Modal Electronics 008 Synthesiser

Modal Electronics 008


If there were an awards ceremony for synth manufacturers, Modal Electronics would surely stake a strong claim to the title of best newcomer. Having burst onto the scene back in the summer of 2014 (then known as Modulus Music), the British outfit has quickly developed a full stable of keyboards and modules, from their original 12-voice polyphonic 002 keyboard through to the two-voice 001, the 002R rack modules and the flagship 008 “analogue powerhouse”.

Your first experience with the 008 can be overwhelming. It’s such a big old brute of a synth that there are a lot of options to get your head around. Just look at the multi-mode filter section, with that large central knob allowing you to select from 15 modes. There’s nothing much particularly unusual about the synth architecture, just a lot of it: two oscillators per voice, that hugely flexible filter, two LFOs and loads of modulation options.

The only downside is the price. At £3,495, the 008 is one of the most expensive synths currently on the market, but you have to take into account the fact that this is the flagship model from a small, boutique company. Is it worth the money? Have a listen and decide for yourself.

18th January, 2016


  • Wow, 2 oscillators, 4 waveforms, filter, lfo to modulate it. It’s no wonder electronic music hasn’t really advanced in the last decade as people are still getting boners for things we’ve all seen/heard before. New synths are just tools for muso-posers to show off with, posh handbags for guys/gals who don’t leave their bedrooms. All you really need if you want hardware to make music is a £100, 20 year old Roland W-30 and a good idea.
    This ain’t a dig at Attack.

  • wow, the original really is a lot better sounding. Much richer and thicker sounding. The update is somehow ‘skimmed’.

  • @Duncan

    Ridiculous isn’t it. I went into a music shop the other day and all the guitars still only had six strings! Retrograde madness

  • @Nathan

    Not a fair comparison at all. Synths are based on technology that is constantly changing. And due to Moore’s Law, the technology is constantly getting cheaper. These two things dictate that synths should be evolving a lot more than they seem to be. What is new and unique here?

  • @ Duncan

    Plenty of unique synth design out there. That’s mostly what the eurorack format is about. Also, what would you consider “unique”? 99.999999% of soft synths are based on hardware. The only truly novel synthesis in software comes from stuff like MAX/MSP, PD, Kyma, etc.. Do you think the Roland W-30 was some sort of revolutionary design at the time? I’m old enough to remember and it wasn’t. I say the more synths the merrier.


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