Isla Instruments Caladan Synthesizer Now Available To Preorder

Isla Instruments announced to today that their new Caladan synthesizer is now available to pre-order.

The ISLA Instruments Caladan is an expandable 8-part analog/digital multi-timbral desktop synthesizer module, featuring multiple synthesizer engines by way of voice cards. They say that it shares much of its DNA with their S2400 desktop sampler and the Futuresonus Parva MPE Synthesizer, released in 2015.

Without any voice cards installed, the Caladan has its own internal digital synthesizer engine, with playback capabilities of Soundfont (.sf2) and SFZ multisample formats, with the added benefit of being able to run a plugin-based synthesizer (VST, LV2, CLAP formats), with up to 32 voices.

Voice Cards

Caladan has internal slots for up-to 8 voice cards, accessible via a ‘trap door’ underneath the unit. The voice cards are able to be essentially any type of synthesizer, be that pure analog, digital or a hybrid of both.

The voice card API will be open sourced with development kits made available, allowing other designers and developers to create synthesizer cards for use in the Caladan.

Cards planned include:

  • Dual OPL3 4op FM card with analogue filters/vcas (already in development)
  • SEM / OB-X card (already in development)
  • Analogue Percussion card
  • Mini Moog card
  • SH-101 card
  • String machine card
  • TB-303 Card


  • MPE Support
  • RGB led rings (yes, you can change colours) enabling simultaneous viewing of parameters across different voices/cards per knob.
  • USB Host and Device ports, both class compliant for MIDI controllers.
  • Standard MIDI DIN In/Out/Thru
  • 4 x independent CV & Gate inputs
  • 8 x Stereo output busses
  • Main & Sub Mix outputs
  • High quality steel/aluminum enclosure, comparable in build/looks to the S2400 (and compatible with the same side panels for wood lovers)
  • Universal mains powered (100-250v AC)

Here’s an overview of the Caladan:

Here’s a preview of the Caladan hardware prototype in action:

Audio Demos:

They also shared audio demos from the original Parva voice cards:

Pricing and Availability:

Isla Instruments says that they expect the Caladan to be shipping by July 2024. The Caladan is available to pre-order with an early bird price of $949, for the Caladan Synthesizer base unit with 2 Parva voice cards.

28 thoughts on “Isla Instruments Caladan Synthesizer Now Available To Preorder

  1. The design looks cool, and the pre-order price seems fair. Also cool that you have the ability too run “VST” plugins on it, this reminds me of Muse Research Receptor.

    But to be honest, I’m not really fan of this model with buying yourself into expansions and then dig yourself into a deep black hole for one device as a business model. [Instead of just getting a device, that has it all per default from day-one]

    1. Same. Got he S2400 incoming, and will purchase the DSP and filter card expansion. But this one? Nah, I don’t care about. With a synth like this, you’re never finished buying to make it “better / more complete”. That’s a thought that would keep lingering. Having a perpetually “incomplete” synth would be an utterly unsatisfying experience for me.

      And at it’s core, there’s not much to it that really blows me away. There’s nothing truly unique to the synthesis available, from what I can see now. I do like the design with the screen collumn thuogh! And it looks good.

      1. Me too, made the pre-order …waited till the pre-order period was over and went to normal retail prices and then sold it 2nd hand for more than pre-order <3

        Win-Win for capitalism <3

        1. This comment seems a bit like putting a stick in an anthill. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    1. This is laughable. Everyone deserves a second change when starting a company. They’ve clearly proven themselves to deliver a beast of a sampler.

      I’ll say try starting your own company and see how far you’ll get. ?

  2. I second Percivale’s comment. Zero updates or support for Kordbot, and if you bring it up to the owner online he gets combative and kinda mean about it.

    1. personal attack???? Anyway to rephraze, choosing to omut 6 voices and replace them with a soundfont player is a horrible idea. The futuresonus was a perfect synth, that just needed a few bug fixes and more attention to detail. This won’t sell at all.

  3. Maybe it’s my monitor but I really can’t make out any of the physical knob details in either the stills or the video. Just seem a little bush to me.

  4. With the card api and planned cards this will be very interesting.

    On the product page for the Parva voice card:

    -3 Digitally-controlled analog oscillators per voice
    -Sawtooth, triangle, and PWM waveforms
    -Variable-width saw waves
    -Tunable +/- 5 octaves
    -Hard Syncable
    -Independent level controls
    -4 4-stage (ADSR) envelopes per voice
    -Exponential curves for punchy attack and natural decay
    -Linear mode also available
    -Loopable envelopes
    -Routable to >40 destinations
    4 LFOs per voice
    -Sine, sawtooth, triangle, and square waveforms
    -Random sample-and-hold
    -Stepped LFOs
    -Free-running or key-synced
    -Routable to >40 destinations
    -Polyphonic Aftertouch
    -2 configurable voltage-controlled filters per voice
    -24db or 12db low-pass or high-pass modes
    -12db bandpass mode
    -Filter FM

    Sounds like a rich feature set.

  5. If they were smart, they would rebrand and rename so the 20 people still pissed about the Kordbot would maybe/probably be a customer.
    I always hear everyone dismiss this company because of the kordbot, never heard anyone go into detail so I dont know what happened there. Unflfilled orders? Bugs? Discontinued? What happened?

    1. Updates discontinued, they’re mainly pissy about it never having received a seqencer while that was sort of promised at some point. Iit’s still a functional tool though.

    2. Hi Randy, I will be happy to tell you exactly what happened to me, although Liz has all my comments automatically held for moderation and doesn’t publish about 75% them, so I safely assume you will never read this one about a manufacturer they post articles for.

      For me it was 2 things:

      1. When you have shipping software, there is an option about when to notify the customer that their order has been shipped. Isla had their shipping software set to send a shipping notification upon printing of the shipping label. The problem was, Isla was using the shipping label as work orders. Basically, they would print your shipping label, you’d get an email that your Kordbot has shipped, and it goes to the bottom of a pile of other shipping labels, and your Kordbot isn’t actually built for several weeks after you get emailed a shipping notification. This could have easily been fixed by toggling a checkbox in their shipping software, but instead blame was passed on to customers for having the audacity to ask about the thing they paid money for.

      2. The second problem was the owner of Isla. After weeks of my Kordbot not shipping, and a friendly email asking why, the guy was absolutely indignant in his response to me with a “chill out and don’t ask again” attitude. I sure do hope that guy got a customer service person, because it was the single worst experience I ever had with a synth company. He really treated his customers like they were useless consumers.

      This post is supposed to be a celebration of a new product, and instead it’s a dud, mostly people saying “never again” and responders asking “why never again?” Their bungled past haunts them and looms over them, and I am here soaking up every moment of it. They deserve it.

      Look how successful companies like 1010, Polyend and Erica have become in the same span of time by building up good will and being kind and responsive every single time you reach out to them. There is a lesson to be learned here.

    3. The Kordbot ‘saga’ is a joke. I got one and for the price is an amazing tool that does a lot. They are all butthurt because plans for a sequencer never materialized.
      Yes…maybe Bard mentioned future develepment ideas, but he can hardly be blamed for bot having the time when there are many other larger projects, just to appease this small group of whiners.
      The s2400 for example. I have it and love it! Yes there are bugs…but this is a small company , and Brad is doing his best. Do you remember those Super Sick drum machine circuit bent mods he did of the Alesis HR16 he did many years ago? They also had rom slots for different sounds. I would LOVE to get one. I had a chance to buy one, but it was partially broken and expensive.

      1. Thats what I thought. The “internet” happened to the kordbot. You say something enough times, it becomes a thing when the thing wasn’t a thing in the first place. You’d think he took folks money and never delivered, for that i’d blast a company in every post and never buy their products. BUT! For a lack of updates…. Thats just corny. Thanks for the intel and clarity.

  6. Just reading this today and missed the coupon code window probably by a couple hours. Anyone know how much it took off?

  7. Had the Parva worked as advertised, it would have been a great synth. I really liked the core sound and modulation options. Problem wasn’t just an underpowered microcontroller though. There were a LOT of software/firmware updates for the OS and the voice cards in the first year or two. The unit that was shipped to me was barely playable until a couple updates were released. Sometimes updates to fix one thing would cause successive problems later. Additionally there might have been some QC problems with the cards. Different folks seemed to have different problems, with quite a few being card specific. I was one of the luckier ones whose unit MOSTLY worked with the last update they released. I did a video a few years ago (“Revisiting the Futuresonus Parva”), playing patches and mentioning some of the problems I was still having with it.

    Parva-Brad did basically abandon the project (don’t remember ever getting an adequate explanation that the product was being cut off), but I also know he was snowed under with the issues, backlogs, and had just had a kid at about the same time (it might have been twins), so yeah, life decisions and business decisions likely made it unrealistic to keep it afloat.

    As well, not only is this Caladan inspired by the Parva, it inherited and supposedly fixed/updated the analog voice cards (if I read the website correctly) from the Parva, so the potential for a pretty good synth is there. Time will tell if that’s really been realized though.

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