Page 2 of 4

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:50 am
by EricK
There's no reason why Moog would bankrupt themselves today just by making a polysynth. I'll bet you that Moog's previous failure had just as much to do with Norlin's mismanagement than it did with Dave Luce's convoluted designs in the face of the dx7.

Just think, surely SOMEONE surely purchased the glam voyager. People paid 5k for an XL when the same features could be had for much cheaper, minus a ribbon controller, a few extra keys and a second LFO. People did pay 6k for their guitar. There are people who regularly drop exorbitant amounts of money on Buchla modules/systems, and many other devices in niche markets.

For some reason Moog just hasn't done it yet. Some members on this forum are resigned that they never will. Perhaps one obstacle is that everyone who advocates in favor of it has a different idea in mind about how to implement it and Moog can't please everyone.

What if they did it and used digital oscillators? How many of you would curse their name?

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:03 am
by vasago
I think the main reason they designed the current units the way they are is to give people the option to go for polyphony, if they wanted it, without wasting the time to design an expensive item that only a few would buy. I think what theyve done is already good enough.

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:21 am
by Vince Ascoli
+1, that this thread and others like it should be relegated to a new sub forum...

In the past year, I've whittled my analog polysynths down to an Xpander, an OB-8 and and a CS-60. Sold my Memorymoog and Jupiter-8, felt I had done everything with them that I was likely to, they've both gone on to happy homes and I made some cool new friends in the process:) In terms of format for a possible new Moog polysynth...I and others have pitched the idea of a module, either rack mountable or larger desktop format, a la Xpander, with the polyphony of say four Voyagers and very minimal controls, addressable by either computer editor or a Voyager keyboard or rack. Use it as 4 monos, 2x2, a 4-voice or kick/snare/hat/etc., again a la Xpander. I don't have a sense of the engineering challenges with regard to implementing something like this, but it doesn't seem in the realm of fantasy? I'm not talking PolyEvolver Rack, I get that there's more circuitry & guts & heat to contend with on the Voyager's part. It seems as if the parts are already there and the possibility already exists? I'd love a 5-octave Moog dedicated controller - lit wheels, ribbon, aftertouch (not expecting poly, just repurpose the XL's keyboard?). If the 4 voice unit I described came in at $3K, (x2 for an 8-voice system) and the controller at @1500., you'd have a pretty nice rig. for my part, I don't think this hypothetical 21st century Moog poly has to be an all in one instrument like the Schmidt, or a modern Memorymoog.

And if these things aren't for everyone...then what about a Moog custom shop?:) If you've got it to spend and Moog is willing to build it...

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:12 pm
by unfiltered37
The only polysynth Moog could benefit from would be something unique, unlike anything else on the market, and not just a multiple voice phatty or voyager. And as much as I am indifferent about a new Moog poly, I would be super excited if they built a modern version of the PolyMoog, the best and most unique sounding polysynth ever made IMO.

How difficult do you think it would it be to redesign?

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:59 pm
by CZ Rider
If we have learned anything from the current Moog Music, it is they tend to use boilerplate peices to stay competitive. Like using the same sides on the Moogerfoogers or the Phatty/Sub line tooling. Why redesign something or make new parts if you do not really need to? Moog could conceivably make a four-voice Sub49 or six-voice Sub61 without spending too much in R&D. Those analog SMT Sub37 boards look pretty small and probably do not cost anything near a Voyager analog board. So adding four or six boards inside one enclosure would be not be that difficult. The digital board would be the main difference. Would you redesign a 4 or 6 voice digital board or simply add 4 or 6 boards?. This would be where all the R&D would be. From what I have gathered, the digital Sub boards contain the digital generated envelopes and probably some other digital CV's.(LFO's, ARP, Sequencer?) These would need to be designed to handle 4 or 6 voices. It is not as simple as just writing software and a bigger CPU as all these digital outputs have many associated SMT components. Then again, I have not seen the insides of one of these Sub37's and it could have a totally seperate CPU from the digital board. If that is the case Moog would only need to redesign a CPU board to handle 4/6 analog boards and 4/6 digital boards.
Moog has some of the parts now to pull it off. Big questions remain like, would it sell, would it sound good, would there be a better way to spend R&D money with a better return?
I do not see Moog or any company going back to single or dual oscillators with divide down to give full polyphony. And I don't see Moog using Digital generated oscillators to acheive this either. Moog's last poly that never made the light of day was the SL-8. Sounded interesting, with a "Variable Harmonic Multiplier". But as we know, the DX-7 and other technology of that time left many of these designs in the dust.
A little info on that SL-8 from the Moog Archives site:
Preliminary Specifications of the Moog SL-8

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:30 pm
by EricK
Why do you think Moog wouldn't use digital oscillators?

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:16 pm
by CZ Rider
EricK wrote:Why do you think Moog wouldn't use digital oscillators?

Well, I don't think they would advertise it. The Moog name seems associated with anaolg signal path, even if everything else is digital controlled. The new Sub37 says right on the front panel "Analog Synthesizer". No where do they advertise "Digital Controlled Analog Synthesizer" as if the word "Digital" has some negative meaning. And yet a DCA (Digital Controlled Analog) is just what they sell with most of their product line of Voyager, Taurus, Phatty, Sub.
DSI is the competition, and has the edge with digital poly oscillators. (Prophet VS?) I just don't see Moog going after that market share. Would have been easy to implement a digital polyphonic oscillator bank on the Sub37 similar to the Realistic/Moog MG-1 to give a paraphonic poly section. Many thought that was just what they did until more info and demos were released.
Just don't see Moog releasing a digital oscillator hardware synth, but I couldn't see them releasing a Moog guitar or lap steel either? If they can make a buck though, why not? But my guess is with all the R&D tied up in those new oscillators in the Minatur and Sub37, they would expand in that direction and build upon that. Then again they do have R&D in software apps?

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:22 pm
by unfiltered37
They would never use even DCO's. What possible purpose would digital oscillators have? To reduce cost? But then why even buy a Moog or any hardware? Just to have a cool looking but ultimate sterile sounding synth? A large appeal of Moog gear is that they never get outdated. The Voyager is over a decade old and probably will be in style forever. Digital hardware dramatically depreciates in a short time.

Everything that has been suggested as far as a poly (besides the polymoog) or a modular or a digital oscillator synth could have easily been made years ago. They ported the MF's to 500 series pretty quickly, so it would be incredibly easy to make them into modules, as would it be to make a full on poly voyager or phatty, if they thought it would be worth it.

I think people are getting over the buzz of the Sub 37 already before it's even released and just want something new to covet.

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:05 pm
by EMwhite
No, they MIGHT use digital OSCs. Just take the animatronix fart machine iPad app (without the iPad) and throw some analog VCAs and Filters in front of it. But Dave Smith beat them to it; his thing is overpriced and selling in dribs and drabs.

If Moog has learned anything in the past few years it is that they can do a lot more in software than hardware for the $$, and also that their products are priced a bit too high for many... otherwise read, to 'all but a small group', and with Minitaur and now Sub37, they have broken through that glass floor. The Sub Phatty was overpriced in my estimation and I say this only as compared to the Little Phatty and the profit margin that they likely had in each Phatty revision. (they took a lot more profit from the Sub Phatty but that's good for them and good for future product development) It could have been $799 instead of $999 but heck, that's old news now.

Sub37 on the other hand is priced right. Fully analog Poly's are too complex, to much to keep in tune and calibrated before somebody notices. You can easily play a Voyager that is out of spec, quite happily but as soon as you gang x # of voices it sounds like bag of @sholes.

Of course I'm being vile and sarcastic here not to mention opinionated (not that!)

Don't look now, but Waldorf is releasing the Streichfett; also known as 'Spreadable Fat' (that's what Google Translate says); there are enough German native speakers here to tell us that it's "smooth like butta" maybe, or Crisco. But my point is that it's divide down string machine in their tiny box format.

Just how much room is there in the $2,000-$2,399 Poly market?

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:42 pm
by vasago
EMwhite wrote: it sounds like bag of @sholes.


Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:32 am
by EricK
The new Theremin is built around their animoog engine.
Good point, but is there really anything wrong with digital oscs except the potential for purists to get offended? If no one has a problem with digital noise or envelopes, then it's just a tip toe in that direction. Its kind of like the cars that can drive themselves but the market isn't ready for that so they have to implement it in stages. If theres nice filtering and excellent modulation capabilities and it sounds good, people aren't going to care. They don't care Moog is making guitar pedals.

They HAVE to eventually release one. Many professionals will get one. If't not a matter of if, but when. The fact remains though that if Moog keeps building oddballs like the guitars, the lap steels, and guitar pedals while their main synth customers keep requesting certain things they never get, they will spend their money elsewhere. The people who want polys will get them if they have to go the vintage market or go over to DSI.

In the "What should Moog release next" thread several years ago, people chimed in on what they wanted to see. One of them was a CP251 style sequencer. Guess what? Doepfer built it. Then, if you listen to what he says on the I Dream of Wires DVD, he admitted that he got a lot of his product ideas from forums. I speculated when Dark Time was released that he got the idea from here, and when he said that, I was convinced.

Frankly, I'd like to see Moog bitchslap the other manufacturers at NAMM with a very nice polysynth that builds on the reputation of the old Moogs. Surely if they would cater to the tiny number of people who want bass pedal synths, the poly market has to be much more profitable than that.

The market is changing, and analog is very popular right now!

But as it stands, if I had money to blow on a poly, Oberheim is the man.

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:03 am
by unfiltered37
So you think Moog is just inching towards full digital? They are just building analogs because they are in style? I would rather people buy a DSI than Moog make something as sterile sounding as the prophet 12. If Moog can make money selling guitar pedals and use it to create wonderful and unique products like the Sub 37, so be it.

It doesn't matter if moog built a poly, people would still be begging for something bigger and better.A couple of months after they release the MemoryMoog Voyager, someone will post "it's time for Moog to balls up and build a modular".

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:59 am
by Trigger
Vince Ascoli wrote:what about a Moog custom shop?:) If you've got it to spend and Moog is willing to build it...

Moog *did* do that. Ever heard of Moog CE? Some great products came out of that division.
Guy named Bucki worked there...

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:16 am
by vasago
Wasnt the t3 something that they made after people asked for it?

Re: Time for Moog to balls up.

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:02 am
by fyvewytches
If they really don't want to make a polyphonic synth, but are looking for ideas, here's my list of things I'd love to have from Moog, even though the market may be small, there would be no or very little R&D

- the Voyager dual Filter in MU
- the Moogerfooger analog delay in MU (but please do not write "moogerfooger" on it !)
- the Moogerfooger phaser in MU
- the Moogerfooger MURF in MU
- the CP-251, in real MU CP format.

Just put existing products into new boxes :D