Modal Electronics Announces SKULPT, First In New ‘Family of Highly Portable’ Electronic Instruments

On Friday, Modal Electronics announced its new SKULPT synthesizer.

The first in what they are calling a “new family of highly portable electronic musical instruments,” SKULPT follows on Modal Electronics’ CRAFTsynth, 001 and 002 Digital / Analogue hybrid synthesizers, 008 Polyphonic Analogue synthesizer, and the CRAFTrhythm drum sampler. Based on the innovative voice architecture of the Modal CRAFTsynth, SKULPT boasts four polyphonic voices of synthesis with advanced sound creation features.


SKULPT key features:

  • Four virtual analogue discrete voices of polyphony with multiple keyboard modes
  • Eight oscillators per voice for a total of 32 oscillators (4 x 8)
  • Eight banks of sixteen patches (128 in total) patch storage and recall
  • Smooth morphing waveforms for each oscillator
  • FM (frequency modulation)
  • Ring Modulator
  • Pulse Width Modulation
  • Eight (8) modulation slots with eight sources and thirty-seven destinations
  • Three (3) Envelope generators for Filter, Amp and Mod
  • Two LFO’s – audio rate and MIDI syncable, one global, one per voice / polyphonic
  • 2 pole resonant morph-able modeled State Variable Filter (VCF) controllable from low pass, through band pass, to high pass
  • Delay section – fully MIDI syncable
  • Waveshaping Distortion
  • Sequencer with real-time polyphonic note input, storing 128 notes and four rows of parameter automation, 64 sequences can be stored onboard
  • Feature rich Arpeggiator with selectable division, direction, swing and octave range
  • 16 key front keypad for note input and controls
  • 13 front panel encoders with shift mode for further access to functions
  • Front panel transmits MIDI CC’s enabling it to control external software and hardware
  • MIDI IN and OUT with soft THRU on 5 pin din sockets as well as Class Compliant MIDI over USB
  • Analogue SYNC IN and OUT on 3.5mm sockets
  • Dedicated headphone port
  • Master output on 3.5mm socket
  • Powered either by USB or 6 x AA batteries for extended playing time

Modal SKULPT is highly portable – measuring 10”x5 1/2”x 3” and weighing less than 2lb – with batteries installed. SKULPT can be powered by either 6 x AA batteries, or via USB power.  Modal SKULPT also provides a Class Compliant USB MIDI connection, enabling SKULPT to play in an integrated setup with Mac OSX, Windows or iOS and Android tablets and phones.

In addition the MODALapp editor provides “complete” visual access and control to all of the synth’s features, along with tight integration of Modal’s CRAFTsynth and CRAFTrhythm devices – allowing the user to work across the full range of Modal instruments with a single uniform editing environment on the user’s platform of choice including MacOSX, Windows or iOS and Android.

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

Modal SKULPT will be available to order via the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, beginning next Friday, July 13. More details and updates will be forthcoming on the company site. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but Modal Electronics has said that they expect SKULPT will be less than US$300.

40 thoughts on “Modal Electronics Announces SKULPT, First In New ‘Family of Highly Portable’ Electronic Instruments

  1. Cool. I like that it has a cover that snaps on to protect it. I don’t know why nobody bothers to do that with all of these small units.

    $300 isn’t a bad price, but everyone will complain about the cap touch keys.

  2. Modal cant get 008Rs out but theyre selling little gizmos? This company has lost its directive.

    I was planning on going with Modal but I’ll probably order a Kijimi or Prologue 16

  3. I really like the design of most Modal equipment. Unfortunately the prices for their analog gear makes it prohibitively expensive for me. This one seems to fit right into my price range.

    I love portable battery powered gear (Volcas, Roland boutique, etc.) and really prefer a built-in speaker. I didn’t see a mention of this, and possibly wouldn’t pick one up if it didn’t at least have a small speaker on it.

    I like what I hear so far from the patch demos. *shrug

    1. personally I don’t really care about the onboard speakers, if you have a cheap little bluetooth speaker or a boutique that you are daisy chaining with the audio in you should be fine – I put all my little portable gear through a anker bluetooth speaker via 3.5mm if I am not hooking up to real speakers – or working through headphones. usually the little speaker on the gear is kinda fun but not as useful as you think it will be.

    1. yeah – I was thinking that this, the uno,a boutique or 2 and a circuit and you really got a nice little portable setup. that you can fit in a briefcase. I am curious to see what the drum sampler is like too.

  4. So much space on the panel and the writing so tiny, I’d need a magnifier. Ever thought that people above 50 years also make music? And what the heck is the idea of this 90° left and right twisted labels and the cluttered knobs? Hyphy design isn’t always better, just because it’s opposed to look “cool”….

  5. These small Modal “gadgets” may certainly raise interest in the larger Modal models. This one, including its built-in delay unit sounds awesome and professional.
    Wow what a spec list! Certainly interesting for that price.

  6. I love the sound of Modal’s bigger synths, but this one sounds really flat and boring to me. I think I’d pick a Volca Keys over this.

  7. I want six of these that I can wear across my chest on a big muffin pan. It sure has a screwy front-end, but there’s no questioning that it has a great voice, even if its not multitimbral. Coming soon to your synth-spotting list on Yo’Tube.

  8. I would have preferred 4 oscillators per voice and 8 voices, instead of 8 oscillators per voice and 4 voices. Strange choice. Oscillators may be cheaper on CPU than filters, but still… or 3 oscillator x 6 voices, something a little more balanced so you can play bigger chords.

  9. I wonder if it has glide. Also, it would be nice if they could be chained through USB or MIDI to double polyphony. At that price it would still be affordable. The iOS editor will be nice.

        1. Obviously you have your subjective opinion what defines a musical instrument. For me it doesn’t matter what it looks like, what matters is the end result.

          1. Compared to their previous high-end products it’s pretty obvious that Craft is a toy. This is a sign of a company losing its direction in a major way.

            1. Kind of like Korg ‘losing its direction in a major way’ with the Volca series?

              Or Roland ‘losing its direction in a major way’ with the Boutique line?

              Or Moog ‘losing its direction in a major way’ with its iPad apps?

              Just about every synth company is trying to create the best synth they can for different market segments. And they’re huge sellers.

              If that’s ‘losing their direction’, their losing their direction all the way to the bank.

              Besides, anyone that looks at the specs or listens to the demos can tell that this is a unique synth that’s way more capable than just about anything in its price range.

              1. Point not taken, when a captain (Maddox) has left his ship, then the ship is about to sink.

                It happened to Moog after Bob died, it has only been going down to cheap boring stuff like Grandmother, “Mother-from-another-mother” and “brother-blowing-brother”…etc…

  10. I miss Paula maddox. It was nice to see a company represented by such an intelligent women. I think Modal has lost a bit of edge after she left. Also i think it’s strange they rely on a kickstarter project to boost numbers. To me this gives a weird signal to potential new customers and/or existing ones.

  11. This looks amazing. If that’s the price, absolutely purchasing. Love that it’s small but still has 5 pin midi sockets, and the real time sequencer is a huge plus.

  12. There is a very weird gap between the products they started making and this! Somehow they moved from traditional pro design to experimental but more toy-like(?) difficult to say. I really don’t get the form of this synth which on paper looks quite capable when they attach that keybed..Is this an expressive keybed? I wonder..

  13. Wow – I am seeing a lot of negativity in these comments and really cannot understand it. The specs and sound on this are incredible for a <$300 price point. Certainly no toy, and possibly the most exciting thing to come out in the last couple years imho.

  14. A real tragedy that it doesn’t have the option to split the oscillators between 8 voices :'(
    I can’t seem to understand! Just why not??

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