WMD + SSF Monolith Eurorack Keyboard Synthesizer

At the 2015 NAMM Show, WMD introduced a new Eurorack module line and an all-in-one Euro keyboard systems. 

The new modules are a collaboration with Steady State Fate.

wmd-ssf-monolith-synthesizer

In the video above, via Synthbug, WMD’s Tyler Thompson demos the new WMD/SSF Monolith Eurorack keyboard synthesizer. See the WMD and SSF sites for more info on their modules.

32 thoughts on “WMD + SSF Monolith Eurorack Keyboard Synthesizer

    1. “$2600.00 for a mono synth? I suppose there are hipsters who will buy and never use this and sell it on cheapl”

      it sounds like the Korg Monotron might be a better match for both your pocket book and your knowledge level.

        1. A Hispter is a guy who wears a woolen hat during the summer, preferably when it is hot outside and also inside in hopes of a snow storm that will never be.

  1. He stated that the goal of this product was to make modular more musical, and to get away from the ‘bleep bloop’ stereotype of modular sounds. For that reason alone, I think this is a great product!

    1. Modular systems are often extremely musical. Just because they don’t fit typical western scales / musicality at all times doesn’t mean they’re unmusical. “More tactile”, “more intuitive”, “easier to get into for people who already play keyboards” are all fine terms but I guess harder to market with than “more musical.”

    2. “You’re able to play your modular system more musically now”
      Well I don’t have a eurorack right now. But I find it almost insulting to say that because many eurorack systems don’t use a keyboard as the main human interface device, they are inherently “unmusical”.

  2. now that’s what I’d call a real progress! Nobody ever came up with such an idea before. However, I guess that it wouldn’t be possible to build your own polysynth with this. therefore, pricing in comparison with the new Sequential Prophet 6 for instance should be reconsidered.
    Also, the keyboard looks a bit empty right now. I’d love to see at least a pitch wheel/modwheel or a nice ribbon controller.

  3. I do wonder where they get the pricing from on these things. If you break down the cost of this: That keybed is going to set you back $100, building a eurorack unit with power supply is going to cost another $100, an open source midi/CV mod is going to be another $100. And let us say $700 to build the range of modules, I make that $1000 for a build on that kit, based on a consumer, low level of production pricing – and not a business buying and building in bulk. So a price of $2600 is meaning they have a $1600 markup on a unit. 160% markup for electronics in todays market? Behave yourselves. It is interesting that these people seem to be focused on giving people an easy entry to modular, but at that price all they are doing is giving them an easy entry to self-building a modular system. I also don’t think having a keybed built into a box makes a modular system more musical like stated, it makes it more integrated but that kinda goes against the grain in a modular setup, you can get eurorack modular to take midi, even usb midi, and plug (and power on usb) any midi controller into that – a better solution, and you can even put a wooden box around it, if you like. And then we have: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Super37-MeMe-Antenna-Edition-Black-Eurorack-Modular-Case-Keyboard-/191226467695

    1. You forgot things like paying employees, fabrication costs, research and development, rent, utilities, taxes….

      i.e., their pricing is more than fair.

      1. No I didn’t, that is including in costing at a low level consumer level – meaning the markup is already included. For example building a modular unit is cheap, like $20-35 of parts – I’m costing that limited set of mods in that kit at $700, which is way above the costs of basic parts. I costed a eurorack case here at $100, which is $50 worth of parts. Meaning a company could already make a healthy profit at their prices.

        i.e., their pricing is far from fair.

        It’s about good people doing bad business, the customer should never pick up the bill for an ill structured enterprise, we aren’t talking about state of the art kit here, but basic, simply electronics from the 70’s, that is commonplace and free-domain, and above or else it’s really cheap and easy – an evenings worth of Google could educate someone on this whole enterprise and the costs involved.

        I am fully aware of the costs, as I have just spend a month doing R&D on building such a thing, the parts I’m ordering would make a much better solution for a fraction of the cost, 44 key aftertouch, mod and pitch wheel, touchstrip, and 4 X VCO (ran by a mono, duophonic and polyphonic and unison midi box), 2X VCF, 2 X ENV, 2 X LFO, 2 X VCA – coming in just over $1000.

        1. The ‘armchair synth manufacturer’ analysis is tiring.

          If you don’t like the gear, don’t buy it.

          If you think you make something better and make it cheaper, then then make something better and make it cheaper.

          But don’t stream a diarrhea explosion of bullshit and disrespect the people that actually know their stuff and do the work to make something interesting.

          With 200+ Euro manufactures out there, competition is going to weed out the weak and inefficient companies faster than BS.

          1. If I think that their products are weak and overpriced then I will say so, regardless of your own demands and delusions.

            And I may just take your advice on not paying over the odds for a product I see as being weak – I was kind of in the mindset that they are serving turds in a bun at $10 a pop, I wasn’t even in the market for a turd on a bun, was I?

            I was under the opinion that I could make something better and cheaper than this, before I saw this – those plans haven’t changed. Have they?

            And I didn’t disrespect them, they disrespected themselves. Didn’t they?

            But if you find that interesting then it is good that you are so easily amused. But really I don’t get the drift of what you are saying here. Is it than anyone that has an opinion counter to yourself deserves abuse from yourself, for serving “diarrhea explosion of bullshit”. I don’t think this bullying way is a good way to conduct yourself. Do you?

  4. My only gripe with this is the modules might be hard to read at that angle without hunching over the thing, especially if there is a tangled mess of patch cords there already. Even a slight upward tilt on the modules would be nice.

  5. A company in Austin, TX called Super Synthesis offers a powered Euro skiff with a keyboard attached, module that scans the keyboard to convert CV/Gate, and polyphonic midi out for $799. Doesn’t have all of the modules, but it is a less expensive entry point to get your keyboard modular system going and you can customize your setup.

    1. This is WMD/SSF’s spec of the Super37, actually. Although I don’t believe their modules use the cv/gate bus which is unfortunate.

    1. Korg, Dave Smith Instruments and Arturia are in a different league than 99% of the Euro manufacturers.

      Most Euro modules come from very small boutique manufacturers.

      1. Boutique in its original French terminology means ‘small shop’ but in a Western sense in now means a company offering specialized or sophisticated equipment , in this sense their are some Boutique eurorack module markers doing very special stuff – but I don’t think you can apply that to most eurorack makers, like with the product here – nothing specialized or sophisticated. Some people seem to think boutique means a small business that charges big money for things people don’t really want? That is just can’t being up ones own backside.

  6. I think they’re taking something of a gamble with this, not because of the price, but because I’m not sure that most people with modular rigs give a shit about having a keyboard interface.

  7. the idea is great. beautiful product. now the questions are. does it sound great? it seems to. and how much would the keyboardless version cost with all of those separate modules? how much would the moduleless keybedcase cost? 2600 is very steep.

    1. Super synth offers a similar modular keyboard case for $1000 but without aftertouch and no stereo outputs or headphone jack and multiple. That brings the cost up slightly from the Super37.
      All of the modules are available for sale individually as follows:
      Spectrum VCO – $249 x2
      Ultra Fold – $179
      Pole-Zero – $169
      Blender – $139
      Quad Atten – $69
      Mini Slew – $199
      ADSRVCA – $169 x2
      TOOL-BOX – $149
      SPO – $109
      Amplitude – $ 149

      That totals $2998 + the cost of the modules and extra features of wmd/ssf’s version of the keyboard/case

      there are far less than 100 of these made so we cannot compete with Dave Smith etc. on pricing. These units are made in the usa and not mass produced – which is why larger companies can offer competetive pricing in comparison.
      A completely modular keyboard is not exactly new but offers flexibility and creative expression not available with the majority of keyboard synths on the market. modular synthesis is about experimentation and the Monolith is just another great tool for creative users and the like. We value everyone’s opinion and appreciate that this type of synth is not for everybody! However, I would suggest checking out what the musicians that have actually played with it have to say!

      Andrew
      SSF

  8. I love the general concept however as an “entry into modular synthesis” the price is too steep for me. Besides, one can get any number semi-modular, patchable, synths with an attached keyboard for much less than $2600 ( That’s $3500 here in Canada…Yikes!) . For instance a brand new MS-20 can be had for $600. Locally there’s a guy selling a Roland System-100 for $1500.

    If we want to talk about sound quality, I can get all the same bleeps and burps that I’m hearing in the online demos from my $150 Volca Bass connected to my $200 Microbrute modulated by a $160 EHX 8-Step Program. In fact, I have as much if not more control given all the MIDI and CV/gate connections possible plus the option for high, low and bandpass filters.

    Cool concept but for $3500 one could have so much more. (It does have a pretty case though…nice Industrial Design.) Personally, I’ve been attracted to the Pittsburgh Modular Gear.

  9. If you’re bitching about this system and its price, you’ve obviously never built, or owned euro. I played with this system for a good hour at Knobcons Demo Derby a week ago and it was one of the most impressive things I saw there. The oscillators sound amazing. Their new delay in the line is awesome too.

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