Modal Debuts 3U, Rack-mount 002R Synthesizer


At Musikmesse 2015, Modal Electronics has introduced the 002R, a rack version of its recently introduced Modal 002 keyboard.

“002R was designed to address two issues,” explains Modal Electronics co-founder and Director Paul Maddox. “Firstly, studios and musicians who may not necessarily have room for a full-sized 002; secondly, several customers have requested an expander for 002 to increase polyphony count, especially when used in multitimbral mode which comes with OS 7.25.”

Modal says that they repackaged the 002 into an industry-standard 3U rack-mountable because ‘there’s too much ‘technology’ inside 002 — no fewer than 11 circuit boards! — to make a desktop version’. In other words – the very nature of discrete analogue circuitry simply wouldn’t allow for it.

When designing 002R, Modal Electronics decided to make it available in two versions — 002R(12), providing the full 12 voices of 002, and 002R(8), providing eight voices of 002 sound. Both versions are fully patch compatible with 002, offering all of its features, including:

  • Analogue/digital hybrid voice architecture, with either eight or 12 voices of polyphony (up to 12-part polyphonic).
  • Voices can be played in unison or ‘stacked’ for more complex timbres.
  • The Animator allows for monumental modulation flexibility, bringing 12 animated ‘rows’ of parameter sequencing into productive play.
  • Onboard Sequencer supplies two tracks of 32 steps, each with up to 12 notes/parameters, providing polyphonic part playback.
  • Advanced Arpeggiator abounds with multiple modes and features.

Modal_002R_thumbnailFront panel access to all the key features needed for studio and live usage are all present and accounted for — for example, Quick Recall of preferred presets and instant part Select (in multitimbral mode). Modal Electronics’ proprietary Quick Navigate functions allow any edit page, parameter on a page, and associated values to be instantly edited using the three ‘macro’ keys.

Key to accessing the underlying power of 002R really becomes apparent, however, when using the Modal Web interface. Use any HTML5-compatible web browser — Chrome, Firefox, Safari, et al — on any platform that supports a browser — desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet — for full control and editing of 001R’s functions via its Ethernet connection. Internet-connectivity allows for straightforward software updates, as will be accessing additional features from Modal Cloud, coming later this summer.

Featuring the same high-quality constructed chassis as its keyboard-based brother, 002, 002R also includes a back panel-positioned expansion slot — for forthcoming digital expansion card accommodation, providing two channels of 24-bit/192kHz Audio Out(put) over USB into its user’s favourite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Again, as is the case with both 002 and its Musikmesse 2015-announced smaller sibling, 001, 002R includes an internal, worldwide — 60 Watts | 100 – 240V | 50 – 60Hz — auto-sensing Power supply with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) mains inlet.

Pricing and Availabilty

The Modal 002R is scheduled to ship in late-May 2015. Available through Modal Electronics’ network of authorized dealers, its retail price will start at £1,795.00 GBP (plus VAT)/£2,154.00 GBP (including VAT); €2,395.00 EUR (plus VAT — varying rates throughout Europe); and $2,595.00 USD (plus sales taxes where applicable) for the 002R(8) eight-voice version.

The 12- voice version, 002R(12), will be also available in late-May 2015, retailing at £1,995.00 GBP (plus VAT)/£2,394.00 GBP (including VAT); €2,595.00 EUR (plus VAT — varying rates throughout Europe); and $2,995.00 USD (plus sales taxes where applicable).

Alternatively, 002R(8) can be expanded to a full 12-voices at a later date for £329.00 GBP (plus VAT)/£395.00 GBP (including VAT); €449.00 EUR (plus VAT — varying rates throughout Europe); and $495.00 USD (plus sales taxes where applicable).

For more in-depth information about 002R, seet the Modal Electronics site.

10 thoughts on “Modal Debuts 3U, Rack-mount 002R Synthesizer

  1. Let me save you all the trouble : WHAT !!?? 3000 BUCKS ??? What about us mortals !!??

    There you go…now let’s talk about the synth !

  2. Rack gear makes perfect sense for those of us who have continued using rack equipment. Using a midi master keyboard means we do not need more keyboards .
    This synth doesn’t grab me and does not look much fun to use. I will stick with my jp 8080, Novation KS Rack, Tetra, etc
    A lot of buck for the bang but honestly they ‘Modal’ have hit the ground fighting , they just need to remember the roots of house/Techno etc it was made on cheap available gear. Roland and Korg have sussed that and so does Mr Midi , DAVE SMITH.

    1. Totally agree!
      There is so much great rack gear (both analog & digital) going for a song on the second hand market
      these days. Just reading all the above pricing (incl. VAT excl. VAT, variable exchange rates etc. etc..) did my head in.
      Us Brits do love to make things complicated and expensive.

  3. There was talk of some sort of tabletop or rack version of the 002, mostly it seemed to create something smaller and cheaper at 6 voices according to a employee that was posting at Gearslutz. I’m personally more than a bit disappointed in what they decided to produce. The 001 is only two voices, is still $2k and does not appear to be compatible with this 002r so it can’t be used as an expander to add polyphony to the 001 and the 002r has almost no front panel controls to actually be usable as a stand alone product.

    So the 001 is a bit too limited for $2k, cannot be upgraded with the 002r, the 002r is $2.5-3k and really pushes the boundaries on lack of controls, and the 002 is still $5k. Oh well, I hope they stick around long enough to make something more affordable.

    1. @R7 001 CAN be used to edit racks ( & polychain) , pretty sure I remember according to one Messe video I saw .

      1. That’s great news if it can! All of the literature on the web right now only pertains to the 002r being used with the 002 but I suppose I’ll have to watch some videos now.

          1. expanding on that. I sent an email to modal asking them if their units can be poly chained. here’s what they told me:

            “Thanks for your email and interest in Modal and our synthesisers.

            One of the things in development at present is the ability to integrate multiple ModalOS products into a network, or cluster.

            At a simple level initially, this will enable you to say “there are a total of 14 voices on midi channel 7” – where both a 001 (2 voices) and 002r (12 voices) are both set up to receive on channel 7. The internal voice allocation engine will then work with this and provide the poly chaining. I’d hope this was released in an update within the next four to six weeks, so it’s a high priority for us. This will be joined with the ability to switch the front panel of a 001 or 002 to control a 002r, rather than the internal voices.

            Going beyond this we plan to implement polychaining on a per channel level within a multi-timbral setup (or Performance as we refer to them). So you may have a 001 keyboard, with a multi setup with a split, bass played on an internal sound on the lower half of the keyboard, but the lead pad sound of four voices being played on the right hand of the split, with one voice coming from the 001 internally and the other three being provided by a 002r, using one channel of a multi-timbral performance, still leaving 5 voices (on an 8 voice 002r) or 9 voices (on a 12 voice 002r) to be used for other parts, perhaps controlled by the internal sequencer or an external DAW, or another keyboard etc.

            We have even more functionality planned, to do with the way ModalOS devices detect each other and allow you to build clusters, but for now, we will shortly be implementing simple poly-chaining, but we plan to make it do a lot more in the future.”

  4. Modal has picked the ball were Clavia and Virus left it. There machines are very expensive, but the policy of line extending (rack, 3 oct kb) show that they want to fill all segments. Perhaps lower prices will come at a point when payback of technology will have occurred and they want to go mass.

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