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Moog Slim Phatty

Moog Music Slim Phatty

4.2 4.2 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

18th February 2012

Moog Music Slim Phatty by zac damron

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

Unfortunately mine took over an hour to heat up and be in tune. I sent it back and am getting a new one to see if a different one will get in tune any quicker.

It is my first anolog synth and I loved it other than the tuning problem. Sounds great but unfortunately the VST editor for it costs extra and there is yet to be a version that works on mac with ableton live.

Plus, the lowpass filter seemed the slightest bit jumpy.

It definitely has an awesome layout for making awesome sounds very quickly.

There are 100 presets, I don't know why they couldn't make it possible to save more.

I did have some midi problems but they were resolved when I unplugged the midi cables and did a recycle.

I also had a problem with the lfo automation in ableton making the audio sound really bad. It must have had improper settings and was sending too much midi data or something. I will update this later once I get new one.

Keep in mind that it is a mono instrument so it's quit the price tag but I think its well worth it for how del it does what it does.

And, of course you know that the phatty sounds phatt.

If you are a producer and you like that bass sound that Deadmau5 and Nero have then I would highly recommend this or some other moog.

I can't wait to get my replacement moog in the mail, I'll reply to this review once I get it regarding wether or not it tunes an quicker.

23rd January 2013

Moog Music Slim Phatty by mickbenjamins

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.75
Moog Slim Phatty

I can be short about this;

Bought mine, and sold it again within two weeks.

The sound is perfect, and midi-syncing too. I just hated the fact that encoders have more then one function. Meaning it doesnt really feel hands-on.
You turn an encoder, press a button, and turn that same encoder to change a different parameter...

I couldnt (didnt want to?) get used to it...

27th August 2013

Moog Music Slim Phatty by deltaphoenix

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Moog Slim Phatty

I have a newer Slim Phatty and I really dig it. It is an amazing sounding synth for the price and has some earth shaking bass for 2 osc. The sparse control layout is easy to use. I don't understand why anyone would need a VST editor for this, the synth is not hard to design great sounds on, at all. The buttons and encoder system is a good balance and the LEDs that show the position of the settings when a button is pushed is simple, not so sure why the other reviewer was so put off about that, maybe dedicated Filter Freq and Resonance but still this set-up is easy to work with.
I love mine so much that I am buying another and am Poly Chaining them to start my own Moog Polysynth.

  • 1
8th November 2014

Moog Music Slim Phatty by autoy

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Moog Slim Phatty

Picked up a used (but mint) white Slim Phatty. What a jewel. In my case it was the obvious choice for being the proper Moog with the smaller footprint, as I don't have much more available space. Yes it does take its time to warm up (from 30 to 45 minutes to be perfect) and no this doesn't bother me at all. My Microbrute would take a little less than that, just as any VCO-based synth, and if your machine doesn't take its time for warming there's probably some kind of digital control taking over (not that this is necessarily a bad thing, mind you).

To sum up: VCOs and temperature go hand in hand and you better assume it. Or maybe take creative advantage of it: there's nothing like a drifty-crazy VCO that does something different each time you play it (listen to some IDM classics for detuned masterpieces: from µziq to Aphex, from Squarepusher to Luke Vibert).

Best thing about Moogs, in my honest opinion, are the oscillators. Apart from natural detuned fatness these tend to sound warm and fuzzy, the Phatty being a little less bright than a classic Minimoog. A single VCO can sound pretty full by itself, then you spice it up with the second and it all becomes a harmonic dream. The continuous wave morphing is a superb modern invention (yes, Moog can still innovate) inherited from the Voyager and present in most current models. Sync is also a welcome feature and it's a different kind of flavor from other synths, definitely a distinctive tone. Octave buttons combined with Freq. knob can take your basses to sub-oscillator territory if programed carefully, old-style hiphop sharp 7th leads if that's your thing, Orbital-esque 3rds or classic Stereolab 5ths. Famous sounds are instantaneously recognizable, it makes you smile when you listen to them available under your fingers.

Now on to the famous 4-pole ladder filter. You probably think you know this filter from playing the endless emulations in software and hardware forms but the truth is, as good as the "filter character" emulation may be, there is nothing comparable to the natural subtle distortion or smoothness of the real thing. Will these nuances get lost in a mix? Most definitely, but I'm talking about the pleasure of actually playing an instrument by itself, if that makes sense to you. Then there's the filter overdrive, which is kind of unpredictable, much like in the original Minimoog. It can make the instrument growl like a bear or just pump the right amount of low end with a little care. Try different poles and/or some frequency modulation (explained later) for some amazing bass textures.

Resonance can sound tame and subtle or go up to crazy auto-oscilation. One of my favorite tricks on the Minimoog was that, while keeping the res high, you could modulate cutoff with the frequency of an audio oscillator for weirdly fun FM sounds and vocal filtering. I'm glad you can still do this with the Phattys, either by using OSC 2 freq. or with the flexible audio-rate LFO. Yep, there's a single modulation bus but it's a really flexible one. The additional noise and S&H sources and a destination 2 parameter add up to the usual waveforms and destinations. You can't modulate amp, which is a shame, though. A couple of fast classic Moog-style envelopes round up the package. Their range can shape from the classic cutting lead to the fat and slowly evolving pad with plenty of release, so very flexible but you can't loop them like the Sub Phatty does.

Last but not least there's a lot to dig in the menus too, either by heading to the advanced preset section(gate, glide, LFO reset and tons more), performance setups (favorite patches for live setups), arpeggiator options (handily enabled by a simple press of the main Value knob) or the usual MIDI stuff. You can even remap the main knobs to whatever CC you like. Now about those knobs...

The main criticism I read about the Phattys was the multi-layered nature of the knobs, so I approached the control system with caution. Being a one-knob-per-function guy I was expecting some kind of disappointment. In the past I've hated synths like the Yamaha AN1x for this very same reason, it just gets very confusing and inspiration needs instantaneous availability, readiness. The thing about the Phatty is that it never gets confusing. With one knob per section there's not a ton of parameters they can be assigned to anyway, and the system makes the status very clear with bright backlit buttons and those LED rings around the considerably large knobs. And they're not big by chance, the size and smoothness make them so much usable. In fact it's easy to lightly press the parameter buttons with your thumb while smoothly turning the knob with your index, it really works. It's probably the most thought-out interface while being limited to a handful of knobs. Not even Waldorf has it nailed this much.

The other thing that had me puzzled was that the knobs were not continuous encoders, but normal pots. How does that make sense with the rings around them? Haven't we learned anything since the Nord Lead 3 days? Turns out there's also a reason for that: they're actually analog pots, not digital encoders. They actually control parameters in a continuous analog way, with no stepping. They do transmit MIDI but you don't actually get to hear the sound that part should produce, you hear the analog path instead. And even then Moog has taken the extra care to send 14-bit MIDI (over 4000 values per knob turn) to your sequencer so the MIDI driven playback has no hearable artifacts. This level of detail is probably one of the reasons why you pay an extra for a Moog, but I think it's totally worth it.

Now, this knob control system should make parameters jump, or at least wait until the knob catches up with the current value to pick it up. Both approaches are cumbersome and although available here too, Moog offers a third more intelligent option. When you configure knobs as "track" they will follow knob movement, accelerating if needed, until they catch up with the value. In the end it works very smooth, you just focus con the LED rings and turn your value accordingly. It's not perfect but it's one of the best implementations I've seen and, being analog, it doesn't compromise on sound quality which would be even worse in my opinion.

In the end it's all about the sound. There's nothing that groundbreaking in the in what's mentioned above: pretty common analog subtractive architecture with a nice build quality and a nifty control system. The difference is when you put all the pieces together to become a genuinely "musical" machine. And I think this difference is apparent in all the models made by Moog: they sound musically rich, weather they're played in a mix or by themselves, they always sound pleasant unlike many other synthesizers. There's something about the harmonics of the VCOs combined with the VCFs and their "sweet spots" and every Moog has this common recognizable signature sound, much like a Telecaster, a Hammond or a Precision Bass. The sound is a classic and of course the Phatty is capable of that signature and so much more. It's one of those rare instances where an instrument can fit almost any genere, from avant-garde to pop to classical, it always finds its place.

But also every Moog has its own flavor of the classic sound: The Sub 37 and Sub Phatty sound definitely more precise and modern (good for EDM or dubstep for example). The Voyager and Slim Phatty pertain to a more vintage-sounding flavor, being the former a little brighter and sizzly and the latter more dark and growly. I personally prefer the Slim/Little Phatty option due to the more unpredictable behavior and more satisfying bottom end, but that may be just me. In the end they all sound warm, rich and musical in the nicest way. A Moog is like a nice comfy jumper on a freezing day and you want to wear it for the rest of your life.

  • 1
19th September 2017

Moog Music Slim Phatty by fuzulu

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Moog Slim Phatty

Best thing I ever bought in my life!

I have had this for years now, its mid sep 2017 as Im writing this and I got this just as it came out brand new. A funny coincidence was the one I bought was reserved in the shop for Tom Oberheim, and since I was desperate the shop owner called Tom and Tom decided he can always get one later so I got it

Also please keep in mind there were not many affordable analog synths at that point, it was really one of the first few that started the wave leading into now. The price points are very different now.

The synth is built like a tank, its sturdy as hell, its just an amazing heavy proper piece of metal gear. The moment you see it come on and do the light sequence you are going to fall in love with it. The design of the panel and the controls is an absolute work of art and perfection, the LEDs around the knobs and on the buttons is just amazing to use and looks so good you have to see it to believe it, they dropped those kind of LEDs in newer models like Sub Phattys, Sub 37 etc to save cost, which is a shame, because you would always know what the sound is based on those LEDs. The resolution of the super amazing fat big knobs, their placement and ergonomics is just another level all together. The panel is really designed intelligently and kudos to the moog team for their innovation for bringing out that design at that time. The combination of the buttons for octaves and other features together with the knobs makes you play with this thing forever with fresh results. I can understand why some people would not like the knobs shared, specially the cut off and resonance, and I think an update to this same design with a few more knobs would be great and a good step forward.

Now lets move on to the sound, which is after all that I wrote above, the BEST part of this machine. It still amazes me the way it sounds, the bass sounds on this is just pure bliss, anyone in the room can recognize its a moog sound. Its so round and big there is nothing that comes close to it. And for other sounds its great as well, with rich harmonics, you can use this sound source a million ways. Bob Moog's legendary invention, the Ladder Filter is magic by itself, you will be playing with just that beautiful filter and resonance on their own for months, it really sounds sweet, with loads of resonance also it sounds excellent, its really something you need to experience for yourself.

A special word has to be put out about the brilliant midi implementation of this synth, each and every pot and button can send and receive midi which opens this thing up to huge possibilities for experimentation.

The only things it may be limiting in is the default sound engine is not as complex as it could be with things like cross mod and more modulation sources it would be neat. (There is a slight amount of cross mod involved but not fully implemented). So a new version of this Slim Phatty 2, with the additional knobs for resonance, distortion, env amount, course tuning of oscillators and more mod sources and destinations, cv outs, would be perfect.

The other little gripe I have with it is that it can get stuck notes pretty easily specially while being sequenced which is a bummer.

But all in all considering when it was released and the amount of joy it has given me and will still keep giving I love this machine. Its more than a machine its like my son! The price is not expensive in anyway no matter what people say about moog because they make their stuff of such high quality, its 100% worth the money.

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