MY FIRST MOOG - Advice and Knowledge Welcome

In a Moog Mood? Here's a forum for discussion of general Moog topics.

Do you find the MiniMoog Voyager an easy synth to learn how to harness?

Yes- its very user friendly
4
33%
Yes- watching a MOOG tutorial and a little research made everything clear
7
58%
Somewhat - It's learn-able, but took about a year and a half to finally understand what was going on
0
No votes
No- I've had my Minimoog Voyager for 3 years and all it does is collect dust - i dont get it
1
8%
 
Total votes: 12

NewColonyAnt
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MY FIRST MOOG - Advice and Knowledge Welcome

Post by NewColonyAnt » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:48 pm

Hey guys!

My friends and I are SUPER PUMPED about our recent purchase.

Minimoog Voyager Electric Blue Edition

We have been in the electronica music scene for the last 12 years or so and love the possibilities that the Voyager brings to the table.

We use various music production computer programs, from Ableton to Fruity Loops and Reason. We are pretty much expanding from only using digital sound and effects, and this is important to note when I ask for advice.

I guess I would like to ask you guys, who seem very knowledgeable, how YOU would integrate the classic and profound presence of a Voyager into a Midi-dominated studio setup. Broad question, I know.

However, I figured I would come straight to the source for advice, wanting to take FULL advantage of the power that lays inside the wood paneling and behind the luminescent blue light.

If you have the time, please feel free to be as simple and as detailed as you can. I still need to purchase a new mixing board AND new monitors for the studio, so feel free to opine about the number of channels and brand of mixer you recommend to the type of monitors you like.

Everything is much appreciated in advance. We are EXTREMELY excited to join the list of Moog owners.

-NewColonyAnt

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Klopfgeist
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Post by Klopfgeist » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:23 pm

If you are coming from a beginners standpoint, a tutorial would really help to understand the basics of synthesis. Check out the book Power Tools For Synthesizer Programming, highly recommended by various members of this forum. If you know basic subtractive synthesis, then it should be very easy to get use to, however some of the deeper menu options such as pot mapping and the touch screen controls can get a little confusing at first. All in all, the Voyager is a very basic synthesizer, but it is very versatile and the more time you spend with it the more uses you have for it.
So this thing only plays one note?

http://soundcloud.com/unarius
http://www.youtube.com/user/plague1715

NewColonyAnt
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Post by NewColonyAnt » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:40 pm

Thanks for the synth programming tip. That resource will certainly help with us combining analog synths with digital sound. I would really like to know what people recommend for setup, giving that we have another MIDI keyboard, a midi controller, and the computer. Any advice or tips at all are welcome. Thanks!

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Klopfgeist
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Post by Klopfgeist » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:49 pm

Well what computer, software, interface, outboard, controllers, other instruments are you using?
So this thing only plays one note?

http://soundcloud.com/unarius
http://www.youtube.com/user/plague1715

Electrong
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Post by Electrong » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:57 pm

Stop reading this forum and start playing your voyager, and learn the hell out of it then get back with us. Or, give up and sell it, and go back to the computer. The problem with the computer is they make it too easy to use it as a crutch. Welcome to the world of real synthesis. The Voyager will be a great way to learn. Turn it on and start the tutorial. I'd suggest getting an owner's manual and then play and play and play.

NewColonyAnt
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Post by NewColonyAnt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:12 am

Klopfgeist wrote:Well what computer, software, interface, outboard, controllers, other instruments are you using?

The computer is a PC- custom built and more than enough. Software we are using is ableton. Firewire interfaced as of now, purchasing a new board. Would really like suggestions on that choice.

Not going to be sellin it, but will def be learning it. We are really excited. haha.

EricK
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Post by EricK » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:38 am

I cut my teeth on a MicroMoog, so I was experienced when I found myself owning a Voyager. The knob per function interface really makes performance changes quite intuitive.

I would reccomend the following things

Check out the MicroMoog manual by Tom Rhea, it has some wonderful information in it. Read your Voyager's manual several times over.
If you can, download the arturia Moog Modular plugin, messing around with it will help you as well and will reinforce things that you can apply to any other type of analogue subtractive synth.
I would also reccomend getting the Voyager Tutorial DVD from the homepage, it will explain some things that may not be all that clear upon the initial noodling around of your Voyager. It will explain what certian functions are that aren't easily apparent from reading the front panel.

I would also keep a notebook to document things, rather than strictly relying on the patch memory because theres only so much that you can store as the title of the preset.

Just experiment and have fun. Don't be afraid to turn a knob or dig into the software to see what happens.

Eric
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theglyph
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Post by theglyph » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:50 am

The Envelopes were the only things that were tricky to get my head around at times. There are a lot of tricks hidden in those puppies!

CTRLSHFT
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Post by CTRLSHFT » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:02 am

read the manual! they lay out some of the basics for you right in there, lots of good advice. you'll want to revisit it later too after you get comfortable with the thing, suddenly a lot of new capabilities will come to light.

for now though, mess around with it. Hands-on learning is always the best starting point, there's nothing abstract about twisting some knobs and getting immediate sonic feedback on what does what.
www.ctrlshft.com

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Jrayk Roze
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Post by Jrayk Roze » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:39 am

This might not make a big difference right now, but

PROTIP: When the external/on switch is set to on, ensure that your volume envelope decay is set to zero. If you have a long decay, the volume might decay over a long period of time.

Also, try to use the noise function sometimes, I feel ashamed for neglecting mine...
Voyager Old School #0005, Etherwave #18321, Stereo Memory Man w/ Hazarai, CP-251, and a Nord Lead 2X

NewColonyAnt
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Post by NewColonyAnt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:04 pm

These are all great tips, we appreciate it.

There is no doubt going to be hours and hours and hours spent getting familiar with everything and exploring the range of options available. We are well versed in the digital function of a lot of the effects, filters, osc's, etc., and it should be fairly inherent to be able to take that knowledge and apply it to the actual hardware of the analog synth.

I guess its important to us to hear, possibly, from somebody who uses their Voyager mini in conjunction with software programs like ableton and other music production software to hear how they integrate their analog mono-synth into their previously midi/digital studio.

Anybody who uses their mininoog voyager for dance/electronica production would be especially nice to hear from as well. Thanks again in advance!

Electrong
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Post by Electrong » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:16 pm

I know some people who are all into the computer programs, Ableton, Reason, etc.. and they are always talking about how they can get the real-time instruments (Drums, guitar, and analog synths) to work WITH Ableton, or whatever. This is a case where nothing is going to replace good old-fashioned playing the instrument and, really, FALLING IN LOVE with the instrument. Then, after that happens, (you need to live and breathe with your voyager and turn your damn computer off) when you jump back into the program crutches, you'll be able to make them fly with the synth. But I personally think you should shut the computer off for, say, 6 months, and work on playing this truly live instrument LIVE and then when you open up Ableton "live" you'll have something to work with. It helps to have an intellectual understanding of subtractive synthesis, but honestly, you should just play it. And you're saying "we" have an understanding--What's that mean? Are two of you playing your voyager at the same time? Whatever. You've got these wedges placed between you and your instrument. Move them out of the way and develop a personal relationship with your Voyager. Then you can introduce your synth to the other toys on your computer. It's about the music. Ableton is great, but only as much as it can help you be a musician. I hear lots of computer music and until you really put the human element into it, it's going to sound sterile and just like 99% of the crap out there, really. That's what your Voyager is for. Getting it to work with the computer and MIDI, while functionally important, is artistically incidental.

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Klopfgeist
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Post by Klopfgeist » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:40 pm

I use my Voyager with Logic and Ableton Live. I have a MOTU MIDI Express 128 that sends recieves MIDI to all of my synths and time based effects. Personally, I preffer to record everything live, withous sequencing, unless I'm doing a bassline that runs through the whole song, and then I'll just record and edit MIDI notes while tweaking knobs in real time. Lately, Ive been making kits in Battery of only Voyager sounds. If you want to use your Voyager for drums, definetly check out Battery, because when it comes to sampling drums it is much more logical to use than something like EXS24 or Kontakt. Ableton's drum racks are good too, but not nearly as flexible as Battery. I personally am not making dance music, so I am sure you have a different workflow than me, so feel free to experiment. Keep in mind the Voyager is not going to give you big supersaws or hoovers, and it doesn't really do aggresive dubstep bass on it's own. Also remember that it will produce insane amounts of low end, so always slap on a spectrum analyzer and eq8 in Live so you know what going on in your bottom end.
So this thing only plays one note?

http://soundcloud.com/unarius
http://www.youtube.com/user/plague1715

NewColonyAnt
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Post by NewColonyAnt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:57 pm

Klopfgeist wrote:I use my Voyager with Logic and Ableton Live. I have a MOTU MIDI Express 128 that sends recieves MIDI to all of my synths and time based effects. Personally, I preffer to record everything live, withous sequencing, unless I'm doing a bassline that runs through the whole song, and then I'll just record and edit MIDI notes while tweaking knobs in real time. Lately, Ive been making kits in Battery of only Voyager sounds. If you want to use your Voyager for drums, definetly check out Battery, because when it comes to sampling drums it is much more logical to use than something like EXS24 or Kontakt. Ableton's drum racks are good too, but not nearly as flexible as Battery. I personally am not making dance music, so I am sure you have a different workflow than me, so feel free to experiment. Keep in mind the Voyager is not going to give you big supersaws or hoovers, and it doesn't really do aggresive dubstep bass on it's own. Also remember that it will produce insane amounts of low end, so always slap on a spectrum analyzer and eq8 in Live so you know what going on in your bottom end.
Great Stuff man, much appreciated. Luckily, we haven't succumbed to the "dubstep" style yet, and we have other good bass generators we like too, but its good to hear that the voyager will pretty much give us the possibility to create everything through it, live, as opposed to sequencing, which I have never been a fan of. Lots of things to explore, for sure.

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till
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Post by till » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:56 pm

It is way easier for beginners to learn on a synth without patch memory. So that each and every knob and switch is actually showing the value that is used right now. Kind of wysiwyg for synths.

I learned the basics on an EMS AKS on my high school. Later on my Moog Prodigy.
The Voyager's somewhat invisible modulations sources and destinies and the hidden special menu functions give you way more possibilities then you might see on the front panel. But these are not recommended for absolute beginners in synths.
keep on turning these Moog knobs

Sequence:
Prodigy * minimoog '79 * Voyager * MF102 * MF103 * MF104z * MP201 * Taurus 3 * Minitaur * Sub Phatty * MF105 * Minimoog 2017+ MUSE * One 16

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