A serious contender to KORG and other players in the ultra-portable format has come through Skulpt.

UK synth manufacturer Modal Electronics has announced its latest instrument, a four-voice virtual analog polysynth that will cost under $300. Skulpt launches on Kickstarter on July 13, and is described by Modal as the first of a “new family of highly portable electronic musical instruments” following its high-end 002, 008 and 001 models and DIY CRAFTsynth.

Skulpt features

  • 4 voice – 32 oscillator virtual analogue synthesiser.
  • 8 oscillators per voice with 2 selectable morphable waveforms.
  • Mixer stage for osc levels along with FM, PWM, tuning and Ring Modulation options.
  • Monophonic, Duophonic and Polyphonic modes available.
  • Multi option Unison / spread to detune the 32 oscillators for a huge sound.
  • 8 slot modulation matrix with 8 sources and 37 destinations.
  • 3 x envelope generators for Filter, Amplitude and Modulation.
  • 2 x audio rate LFOs, one global and one polyphonic.
  • Realtime sequencer that will record up to 128 notes and up to 4 parameters..
  • Fully featured arpeggiator with division, direction, octave, swing and sustain controls..
  • Resonant filter that can be morphed from low pass, through band pass, to high pass.
  • Delay and distortion (wavehsaping overdrive, not bitcrushing) effects.
  • Optional MIDI clock sync for LFOs and Delay.
  • 128 patch and 64 sequence storage locations.
  • 16 key touch MIDI keyboard.
  • MIDI DIN In and Out – Analogue clock sync In and Out connections.
  • Class compliant MIDI provided over USB connection to host computer or tablet.
  • Headphone and line output.
  • Power by USB or 6 x AA batteries.
  • Optional software editor available for MacOS, Windows, IOS and Android.
  • Portable and compact design.

As mentioned the new synth looks to be going head-to-head with other sub-$500 portable synths like Korg’s Volca series and Roland’s Boutique range, though it’s probably closer in terms of design to IK Multimedia’s new UNO instrument.

Skulpt may turn out to be a real catch when launched as you will get a monosynth, paraphonic, or polyphonic instrument. You can route modulation into elaborate combinations. You get FM, PWM, tuning, and ring mod. And it has a built-in sequencer plus arpeggiator, which seems to be fast becoming a standard feature these days – but a lot of extras for each that definitely are anything but standard.

Furthermore, Skulpt is powered by USB or six AA batteries – also has an arpeggiator, onboard storage for 128 patches and 64 sequences, MIDI in and out, analog clock sync in and out, headphone and line outputs, and a software editor for MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android.

Listen to audio demos below to get an idea of what Skulpt sounds like.