Modal Filton: Dual analogue transistor ladder filter
Modal Electronics’ first Eurorack module, Filton, pulls the filter circuits from the 002 synthesizer and morphs through the modes.
From the tease video we saw yesterday, I had convinced myself that it might be a semi-modular synthesizer voice. But no, we’ve got a smart-looking dual filter with plenty of Modal style and a warm and gooey character.
At 20HP it is extravagantly wide for a filter. But you do get two of them, in a mirrored layout and the most enormous-looking cutoff knobs. It looks very tasty indeed, and there’s plenty of room for fiddling about, I imagine. While it is inherited from the 002 synthesizer it is modelled after the classic 24dB/octave 4-pole Transistor Ladder filter from Moog. It’s known for its smooth and well-behaved sound that can move through audio signals leaving a trail of warmth, tone and juiciness.
Rather than switching between modes, the Filton has a Morph knob that moves from lowpass, to bandpass and to a lighter, 6dB/octave highpass mode. This gives it the ability to conjure up some unusual characteristics. Along with the usual cutoff and resonance controls you also get a level control which becomes useful for pushing the sound to saturation and also giving some comparative adjustment for the mix output.
Each filter does have its own output along with the mix output. The mix output doesn’t appear to be stereo which feels like a missed opportunity. If you’d like to use it as a stereo filter you will have to mix and pan the filters elsewhere. Although in a nod to stereo usage all the CV inputs for filter A are normalised to filter B.
Filton is going to be available exclusively through a Kickstarter campaign. There doesn’t appear to be any Early Bird action so the price is set at a straight £299 for the module. Although there are discounts for multiples. Delivery is expected in December. Bypassing the dealer channels seems like a bit of a shame for a Eurorack module. Because it often supports smaller, boutique stores that could really do with the business. With a goal of £50,000 they are going to have to sell nearly 170 modules in 29 days to ensure production. I hope that works out for them.
The Modal Filton is a cool-looking module with some interesting movement in the poles, which is a feature I really like in the Cobalt synthesizer. The T-shirts aren’t bad either.
- Modal Electronics website.
- Filton Kickstarter.
- More from Modal.
- Modal Electronics Filton: Modal Electronics
I am not really into another filter but the notion, celebrated by the article “At 20hp it is extravagantly wide for a filter” is an extravagant leap of judgement. A) who decided that all of the people in euro want narrow modules with small knobs? b) most stereo filters take similar space c) there are even single filters that occupy as much space in Euro. It’s better to not try to preconceive the user’s needs and tastes here.
I find that HP is always at a bit of a premium, and so wide modules inevitably feel extravagant. But I did then follow that up by saying “but there are two”. Gearnews is opinion driven and so in this case it’s me who decides upon the needs and tastes, so I’m not really preconceiving anyone else’s otherwise you have to try to represent every view or angle which I don’t find very interesting. That said we do very much enjoy reader contributions in the comments and you definitely have some valid points 😀