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Knobula Poly Cinematic review

This synth voice that doubles as a standalone synth can make you some sounds worthy of the big screen

  • £320
Knobula Poly Cinematic
(Image: © Future)

MusicRadar Verdict

Polyphony in Eurorack usually takes valuable hp. The Poly Cinematic does it with aplomb and sounds gorgeous at the same time.

Pros

  • +

    Intuitive interface.

  • +

    Wide tonal range.

  • +

    Comes with everything onboard.

Cons

  • -

    For best results it needs a MIDI keyboard with it.

Knobula Poly Cinematic: What is it?

We generally warm up to a conclusion, but today we’ll jump straight in and say the Poly Cinematic is fantastic. It covers a lot of sonic ground in a simple to navigate and intricate device with a clever trick up its sleeve.

The module itself is just 12hp wide and 40mm deep, meaning even tiny rigs can benefit from 8-note polyphony. That alone is worth the price, but things get better. As well as being a synth voice it’s pretty much a standalone synth, with built-in filter, envelope generator and effects.

Knobula Poly Cinematic

(Image credit: Future)

Knobula Poly Cinematic: Performance and verdict

Starting at the top you’ll find the envelope section, which has attack and release, with a split function decay/sustain control. The knobs feel good with little slop.

Next up is the filter section, with a switch for mode (low-pass, notch and high-pass), resonance frequency, envelope depth and a final three-way toggle for keyboard tracking which is great to see on such a svelte module.

Below that is the oscillator section, the beating heart of the Poly Cinematic. Here you’ll find the detune, which is marked at unison, 5th and octave points. 

The detune sounds are pretty broad and run from the mild to the wild, cleaning up as you turn the control nearer to each defined point, as you’d expect. This is great for beefing up chords or creating more dissonant drones. 

There’s an overall pitch control with a shift button for fine-tuning, then two toggle switches. One for waveform selection, which includes supersaw, square and tonewheel. 

We love that the tonewheel was included as it’s one of the prettiest sounds we’ve heard from a module. It can do the whole organ thing perfectly but experimenting with the envelopes and filters pays off. Each waveform has three variations, selected by the second toggle. The changes are subtle but useful.

The real magic comes in with the chord memory. Plug in a MIDI keyboard and you have access to eight-voice polyphony. Great but not unique. However, use a mod wheel for location selection and you can commit eight chords to onboard memory, then trigger them using CV for chord select and trigger. As this uses CV there are boundless options for integrating this into a rig/patch and it’s a real joy to work with. 

CV control is there for filter frequency and the obligatory volts per octave. All this adds up to a truly huge, expressive but compact synth and that’s before we even mention the lush onboard 24-bit reverb.

MusicRadar verdict: Polyphony in Eurorack usually takes valuable hp. The Poly Cinematic does it with aplomb and sounds gorgeous at the same time.

Knobula Poly Cinematic: Hands-on demos

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Knobula Poly Cinematic: Specifications