Modal thinks that its Skulpt synth sounds bigger than it looks

Modal Electronics told us that it had something new on the way, and that something is Skulpt, a portable polyphonic synth that’s based on the voice architecture used in the company’s CRAFTsynth. This is set to be the first in a new line of portable instruments from the company.

Skulpt offers four voices of polyphony, with eight oscillators per voice. It comes with a multitude of modulation possibilities, a built-in sequencer and a 16-note keypad for note input. Should you wish to plug in a more capable keyboard there’s MIDI I/O and Thru, along with class-compliant MIDI over USB. Parameters can be tweaked using 13 front panel encoders.

If you’d prefer to go down the software control route you can do so using the MODALapp editor, which works across desktop and mobile platforms.

Skulpt is certainly an eye-catching proposition. Portable synths are always popular - this will one will run for more than 12 hours on six AA batteries, so we’re told - but Modal thinks it has enough about it to warrant a place in your studio setup as well. A Kickstarter campaign will kick off on 13 July, with the price set to be less than $300.  

Find out more on the Modal Electronics website.

  • Four virtual analogue discrete voices of polyphony with multiple keyboard modes
  • Eight oscillators per voice for a total of 32 oscillators (4 x 8)
  • Eight banks of sixteen patches (128 in total) patch storage and recall
  • Smooth morphing waveforms for each oscillator
  • FM (frequency modulation)
  • Ring Modulator
  • PWM
  • Eight (8) modulation slots with eight sources and thirty seven destinations
  • Three (3) EG’s (envelopes) for Filter, Amp and Mod
  • Two LFOs – audio rate and MIDI syncable, one global, one per voice / polyphonic
  • 2 pole resonant morphable modelled State Variable Filter (VCF) controllable from low pass, through band pass, to high pass
  • Delay section - fully MIDI syncable
  • Waveshaping Distortion
  • Sequencer with real time polyphonic note input, storing 128 notes and four rows of parameter automation, 64 sequences can be stored onboard
  • Feature rich Arpeggiator with selectable division, direction, swing and octave range
  • 16 key front keypad for note input and controls
  • 13 front panel encoders with shift mode for further access to functions
  • Front panel transmits MIDI CC’s enabling it to control external software and hardware
  • MIDI IN and OUT with soft THRU on 5 pin din sockets as well as Class Compliant MIDI over USB
  • Analogue SYNC IN and OUT on 3.5mm sockets
  • Dedicated headphone port
  • Master output on 3.5mm socket
  • Powered either by USB or 6 x AA batteries for extended playing time
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.