Moog Revisits the Seventies With A $4,995 Synth
By James Grahame
The first thing that struck me about Moog's new flagship synthesizer was the price. After all, five grand is the sort of money that well-healed musicians forked out for a capable monosynth in the mid 1970s. But will it fly in 2010, when you can purchase a home studio full of computerized gear for the same money?
Nevertheless, the Minimoog Voyager XL is an impressive beast. At heart, it's an updated Minimoog Model D with an all-analog signal path, modular patch bay and a few modern bells and whistles such as MIDI and patch memories.
The new instrument is all about hands-on control. Up front is a respectable 61 note velocity sensitive keyboard with after-pressure. There's a ribbon controller running along the top of the keyboard and a panel-mounted touch surface controller for even more real-time tweaking.
The front panel is a thing of glory -- 52 knobs, along with enough buttons and switches to make an Apollo astronaut feel at home. There are three oscillators, two filters, a couple of amplitude envelopes and a bewildering array of control voltage inputs and outputs that can be routed through 2 modulation busses.
To top it off, the Monstermoog is mounted in an impressive solid oak cabinet with Moog's signature tilting control panel. One thing's for sure -- you get what you pay for. The only question is how many will want what Moog is selling.