Gear Of The Year #4 | MOOG ONE – 8-VOICE
We’ve been more than impressed here at Funky Junk in the weight of sounds coming out of MOOG’s latest mega synth, so we asked in-house engineer / website guru Louis Milburn to do a review.
The Moog One made a lot of noise in 2019. Scores of reviews trickled out over the year on its endless functions using lots of long words that I didn’t understand, so I won’t write one of those. What I can write about however, is my experience sitting down during lunch with our demo One in the Funky Junk Minitorium.
On first looks it’s a 3 oscillator, 8(or 16)-voice synthesiser with a noise generator, external input, ring modulation, 3 analogue filters and an analogue amp. On top of this there’s added frequency modulation possibilities, four LFOs, contour generators and a plethora of digital effects. This on surface adds up to a reasonably straightforward synth that, without diving into a labyrinth of menus and settings, can be dug into by hand for classic sounding bass, brass, lead sounds and electric pianos. What’s more the pads achievable by even the brashest knob-twiddling can sound complex and full, or thin, detuned and vintage.
The oscillators on the Moog One tread a line between modern and vintage analogue synths to my ear. They are at once “in tune” but at the same time (even when hard-synced) never too tight and lifeless. If it does for a second feel that way Moog have chucked in a detune function – a big squiggly safety net designed to halt the fall of even the dullest patches. Another detuning trick I found especially fruitful was diving into various pretty-sounding presets with the added Frequency Mod option to sculpt exciting FM tones in tandem with classic analogue sounding Moog patches.
However, if you do want to go down the route of menus it becomes a monster of myriad polyphonic possibilities that rewards the braver digital explorers among us with timbral layers worthy of the big screen – and this is for whom the Moog One is designed. If you’re making larger than life scores or trying to bend the realities of the sonic world with sound design, this synth is probably the single greatest instrument available in the world. There’s a possible 120 modulation paths on this thing, the ADSR amps can actually be six stage DAHDSR contours (per voice!) and CV in/outs just incase this isn’t all quite enough for you…
I’d feel remiss if I hadn’t mentioned some sort of negatives in a whole article about the One and there are things that this synth is simply not designed for: firstly, don’t whip this thing out in the middle of a studio session with an artist unless you know it inside out. YOU WILL come out of a Moog One-hole four hours later to find yourself hundreds of pounds worth of studio time down and with an angry artist/bandmate anxiously twiddling their thumbs. Secondly, although the Eventide digital effects at the end of the signal path make the One a useful one-stop tool for live, I found myself usually keeping it dry so I could really hear what was going on as to my mind if you are spending this much on a synth, slapping any old built-in digital reverb/delay on the end seems a shame.
But really if you have that kind of cash spare, buy it. There is nothing better right now. Don’t believe me?
10% OFF MOOG ONE 8-VOICE SYNTHESISER UNTIL 16/02/20
The Moog One 8-Voice is an 8-Voice Analogue Polyphonic Synthesizer that features 3 VCOs per voice with waveshape mixing and OLED displays.
WAS £4,999.17 (ex vat) NOW £4,499 ex VAT (£5398.80 Inc)