The Argon8 derives much of its heritage and DNA from the Modal 002 hybrid synthesizer released in 2014. It takes that benchmark wavetable sound and brings it into a more compact and price-conscious space. Modal say you’ve never seen anything like it at this price!
They call it “true” 8 note polyphony which makes me wonder when polyphony isn’t true and which synths don’t have true polyphony and should it be called something else? Anyway, inside this synth are 64 oscillators with 4 per voice in all modes and up to 8 per voice in certain modes for some enormous sounds. There are 120 wavetables to choose from covering classic waves, modern sounds and a whole range of mathematically generated waves from the Modal 002. These can be updated and expanded via the Modal App.
There are 28 wavetable processors that can act upon the waves doing things like de-rez, wavefolding, shaping, phasing and rectifying. This gives a huge amount of scope for sound design, modulation and getting crazy with waveshapes. There are three dedicated envelope generators one for each of the amplifier, modulators and filter. The filters are 2-pole resonant and there are two audio rage LFOs. There’s a modulation matrix with eight assignable slots and four fixed routes giving 12 x 52 destinations – that a lot of modulation!
There’s a mad arpeggiator that’s programmable up to 2048 steps before repeating, which I really don’t understand. And a sequencer with 512 steps, input quantise and four animation tracks.
For effects they give you three engines with modulators, delays, reverbs and all sorts of distortion.
The front panel features the same rotary encoders as found on the SKULPT. There’s a cool looking joystick and a nice display which will hopefully keep you from having to look at the App to know what’s going on.
UPDATE: The Argon8 is available for preorder now and should be available the first week in December. The price is a remarkable £579.
- Modal Argon8 webpage.