Cool $200 analog Moog synthesizer kit

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oh man i just messed my pants
that is amazing!

CV only, tiny patch cables and those keys, this isn’t for me but gotta say good on ya @frauenfelder for posting a Wonderful Thing instead of the general whining and Woo that BB has become!



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Single oscillator. Can’t do much.

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Any recommendations? Synths seem so expensive for what they are… I don’t need hand-wired NOS stuff, I just want something cheap.

Sorry, not my bailiwick. I played analog synths about 40 years ago but not since.

The flexibility and power comes from being able to shape a waveform with another waveform (there’s at least two oscillators) and apply various filters. If these things are modular, say you could patch the output of one to the input of another, then you might have something.

For $200, that’s probably about the best you can do. That’s about what I would pay for a good lab frequency generator, and here you get that plus some filters. I just wouldn’t expect to be Keith Emerson. ?

Very fat sound for a single oscillator, but desperately needs a midi input.

Are you set on hardware? If you go for a midi controller and soft synths the possibilities are absolutely staggering.

Could gather components, breadboard your own, and then solder it up.

Even if you don’t solder, this would be a great learner project. No SMT so a blob here and there won’t hurt anything.

Actually, now that Apple is practically giving Alchemy away (with stripped down presets in GarageBand, and I think the full version in Mainstage), I may just have to finally upgrade my wife’s MacBook… Such nice tones.

I bought my first synth in the early 80’s, and I kept it until about 2 years ago. I sold it for twice what I paid for it, and only use soft synths now.

I have great emulations of moogs, Prophet 5, ARP Odyssey, Jupiter 8, all my dream synths from when I was a kid, along with completely new creations that go deeper than I could ever go with them.

They sound amazing, and the barriers to entry are lower than ever.

Edit: I almost forgot, I’ve also got a bunch of Fairlight and Emulator II samples as well. I created a bass line once using both, and mused to myself that the original hardware to produce that sound retailed for the cost of a nice house when it came out!!!

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You just reminded me that I have Animoog on my phone… off to find a pair of headphones.

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Someone had to say it, I volunteered.

The Moog synthesizer kit’s biggest problem is the keyboard (or lack thereof). No one makes good control voltage keyboards anymore, so you’d have to build one yourself, and the cost would be large. It also doesn’t include any sort of midi input, so you can’t use an existing cheap keyboard to drive it.

A different (but still inexpensive and fun) approach would be to check out the stuff at PAiA ( They’ve been offering cheap modular synthesizers for decades, and theirs include a MIDI input. (Back when I was playing professionally, I used their string machine and their mixer for a while. I currently don’t have anything of theirs, but that may change in the near future.) Their Fatman Analog synthesizer is about the same cost as the Moog.

I would have said Shruthi … I have built one and it’s a ton of fun. He was also working on a polyphonic synth, but just see all of that was discontinued!!!

Anyway, Shruthi is fully open source, including the hardware

Sure they do, depending on how many octaves you need. And cheap. Check out the Minibrute.

n 2013 I started selling my first non-DIY mass-manufactured products, which were Eurorack modules. And it suddenly made the DIY business look very dreadful. The DIY kits were very limited technologically because they had to be simple enough to be built by hand – so I had to squeeze a lot out of very outdated microcontrollers for example, and everything was compromises. Selling a DIY kit felt like selling broken products: I was spending a ridiculous amount of time answering emails and forum posts from people who did not manage to assemble them correctly – and this kept happening all the time as my user base grew from DIY geeks to beginners who just liked the sound. As a business, DIY was tough – people want DIY kits to be cheap, while a kit requires as much engineering as, and more support than assembled products
(whose assembly can now largely automated by the way, unlike stuffing parts in zipper bags).

More generally, there was a transition in my way of thinking and appreciation. When I started making synths, my idea of what a synth was came from Roland or Ensoniq keyboards – 2 oscillators mixed into a filter, LFOs and ADSR envelopes… Getting into modulars made me realize how much bigger the world of synthesis was, and I started asking myself questions like “do we really need filters?” or “are there ways of making sounds evolve that do not look like ADSR envelopes or a three-waveform LFO?”, and it occurred to me that I had questioned too few assumptions in the process of making my first DIY creations. I was not very proud of the conservative vision of synthesis they embodied. Even in terms of design, there was not the
same sense of coherence as within the Eurorack line. Now I’m kind of embarrassed by these DIY beasts.

Ah, thanks for the link… well, I will hardly ever go modular, not in this life… nor will 99% of beginners…
And then, my Axoloti core arrived a few weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten around to even plug it in yet.