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Moog Minimoog
4.4 4.4 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

The machine, the legend. The holy grail of bass and leads that makes lead guitar players and your wallet tremble with fear.


1st November 2011

Moog Minimoog Model D (reissue) by Yoozer

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Moog Minimoog

Take 3 oscillators, a noise generator, an external input, a lowpass filter, two envelopes and that's basically it. Want an LFO? Tough luck, use oscillator 3 - switching between a 3 osc bass patch and a 2-osc sound with a funky vibrato takes some practice to do quickly.

It takes half an hour to get in tune. Go do something else in the meantime. When you return you still might want to tweak the tune knobs, but that's part of the charm.

Since enough has been written about this machine already, I'd figure I'd compile my findings here when comparing it to the new kid - the Voyager.

Head to head:

You take the Voyager on a gig. Takes less time to tune. Switch on, wait a minute, usable, go, play.

You keep the D in the studio and do enough woodshedding until you're on the level of Chick Corea, otherwise it's not that fun.

The sonic range of the D is well-explored. Familiarity in virtually every corner. The melodic range still offers room. It's got all the sounds that you've already heard in the 70s and 80s - that sound - and you can't really go through them without stumbling over 'm. If you want to break new ground, lots of others have already trodden there.

Turn up the oscillator level of a single oscillator to something below 5. The tone is sweet. Turn it all the way up. It sears. There's no better word for it. It's like bacon on a griddle.

The Voyager does not do that. It's cleaner and far more controlled - restrained if you will.

Put the Voy and the Mini next to eachother and it's not even funny anymore. Yes, a Voyager is a high-class analog machine with envelopes that snap. It goes there in the bass range. Compared to the D, it's polite. Both will let you know that they're there for lead duties. The Voyager knocks. The D kicks the door in.

Have a tech service the keyboard - when that's done it plays just great and doesn't look like a jack-o-lantern. When it's properly calibrated it should track perfectly.

Do consider a MIDI interface - it's lots of fun to play a short sequence and run it through a neat delay and go all Tangerine Dream.

Features:

You miss out on all kinds of useful stuff - from spring-loaded pitch wheels to MIDI to a separate LFO, but you'll learn to live with it.

Bang for the buck:

If you want to buy one, be prepared to save up because they're getting more and more expensive (this is why bang for the buck is low; but this kind of bang can only be had for this kind of buck).

If you cannot afford one, try to get a Moog Source - it can get pretty close and it's also a lot of fun to play with.

  • 1
22nd January 2021

Moog Minimoog Model D (reissue) by rpmedia

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Moog Minimoog

Have owned this for while now and reviewing having spent many hours on it.

I could never afford the OG when they were in stores many years ago, and have had the Arturia plug-in for a while without being very impressed by the sound.

When the RI was reaching the end of line I grabbed one as it coincided with setting up my old gear again. I'm very glad I got one!

The sound and feel of this synth is just great. It is a simple device, and if you're looking for lots of options you'll be disappointed - no PWM, so sync. However, it is a pleasure to play, the keyboard feels great, the knobs are the right size to be precise with and the parameter values and envelope shapes just work, it is so easy to dial in the right amount of detune or decay or cutoff for example. The FM options open up some aggressive electronic sounds, while the filter is smooth and wonderful. When you pop on some reverb it sings.

The additions to the RI are very welcome, I use aftertouch to filter cutoff patching all the time for example, great for expression, and it is great to have a dedicated LFO to be able to modulate while still having 3 oscillators sounding. MIDI in/out is also very useful.

Mine developed a filter fault, but Moog servicing soon fixed it (in the UK) and it has been fine ever since.

This was expensive, but I have no regrets even if there are cheaper substitutes and synths with more options. It's a wonderful synth.

 

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