Modal Intros $699 Full-Size Argon8 Polyphonic Synthesizer

Modal Electronics has introduced the Argon8 – a new wavetable synthesizer that builds on the legacy of the $4,495 Modal 02.

The Argon8 offers much of the sound design capability and functionality of the Modal 002, but in more compact and affordable keyboard. They say that the new synth raises the bar on what to expect from sub-$1,000 synths, offering deep synthesis capabilities, a sturdy metal case, a full-size keyboard with velocity and aftertouch and more.


  • True 8 voice polyphony
  • Steel and Aluminum chassis
  • 120 carefully crafted wavetables split into 24 banks of 5 morphable waveform sets, covering virtual analogue classics through to EDM and many from the original Modal 002, as well as a whole range of mathematically generated tables.
  • Additional PWM bank and 4 noise/modulation banks accessible on Oscillator 2
  • 28 static wavetable processors including de-rez, wave folders, wave shapers, phase shapers and rectify that can be applied to the 120 wavetables
  • 32 high resolution wavetable oscillators, 4 per voice, with 8 types of oscillator modifier including: Phase Mod (FM), Ring Mod, Amp Mod, Hard Sync and Windowed Sync
  • FATAR TP9/S Full size 37 key keybed with both velocity and aftertouch
  • 1.54 inch large OLED display that provides instant visual feedback to the user at all times of playing/editing
  • Bourns continuous rotary encoders
  • A 4-axis joystick that can be assigned to a huge range of modulation destinations and virtually ‘locked’ when desired
  • Three dedicated envelope generators for AMP, MOD and FILTER that can be accessed independently or all three simultaneously, including negative (reverse) versions.
  • Two-pole morphing resonant filter
  • Waveshaping distortion
  • Three independent and user configurable stereo FX engines that can create Delays, Reverbs, Flanging, Phasing, and Choruses
  • Glide/Portamento with both legato and staccato modes
  • Powerful “Mod Matrix” with eight assignable slots with four additional fixed routes, 11 mod sources and 52 destinations
  • 500 patch memories, all fully editable and ships with 300 factory programs and 200 user patch spaces.
  • Patch upload and download through the free MODAL app
  • Two Audio rate LFO’s with tempo sync (one poly, one global).
  • Polyphonic LFO can sync to frequency divisions
  • Programmable arpeggiator of 32 steps with rest capability with up to 2048 steps before repeating
  • Real time sequencer with number 512 steps with input quantize and four recordable /editable animations
  • Multiple keyboard modes, Mono, Poly, Unison 2, unison 4, unison 8, Stack 2 and Stack 4
  • All time-based FX, LFO’s and sequencer arpeggio can be either clocked internally or externally
  • Sync in/out
  • Full size MIDI five pin din sockets
  • Full size quarter inch jacks for both audio and external control such as sustain and expression.
  • 3.5 mm stereo input with ability to route incoming audio through the FX
  • Free dedicated app that works on Mac, PC, iOS, Android and works under VST3 and AU

Modal Argon8 provides a Class Compliant USB MIDI connection, enabling it to play in an integrated setup, and the free software editor Modal App is available on MacOSX, Windows, iOS and Android tablets and phones, as well as a VST3 and AU plugin for DAW applications

Here’s their official intro video with Sonic State’s Nick Batt:

Pricing and Availability

The Modal Argon8 will be available later this year for 699/£579/€649.

26 thoughts on “Modal Intros $699 Full-Size Argon8 Polyphonic Synthesizer

  1. I like the sound of this and I think they have probably done ok in terms of the price. Would be good to hear a full review over at from Nik in due course.

      1. Seems like the whole prices/ethics business only concerns Behringer hahahaha
        Jokes apart, you’re right: Korg was the pioneer of affordable synths, but Behringer showed us how much we overpaid many a product in the synth market.

        1. Take the behringer deepmind 6 and Prophet 6 and then compare everything – sound engine, presets, uniqueness, style, design, quality and materials. I am almost sure you will understand why DSI costs 3 or 4 times more. Then take Korg prologue 8 and compare it to the deepmind 6 – god knows, perhaps you will understand why the prologue is 2 or 3 times more expensive but cheaper than Prophet 6. Nothing personal, I love every synth. I love them all.

          1. ” I am almost sure you will understand why DSI costs 3 or 4 times more.” < Because the income in US is many times higher compared to China, but it does not make it a better product, both use smt technology, where a computer has soldered it.

            Why should a product be better just because the Chinese soldered parts are assembled in US?

            1. Are you kidding? Did you listen to the filter? Compared to an OB-6, P-6, etc, it sounds like crap. You get what you pay for. You always get what you pay for.

              1. No im not kidding. That you dont like the filter in this has nothing to do with that Dave Smith instruments is overpriced based on that they want to keep the “Made in US” brand.

  2. Wow. Would have liked to see an analog filter but this synth really stands out at that price range in terms of what it can do. Had the pleasure of visiting Modal’s offices a while ago and they’re top guys. Glad to see them expanding outside of the high-end market.

    1. Surprised nobody has mentioned the Waldorf Blofeld here, sure it doesn’t have as many knobs, but otherwise it seems to do much more than this does (including samples) with way higher polyphony.

      That said, I think the control surface of a synth is super important.

  3. Amazing that this is priced cheaper than Behringer’s Deepmind 12, but actually has professional build and features and an original synth engine.

    This and the Hydra synth are two of the most interesting synths to be announced in ages!

  4. Wavetables are having a moment in the sun. So much sonic potential. I have the Craft Synth 2 and its sound it right up there with flagship products; aggressive, digital and somehow modern sounding in a non-gimmicy way – it’s a fabulous monosynth. I’m not sure that those are the sounds I would reach for in a polysynth, but the build, joystick and quality that Modal bring make this one to watch.

    1. Everybody should have a nice analog synth or two, but a good wavetable synth design offers a much bigger range of sonic potential. That seems to have gotten forgotten in the last few years.

  5. Wow!
    … having all rotary encoders puts the interface ahead of so many synths where you have to choose between all together compromising catch, jump or relative knob behaviours.
    Three to four octaves are also perfect for monotimbral synths (it’s not a grand piano!)
    Price feels just right!

    Always liked the modal sound architecture – tho their “big” synths where too much and the tiny ones where not enough imho.

    Now there is this!

    Cannot find anything wrong with it – is this an instant classic?

    1. Having only rotary encoders is excellent!!
      Can’t understand why not every syth has this because there interface is constantly out of sync with loaded patches. It is better live and when revisiting patches to tweak. There is only one development moment where non rotary shines and thats the first time you create a patch. It is so overrated to see what the amount is on the encoder itself.

      Currently you can buy OLED screens for 30 dollars that look amazing and have touch sensitive controllers that then can show the current value on display when you touch them. If hardware is so much about the interface hardware developers can do so much more, i feel we are missing out on even the simple possibilities already out there.

      1. True – sound, feature and price wise we are in the golden age of synths – but whre many fail is the interface.

        I prefer led “rings” around the controllers rather then touch sensitive knobs – touch sensitivity easily leads to other problems.

        (nord lead 3 did it right, but #4 is back to the knob repositioning hassle.)

        [On real analog, non preset, one knob per function synths this is a whole different story ofc, what matters there is true potentiometers.]

        Cannot wait for in depht review of the argon 8

    2. Plenty of other synths in the past used rotary encoders and people were clamoring for real potentiometers because the fail rate for encoders is crazy high. or at least it used to be. maybe that’s changed?

  6. Beautiful instrument and a smart market step by Modal. Thumbs up for the case being made of metal and wood. Stacking this with an analog poly of any kind would be a major winner. I imagine that there are more than a few people who won’t drop $3000+ on a mega-synth, but they’ll drop less than $1000 on smaller ones like this. They’re filling up the den and divorce is on the horizon. It takes ten minutes to explain it to the judge.

  7. Ive really wanted to buy a Modal *something* for some time now…i think the synth for me has finally arrived!! this looks like they may have a winner on their hands! the right price too wow!!!

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