2016 was the year when people said, hey, I want to get in on some of that modular goodness, but … maybe I don’t want to buy a rack and spend thousands of dollars to do that.

So it’s great to finally see desktop semi-modular becoming a thing – and an affordable thing at that. There’s the best note entrant, Moog’s excellent Mother 32. But I also like the much odder, but still affordable Make Noise 0-COAST (that’s a zero, not the letter o). It’s got a far more idiosyncratic front panel, but that shouldn’t put you off: it’s still loads of fun to play with and capable of making some really lovely sounds.

With an architecture all its own, a sound quality all its own, and a user interface unlike any other, you’re guaranteed to go a different direction with sonic invention.

And it’s US$499, which gets it in the hands of mortals.

So the trick is just to understand what the heck this is, especially if you’re new to modular.

Mylarmelodies on YouTube has an absolutely perfect tour of the thing:

Or for some gorgeous slash horrific/ugly examples, Vienna’s Soundria.com has posted a wordless set of patches:

And better yet, they’ve a download to go with it with patches in MIDI format (plus an Ableton Live session if you use that host):

Now, maybe if you’re really good for the next 48 hours or so, Santa Claus is coming with one of these for you. Or… maybe this is what you’ll be planning to do with that year-end bonus. (I’m sorry, you know I’m an enabler for synth addiction.)


I have to give Make Noise one of our BEST OF 2016 for this creation. Watch for more of our favorite things of 2016 in the waning days of the year (and because I’m really amazing at missing deadlines, maybe sneaking into a bit of 2017, too).

And here’s the manufacturer on this thing:


  • brianmoore

    Honestly this is the first module I’ve even considered for my all keyboard setup!

  • itchy

    its soundds great my only gripe with this is they should have made it able to fit into eurorack format. its so close in size dosen’t make sense why not. power? again it does sound great.

  • Tekknovator

    Man, don’t give me that. I am trying to convince myself not to by it and you write that article. That device looks like a nice collection of sweetspots…

  • R__W

    its 2x as much, but IMO the demo vids of the Erica Pico sound 2x as good as the 0-coast and anything else in the “tabletop modular” category


    • Hans Schnakenhals

      Maybe because it’s plenty of sample material + wavetable oscs + fx vs just one synth? Kinda completely different beast here. I like that it’s actually module based, which is nice. You can discard/add later on.

      • R__W

        good point

  • Foosnark

    I have a 3U 84HP skiff almost filled (as soon as my Streams arrives, thanks slowpoke Royal Mail). I believe that, aside from the Kastle that’s also on the way, a 0-Coast will be my next purchase, rather than a second case.

    It’s pretty great value, compared to trying to almost-duplicate it in Eurorack. Figure $180 for a Power Lunch case, $290 for a Maths… oops, we’re over budget already and we don’t have the oscillator, wavefolder, MIDI converter, clock/random source, VCA, the hidden LFOs etc. đŸ™‚