Sure, there are lots of ways to emulate plucked strings and the like in modular. But this one little voice packs a ton of physical modeling in a little space – 8 voices worth.

Surface is shipping today. It’s a US$299 module with deceptively simple design, but a full stereo output and 8-voice polyphony. There’s also a model switch that lets you toggle between different approaches. Basically, it’s a spiritual successor to some of the fiendishly popular Mutable Instruments ideas – but with a ton of polyphony and it own approach to sound approaches.

It looks like a terrific value for building a small rack with a lot of versatility, because of the polyphony and multiple models. I can’t think of another way to get this much out of a voice in 10HP.

Here’s their full description.

Surface is a multi-timbral physical modeling voice capable of emulating the sonic qualities of acoustic instruments or morphing into otherworldly synthetic textures. Physical models contain plucked strings, prepared piano, and an assortment of melodic percussion, with up to 8 voices of polyphony. Creating a sense of space is easy with the true stereo outputs and their configurable spatialization modes.

Surface provides a unique take on physical modeling which blurs the line between emulation and synthesis to create entirely new worlds of sound. 

  • Multi-timbral Physical Modeling Voice
  • Various sound models: plucked strings, prepared piano, tuned percussion, and waveguides
  • 8 Voice Polyphony
  • True stereo outputs with unique spatialization modes

Width: 10HP
Depth: 28mm
Power: +12V: 60mA, -12V: 60mA, +5V: 0mA

Thoughts? Got something better? Shout in comments…