First impressions of the new Moog Sound Studio

Originally published at: First impressions of the new Moog Sound Studio | Boing Boing


I really wanted to grab one of these but wound up hobbling together a bunch of used synths and a Model:Samples drum machine instead. All that said the subharmonicon will probably be my next synth.


The accompanying video is just spectacular. A real “analog animation” blow-out.


For anyone on a budget, I can heartily recommend the Moog Werkstatt-01. Its basically the guts from the Moog Mother (which is, in itself related to the DFAM), but with a few less exposed patch points and parameter knobs.
Technically its a “kit”, but it just entails screwing down the mainboard to the bottom chassis and screwing the top panel closed. Its intended to be hackable, comes with a built in “tic tac” keyboard, and has that typical Moog VCO and VCF tone.


The one thing that was missing that I wanted was a way to plug it into my computer to record sounds.

… like a sound card? What year is this?


As I’m reading this interesting article the site is showing an ad for the Emerson, Lake and Palmer t-shirt I was looking at the other day.
Maybe its fate.

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Awesome! I sooo wanted a Moog back in the 70’s, when I was just a kid but it was far, far too expensive for me to even ask my parents for one. Fast forward a few decades and I bought their Animoog for the iPad for like $30 and it’s amazing!

One childhood dream realized, at least <3


Animoog is quite awesome. I think I bought it for $5 when they were originally promo-ing it.

Did you get the free version of the Mini-Moog app early in the pandemic? That thing is just nuts, because it basically emulates the Mini, but it’s got a switch to make it polyphonic.


I didn’t get that one, no! I’ll have to check it out, thanks :slight_smile:


The Subharmoicon bundle was definitely the way to go - the Mother 32 is a fine little synth, but the SubH is a bona fide Thing Of Wonder. I’m a little disappointed that buying these separately has deprived me of the neat power / mixer module (and my only real grumble about these devices is the lack of a power switch), but I guess I’ll trade that for the time I’ve already spent with them. I haven’t even got round to connecting them up yet, I generally start a Subharmonicon patch and promptly fall into a wormhole.

If I was gifted a $1500 Moog I’d probably spring a couple of hundred on good quality audio interface and then some on some good powered monitors.

I very much like the non computer trend that forefronts the physical manipulation of knobs, sliders buttons and other non GUI inputs.

Don’t have the bucks for an analogue Moog (do have the Theremini their cheapest item that uses the Animoog engine) but one of the best investments I’ve ever made was a good mixing desk with great EQ (Soundcraft Signature 10). In a non computer environment exploring mixing with EQ adds soooo much!

My setup, which is about the same outlay for the Moog Sound Studio is: Model Craft Synth 2.0, Microphreak, Volca Drum and Volca Bass patched through the Soundcraft desk. When at home I send this all through Logic X (yes computer) purely to add a hard limiter to protect my speakers from the wonderfully out of control dynamics that analougues can present.


i really love the moog sound. for someone who grew up listening to music ranging from emerson, lake, and palmer or yes to gary numan or kraftwerk to nine inch nails, there are iconic moog sounds for any generation. i love it so much i bought a grandmother and a matriarch. the sonic possibilities of those two instruments and the patchability of those instruments provide great opportunities for sound shaping.

i’d be remiss if i didn’t mention one of my other synths, the arturia microfreak. it sounds different from a moog instrument but it has its own good qualities which appeal to me so much. for one thing it is quite inexpensive generally costing around $350 at full price while going for $299 or less during sales events at the major music dealers. back during the christmas and new year sales events at sweetwater they were asking $279 for it.

another thing i love about the microfreak is its deceptive simplicity. at one level it is simple: simple to get started with, simple to use, and simple to just mess around with. the other night while a friend was over, i gave a 30 minute tutorial in basic operation to her 9 year old daughter after which she spent a delighted 90 minutes playing with sounds and melodies. it really is that easy to get started with but there are real depths to the modulation matrix, the arpeggiator, and the sequencer that allow for some very sophisticated and subtle types of modulations.

something i’m a fan of but has been seen as a deal-breaker by others is the capacitive touch, 25-key keyboard. the keys are flat but separated by ridges. one type of modulation is based on the amount of surface area touching a key as a stand in for pressure. although the instrument can be played in one note unison mode or four note paraphonic mode, the pressure modulation is polyphonic which means that if you put extra pressure on one key of a chord only that key receives the modulation. some folks don’t like the keyboard at all but since i’ve gotten used to it i really like it and what can be done with it.

altogether it’s an inexpensive, easy to use, and very deep instrument. there’s a lot to like. the last feature i’d like to highlight is that arturia have issued firmware updates which have added five new synthesis engines since i got mine all of which have been free for owners of the instrument.

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Hey, can I borrow it when your done playing?

I love the Microfreak for all the reasons you mention including the connectivity via standard/USB Midi and CV, and the novel randomisation via ‘spice and dice’.

A major plus with the captivate keyboard (I can always connect my Keystep if I want conventional velocity) is that that for the price of the unit this is one of the cheapest ways to add a ‘ck’ to a modular setup. Also the speed and lightness of touch to slide between notes… it’s a very different animal!!

My one gripe with the keyboard (which I’ve passed on to Arturia) is that there is no bevel on the black keys so there are smooth bumps between the white keys and hard ridges on the black. I want to find a skilled person to file them down because there is very little wiggle room with the edge of the circuit on top.

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personally, i like the the slightly raised aspect of the black keys. it’s about the only thing that keeps me from accidentally hitting “wrong notes” when i’m playing highly chromatic melodies and chords.

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