Modal 002 Digital IO Board Takes 002 Synthesizer To ‘A Whole New Level’

At the 2016 NAMM Show, Modal Electronics introduced four Eurorack modules, a new rackmount synthesizer and a digital expansion board for their 002 synthesizer.

In this video, designer Paul Maddox previews the new Modal 002 Digital IO Board.

The Modal 002 Digital IO Board adds some major new features to their 002 synth.  It offers USB audio in/out, USB MIDI In/Out and a wide variety of audio effects.

The audio output can be sent as a stereo pair, or as 12 separate multi-timbral channels. In addition, the effects can be modulated via the Animator.

“This takes the whole effects thing into a whole new level that you can’t achieve with other synthesizers,” says Maddox.

Pricing and availability for the Modal 002 Digital IO Board are to be announced.

11 thoughts on “Modal 002 Digital IO Board Takes 002 Synthesizer To ‘A Whole New Level’

  1. shocked such a flagship premium synth in 2016 has such a basic effects board ,i love this synth and would really like one but just strapping on a korg koasilator would be more awesome,,
    come on modal you started so well

    1. What world do you live in where 12 channels of multitimbral synth IO + a full range of digital effects is ‘basic’?

      Does ANY other synth in production offer this?

      And Chromex – it’s bizarre to hear someone complaint about a new option that adds dozens of new capabilities to a synth that’s been out for a while. How often do companies offer that?

      Seems like Modal is putting out the most impressive, forward thinking synths made, and enhancing their value by introducing new options.

      it was forward thinking for them to build in expandability to the original design.

  2. Additionally, he states in the video that the unit must be sent back to be installed by a service center, which, for US owners is a giant pain. Makes it seem like the unit shipped out incomplete to begin with. How about the 8 voice rack unit for the 002? Will this Board work for that? What US service centers are available? How close is the board to being available? I love my rack unit but am beginning to think that Modal does not think things through.
    Also the unit is capable of some marvelous and innovative sounds for sure, but the ones that he finds pretty in the video ( and most of the “phaser” effects. to my ears), on the video sound harsh, digital, and unremarkable. This video is making me rethink further Modal purchases because I am losing confidence in the ears and brains of the company leaders. While the unit is flexible enough to accommodate my tastes, further development seems to be going in a different direction.

    1. I think all big professional synths will always have these issues; they are made in one place by a small team and sold internationally. The likelihood is that, when you buy pro kit it isn’t going to be the last time you spend big on it.

    2. I don’t like the demos from most synth manufacturers. Roland, Korg, DSI, Arturia, Mutable Instruments.. If I chose gear based on manufacturer demos, I wouldn’t have bough 90% of my gear.

    3. Thanks Chromex, can I respond to a couple of your points: First, the Digital I/O Card has been in design for as long as the Modal 002 has. We’ve taken a LOT of time with this particular card to get it perfect, as we wanted the design to provide 12 channels of audio at 24bit / 192kHz over USB – something that is not simple to do. This required us to actually scrap the first incarnation of the board as the chip vendor we originally chose just couldn’t deliver the required performance.

      Secondly, we have service centres in LA, New York, Florida and Chicago – so you shouldn’t be too far away from a service centre – please drop us an email to [email protected] and we’ll gladly set you up with a service centre closest to you.

      Thirdly, yes, the Digital I/O card will work perfectly well with the Modal 002r 8 voice rack. You also have the option, if you wanted at the same time, to upgrade your 002r 8 voice to a 12 voice at the same time.

      Finally, as to the sounds, Paul was choosing to show sounds that allowed the effects to be clearly heard – so viewers can see how they will use it in their own sounds and compositions, something we always try and do to be honest about what is achievable with our products.

    4. Yes, the new board will work for the 002r. The price I’ve had quoted from Modal is £495 (GBP) + VAT which seems pretty steep tbh. I’m holding off from buying until the board is out with the distributors as there’s no point buying one to send it back a couple of weeks later to have it fitted.

  3. If i could afford one of their products i’d get it.I hope Modal last and thrives enough to release some good and more affordable products in the future.
    Live long and prosper Modal.;-)

  4. The 002 is an exquisite synth and a true joy to play. Having the new effects card will greatly magnify the musical possibilities exponentially. I’m definitely looking forward to it! 🙂

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