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Moog Memorymoog- What would be the closest modern day equivalent? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Moog Memorymoog- What would be the closest modern day equivalent?

I've been listening to some Memorymoog videos and forgot how darn good those puppies sound! I would be curious to what others would think is the closest modern day equivalent to the Memorymoog's distinctive sound? For a majority of us a Memorymoog is probably not financially practical or feasible, so I wonder what may get one the closest to that dirty yet creamy Memorymoog sound?



Last edited by Quantum7; 1 week ago at 04:59 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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I think there was a post where someone had a studio electronics CODE next to a memorymoog and said it was close.

The CODE interface is not nearly as fun or fast.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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synthguy's Avatar
I suppose I'll get dissed for this, but I keep thinking the JD-XA and Arturia Origin capture that three oscillator Moog vibe pretty well.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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I've never encountered anything that sounds like a Memorymoog in person. Not the Andromeda, not the Studio Electronics Omega, not the OB6 or P6. jmo.

Now that the necessary osc chip is back, I keep hoping a similar instrument will emerge. Ladder filters are easy.

But that's a different thread.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
Hopefully The Memory Moog reissue will be upon us soon. I heard rumors about them working on one.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Slim phatty polychain?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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6 SE-02
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsapo2001 View Post
Hopefully The Memory Moog reissue will be upon us soon. I heard rumors about them working on one.
You better not be teasing us! That would be awesome....although my wallet shudders at the thought of how much Moog would charge. I vowed never to use a credit card for a synth, but if Moog pulled it off faithfully and it was as close to the real deal as they were with the Minimoog reissue, I would seriously consider pulling out a credit card for that.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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string6theory's Avatar
It's a monster. The sounds are epic.

Poly chaining some Slims gets you the multiple mono Moog voices, but still no MM.

Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Baloran's The River sounds similar to the Memorymoog .

The oscillators dont seem to have quite the same massive weight to them , but that filter sounds pretty close , supposedly the same design as the Moog Source.

Réservation The River
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickman View Post
Baloran's The River sounds similar to the Memorymoog .

The oscillators dont seem to have quite the same massive weight to them , but that filter sounds pretty close , supposedly the same design as the Moog Source.

Réservation The River
As someone whose (new and old) gear gets occasionally haunted by tech support demons I would have to think about what you do if you are in the USA when something as boutique as this synth neeeds to be serviced. Personally I would not buy one.

A Memorymoog by Moog is what we need.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Ive owned my MM+ since 2004, and let me tell you that without doubt NOTHING sounds like a memorymoog. Certainly not my JDXA (which I love BTW), nor my P6 (which I also love). The MM sounds huge even out of its mono output, bigger and wider than many synths do in stereo! Amazing.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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I've heard some demos from the Modal 002 that get pretty close. The 002's 24db filter ladder filter (when used with plenty of drive) drive can sound extremely moog-ish, and the NCO can serve pretty decent saws and squares.

It's two osc rather than three, but the 002 does have the sub oscs.

I've never had any serious hands on time with the 002, so take this with a pinch of salt. However, all the ingredients are there, programming in the right level of randomness and variability is probably the tricky part in maximising warmth and character.
Old 1 week ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
I've heard some demos from the Modal 002 that get pretty close. The 002's 24db filter ladder filter (when used with plenty of drive) drive can sound extremely moog-ish, and the NCO can serve pretty decent saws and squares.

It's two osc rather than three, but the 002 does have the sub oscs.

I've never had any serious hands on time with the 002, so take this with a pinch of salt. However, all the ingredients are there, programming in the right level of randomness and variability is probably the tricky part in maximising warmth and character.
I've owned a MemoryMoog (LAMM update) and an 002 (and 008) and you really can't substitute one for the other. It's more than the oscillator core design differences. Even with all the randomness/slop/wobble available the newer gear tends towards a more modern, clean, precise sonic presentation compared to the old stuff. Out of the box, the MemoryMoog sounds huge. Nothing else needs to be done other than play it.

Most of the time, MM owners work towards cutting back/thinning out the sound since you don't necessarily need 18 oscillators roaring at you throughout an entire song. Getting the MM to fit into a modern complex song arrangement takes a certain amount of deftness, good programming, and good sound design (EQ, filtering, levels, panning, etc).

Now if you're doing Labradford kinds of things, sure a MemoryMoog, bass and a guitar work fine together and you can let the MM take up 2/3 of the sonic space.

Special note to the OP -- put down your internets and pick up your synths. You have enough. You have more than enough. We all do.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Nothing else needs to be done other than play it.
More and more I think this is exactly what makes a great synth.


Speed to the sweet spot. So many "deep" feature filled modern synths with oodles of modulation, but the Rhodes, Clav, Organ can get the song done so much faster, and you can rely on them not to trick you into cheesiness.

I'm thinking of de-complexing my setup so I spend much *less* time programming and more time playing.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Special note to the OP -- put down your internets and pick up your synths. You have enough. You have more than enough. We all do.
LOL. Due to my chronic pain, many hours of my days are often spent in my studio laying on my couch with the heat pad while surfing the Internet. Watching synth videos passes the time and gets my creative juices flowing for when I can sit back down in front of my gear.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
I've owned a MemoryMoog (LAMM update) and an 002 (and 008) and you really can't substitute one for the other. It's more than the oscillator core design differences. Even with all the randomness/slop/wobble available the newer gear tends towards a more modern, clean, precise sonic presentation compared to the old stuff. Out of the box, the MemoryMoog sounds huge. Nothing else needs to be done other than play it.
I understand this and agree with it. There are certain iconic, archetypical synths, and two of them are the CS-80 and Memorymoog. Their circuitry is unique, and how the whole is greater than the sum of their parts is magical.

But the thing is, most of us just can't afford them. We still want those sounds, and so we fudge things with our available tools. And those of us who have been programming for many years can get surprisingly close, even with synths which really don't have that inherent character. I've seen more than one confession of being shown something like a Prophet~5, playing it and remarking on how rich and beefy it is, and no wonder they're so sought after. And then the MIDI cable is shown leading to a Virus, and the mirage is flabbergasting. The Virus doesn't really sound all that much like a Prophet, but it can. The Kronos can, lots of things can. The softsynth emus get really close.

This isn't to say that those vintage synths have no value, far from it. If you want an AX-80 or a CS-80 and can afford it, go for it. You'll own a piece of synth history, and possibly played by some legendary musicians. And you'll have that authentic sound right in front of you. But if you don't have access to those instruments, can't beg, borrow or rent, you can get really close with lots of alternative gear. I'm not shy about trying to work some chameleon power out of a synth, and the results are always pleasing.

What I'm hoping to do sometime in the near future is to get some time on these iconic instruments and do some A/B/C comparisons, and see how well they stack up. Might be a quaint effort, might be scary.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
LOL. Due to my chronic pain, many hours of my days are often spent in my studio laying on my couch with the heat pad while surfing the Internet. Watching synth videos passes the time and gets my creative juices flowing for when I can sit back down in front of my gear.
JHC, is there anything more insidiously f'd up than dying to play your synths right in front of you, but not being able to. It makes me want to cry, wail and moan just thinking about it. Or, being really into playing and having to stop and take a pain please subside break. Arghh!

I want to LOL with ya brotha, but it's so f'n hard to cope sometimes I can't stand it! Most folks have no idea what this is like, it's so hard to imagine.

These synths (and keeping at learning while trying to relax) are keeping me sane though, no joke.

Old 1 week ago
  #19
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The MemoryMoog is pretty unique in its architecture, i.e. three CEM 3340 VCO's per voice into a colorful mixer section, and then into a discrete implementation of the Moog ladder filter. There hasn't been anything since then to replicated this signal chain. The closest that you will get is a Studio Electronics Omega 8, but the oscillators of that synth are derived from discrete Moog designs, and not 3340's, so the end result is something that's more like a polyphonic Moog Source than a MemoryMoog.

Despite that, if you can ignore the fact that it's not a MemoryMoog in a rack, the Omega 8 is a fantastic sounding synth, a single voice of which sounds better than most of Moog's contemporary offerings, and it is essentially the Moog polysynth which people on this forum are constantly begging for, except it doesn't have the official "Moog" badge which seems to be ever so important for a segment of this forum's userbase.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Nothing else needs to be done other than play it.
More and more I think this is exactly what makes a great synth.


Speed to the sweet spot. So many "deep" feature filled modern synths with oodles of modulation, but the Rhodes, Clav, Organ can get the song done so much faster, and you can rely on them not to trick you into cheesiness.

I'm thinking of de-complexing my setup so I spend much *less* time programming and more time playing.
I think it depends what you're doing, for ambient/soundscape/textural type stuff then going deep with the programming is where it's at - the sound design is part of the composition and arrangement. But for sure, for other things then 'speed to the sweet spot' is what you want. By far the most used synths in my studio are the Prophet 12 and the Reface CS as they nicely cover either end of the spectrum; synth GAS is at an all time low. I agree the Memorymoog is something special though.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SovietSpaceChild View Post
The MemoryMoog is pretty unique in its architecture, i.e. three CEM 3340 VCO's per voice into a colorful mixer section, and then into a discrete implementation of the Moog ladder filter. There hasn't been anything since then to replicated this signal chain. The closest that you will get is a Studio Electronics Omega 8, but the oscillators of that synth are derived from discrete Moog designs, and not 3340's, so the end result is something that's more like a polyphonic Moog Source than a MemoryMoog.

Despite that, if you can ignore the fact that it's not a MemoryMoog in a rack, the Omega 8 is a fantastic sounding synth, a single voice of which sounds better than most of Moog's contemporary offerings, and it is essentially the Moog polysynth which people on this forum are constantly begging for, except it doesn't have the official "Moog" badge which seems to be ever so important for a segment of this forum's userbase.
The "problem" with the CODE/Omega 8 is the interface. it's not that fun to program.

It makes you want to pull off the faceplate from your rack and put it over your controller keyboard.

It is MUCH easier to name presents and program with the new software editor (but now it's like programming a VST using a mouse).

However...sound is
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
The "problem" with the CODE/Omega 8 is the interface. it's not that fun to program.

It makes you want to pull off the faceplate from your rack and put it over your controller keyboard.

It is MUCH easier to name presents and program with the new software editor (but now it's like programming a VST using a mouse).

However...sound is
I owned a chrome faced Omega 4 for a bit of time and can attest to some of the odd UI design decisions, such as not seeing feedback on the LCD when adjusting some of the values. I think that it's a simple enough voice architecture where it didn't dampen my enthusiasm for the synth, though. Agreed on the sound. It's a really really really good sounding synth.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
More and more I think this is exactly what makes a great synth.


Speed to the sweet spot. So many "deep" feature filled modern synths with oodles of modulation, but the Rhodes, Clav, Organ can get the song done so much faster, and you can rely on them not to trick you into cheesiness.

I'm thinking of de-complexing my setup so I spend much *less* time programming and more time playing.
But once you have programmed your own sounds, you are in that situation: turn it on and just play Plus you have the additional satisfaction that you are playing you own sounds
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
JHC, is there anything more insidiously f'd up than dying to play your synths right in front of you, but not being able to. It makes me want to cry, wail and moan just thinking about it. Or, being really into playing and having to stop and take a pain please subside break. Arghh!

I want to LOL with ya brotha, but it's so f'n hard to cope sometimes I can't stand it! Most folks have no idea what this is like, it's so hard to imagine.

These synths (and keeping at learning while trying to relax) are keeping me sane though, no joke.

Yeah, there are definitely those day..... BUT, other than the pain breaks and pain pills what keeps me in a good place is constantly reminding myself about all the good things in my life. I do not have to work a "day job", hence have the potential for any waking moment to be in front of my synths....when I'm not on the couch, of course. Most people are lucky to have 2 or 3 hours per day to do that. I also have a supportive wife who never complains when I spend money on new gear. She sincerely would rather I have gear rather than her buying a sports car, expensive clothes, jewelry, etc. She is definitely is one in a million! I'm also grateful that when I am in front of my synths, they are synths that most musicians would be very proud to own. So that all said, despite the daily pain, I truly believe that I am a very blessed man.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
I would have to go with that there probably isn't anything that will get you close to what makes the Memorymoog special. It is a pretty unique poly. Maybe the OB-Xa is the closest of any.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 View Post
I would have to go with that there probably isn't anything that will get you close to what makes the Memorymoog special. It is a pretty unique poly. Maybe the OB-Xa is the closest of any.

And again OB-Xa really doesn't sound like a MM. A friend of mine had MM, OBXa, OB8 , Chroma Polaris and Prophet T-8 next to one another and all fully working about 3 years back. I had hours of fun seeing how close the OBs could get to one another. My least favourite out of this bunch was the MM. Yes it sounded good but to me the Oberheims were a lot more my liking. Aren't Moog totally out of their depth at making Polys ? We have 2 Polymoogs (synth, Keyboard) Opus 3 string synth thing and Memorymoog in a 50 year period . Maybe it will take a company like the one who's doing a D for $300 to come up with a solution.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Warning !
It is (in)famous for its very bad reliability.
It WILL break more often than you probably can accept.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Warning !
It is (in)famous for its very bad reliability.
It WILL break more often than you probably can accept.
Yup. Just read about dentist mirrors and the MM
Old 1 week ago
  #29
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I love mine my MM+ but along with the D50, the Midi response of the MemoryMoog+ is woeful.

Tight 16th's? No chance
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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FWIW, some of us have 2-3 hours per week, not day to spend on music stuff. I don't envy your gear, I envy your time.

We all know that in our down time we should be doing things like reading the manuals for our gear, cleaning up DAW templates and macros, working on improving our theory and composition knowledge, and shaking out the various kinks in our setups, but all of that is boring and tedious. It's way more fun to be scanning YouTube for cool synth/effects videos.

The problem with the gear lust is that it's a sneaky thief. The financial impact is the most obvious, but there's a whole undercurrent of disruption that takes place.

Let's take the MM as an example. So you browse around, see some great sounding demos and now your brain is thinking it would be great to have the MM in your studio.

So what happens next? Now you take up cycles working out the money aspect. Assuming the finances are mostly there, you start seriously looking around for any MemoryMoogs for sale. In the meantime, all that gear in your studio that was cool and inspiring now seems limp and dull and inadequate. It sounded fine last week, but now in the face of an incoming MemoryMoog, it's all crap.

Any songs you were working on are put on hold because a) your brain is tied up working the MemoryMoog, and b) a MemoryMoog would be the perfect addition to the song.

Now you are in full out search and acquire mode. You realize a stock MemoryMoog doesn't have MIDI, so you have to decide if that's going to fit in your workflow because finding, buying, and installing a MIDI retrofit for it is a separate challenge at this point. OK, so you need a MemoryMoog+. The LAMM version is very rare and well outside your (even slightly expanded) budget. Then you read about some MemoryMoogs that were fitted with the dBm MIDI retrofit years ago so you start searching one of those out. They're more expensive than the stock MM, but much cheaper than the LAMM and perform very solidly compared to the MM+.

After much searching, a MM+ falls in your lap. The price is right, the condition is very good, so you act. Yeah the MIDI is a slight issue, but you can deal with that later since the sound is killer.

The MemoryMoog arrives, hopefully it doesn't need servicing, possibly it doesn't need calibration, likely it only needs some cleaning. You plug it in and play and it's glorious. You hook up a MIDI cable, fire up your DAW and the MM locks up. OK, time to research a MIDI filter box. After many posts on GS you get a solid recommendation, and have that problem solved.

Now there's all the fallout to deal with. You might have had to sell (or are trying to sell) the 008 to make room and $$$ for the MM. So you're hassling with potential buyers, getting it boxed up and shipped. The MM is a different form factor so you have to mess around with stand placement and angles and since the MIDI is kind of lame, you can't use it as a controller like you did with the 008, so there's a little more arranging to get a better keyboard in that spot.

Oh wait, now you have to update your patchbay labels, your DAW templates, and your MIDI patchbay info.

Now you're finally set to get back to that song you were working on 3 months ago with your new MemoryMoog lead sound ready to crush it. Hmm, it's too much for this particular song... Ok, cut back to 1 oscillator, maybe dial in a lower cutoff, drop the volume a bit... there, that works now. Of course you could have had the same sound with the 008 back in the day, but that's neither here nor there.

But wait, there's suddenly one more problem -- the MemoryMoog has a mono output. That means you now have a free input channel. There's certainly a monosynth out there that would fit perfectly in your setup and off you go looking at YouTube videos of the Pro-One.


tl;dr - there is no tl;dr when it comes to gear lust.
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