The Midium


Modal Electronics' description of the Modal Electronics COBALT8M 8-voice extended virtual analog synthesizer


8-voice extended virtual-analogue synthesizer

Building on the tradition of warm and punchy analogue-style synth sounds, conceived by legendary synthesisers from the past, COBALT8M unlocks the full creative potential of analogue waveforms. This powerful, inspiring instrument reinvents the aesthetics of analogue sounds and invites musicians, producers and sound designers to explore a new era of virtual-analogue synthesiser textures, far beyond the limits of its analogue forefathers. 

On top of the innovative oscillator engine of COBALT8M, we added a new morphable 4-Pole Ladder Filter. Combined with Modal’s unparalleled modulation options, an inspiring real-time / step sequencer, the energising arpeggiator, MPE, studio-quality effects and MODALapp integration, COBALT8M is the perfect synth for everyone who wants a versatile electronic music instrument to play vintage synth sounds and is eager to enter into new sound dimensions.

Eight true polyphonic voices tempt players to lay out wide string or rich synth pad chords, while a monophonic bass or lead patch, played with 64 oscillators can shake the walls of every stadium. And with the avant-garde sound forming features, every synth enthusiast can refine his performance with sounds that no other synthesiser is able to generate.

Play rich analogue-style sounds driven by COBALT8M’s Extended Virtual-Analogue Synthesis, combining traditional technology with modern synth features

Create your own signature sounds by harnessing the power of COBALT8M’s unique waveform architecture with 40 complex sophisticated algorithms and Modal’s morphable 4-pole Ladder Filter

Bring performance to a new level with MPE support, the integrated 512-note Realtime/Step Sequencer, 32-step programmable Arpeggiator and powerful Animation Lanes

Use the included rack brackets to mount COBALT8M into a 19” rack or use the synth on your producer desktop thanks to it sleek tabletop design

Integrate COBALT8M into your production and live performances with the full-size MIDI connections and the 3.5mm Sync Ins and Outs

Access all synthesiser functions and update COBALT8M via the free MODALapp, available on macOS, Windows, iOS, iPadOS, Android and AU/VST3

Analogue Goodness and
so much more

Two independent oscillator groups with up to 4 oscillators each generate not only powerful virtual-analogue goodness, but like no other synthesiser before, 40 unique complex algorithms like Sync, Ring Modulation, Waveform Morphing, and many more are available to increase the creative options for new-generation synth sounds. Each Algorithm has a simple-to-use pair of controls selected to suit the particular algorithm or character, providing musicians the power of traditionally complex oscillator modulations or processes spontaneously.

For every synth lover:
our 4-Pole Ladder Filter

COBALT8M’s newly designed, self-oscillating 4-Pole Morphable Ladder Filter with Resonance injects more warmth and bite. Switch between the four different filter modes, get creative with the Notch filter and form unusual synth textures with the Phasor. Two different characteristics allow to instil a more subtle behaviour or process the sound with sheer raw power. 

Shape your sound

Three flexible audio-rate (2 x polyphonic) LFOs can be routed to a massive amount of destinations using the modulation matrix and sync to internal or external tempo. Three dedicated envelopes for the filter, amp and modulation allow excessive control over dynamics and expression. Switchable envelope types provide greater options to tailor the envelopes for specific sound purposes. COBALT8M’s sophisticated 12-slot modulation matrix supports easy assignments of complex modulation routes to keep the sound evolving. Four common modulation routings are pre-set here to free up space for more exciting ideas.

Next generation Sequencer and Arp

The integrated 512-note Realtime / Step Sequencer with four powerful Animation Lanes invites to compose massive and complex melodic patterns. The polyphonic 64-note step sequencer mode enables easy step input for note and animation values. Multiple sequencer trigger modes coupled with the powerful onboard arpeggiator (programmable up to 32 steps) and performance features such as Chord Hold, Inversions, Transpose, Sustain Latch.

Rugged and functional enclosure

COBALT8M’s rugged steel and aluminium enclosure underlines the synth’s professional approach. The desktop design fits on every producer’s table, and Included brackets help to mount COBALT8M into a live or studio rack. For direct access of the parameters, COBALT8M features 13 switched encoders, 13 encoders, 9 buttons and an X/Y joystick for pitch or modulation. MPE support offers new ways of creative expression for sophisticated performers.

Polish your patches
with studio-grade FX

Reshape your sounds completely with the onboard stereo effects engine. COBALT8M comes with a 3-slot FX engine with in-depth FX programming. To polish the sound, a total of 11 FX algorithms add character and depth, including Chorus, Phaser, Flanger (Pos), Flanger (Neg), Tremolo, LoFi, Rotary, Stereo Delay, Ping-Pong Delay, X-Over Delay and Reverb.

Looking to connect

Set to be played in any synth environment, COBALT8M comes with all physical connections required. Control the synth using USB, monitor with headphones or using the dedicated line outputs, sync with external gear using the full-size MIDI in and out or the 3.5 mm Sync in or outputs and take control of your sound using the built-in Sustain and Expression inputs. By poly-chaining any two COBALT8 devices, the amount of voices is easily doubled to 16 voices and 128 oscillators.


COBALT8 v2.0 - Release Notes


  • Added 14 new FX including a new reverb algorithm:
    1. Reverb V2
    2. Phaser V2
    3. Unisoniser
    4. Compressor
    5. Three Band EQ
    6. Mono Drive (Hard Clip)
    7. Mono Drive (Soft Clip)
    8. Mono Drive (Rectify)
    9. Mono Drive (Fold)
    10. Stereo Drive (Hard Clip)
    11. Stereo Drive (Soft Clip)
    12. Stereo Drive (Rectify)
    13. Stereo Drive (Fold)
    14. Utility
  • 27 New Filter Types: 2 morphable, 25 non-morphable where the ‘Morph’ parameter instead becomes ‘Drive’.
    1. State Variable Filter with BP
    2. State Variable Filter with Notch
    3. 4 pole Lowpass Ladder (with drive)
    4. 3 pole Lowpass Ladder (with drive)
    5. 2 pole Lowpass Ladder (with drive)
    6. 1 pole Lowpass Ladder (with drive)
    7. 4 pole Highpass Ladder (with drive)
    8. 3 pole Highpass Ladder (with drive)
    9. 2 pole Highpass Ladder (with drive)
    10. 1 pole Highpass Ladder (with drive)
    11. 4 pole bandpass Ladder (12dB Lp /12dB Hp) (with drive)
    12. 2 pole Bandpass Ladder (6dB Lp / 6dB Hp) (with drive)
    13. 3 pole Bandpass Ladder (6dB Lp / 12dB Hp) (with drive)
    14. 3 pole Bandpass Ladder (12dB Lp / 6dB Hp) (with drive)
    15. 4 pole Bandpass Ladder (6dB Lp / 18dB Hp) (with drive)
    16. 4 pole Bandpass Ladder (18dB Lp / 6dB Hp) (with drive)
    17. Notch Ladder (with drive)
    18. Notch Ladder Alt (with drive)
    19. Lowpass Ladder with Notch (with drive)
    20. Lowpass Ladder with Notch Alt (with drive) – notch closes with resonance
    21. Lowpass Ladder with Notch and Resonance (with drive)
    22. Bandpass Ladder with Notch (with drive) – notch closes with resonance
    23. Bandpass Ladder with Notch and Resonance (with drive)
    24. Phaser Ladder (with drive)
    25. Highpass Ladder with Notch (with drive) – notch closes with resonance
    26. Highpass Ladder with Notch and Resonance (with drive)
    27. Peaking Filter (with drive)
  • Vintage Parameter – Emulating the behaviour of vintage synths by introducing variation between the voices
  • Osc Free Run – Emulating the behaviour of analogue oscillators by allowing them to run freely
  • 7 new arpeggiator directions:
    1. Chord
    2. Pendulum 2 – Repeats the last note when reversing direction
    3. N-Pendulum 2 – Pendulum 2 in note number order
    4. Reverse Pendulum – A reverse version of Pendulum
    5. N-Reverse Pendulum – A reverse version of N-Pendulum
    6. Reverse Pendulum 2 – A reverse version of Pendulum 2
    7. N-Reverse Pendulum 2 – A reverse version of N-Pendulum 2
  • Added a “Cutoff Scaling” patch parameter for improved filter cutoff behaviour with the following modes:
    1. Legacy – The existing cutoff control scaling curve and note-to-cutoff tracking behaviour
    2. Relative – A new cutoff control scaling curve that is more balanced and changes the note-to-cutoff tracking to behave more closely to analogue synths. In this mode note-to-cutoff tracks best when the cutoff control is at 0.
    3. Bipolar – The same cutoff control scaling curve as the ‘Relative’ mode, except in this mode note-to-cutoff tracks best when the cutoff control is at 64.


  • Improved internal gain staging for increased output volume in most cases
  • Improved the screen’s filter graph / parameter pages in the following ways:
    • Improved the graph to be a more accurate representation of the filter
    • The Type parameter page now displays both the graph and text value
  • Improved Audio In sound quality


  • Fixed issue with the tempo-synced delay times
  • Fixed a potential arpeggiator note ordering issue when playing arps with an arp octave value of 2 or more
  • Fixed a potential arpeggiator note ordering issue when playing arp patterns using a pendulum direction mode
  • Fixed issue where the first loop of the arpeggiator sequence may not contain all pressed notes when using the ‘backwards’ direction mode


Access all Areas

There is plenty of room to store patch, effects and sequence creations. Out of the box, 300 of the total 500 patches are filled with factory patch banks, carefully programmed by some of the most accomplished sound designers of the world.  One hundred customised effects configurations and sequences can be stored as well to be applied to any sound while performing.

From the press

Sound on Sound – “The Cobalt 8 is a wonderful-sounding synthesizer for grown-ups who enjoy exploring new and familiar territories without getting bogged down in the minutia.”

Music Tech – “The COBALT8 series looks and sounds fantastic, and are likely to perk up any live and studio setting.”

Attack Magazine – “If you’re a fan of analogue with a hankering for something a little different, COBALT8 doesn’t take long to win your heart.”

Sonicstate – “It is quite a pleasurable patch creation experience.”

Synthanatomy – “It is clear that it does not want to emulate an analog synth from the past. It rather pushes the analog modelling technologies forward.”

Failed Muso – “MODAL have yet another winner on their hands and I will truly miss the instant fun I get from it when I have to send this back.”

Music Radar – “Another brilliantly unique-sounding Modal machine! Very flexible for its price and a powerful editor plus MPE give it futuristic appeal.”