Idle speculation: Moog Big Phatty on the way?

As the nights draw in, it's time for some idle speculation (and poor-quality photoshop work) about new product launches at NAMM in two months' time. I doubt we'll see it this year, but my hunch (and it is just a hunch) is that Moog are developing a polyphonic synth based on the technology in the Little Phatty. Why? Shortly after the Voyager was released, Bob Moog said 'We could build one...But we're not going to'. Back then, he was working with the Voyager - a fantastically expensive hand-built machine. Now, with the Little Phatty, I think everything is in place for a realistically-priced poly synth.
What do the different parts of a synth cost? Look at Dave Smith Instruments: An Evolver Rack (four voices and a very minimal interface) costs $1,349. A PEK (four voices, a 5 octave keyboard, tonnes of rotary encoder knobs, wooden ends, an awful lot of blue LEDs and a big steel box) costs $1,050 more at $2,399. So, keyboard and interface costs just over $1,000.
What about voices? Voices for the small-run, very boutique, all analogue, all discreet, Studio Electronics Omega 8 seem to cost $350 each (Two voices = $2,299, Four voices = $2,999).
If we assume Phatty voice cards cost the same, it would be possible to build 8 of them into a PEK-quality keyboard for $3,850, just $400 more than the top-of-the-line Moog Voyager. Four voices would be $2,450 - cheaper than the Alesis Andromeda (which admittedly has 16 all-analogue voices.)
Is this what Moog are working on? I don't know, but it would be cool if they were. Would you buy a Big Phatty?
... [CONTINUE READING]


Comments:
I just don't think it'll happen. The Moog strategy seems to be Little Phatty as budget synth, Voyager as luxury synth (with the important profit margin for Moog Music to boot). And the LP seems to be quite successful as a mono synth, to boot. My guess is what we might see at some point is an updated Voyager, but it would be closer to the Voyager than the LP. And, knowing Moog, it's not really about cost so much as the broader vision for what the synth is about.

I do generally like the *idea* of a boutique poly synth, of course ... but ... well, the nice thing about the LP is that you can afford it. The higher-end models just have a more limited audience.
 
Well, the Andy isn't quite "pure analog", since it has software envelopes and LFOs. I rather suspect that the Little Phatty's LFO, and perhaps the envelope generators, are also software-generated. The good news is that that would probably mean the cost per voice wouldn't be as high as you'd guessed. As for buying a Big Phatty, I have to say that the limited modulation options would be a big turn-off for me.

Personally, I would love to see a new modular setup from Moog, though I doubt they're going to do it. Maybe a setup like the MacBeth M5, with patch cables but a fixed system configuration, wouldn't be an impossible dream....
 
"As for buying a Big Phatty, I have to say that the limited modulation options would be a big turn-off for me."

This is a hypothetical synth, with hypothetical architecture, and you're fucking griping about modulation routings?

You, my son, are a twatwaffle.
 
"New modular system from Moog" -- wouldn't that be magically wonderful? (all realities of pricing, practicality, the market, etc., aside ... we can dream ...)

Oh, and "twatwaffle" is a great word.
 
"This is a hypothetical synth, with hypothetical architecture, and you're fucking griping about modulation routings?"

This is a hypothetical synth that hypothetically octuples (or quadruples or doubles) a Little Phatty voice, therefore I think it is a safe (hypothetical) assumption that this hypothetical synthesizer would suffer from the same limited modulation routings.

I suppose it is possible that, in manufacturing this new hypothetical synthesizer, they might decide to upgrade each voice to have some decent mod options, just as I guess it is hypothetically possible to upgrade the english language with new words like "twatwaffle".
 
I'd like to predict a new instrument that combines the tactile nature of an MPC but with only 3 pads with a big monochrome green monitor with lightpen. It will have 3 manuals, an Airfix modelling tone generator, 3465346 bit digital audio recording at 23.56Hz, a keyboard whose white keys are louder than the black ones and a socket for an external chicken satay drive. It will have 640k of base RAM and use monkeys with typewriters as data storage. It will come with wireless power as standard and require software downgrades at regular intervals. Finally, it will not only guarantee commercial and critical success, but get you home in time for Neighbours, bypassing the A140 and arriving at Twatwaffle station 3 minutes ahead of last week.

Everyone will say it's rubbish until they try one and then they will realise that it's actually rather neat and can actually negate the need for a Fleshlight.
 
In retrospect, I agree...soiling the discourse on something called a 'Lil Phatty' with etymologically suspect terms like 'Twatwaffle' is simply beyond the pale.

Wanker is much more appropriate.
 
January 18, 2007 -- Anaheim California. With the ink barely dry on the Little Phatty, Moog announces the arrival of the Boderfoder effects pedals. Taking a cue from the Moogerfooger line, the Boderfoders debut with two items drawn from the fruitful historical collaboration between Bob Moog and Harold Bode: a vocoder pedal and a frequency shifter pedal. In the tradition that the Phatty began with puns, the Boderfoders also pays tribute to underground cartoonist legend Vaughn Bode, whose work was widely influential upon Graffiti artists. Each Boderfoder features a Vaughn Bode character silkscreened on the front panel.
 
They should come out with a cheap knobless rack that you can slave to your Little Phatty or Voyager. As for Mood modular? The audience would be too small, but they should come out with more Moogerfoogers to finish the set. All they need at this point is a good dual Oscillator based Moogerfooger and Envelopes. We have Ring mod, filter, delay, phaser and MURF already, so why not finish the set.

There's also a Little Phatty rack to consider. They did it with the Voyager.
 
As a user (owner of #15), I can most assuredly say that the Little Phatty has a 100% analog signal path - no software envelopes and LFO's.
 
As a user (owner of #15), I can most assuredly say that the Little Phatty has a 100% analog signal path - no software envelopes and LFO's.

The LP manual does say that there are analog envelopes, but nowhere in the manual or on the webside have I seen it stated that the LFO is analog. From the manual:

"The LP features 2 ultra-stable oscillators, a genuine Moog 24dB/octave low pass filter, two 4-stage analog envelope generators and a flexible modulation matrix."

"The Modulation section - features a programmable modulation matrix. The Modulation section has controls to select the modulation Source (LFO Triangle, LFO Square, LFO Sawtooth, LFO Ramp, Filter EG or Oscillator 2) the LFO Rate, the modulation Destination (Pitch, Filter, Waveform or Oscillator 2) and the modulation Amount parameters."

Certainly the issue of the matrix's "flexibility" is an open one, but flexable or not, I rather doubt that the LFO is analog when Moog Music is falling over itself bragging about how analog everything else is. If you have been specifically told by a Moog rep that the LFO is analog, or if you have opened up the synth and identified the LFO circuitry, then I would be willing to accept your statement; however, I remain extremely skeptical.
 
Does one server twatbutter on a twatwaffle? What is twatsyrup, then?
 
Prediction: the Twatwaffle will be a new FX pedal from Metasonix.

Hmm, but not quite obscene enough yet. Suggestions?
 
The selling point for the lil phatty has been that its all analogue. They are using some kind of mystery technology to convert the input from the rotaries to an analogue signal. None of the signal path that touches the audio is digital.
 
BEST COMMENT EVER:
"January 18, 2007 -- Anaheim California. With the ink...[snip]...silkscreened on the front panel."

WORST COMMENT EVER:
"If you have been specifically told by a Moog rep that the LFO is analog...[snipo]...I would be willing to accept your statement; however, I remain extremely skeptical."
 
The Phatty envelopes are indeed analog. The LFO is not. You could never tell the difference with Square wave LFO modulation, and the digital nature of the design allows the triangle wave to double as a digital noise source when the rate is fully counter-clockwise.

The audio signal path of the Phatty is 100% analog. At no pint is any audio digitally generated and there is no a/d or d/a in the audio path.
 
I speculate Moog will develop a Little Phatty hat. In two colors.
 
you are so wrong about the hats, but it's an easy mistake to make.

what moog are producing is called the "little hattie". the revolutionary synthesis engine is based on the internal organs of hattie jacques, but there has been some concern that it may be paraphonic rather than polyphonic.
 
Oh, dear lord! This has totally cracked me up!

1. Metasonix will indeed make a Twatwaffle pedal. This was a brilliant prediction.

2. Moog will make the Big Phatty because the people that could afford the Little Fatty and liked it will be able to afford anything else. That's just good business sense :)

3. People will quit debating on the "pure analog" issue when another, smaller company creates exactly what we all want for $200: Discreet components, exact duplicates of the old SSM and CEM chips, but all of the problems of the older synths' components will be solved when they make everything easily replaceable.

I don't know about you, but I just want a box 'o knobs. The best thing we got so far is the SoundLab MiniSynth.
 
> They are using some kind of mystery technology to convert the input from the rotaries to an analogue signal.

Sigh... Why do people insist on making this more complicated than it is? It's easily done by using *actual* pots for the controls.

In edit mode, the pot actually controls the parameter being edited. The CV from the pot is only digitized when that value needs to be saved. Simple!

If it isn't that simple then I need to apply for a patent right now.
 
I could be wrong, but from what I have read that seems to be exactly what is going on with the Phatty.

"In edit mode, the pot actually controls the parameter being edited. The CV from the pot is only digitized when that value needs to be saved."
 
"I don't know about you, but I just want a box 'o knobs. The best thing we got so far is the SoundLab MiniSynth."
# posted by opg : 3:21 PM

I love my mini synth. I don't even have to strike any keys to have fun with it. All I have to do is run it through a reverb or delay and have fun for hours. Twisting and flipping switches. If you haven't made one yet, get started.

I like twatbutter on my twatwaffles.

And cuttle fish controlled lfos.
 
I predict *against* a Metasonix Twatwaffle pedal, for three reasons.

1) I have a TM-7 prototype sitting about two feet from me (and I'll even be allowed to preview it here in a week or two)

2) It is not named Twatwaffle.

3) Twatwaffles sound much too delicious and syrupy for these BN6 pedal thingies. I'll speculate that future pedals would only involve succulent feminine apertures if they were less breakfasty and more filled with thumbtacks or broken shuriken, for starters.
 
I clicked the front page's link about the Phatty, and read its features on some net store's page... and I was intrigued by the so-called "asymmetric pitch wheel".

Web searching turns up way too many irrelevant hits. What does that mean? I'm all about pitch wheels, and I am fascinated.
 
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