With their annual Moogfest celebrations kicking off on May 17, Moog Music have unveiled a brand new synthesizer: the Grandmother. Leaked earlier this week, but now officially confirmed by the North Carolina-based synth-makers, the Grandmother is a semi-modular analogue synth with a built-in arpeggiator, sequencer, and spring reverb tank.
The new synth’s semi-modular design means that it can be played immediately by regular people without any patching, however, its 41 patch points (including 21 inputs, 16 outputs and a parallel-wired 4-jack mult) allow experimentation both with internal signal routing as well as external devices. As you’d expect, it’s designed to play nicely with Moog's Mother-32 and DFAM as well as Eurorack modular systems and more. It also has an external audio input so you can use its classic 4-pole (24dB/oct) ladder filter, reverb and amp circuits.
It sports two analogue oscillators with selectable waveshape and hard sync, a patchable single-pole (6dB/oct) high-pass filter, an analogue ADSR envelope generator, an analogue LFO with audio-rate capabilities, a 32-note Fatar keyboard with velocity and MIDI I/O via 5-pin DIN and USB.
Hear the Grandmother in action at the hands of artist-composer Adrian Younge (Black Dynamite, Netflix’s Luke Cage) at his Linear Labs studio here:
Although there are no presets memories, you can save up to three sequences in the Grandmother sequencer, each of which can be up to 256 steps in length. The sequencer is joined by an arpeggiator, too, for creating instant movement.
While the Grandmother bears more than a striking resemblance to the Moog synths of the early '80s, specifically the Rogue and the Realistic Concertmate MG-1 (neither designed by Bob Moog himself), Moog Music state that "Grandmother’s circuits, spirit, and spring reverb are inspired by the classic Moog Modular Synthesizers designed by Bob Moog during the '60s and '70s.”
Visitors to Moogfest can get their hands on the new synth at the Moog Pop-Up Factory and watch new units being crafted on-site by Moog Production Engineers. The Moog Pop-Up Factory is located at 318 Blackwell St, Durham, NC and is free and open to the public from 10am-6pm, May 17 - 20.
The Grandmother is the second synth to be unveiled at Moogfest 2018. The first was the Subharmonicon, an unreleased instrument based on the Trautonium, the Rhythmicon and the Schillinger System. These are exclusively available to Moogfest Engineer VIP pass holders.
The first 500 Moog Grandmother synthesizers have already shipped and are available for order exclusively through Guitar Center. The Moogfest Edition Grandmother includes a special limited edition Moogfest 2018 badge and includes a redeemable vintage denim Moog jacket. And who doesn’t want one of those? The US street price (before sales tax) for the Grandmother is $899 and we eagerly await UK pricing...