Synth maker Modal Electronics files for insolvency
Popular British synth maker Modal Electronics has filed for insolvency, according to recent government filings. This news delivers a big blow to synthesizer enthusiasts and Modal customers alike.
With formal insolvency declared, the company’s future is uncertain. An administrator is examining Modal’s financials to determine the next steps, whether that involves restructuring, acquisition, or even total failure. For employees, this limbo is particularly stressful. In a worst-case scenario, they could lose their jobs if Modal shuts down completely.
The news of Modal Electronics’ insolvency has erupted in heartbreak and distress across synth forums and communities. Devoted users have flooded discussion boards expressing their sorrow that this pioneering synth brand could be going under. The Modal fanbase particularly lamented the potential loss of the affordable yet powerful Carbon and Argon line of synthesizers. These digitally-controlled analog synths have earned wide acclaim for their warm, rich tones and extensive feature sets at reasonable prices.
Many posts recalled the joys of dialing in the perfect patch on a Carbon8 or Argon8, noting these accessible instruments enabled more musicians to explore premium analog sound. Amidst the outpouring of support, some users have speculated that the rise of plugin and virtual instrument technology may be contributing to Modal’s struggles, as more producers opt for cheap and convenient software over hardware.
Modal’s financial issues have been mounting for some time. Last year, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign for a eurorack version of the 002’s dual filter called the Filton. Despite Modal’s past Kickstarter success raising over $300,000 combined for the SKULPTsynth and CRAFTsynth in 2017-18, the Filton failed to meet its fundraising goal. In an update after the campaign ended, Modal expressed disappointment but promised supporters they would share plans to move forward with Filton soon. However, it seems Modal’s situation has only deteriorated since then, culminating in this recent insolvency filing. Though Kickstarter failure alone didn’t cause Modal’s downward spiral, it was likely an early public sign of broader financial troubles at the synth maker.
While the future is uncertain, Modal Electronics has pulled through turmoil before. Synth fans and musicians are hoping the brand can overcome these latest struggles though the chances of that happening are very slim. The possibility of losing a pioneering synthesizer company still weighs heavily on the music community.
Image credits: Modal Electronics, Edited by We Rave You