New Moog guitar owner--advice?

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onezero
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New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by onezero » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:37 pm

Hi everyone. I have an E1 on the way, and should be getting it this week. Any suggestions/advice, things to look out for, etc.? I'm looking forward to experimenting with it. (I'm a friend of Steve on the forum, who's posted about controlling his EML-101 with his Voyager.)

mhuxtable
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by mhuxtable » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:15 am

Just experiment really....its hard to tell you things you can do when you haven't touched it yet.

i'm not sure if you've played guitar before (seems many E1 owners are keyboard players who buy an E1 as their first guitar)....but out of the box it will probably need to be set up a bit (bridge needs to be intonated, neck action adjusted, etc).

First things first, get to know the guitar's basic controls...get to know each pickup's sound really well with varying amounts of sustain, get to know the filter, etc. It can take you a good month to really KNOW the guitar inside & out & know how to quickly & competently work the controls.

Then play around with the CV in & see what kind of filtering stuff you can have going on....or run it through a Voyager or LP or whatever.

Steve
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by Steve » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:43 am

Maurice -- Good to see you here...
BTW onezero from the above post WON the Moog gtr by taking a survey. How great is that!!!! Dreams Do come true.
He's a wonderful musician and experimental guitarist. The guitar couldn't have picked a better player : )
Welcome to the Moog Forum.
May peace be your guide

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Voltor07
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by Voltor07 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:53 pm

It seems I tell people this a lot...It only looks like a guitar. It's not actually a guitar, or a synth. It just is. It makes guitar tones, and has six strings, but don't let it fool you. If you think of it as a guitar, you will be extremely limited. Think of it as a whole different instrument all together. :wink:
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cliffman
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by cliffman » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:39 pm

Try it with a lot of different preamps. It is not a guitar, and that applies to the signal output also. Some preamps work well, some not.
It can be a bit noisy, try a different preamp/amp. Works well going DI into a desk.

onezero
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by onezero » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:29 am

Thanks, everyone--and thanks for the generous introduction, Steve!

Yep, I've been a guitar player for a long time, often approaching it more texturally and as a sound source than as a lead or chordal instrument. I'll put things through various effects, plugins and software, though I also enjoy plugging the right guitar into the right tube amp. I've tended to be a bottom-feeder with gear, and fixed things up with my own setups and rewiring. My main guitar to this point has been a Kalamazoo KG-2 that has a great thick neck shape and a tight 7.25" radius. (Sadly, I've never found the perfect bridge for it--all the Tune-O-Matic wraparound bridge/tailpieces I've found are all radiused at 12".) Great feeling guitar, solid, and heavy: over 11 lbs.

I got the Moog yesterday, played a bit when I first got it (it's nice having a permissive work environment, but work still has to happen, so I had to put it down) and then a lot last night. First impressions:
  • For all the stuff in it, this is a pretty light guitar. Very comfortable.
    The neck's a bit wider and flatter than what I'm used to, but approachable.
    It's a bit of an adjustment to play a non-wound third.
    It could use a setup tweak or two. I've tightened the truss rod by a sixth of a turn. (Very nice to have the Allen wrenches included.) Also a nice touch: the truss rod cover being hinged.
    Very nicely put together instrument, good feeling frets.
    The non-effected sound of the pickups can best be described as neutral. I think this confused some guitar magazine reviewers who expressed disappointment with it as a sraight guitar--they wanted something with more coloration, or "character." I think Moog made the right choice here, though: it's a new instrument, so there's no need to copy Fender or Gibson or DiMarzio (or whatever) voicing. Maybe the pickups are a touch dark, but dialing in the piezos adds some top end.
    With the piezos up I was hearing some high-end noise, though the preamp I was using can be fizzy on some applications, so it could be the pre.
    Even without the effects, there's a wide range of tonality available, with the phase relationships between the pickups and the piezos.
So what about the Vo Power? Great fun. In full sustain mode, I could easily just hold a chord for a while and sweep through the harmonic blend, checking out the different harmonics. I do a lot of drone stuff (usually with Pd, but I've used ebow too) so this opens up possibilities I've wanted with guitars for a long time. Pretty much everything that annoyed me about ebow (why I've stopped using it) is solved with this system. Wonderful. Add some tremolo, and it's Spacemen 3. With fuzz, well...why aren't Sunn O))) using these yet?

Controlled sustain mode is surprisingly flexible: before I got it, I'd thought it'd be nice to have an inverted controlled sustain--the strings not being played would be sustained, while the ones being played would be muted, for a sitar/sarod kind of thing. Turns out, one can approximate this by playing the plucked notes quietly. Through the Big Muff, it suggests that glorious late 70s Robert Fripp infinite-sustain sound.

Mute mode: I think I was expecting a more rapid muting. Still, this is very versatile and compelling. Through Ableton Live's Resonator plugin and a touch of reverb, I have access to a pretty good rubab/tar/banjo sound. And then there's the range of tones of the filter.

I respect what you're saying, Voltor07, but i find myself thinking of this instrument a bit differently: to me it's a guitar, but an extended guitar, with a varied tonal and (uniquely) a varied temporal palette. Guitar++, if you're so inclined. Mhuxtable, I agree that there's so much here, it'd be a month or more to get to know the instrument's range of controls. At first one goes for the extremes, and there are extremes in many directions...and then there are all the intermediate states.

It's fun as hell to play, and there's some exciting exploring ahead.

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Portamental
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by Portamental » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:48 pm

And thank you in turn for this detailed report about the Moog guitar. I did not miss a word of it.

onezero
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Re: New Moog guitar owner--advice?

Post by onezero » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:00 am

Thanks!

While I mentioned the tonal variations with in-phase/out-of-phase + piezos and tone control, I don't think I emphasized them enough. In some positions and control combinations, the phase cancellation is extreme, and it'll seem like there's barely anything coming out of the guitar. This might seem like a negative, but to me it isn't--there's enough control here to affect the sound radically, whether for effect (say, instead of a volume swell into a note, one makes it bloom with a piezo or a tone sweep) or for sitting in a mix better. More proof of what mhuxtable says--most people will need a month or so of learning the instrument's control possibilities. (I need to make notes on all of these control positions for my own learning.)

I've not used wah or tone sweeps in the past, but for some applications, that's what the piece needs. The articulated filter gets close to an auto-wah, but feels (to me) more versatile. And the filter mode with the pedal controlling it has a great vocal quality--I'm sure Moog synth players are quite familiar with it, and I've played with it in Filtatron...but it's a whole new thing to me to put a guitar through it, and have it foot controllable.

Thinking of the foot control, I have to say that Moog made the right choices about what the foot controller should control and when, since it changes depending on the mode and filter settings. The combination of "this is controlled by the switches; this is controlled by the foot" has been thought out perfectly, I think, and results in a very performance-friendly guitar. If I sound enthusiastic, well, I am.

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