CORAL is a massively polyphonic Eurorack module with multiple sound engines, sample playback, groove box rhythms and built-in effects.
While I originally wrote this article back in February the Coral is only now officially available with fully supported firmware. It’s now also available from our partners at Thomann.
CORAL is an 8-voice polyphonic synthesizer with multiple sound engines accessible over multiple parts. You can ride all eight voices on a single sound engine or assign each voice to a different one or group them into parts. The engines on offer include Virtual Analogue, FM, Kick, Hit-Hat and Snare Drum Synths, Wavetable, Waveshaping, String, Swarm and Sample playback via the front-mounted SD card. That’s ten different sound engines, and there’s another one available via an alternative firmware.
In the middle of the module is the lowpass filter section with drive, resonance and envelope amount controls. Beneath that is a twin envelope. One side controls the amp, and the other can be assigned to modulate parameters but is normalled to the filter cutoff. Mixed in amongst the layout is a Space Reverb and Chorus effect.
At the bottom is a patch bay where most things can be controlled via CV, including pitch and triggering as a single voice synthesizer. For the full 8-voice experience, it’ll need to be run by MIDI.
Front panel control
The key to unlocking CORAL will be in how well the interface works. There’s a lot going on and a lot to access that relies heavily on a single Push Encoder and ring of LEDs. Some parameters will change as the sound engine changes. In some respects, the sound engines could be seen as a polyphonic Mutable Instruments Plaits.
The ring of LEDs does a lot of work in visualising the parameters and their values, along with showing active voices, part and engine selection and CV assignment.
MIDI is definitely going to give you the fullest experience, which is not always something you have to hand in modular. Knobula’s Chord Pilot might be the perfect companion, or an external MIDI sequencer like the Korg SQ-64, or Arturia KeyStep Pro would do the job nicely. You can also allocate different MIDI channels to different parts, turning it, potentially, into a multi-timbral synth or, if you’re using the Drum Synths, a bit of a groovebox.
However, you can use it as a single voice synth for regular CV/Gate. And it has an interesting Multipart CV mode where you allocate a few voices to a group that is split across 5V. Any incoming CV will play different voices depending on the strength of that voltage.
Coral is available now for £415. Check out my review, below.
- OXI Instruments CORAL Guide: OXI Instruments