBALT8 we knew it would follow the ARGON8 into a couple of other expressions of itself. In terms of functionality, they are all identical; it’s just the form factor that’s changed.
Push one end out to allow room for 61 keys. Using the same impressive Fatar keybed as the original it gives the “players” something to get their fingers onto. As I said with the ARGON8X it looks a bit odd having everything over on the left but the general idea is to give you space to plonk your laptop or tablet in order to access the Modal App. Genius really.
On the other end of the scale, they took the keyboard off completely leaving you with a desktop-friendly synthesizer. It looks like it’s lost a bit more than that with a handful fewer knobs and buttons and there are only 8 LEDs across the front rather than the 16 on the bigger versions which double up as sequencer steps. So some compromises have been made to get this down to the size of something rackable but all the functionality is there.
Otherwise, they have the same virtual analog goodness of the original, 8 voices, 64 oscillators, modulation, ladder filter, effects, the same build quality and potential for sumptuous sound design and messing about with synthesis.
They should both be out by the end of November for £499 and £649 for the COBALT8M and COBALT8X respectively.