The New Moog: More pics & my questions answered

So, here's what Moog have told me about Little Phatty:
Are you planning a limited edition version with the word 'Phatty' spelt correctly, for people not of the hip hop persuasion?
Ha Ha. Phatty is da’ word, YO!
Are those pitch/mod wheels glowing?
Yes. A nice color blue.
How big is the Moog logo on the back? Bigger than on a Prodigy?
The Bob Moog signature is quite large, 9¼ inches, or so
There doesn't seem to be a shift button. Is it strictly one-button-per-parameter?
:-) Yes
Is there some mysterious connection between Clavia and Moog? Those LED rings and little buttons look familiar...
They really like us and we them.
Is the entire thing manufactured in the US? Are the circuit boards made in Asheville?
Yes. Although some components are from China.
How does the sound differ from the Voyager? If I dial up a simple two-oscillator patch on a Voyager, will it sound identical to a Little Phatty?
Yes. I believe so. If you take off the extra modulation off the Voyager and removed the Overload fnction from LP.
What's it made from?
The Tribute Edition has wood sides and an aluminum back.
Is every parameter MIDI accessible? To be decided, but probably yes.
How far had the design progressed before Dr Moog passed? Would he recognise it if he saw the finished item?
Bob and Steve started conceptualizing this in 2004. The actual outside design came later. Bob was key in the beginning of this project and we think he would be proud.
How fine is the resolution on the encoders?
The knobs use Real Analog Control. Within this there is no encoding. "Stepping is not audible," says one Moog Tech Amos.
Is this synth built differently from the Voyager? Does it use custom-made filter/osc/env chips?
There are no custom chips, but [unlike the Voyager] it uses surface mount components.
About those big blue buttons: Are they soft and rubbery, or hard? [10 years of journalism, and this is where I've ended up]
They're soft, and they feel great!!

i'm very very excited for this. The nay-sayers can make their own synth. Having one knob per parameter and the method for editing looks just fine.

will it float?
It's just so damn cute, and I mean that in a positive, not derivise way!!
yes, it looks lovely.

but, it is not an affordable moog -certainly not for me at least. for a tiny bit more money you could buy a second-hand voyager and, if you're lucky, you might even be able to get a minimoog.
about the price,

this is the 'Tribute Edition'... so does that mean a 'standard edition' will be made without the big signature on the back and at 4/5 of the price? Remember, there is $600 difference between the Voyager Performer and Signature.

About the look,

I wanted it as soon as i saw it, it's not the best looking synth ever, but it's still nice. Besides, it's a fully analogue Moog that's band new so it will work 100% and it's got midi and stuff...

about the name,

yeah, er, you could always make a sticker and put it over the top.
The Little Phatty makes me wish I had money....I wish I could get my hands on one!

I'm putting together Little Phatty article for, but its mostly just a recap of Moog Music's announcement.
Luke: "this is the 'Tribute Edition'... so does that mean a 'standard edition' will be made without the big signature on the back and at 4/5 of the price? Remember, there is $600 difference between the Voyager Performer and Signature."

That's the first thing I thought when hearing that this was some 'edition' of the LP... not the only LP. A $1,000 version of this in all metal would be fine.
still, $1000 for a monosynth is not what i call affordable. i recently bought a waldorf pulse s/h - that was affordable (but, admittedly, not a particularly fair comparison).
"RAC™ Real Analog Control is a proprietary technology enabling the performer to directly interface with the analog circuitry via the knobs on the control panel, without any digital processing. "

This is meaningless fluff.
If it's using 'digitally controlled potentiometer' chips then there has to be a digital interface between the controls and the DCP chip.

If it's not using DCPs then what happens when another parameter is selected, or you need to recall a patch? Those are certainly not analog potentiometers on the front.

New synth, new buzzwords, old technology.
Is this really one knob per parameter, though?

It looks like you have to select something like Attack, turn the knob. Select Decay, turn the knob. And so on. Hardly a knob for every parameter.

I'd like to try it and before saying whether or not I would buy one. I think a lot of people are wanting one because of all the times it says Moog on it.
I think its UGLY
It's not just ugly, it's acid-to-the-face-and-groin ugly. The combination of blue and brown is bad enough, then throw in silver and black, and you've managed to make a four-color combo with three colors that work together, plus brown.

Then there's the "business in the front, party in the back" mulletness of the thing. All curves and chrome in back, all straight lines and black in the front. It was so confusing for the designers that they put all the jacks on the SIDE. There is is a reason no other keyboard manufacturer even considers this as an option.

Now about the price. Suppose they decided to forget the shaped, brushed aluminum curve in back, and just put a flat black panel back there. With jacks. That has to save them 100 bucks, formed aluminum with a foot-long autograph is not cheap.

Then suppose they ripped out all those lighted, soft, square buttons and the fake-analog potentiometers. Then replaced them all with REAL potentiometers. Same number of panel holes to drill, no lighting issues, no frustrating one-at-a-time control, no fancy fake-analog pots. It has to be very close to the same cost. You can surface-mount pots in 2006.

Okay, so with the better back-panel and the all-knob interface, we're looking at a synth Moog has built many times before: All parameters controlled by their own knobs, monophonic, really short keyboard, really high price.

Blaming this on American manufacturing costs is ridiculous. It's just a totally stupid keyboard for a totally stupid price. The death of Moog has not been highly exaggerated.
ummm... only 4 knobs to control parameters??


i cant believe people are actually excited about this peice of junk... IMHO its unbelievable how lame this thing is - 1 or 2 steps forward, so many more steps back
sometimes it's about making a quality product and not about pushing the envelope and "new interfaces" and all that shit. they set out to make a 2 osc synth and they did it. steps forward, backward, who fucking cares. i don't love the lack of knobs myself, but they executed it perfectly.
Can't wait until Paul Shaffer has one.
First of all, Tom, thank you for bringing us a great blog and excellent reporting!

here's my OPINION....
Hype moves, baby! Ok, I personally do not care for it one bit. Here are my reasons: you can't tweak standard functions simultaneously. the new Moog has *very limited* mod options. Also, the hype surrounding the patch storage is silly you get a classier synth with the Source---which only has 16 memory locations and can be souped up to 256 with a (encore?) retrofit----for less! The ARP Axxe has a real pot for every function and only has one oscillator but you dont have to access anything prior to tweaking and the axxe routinely sells for a few hundred at most----working or not! This surface mount thing bothers me, personally, because it limits hacking and transforming the limited mod options---or at least it makes hacking infinitely more tedious.
Lastly, BM is quoted as saying that when they came up with the conceptual designs for the minimoog they chose the simplest layout --without question--- as musicians did not want to pay for (at the time) expensive plastic molded parts that were a reflection of fashion as per the Moog organ and student KB's. In conclusion, my opinion is that fashion changes but style doesn't. I believe this new Moog is severely limited in its form factor(s)of ergonomics, design, paradigm, execution, and advertising.
Let's get one thing straight. The word "phat" predates the hip-hop world by about 15 years by those of us who were neuvo-hippies. In the late 80's, the term "phat". was commonly used. Often, we would say, "That is phat - with a "PH"". It all came from the band Phish and since we were all dopers, it was a pretty easy progression. So, the likes of Phat Pharm and others need to keep looking for their footnote in pop culture history. Seriously, I doubt many from the hip hop culture will ever rise to foot note status.
alex hartmann had some input on the industrial design side of things here and if you look at his Neuron synthesizer you will notice that it too has the unorthodox side-interface. they seem to operate a pininfarina style company for synthesizers and the like.
I think its "just right" for a number of reasons:
To the people who think it sux(Dude) have they actually heard it yet?
I would just like to say that I REALLY LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS, that's right, I honestly think it looks good. I probably can't afford one, and i probably don't need one, but I really do think it's a good looking keyboard. (apart from the signature on the back - the Moog logo would have been much nicer)

There. Maybe I've got bad taste or something, I don't care, I still think it's a cool looking keyboard.

THAT'S IT! I'm gonna go crawling back to eBay. This synth is too pretty and nice for me. They DON'T WANT you to tweak anything on this synth; they just want you to use the presets. Perhaps its just all the years of lead from the analog synth components talking, but when are companies going to realize that it's okay to sound dirty and noisy? Oh wait-- there's a preset for that.
yeah, that's like saying "boo ya"
No diggity?
"The word "phat" predates the hip-hop world by about 15 years... In the late 80's,"

Dude, you're right. How could I have forgotten that hip hop was only invented in 2004? There certainly wasn't any around back in the late '80s.
I believe the Grateful Dead also invented Drum'n'Bass?
So...... I am suprised that nobody has mentioned this yet, but IF you could find a case for it it would be a combersome affair at best. I want one anyway...
i played it at the musikmesse frankfurt - it´s great!!! And the Moog people where very nice and friendly.... of course it is a compromise - but a good one - and there will be cases and a gigbag
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