March 23, 2006

Thoughts on the New Moog...

by Chris Randall

If you're not subscribed to the Analog Heaven list (and who can really blame you?) there's been quite the go-round in the last few days about the New Moog. Of course, the same issues have appeared on many other forums. It's really quite annoying how many armchair quarterbacks there are in this business.

In any case, I posted my ideas to AH, but since this site has far more visitors than are subscribed to that list, I thought I'd paraphrase them here for mass consumption. Several (dozen) people posted about how it didn't have this feature and that feature, and who on earth would buy this hunk of shit if it didn't give you a backrub? etc. etc.

My thinking is thus: Moog hand-makes high quality products. If they're not for everyone, so be it. In my experience, the Big Briar-era Moog products are of an exceptional build quality, and sound like they're supposed to. This quality and sound comes at something of a premium in price, of course.

I find it ironic that most of the people doing the bitching are exactly the sorts of people that pay a grand for a 303 or a Source. This new synth is head and shoulders above the Source (an incredibly flawed instrument), I don't think anyone would deny that fact. And it will street for only a couple bills more. Quite frankly, I think that the new Moog will be exactly what it was billed as; a half-priced Voyager with half the features.

So, my big plan is to wait until there is a playable unit within my grasp, and play it, and see if I like it. If I don't, or I can't afford it, I'll just not buy it. How's that? In the mean-time, perhaps I can go to the snack bar and pick everyone up a large order of Shut The Fuck Up, with a side of Quit Your Whining?



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Mar.23.2006 @ 12:40 PM
You know, I thought all that stuff when I shelled out $350 for a moogerfooger phaser. But it turned out that 1) it emitted a loud "pop" half the time when switching the pedal on and off, 2) my pedal guy said they all do that and he knew of a fix, 3) moog's support guy was basically useless, and said they had never heard of the problem.

Not what I would expect from boutique gear or boutique support. I've gotten way better support from Electro-Harmonix, for instance. I returned the moog and bought some fucked-up unknown vintage thing for 1/4 the price.


Mar.23.2006 @ 12:51 PM
I feel ya Chris. Y'know how it is when a well-loved (or just a big name) brand puts something new out; some people ooh and ahh, and others poohpooh over all the oohing and ahhing. (see Apple). There's some haters out here.

Mar.23.2006 @ 1:09 PM
I swear I hate internet mouth breathers. They feel entitled to have something with twice the features of everything else out there at half the cost. Im not even going to get started about how gear that does everything doesnt tend to do it well (or has a price tag to match).

Here's a tip. If price is an issue for you:
1. Learn to solder
2. Ditch hardware and learn to program.



Mar.23.2006 @ 3:06 PM
hey pbx. seems to me the problem here is that this new moog has half the features at twice the cost. sayin'

Mar.23.2006 @ 3:12 PM
brandon daniel
PBX stated my thoughts better than I probably could have ;0)

Mar.23.2006 @ 3:13 PM
I've found that it's really impossible to judge a synth from it's architecture. Time and again I've played synths I thought would be amazing, but weren't, and synths I thought would be too limited have turned out to be inspiring. It's all a matter of chemistry, and certainly Moog has a track record of making instruments that inspire an awful lot of musicians.

Mar.23.2006 @ 3:40 PM
You can't get an old Minimoog for less than this synth will cost (assuming around $1500), and it won't have MIDI, patch storage, or customer support. It won't do as much as a Mini, but it will do most standard Mini lead/bass sounds very well and with those modern benefits. As for competitors, show me a NEW analog synth with keys, MIDI, and patch storage that's much cheaper than this (keeping in mind that the Moog name commands a certain price premium anyway).

Now, much like most of those people, I cannot afford one, and thus we can only either lust after it and save our pennies or bitch about it. I choose the former, because it's an entirely reasonable price for the features and quality, but I just can't justify the expense when there are many things I need more. Seems like they're choosing to rip the company instead.


Mar.23.2006 @ 3:59 PM

I would stipulate that a new Moog could be considered akin to some Italian exotics think of Italian sport bikes (for men) or shoes (for women) they are expensive and not necessarily the most practical thing out there, but there is something so undeniably sexy about them that you lose all reason when it comes time to make that purchase. Analog synths aren't about a price/performance ratio they are about character, mystique, waxing poetic, having a distinct sound that only that one box can provide...



Mar.23.2006 @ 4:14 PM
Suit & Tie Guy
personally i can't get into any of the old moog keyboards other than the Mini and the Liberation. i've owned a micromoog, a satellite, a prodigy, and a source, and my friend Damon has a multimoog and quite frankly i don't miss ANY of them.

however i have owned 5 liberations or something like that, and you will have to pry it from my cold dead fingers. same with the minimoog and the hammond.

all of those later moogs (except for the satellite, which is a POS with enormous hot rod possibilities) sound the same, the minimoog is a bit dirtier, and the most distinctive moog sound of course is the 901s in the original modular.

my only question is: will they have a rack version?


Mar.23.2006 @ 5:03 PM

yeah man, i agree. however, unless you're on an unlimited budget, price vs. performance does have to enter into the equation at some point. otherwise we'd all have 9000 dollar ballpoint pens.


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