Modal ElectronicsCOBALT5S 5-Voice Virtual Analog Keyboard Synthesizer


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Modal Electronics COBALT5S

Expanding into more portable solutions for their synths, the Cobalt5S from Modal Electronics is a five-voice, virtual analog synthesizer based on the same engine as their fantastic Cobalt8. Bringing their fantastic and extended take on VA synthesis to a compact yet highly performable format, the Cobalt5S features two oscillators sporting 40 different complex algorithms to create unique and intense textures that normal VA can't achieve. With a mix knob to crossfade and balance between the two oscillators, Cobalt5S's next step is a highly morphable four-pole ladder filter that can move between four different filter-types.

Tons of the liveliness that comes with Cobalt5S's tonal palette is the solid amount of modulation sources that can be routed throughout your synths over eight slots. Featuring three different envelopes, you can shape ADSRs immediately for the filter and VCA as well as a highly flexible and assignable third envelope. The polyphonic LFO makes for amazing per voice modulation while a global LFO lends itself to tie the whole patch together, no matter how many voices you use. Additional tone shaping comes into play with oscillator drift as well as two effect sends for adding dimension and space to your sounds, including chorus and a stereo delay.

Performing and controlling the Cobalt5S is easy with 16 encoders controlling on-board parameters as well as sending out MIDI CCs for mapping elsewhere, and the 37-key keyboard fits neatly into the synth with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity. The XYZ pad taking the place of a traditional wheel or joystick adds a third dimension of control for implementing expression elsewhere within your patch. Not only do the physical performance features add emotion and artistry to your sounds, but the onboard sequencers provide both 512-step real-time and 64-stage step-based sequences for motivic and harmonic movement throughout your piece. Further melodic movement can be applied with Cobalt5S's programmable 32-step arpeggiator, and parameters can easily be sequenced with up to four different animation lanes.

The Cobalt5S has 300 available presets with 200 shipped on-board, and loading your favorite presets is easy enough with four immediate "quick recall" slots to cut down on preset browsing. Connect an external device over 5-pin DIN or your computer to send MPE messages for even more expressive performances, and the USB port serves a second purpose as power for more portable performances, be it via power brick or a laptop. The Cobalt5S provides the flexibility of a modern-day digital synth while still staying true to the fantastic world of virtual analog.

COBALT5S Features

  • Five-voice extended virtual analog synthesizer
  • Two oscillator algorithms with 40 different complex algorithms to choose from (sync, ring mod, and more)
  • Four-pole morphable Ladder filter that sweeps between four different filter modes
  • Three envelopes for modulating amplitude, filter cutoff, and any other assignable source
  • One polyphonic and one global LFO to plot across the eight-slot mod matrix
  • Sequencer with realtime and per-step capture/editing of up to 512 steps
  • Sequencer features four animation lanes to automate parameters in sync
  • Programmable 32-step arpeggiator
  • 37-note compact keyboard along with expressive XYZ touchpad and 16 switched encoders
  • MPE enabled for introducing other forms of expression via an external MPE controller
  • Analog clock I/O and full MIDI I/O over 5-pin DIN and USB
  • Power over PSU or bus-power for a more portable experience
  • Wireless control over parameters via MODALapp over macOS, Windows, iOS, iPadOS, or Android
  • Audio outputs: 2x TS 1/4"
  • Headphone output: 1x TRS 1/4" stereo
  • MIDI I/O: 5-pin DIN, USB
  • Clock I/O: TS 1/8"
  • Sustain input: 1x TS 1/4"
  • Dimensions: L 22.24" x W 6.38" x H 2.24"
  • Weight: 5.2 lbs
  • Power: 9VDC, 1.5A center positive or USB-bus powered
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Product Demo Videos
Modal Electronics Cobalt 5s : Portable Virtual Analog Around the World!
We're taking a look at our new favorite "walkin' around synth" the Cobalt 5s !
This virtual analog monster packs the same punch as it's larger siblings in a much smaller and portable package!

Join our pals Jacob and Brian as they explore some sounds and the universe with this fantastic new synthesizer
Best Gear of the Year : 2022 Artists Picks Part 1
It's nearing the end of another monumental year in synthesizers and pro-audio, and we look back with our friends on some of our favorite pieces of kit we tried out in 2022!
Modal Electronics COBALT5S 5-Voice Virtual Analog Keyboard Synthesizer Reviews