Bristol, UK (July 11, 2014) -- Modulus, a Bristol-based start-up that designs and manufactures musical instruments, has launched the Modulus.002, the world's first analogue/digital music synthesiser designed for the Internet age. Designed and built in the UK by a team of passionate synthesiser experts, it creates the rich analogue sounds that have been at the heart of creative music since the 1960's by using a mix of classic analogue techniques and the latest digital technology to give reliability and innovation.
"Analogue synthesisers from the last century are collectors' items and highly sought after because of the amazing sounds but the electronics are now getting old and increasingly frail," explained Philip Taysom, Modulus co-founder. "It's tough to use them for live performances or recording sessions as they are difficult to keep working. Most modern designs of polyphonic synthesisers are pure digital and just don't have the same iconic sound qualities, in our opinion. What we have created in the Modulus.002 is a fusion of these iconic analogue and hybrid sounds of the 70s and 80s synthesisers with the reliability of the latest electronics plus Internet connectivity to share sounds, settings and work collaboratively on music without relying on painfully slow serial/MIDI connections to do so. This is the first synthesiser designed for the interconnected 21st Century. The UK pioneered the synthesiser industry back in the 60s and 70s and that has grown to a three-quarters of a billion pound a year global business, but now with little UK input. We are putting the UK back on the map with the first polyphonic synthesiser to have been completely designed and built in the UK for several decades."
Modulus was founded in 2013 by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox. Philip has over 30 years of experience in the electronics and computer industries having been CTO and co-founder of Planet Online (the creators of the highly successful Freeserve internet service), CTO and co-founder of inTechnology plc, and CEO of Peratech. Paul has been designing synthesisers for over 15 years with a reputation in the industry for designing state of the art products that bring the best of classic designs into the modern age. This highly experienced management team is complimented by designers and engineers, most of whom are also graduates in Music Technology. This team of eight has taken just under a year to take the Modulus.002 from drawing board to volume production.
"Alongside the voice architecture, a key innovation is that the Modulus.002 connects to the Internet," explained Paul Maddox, Modulus co-founder. "As musicians and synthesiser enthusiasts ourselves, we know exactly how people actually use synthesisers and what they wish they could do; so we designed the Modulus.002 to be the instrument that meets those needs and be the next generation synthesiser to inspire a new wave of musical creation. Synthesisers have been a defining part of the music of every decade for the past fifty years with each new generation of synthesiser providing a new soundscape. Being able to work collaboratively is fundamental and the Modulus.002 enables this to happen very easily using its Internet connection to the Modulus, cloud-based server platform to share settings, sequences and sounds. Musicians can now work together thousands of miles apart to create new music together. But, we wanted to go further than this, so we're making our cloud technology Open Platform and, later in the year, we aim to form a consortium to encourage adoption of this standard by other manufacturers."
The Modulus.002™ is the first in a planned family of synthesisers that will be launched over the next few years. Dealers and agents are being established in many countries and product will be available by the end of July 2014. The UK price is £2995 plus VAT (£3594), the European price €3,750 plus the appropriate VAT and the US price is $5200 plus local sales tax -- prices correct at time of release.
Using high quality components, the Modulus.002 is a premium product designed to be the flagship in the Modulus range. The keyboard layout includes a semi-weighted, five octave key mechanism and has been ergonomically designed by musicians so that the hands fall naturally and intuitively to the controls. It provides twelve discrete voices of polyphony with full multi-timbrility if required. Adding to the ease of use is a large integral display screen that is context sensitive, i.e. it displays the control parameters of any control knobs immediately when touched by the user. Quick recall banks enable preset sequences and settings to be stored for instant use such as during a live performance. NCOs (Numerically Controlled Oscillators) are used for stability and accuracy while an analogue transistor ladder filter provides classic 'warm' sounds. Full specifications can be found at http://www.modulusmusic.co.uk.
Since the first commercial synthesisers became available in the 1960s - notably those from Moog, EMS, ARP, Roland and Korg, synthesiser music has been an integral part of the sound of each decade. Experimental and Rock in the 60's by The Who and Pink Floyd. Jean Michelle Jarre, Mike Oldfield, Kraftwerk, Abba, and Roxy Music are a few of the bands that brought the synthesiser into mainstream music in the 70s. By the 80s, the choice of synthesiser sound defined the band for the likes of Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, etc. From the 90s on, synthesiser music then became the backbone of Techno, Trance, Acid, Garage, Rave and Hip Hop, and is still at the heart of music being created today and is as fundamental as the microphone in recording music.
Modulus is a UK-headquartered designer and manufacturer of electronic musical instruments. Based in Bristol, UK, the company employs a team of eight engineers in the design of its synthesisers. Modulus instruments bring cutting edge technology and user interface features, but combine them with traditional voice architectures, giving musicians access to the kind of synthesiser sounds previously only available from vintage instruments from the 70's and 80's. Founded in 2013, Modulus builds on the fifteen-year experience in designing and constructing high quality synthesisers of its co-founder, Paul Maddox. Bringing high technology into musical instruments has always been a passion for Philip Taysom, a serial technology entrepreneur, co-founder of Modulus. Modulus is privately owned and financed.