songboy 04/12/2011

Moog Music SlimPhatty : songboy's user review

« The ultimate sound for a remarkable price »

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This synth is a rackmount only unit. I use a Axiom 61 key with it and it responds beautifully. There are a fair amount of presets that give a great representation of what this synth can do. Styles? well, being that it is an analog synth featuring almost everything you would expect on a portable synth, I think it would fit in every style that you want to hear a thick, glorious analog sound. As for editing, absolutely. There are plenty of knobs and buttons to tweak till your heart's content. As for controllers, this synth is capable of receiving every standard control message for pitch, modulation, sustain, arpeggiator on/off, etc...... There are a few connections on this synth including 1/4" output and input (to process audio through certain parameters like the Super Sweet Moog Filter) and a headphone output. You also get 4 CV inputs including Volume, Filter, Pitch and Keyboard Gate all of which can be controlled by a foot controller, other moog gear (pedals/synths) and with the right equipment (cv output converter) even software from a laptop (i.e. ableton). You can in fact store presets on your computer which is very nice. You can also download and update the OS when applicable and also change the "tuning" of the unit to get far out scales (download at Moog Music).
This is a Mono synth, so no polyphony, just a single sound. There are two oscillators however so you can get some "harmony" or "disharmony" by adjusting the pitch of the second oscillator.


Yes, the sounds are very easy to edit as all (actually most, there are a few hidden features) the knobs and buttons sit right in front of you. If you are familiar with how a synthesizer fundamentally works, this synth will be a breeze. I would even recommend this to folks as a solid introductory synth (paired with a good synth tutorial or book) and you will never want to stop playing with this unit. The manual is clear and well written. I recommend reading it thoroughly inorder to exploit this synth to its full potential.


These are 100% analog signal path sounds so they don't get any more realistic as that. Touch sensitivity, aftertouch and the responsiveness of the knobs and buttons are spot on and what you would expect from the folks at Moog. There are only a few "effects" on the unit, such as the Moog 12 stage filter and the Arpeggiator. But those two effects alone are worth the price tag. I love every single sound that comes out of this unit. I have been using software emulations of moog gear for years and always loved it, but after using the "real deal" I imagine those synths will be collection virtual dust now. I especially love the basses, this thing gets low and dirty!!! No a/d d/a convertors in this unit.


What I like most about this unit is tied between three things: the great affordable price ($800), the absolutely amazing sounds and usability, and the fact that it is small enough to tuck under my arm. The only bummer about this synth is there is no "Noise" option as a waveform option. This reduces the amount of sound possibilites but in the end, you get a ton to work with for how little you pay. The only synths that come close in price and quality I know of are the David Smith synths mophro and tetra (i think that's their names) but I still find Moog blows David Smith out of the water when it comes to tone quality. I have used a fair amount of synths in my life and I have always been drawn to Moog more than any other manufacturer. I spent some time with a Voyager a few years ago and lamented that I wouldn't be able to afford one for awhile. I still can't afford the Voyager I want (about $5000 for the XL) but I now have a Moog synth that gives me the tone I need for a fraction of the price.
Yes, I urge anyone interested in analog synthesis to pick this puppy up.