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Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008

Shaw

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Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« on: June 18, 2016, 03:20:40 PM »
Just curious to see if any of my DSI brethren have any thoughts on the ME 002 or 008.

Cheers!
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 03:43:43 PM »
It's just "Modal Electronics." "Modulus" was the first incarnation of the company name and is only printed on the earliest 002 models. *smartass mode off*

I have had the opportunity to check out both, but I was only interested in the 002 to be honest, which I guess is due to my admiration for PPGs. (Paul Maddox was builting monophonic rack versions of the PPG before btw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monowave)

The 002 is not really a PPG replacement though, as it doesn't allow for wavetable scanning. But morphing from wavetable to wavetable is possible, since wavetables are a modulation destination and slew has been added to the Animator (which is nothing but an extra sequencer for parameter automations). Having wavetables as a modulation destination is also something that doesn't make it redundant next to a Prophet 12.

As for the sound: It sounds absolutely hi-fi and huge and can also very well emulate classic analog sounds. There's absolutely zero aliasing. The control panel layout is nice and easy, just as the display. The build quality is top notch - it feels really sturdy and expensive due to the screwed knobs made of aluminum. It has an astonishing bottom end and the filter sounds really nice. Having a variable filter slope also provides lots of flexibility. And it has a very nice and musical sounding drive (i.e. the drive does not always mean "brutal sounding" here) that feeds into the filter and can have an immense impact on the sound. So, if one has the pocket money and is looking for a superior sounding hybrid, this one should be considered. Either way, it's worth giving it a listen in person.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 03:59:14 PM by Paul Dither »
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2016, 03:51:33 PM »
Here, btw, is what the inside of a 002 looks like:

Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 11:27:34 PM »
I nearly got the 002 rack a while ago, I want the keyboard really but I have run out of room here and something would have had to go to make space.

What held me back from the rack is the web based interface to control it, it isn't multi touch so only one param at a time.

Also there is no way of requesting a dump of all parameters over midi via CC/NRPN so using something like Lemur to create an editor is not going to work too well.

The guys at Modal were very helpful though, they said they may implement the ability to request all params and also I talked to them about implementing Open Sound Control for it and they also said they might implement that. If they got bi-directional control going properly I would by one instantly as I love the sound of the 002.

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2016, 11:43:43 PM »
What held me back from the rack is the web based interface to control it, it isn't multi touch so only one param at a time.

Ah, interesting. Didn't know that yet.

Also there is no way of requesting a dump of all parameters over midi via CC/NRPN so using something like Lemur to create an editor is not going to work too well.

I like the idea of the ethernet port though (wireless would be even better) and that the updates of core functionalities can be installed on all instruments at the same time (meaning the 001, 002, 008).
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 02:14:39 PM »
I have both.  The 008 just got a big os upgrade, but I feel will really shine when the digital I/O board,fx card comes out. That will take care of the hard panning that people are complaining about when it's in poly mode. The raw power is there though, it's very aggressive sounding, which I and others have compared it to a ARP/Rhodes Chroma...it's a beast, but a work in progress that will shine in time. I don't need to mention the build quality, which is top shelve. The 002 is amazing...yes huge and deep sounding...very unique, and nothing can quite touch it as far as PPGish
sounds go. Both of them are still incomplete without the FX digital i/o cards
which I consider as much of a synths identity as any other part of a hardwired polysynth.

Shaw

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Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 11:19:41 AM »
I have both...
Vootman (or any other owners out there)... so after more than a year with the 002 & 008, can you comment on build quality?  How are the holding up?  Any niggles or complaints?


Thanks in advance!
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 02:03:06 PM »
I have both...
Vootman (or any other owners out there)... so after more than a year with the 002 & 008, can you comment on build quality?  How are the holding up?  Any niggles or complaints?


Thanks in advance!

No issues with build quality on the rackmount (8-voice) version of the 002, with the qualification that (as I used to import gear from the United Kingdom) I trust the export packaging for a rackmount module far more so than that of a 61-key instrument, FWIW.

I have no interest in the digital/FX board at the moment, though I had considered this when I was looking at an 001 (Modal kindly responded that they were no longer planning on implementing this, prior to my purchaseĖinstead, I opted for the 002 rack).

I pan the outputs at 10 and 2 o'clock into mono mixer channels, which seems to work quite well.
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: Prophet-12 desktop, Pro-2, AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

Shaw

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Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 02:43:29 PM »
No issues with build quality on the rackmount (8-voice) version of the 002, with the qualification that (as I used to import gear from the United Kingdom) I trust the export packaging for a rackmount module far more so than that of a 61-key instrument, FWIW.

I have no interest in the digital/FX board at the moment, though I had considered this when I was looking at an 001 (Modal kindly responded that they were no longer planning on implementing this, prior to my purchaseĖinstead, I opted for the 002 rack).

I pan the outputs at 10 and 2 o'clock into mono mixer channels, which seems to work quite well.
Everything I have read about their build quality has been very positive.


So Modal is no longer doing the digital board for any of their synths?  I donít mind that.  But I like the way they offer it a la carte.  If you want it, get it; if you donít, donít.  I think most people have the outboard gear they want.  Let the synth be a synth.   
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2018, 09:48:37 AM »
The FX board is available for the 002 but not the 001.

Shaw

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Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 12:07:06 PM »
Everything I have read about their build quality has been very positive.
I need to clarify that one. Everything about the physical construction and "build quality" of the unit seems positive.  On the other hand, the conversations on GS and MW concerning bad boards, oscillator bleed and poor customer service have me gun shy. "Poor customer service" should never be part of the conversation when you are building and selling pro level instruments. Anyone recall the last time they heard someone complain of poor customer service from Moog or DSI?  I don't.


Thoughts?  Am I reading too much info the complaints of slutz and wigglers?
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 12:55:54 PM »
There's something that really puts me off of the Modal products. I'm not sure what it is exactly. They are well built but the sound just feels it's lacking it's own character. I'm not saying they aren't well made or nice sounding machines just to my ears it seems to be missing something.
Prophet 6, Oberheim Two Voice Pro, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Vogel CMI Fairlight Pro App, Kurzweil K2600XS, Korg Kronos, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinniii

Shaw

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Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2018, 01:13:01 PM »
There's something that really puts me off of the Modal products. I'm not sure what it is exactly. They are well built but the sound just feels it's lacking it's own character. I'm not saying they aren't well made or nice sounding machines just to my ears it seems to be missing something.
You're not alone in saying that.  I want to like the 008 (on paper in looks very cool --  especially once you realize that the animator is really just 12 of the very powerful LFO/Envelopes PER VOICE),...  but the 008 is the one people have the most complaints about.  Unfortunately, there isn't a shop around me that stocks them.
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

AlanC

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 02:42:32 PM »
On the other hand, the conversations on GS and MW concerning bad boards, oscillator bleed and poor customer service have me gun shy.

There are a handful of people who really don't like Modal, and they make a lot of noise.

I have a 002, one of the first batch of 50 made, bought in August 2014. My experience with Modal has been quite different: they've been exceptionally helpful, and every last problem I've raised has been fixed.

...the sound just feels it's lacking it's own character.

You may have been hearing a lot of the 002 presets which, frankly, aren't that great, plus many users seem to go for 'glassy' digital sounds which are just one side of its character. It can do traditional analog as well, and with a vengeance: the 24dB/Oct ladder filter can be very Moog-like. So its character isn't easy to define since it's capable of a wide range of sounds.

As an example of something that's perhaps not typical of the sort of 002 sounds you might find in online demos, here's a Bowed Strings patch I posted a while back: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4s3pmqynxo11qh4/002%20Bowed%20Strings.aif?dl=0 This is a combination of a sawtooth and one of the digital waves, and it uses the (very unique sounding) drive to get the bowed attack.

I can't comment on the 008; when it came out I found its sound way too aggressive for my liking and decided to pass. ;)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 02:51:16 PM by AlanC »

Shaw

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Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 02:50:30 PM »
As an example of something that's perhaps not typical of the sort of 002 sounds you might find in online demos, here's Bowed Strings patch I posted a while back: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4s3pmqynxo11qh4/002%20Bowed%20Strings.aif?dl=0 This is a combination of a sawtooth and one of the digital waves, and it uses the (very unique sounding) drive to get the bowed attack.


That was a great demo (well recorded, crystal clear...) -- Thanks for sharing that.
P12  |  P2  |  OB-6  |  Moog Voyager XL  |  Moog Minitaur

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2018, 06:52:41 PM »
On the other hand, the conversations on GS and MW concerning bad boards, oscillator bleed and poor customer service have me gun shy.

There are a handful of people who really don't like Modal, and they make a lot of noise.

I have a 002, one of the first batch of 50 made, bought in August 2014. My experience with Modal has been quite different: they've been exceptionally helpful, and every last problem I've raised has been fixed.

...the sound just feels it's lacking it's own character.

You may have been hearing a lot of the 002 presets which, frankly, aren't that great, plus many users seem to go for 'glassy' digital sounds which are just one side of its character. It can do traditional analog as well, and with a vengeance: the 24dB/Oct ladder filter can be very Moog-like. So its character isn't easy to define since it's capable of a wide range of sounds.

As an example of something that's perhaps not typical of the sort of 002 sounds you might find in online demos, here's a Bowed Strings patch I posted a while back: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4s3pmqynxo11qh4/002%20Bowed%20Strings.aif?dl=0 This is a combination of a sawtooth and one of the digital waves, and it uses the (very unique sounding) drive to get the bowed attack.

I can't comment on the 008; when it came out I found its sound way too aggressive for my liking and decided to pass. ;)

You know I think personally for me I would go for it because of the digital aspect. Iím not interested in virtual analog, I have real analog. However I think a lot of my attractions to things like the Prophet VS, DX7 or PPG Wave is they had a really raw and somewhat harsh sound but I think that was part of their character (much like analog drifting out of tune) so when I hear the 002 it just sounds sort of flat. Thatís just me though.
Prophet 6, Oberheim Two Voice Pro, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Vogel CMI Fairlight Pro App, Kurzweil K2600XS, Korg Kronos, Roland FA-08, Baldwin Upright Piano, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Jackson King V, Ibanez Jem, Roger Linn Adrenalinniii

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 07:25:25 PM »
You know I think personally for me I would go for it because of the digital aspect. Iím not interested in virtual analog, I have real analog. However I think a lot of my attractions to things like the Prophet VS, DX7 or PPG Wave is they had a really raw and somewhat harsh sound but I think that was part of their character (much like analog drifting out of tune) so when I hear the 002 it just sounds sort of flat. Thatís just me though.

It's not just you.  VA always sounded too glassy for my tastes, but like you say, the old digi's from it's genesis have a quality that is gone from VA's and recent digital synths.  I'd say it is the 8bit nature of them.  I've been sampling for my Microgranny using a PC and the conversion from 16bit to 8bit makes all the difference.  The compression from the change in info depth brings in a bare-knuckle feeling to the sound, which is comparable to difference in sound from the Microwave II/XT to the Blofeld.

AlanC

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 01:03:51 AM »
You know I think personally for me I would go for it because of the digital aspect. Iím not interested in virtual analog, I have real analog.

Nothing virtual analog in the 002. The oscillators are "old school" variable sample rate digital, so they have none of the aliasing at high frequencies you get with fixed sample rates (as on the Prophet 12), plus they're all clocked independently so they're never in phase. The result, with conventional waveforms, sounds like an analog synth. The rest of the signal path is analog, unless you have the digital I/O board installed.

And if you want the crunch of low resolution digital waveforms then you just hit the "DeRez" button. Want to make it aggressive? Really up the drive.

But in the final analysis if you don't like what you hear, then you don't like it, and it's not my job to try and sell it.

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 07:27:37 AM »
I have interest in the 002, from demos it sounds quite impressive. Kind of cross-breed analog/digital, like the VS or Evolver. However, it is impossible to get your hands on one example in a music shop over here in Europe. It seems like they sell Modal synths from music internet shops only, which makes the whole prospect of getting one somewhat fishy.

My biggest problem with Modal synths is the lack of pan modulation. This feature have not been implementet in the design of neither 002 nor 008. This is a kind of basic but very useful effect, seen already in ancient gear like the ESQ-1 and the VS. Now I considering to buy a VS instead.

Re: Modal Electronics Modulus 002 and 008
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 07:36:43 AM »
It's a million sonic miles from an 002 to a VS, but I certainly share the attraction, especially regarding the VS.  And you'll be in approximately the same price range with either instrument.  But I would try a VS before you bought one.  Things have changed since those days.