Modal Electronics Intros Inexpensive CRAFTsynth

Modal Electronics has announced the Modal CRAFTsynth – an assemble-it-yourself monophonic synthesiser, with full MIDI support through a Class Compliant USB port.

According to to Modal, the CRAFTsynth can be assembled in 10 minutes, with no tools, and ‘it brings real synthesizer performance to a new price point’.

Modal CRAFTsynth Specifications:

  • Monophonic DSP based self-assembly synthesiser, requires no soldering or electronics skills, tools or knowledge
  • Eight front panel potentiometers for editing control, with two pages of editing functionality
  • 2 oscillators per voice
    • sine, tri, saw, pwm, noise plus FM (OSC2 modulates pitch of OSC1)
    • detune and fine detune for OSC2
  • Mixer stage for OSC levels
  • Unison / spread mode that splits the oscillators into four separate sub oscillators per oscillator
    • giving a total of eight oscillators, de-tunable for a HUGE sound
  • LFO with six destinations
    • VCA amplitude
    • filter cutoff
    • FM amount
    • OSC mix
    • PWM amount
    • pitch / frequency
  • Four LFO wave forms, each invertible
    • Sine, tri, saw, square
  • LFO auto syncs to MIDI clock if present
  • Resonant low pass filter
  • 16 recallable EG presets for ease of use
    • Soon to be released, CRAFTapp will provide full editing control of EG’s for custom envelopes which can be stored within a patch
  • 16 patch storage locations (manageable through Modal CRAFTapp)
  • Playable touch panel interface with five note keys plus controls for scale and glide time
    • Scale changes between major, minor, diatonic and blues
  • Delay and distortion (waveshaping overdrive, not bit crushing) effects
  • Headphone and line output
  • Class Compliant MIDI provided over USB connection to host computer or tablet
  • Powered by USB or optional AA battery pack
  • Modal CRAFTapp for iOS, Macintosh and PC coming end of 2016. Android support planned for Q1 2017.

Audio Demo:

Video Demo:

Pricing and Availability

The Modal CRAFTsynth is available now, priced at US $99.

59 thoughts on “Modal Electronics Intros Inexpensive CRAFTsynth

  1. Synth on a stick! 😀

    Very interested in this.

    The specs look great. Price point is very nice. Will be interesting to see if this pans out. Looking forward to some sound demos from Modal, and a US vendor and price.

    1. As an owner of two Modal synths, this is such a radical departure from their product line offering, it begs the question if this is an attempt to raise capital via volume sales. I’m more worried about the implications if Modal is indeed in trouble.

      1. Like Korg is in trouble because they are releasing budget synths?

        Or the way Teenage Engineering is in trouble because they’re selling Pocket Operators?

        1. That is a tenuous correlation at best and a gross misunderstanding of the respective business models of the companies you compared at worst. Korg is a multinational company, with a varied product line and vast resources that enable it to produce a wide range or products with an equally wide price spectrum. As for Teenage Engineering, despite their humble beginnings, they are a now well funded and they have made it no secret that they are following Apple’s blueprint with their desire to be a consumer electronics company with a disparate product line with the emphasis on design and consumer appeal.

          Modal is a high end synthesizer company that up until this latest product announcement, their most affordable synthesizer, the 001, is in the $2K range. Their Eurorack modules which have yet to be released have an ERP of around $700 to $800. This is a radical departure and whilst I am intrigued, I am equally worried.

          1. I can understand the way you’re head is working Sphere6 but all I can say is as nothing more than a buyer of their products and a friend of the company you have nothing to worry about. 🙂

              1. Can you give him a shout and ask what their strategic reasons were for releasing a synth like this and report back. Thanks!

                My guess is they’re looking to expand their brand awareness and nothing beats a cheap digital assemble-yourself project to help in that regard. And since it’s such a radical departure, it doesn’t put pressure on the rest of their product line.

      1. don’t think anyone’s saying it’s wrong, just seems unnecessary to have an $80 version of something already in your DAW, especially when it’s USB MIDI only

        1. As an owner of a 002 and a p12, last time I checked, they were not in my DAW. hardware digital synths have just as much character as analog, and are inherently interfaced with differently than a VST. Hell, half of my modular is digital.

    1. Just trying to think back… but what mono synths got released this year? All i can think of is Moog’s mother and their rerelease minimoog. The tb-03 i suppose classifies as mono, but it’s really more of a 1 trick pony (a trick which i do really enjoy).

      I’d not think if this year as mono… what am i missing? i can think of several drum machines released this year (tanzmaus, tanzbar lite, tr-09, drumbrute), easily more than monosynths off the top of my head.

  2. Love the design. Pretty burnt on lofi arduino and pic based (which im guessing based on price) synths (at any price) but will give it the benefit of a doubt until mote information and sound demos are available.

      1. …and Matt Jackson who posted the video is a product development engineer at Modal…so this is probably the same synth…it does sound very nice…

  3. I’ve been lucky enough to have one of these for a few days now….. and God are you guys in for a shock!!!!! This is a proper PROPER synth…!! So many hidden features that you get no sense of by just giving the front panel a glance….. Dual Oscillator, (although splits to 8 with detunable unison.. oh.. and can play chords!!), AMAZING filter, Delay, distortion, controllable via USB, iPad app on the way to give you FULL control of everything…. every parameter…. (plus saving/loading of presets!!) but the bottom line is that this little beast just SOUNDS friggin awesome… don’t think that this is going to sound like a toy, it sounds like anything BUT a toy!!!…….. at the price it is literally ridiculous…

  4. Ty you dark horse, you! This what you let slip at the end of sonictalk the other week. You really are responsible for me spending a lot of money but really respect your opinion. Cant wait to give one of these a spin

  5. How should one interpret that: “2 oscilators per voice” on a monophonic synthesizer? They probably copied that from the manual of a polyphonic one.

    What does it sound like?

  6. Ad van Gerven…. Just like many other mono synths there are two oscillators per mono voice (individual waveshapes, detune and mix)… PLUS it keeps this structure when using “spread” which essentially takes it up to 4 lots of detuned voices (i.e. 8 oscillators!!) OR can keep that 2 osc structure with preset chord shapes… all in all it’s a versatile little thing!!

    1. So what is it, two oscillators per voice, 8 oscillators per voice, 4 voice with 2 oscillators and preset chords or what? When its 4 voice with preset chords I’d say a little software update would also make it into an actual 4 voice synth.

      I’ll wait for a proper audio / video demo, that will make it probably more clear.

      In any case, it looks absolutely cute.

  7. Very interesting. I’d like a back view – what kind of audio output jack is there? How can you play it without a computer/usb host hub? Are the white circles at the bottom also a playing surface or will there be a standard MIDI in as well? And please, let’s get some sound demo videos!

    1. for sound check out makeyoursynth’s link above – this is almost certainly the same synth but in an early cased version – two videos available one quick another in-depth coverage of the features. longer video seems like it was sent to beta testers like Ty to get them up and running. It sounds excellent and has a lot of control possibilities – chord feature is demo’d in video. I’ve ordered mine 🙂 – xmas present to myself

      1. Hey,

        Matt Jackson here 🙂

        You’re right, much of the architecture is the same, but after this prototype I redesigned Craft from the ground up to make it a more interesting product and more affordable. I then joined Modal as they shared my vision for Craft and we are all really proud of it’s sound and performance.

        I’m excited to get some more sound demos released soon as I think it will go down well! I may remove this video soon as it’s poor quality and I’d forgotten all about it


        1. Hi Matt,

          Look forward to some new sound demos and hopefully a new video at some point. The capabilities that you show off in the old video are really great; there are some thoughtful features included. Despite the non-perfect sound quality of the video the character of the Craft shows though, as Ty’s sound demo also demonstrates. I’ve already ordered mine. This also bodes well for future affordable products from Modal.

          Cheers, Joe

  8. BTW… One thing that I found…. all parameter changes are sent/received via the USB.. so you can twiddle and tweak away and it ALL gets recorded….. VERY SMART!!!!

  9. I just saw Nick Batt demoing this on a video and when I saw him manipulating the sound from an iPad control panel in real-time, I was sold. It looks like tons of fun.

    As for why Modal is doing this? I don’t know, but I suspect this little device will get the Modal name “out there”.

  10. Arrived today, it’s brilliant. Yes it may have a certain novelty value – and why not – but it is a very flexible and, when it wants to be, a huge sounding synth. For me it carries the spirit of the Moog Prodigy or my Korg 770 – it’s quite an industrial synth to my ears. Never thought I’d see the day when you could buy a synth for £80. Surreal times..

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