Moog Grandmother

98

Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer

  • 32-Key Fatar Keyboard
  • Saves up to 3 sequences with up to 256 notes
  • Arpeggiator
  • Integrated hardware spring reverb based on Moog 905 (can also be used for external signals)
  • 2 Analog oscillators with selectable waveform and hard sync
  • Classic 4-pole 10 Hz - 20 kHz ladder filter
  • Patchable 1-pole high pass filter
  • Analog ADSR envelope generator
  • Patchable bipolar attenuator
  • Compatible with Mother-32, DFAM and other modular systems
  • Pitch and modulation wheel
  • 41 Patch points with 21 inputs, 16 outputs and a parallel wired 4-jack Mult
  • 1 Line input 6.3 mm jack unbalanced
  • 1 Combined line / headphone output 6.3 mm jack
  • MIDI In / Out / Thru, USB
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 58 x 36.2 x 13.9 cm
  • Weight: 7.25 kg
  • Includes 12 V power supply (100 - 240 V)
  • Suitable case: Article Nr. 496295 or Article Nr. 512190 (not included)
available since July 2018
Item number 439985
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Number Of Keys 32
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch No
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel Yes
Number of simultaneous Voices 1
Sound Engine Analogue
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Storage Medium None
USB-port Yes
Effects Spring Reverb
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display No
Pedal Connections None
Dimensions 580 x 362 x 139 mm
Weight 7,3 kg
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£759
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What you see is what you get

The Moog Grandmother is a semi-modular synth with a nice retro touch. In this case, semi-modular means that the Grandmother has 41 patch points, but can also be played without plugging in. The system is also compatible with other (semi-)modular Moog products and other modular synthesizers. Like many aspects of the design, the two analogue oscillators and the classic ladder filter are based on the old Moog modular systems. The whole thing is housed in the usual solid and very attractive casing with a high-quality 32-key Fatar keyboard. There are no digital flourishes on the Grandmother, nor any presets: What you see is what you get.

Grandmother with new tricks

In addition to the oscillators and filters already mentioned, the Moog Grandmother has a spring tank, which fits the optical retro touch and provides wonderful spring reverb if required. However, the Grandmother also has a few modern features on board. Besides the five-pin MIDI connections, there is also a USB connection on the rear side. On the front, Moog has provided an arpeggiator and a sequencer, which with 256 steps offers more than enough space for any melody, no matter how extensive. As you would expect from a modularly designed device, it also contains the classic utilities such as a signal splitter (mult) and an attenuator, which helps with amplifying or attenuating the control signal.

Purist without digital frills

One thing should be clear: Like every Moog, the Grandmother's sound is sublime beyond any doubt. If you buy a Moog, you get the Moog sound and if you want Moog sound, you buy a Moog. It's as simple as that. The Grandmother is certainly not a Swiss army knife, but a purist with no digital frills. Whether as an additional device for bassists, to make the walls shake with synth sounds, or as a control centre for modular enthusiasts: Thanks to its well thought-out interface and ease of connection, the Grandmother will make your heart beat faster.

About Moog

The US manufacturer of synthesizers, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the pioneers in this field and has legendary status. Robert Moog had been involved with electronic sound generation since the 1950s and his first experience was with the manufacture of theremins. The breakthrough came in 1968 with the Grammy-winning album "Switched-On Bach" by musician Wendy Carlos (then know as Walter Carlos), recorded in multitrack with a mono synthesizer. The Minimoog, released in 1971, became the most popular synthesizer of the 1970s and is still considered the benchmark for the quality of synthesised sounds. It and the following devices, like the Memorymoog, Polymoog, and Prodigy, shaped the sound of numerous albums, from Stevie Wonder to The Police and from Saga to Kraftwerk.

The sound lab

The Grandmother's sound generation section has two oscillators, a filter, an ADSR, and an LFO on board - that's it. However, the Grandmother's real strengths lie in the experimental area. The 41 patch points invite you to plug into the sound lab at whim. Especially in connection with a modular synthesizer there are no limits for your creativity, since almost every module of the Grandmother can be accessed at any point. It is a great companion for the Moog Mother-32, for example, and all that at a price that really is impressive.

I
An Instant Classic
Iccapod 20.02.2019
I was looking at either this or the Sub 37 (I actually ended up with both, but that's another story)

I loved the idea of having access to the old modular circuits because let's face it a big Moog modular will only be a dream for most of us.

The one thing that struck me about the grandmother is the immediacy and playability of the synth. Everything feels like it's where it should be and the keybed is so very nice to play. Dare I say one of my favourites. The build quality is top notch and comparing it to my old Moog Rogue in a similar form factor it's like night and day. The Rogue is cheap and plastic whereas the Grandmother is heavy, solid and feels like no expense has been spared. Two criticisms on the build, I would have like to see bigger toggle switches. Not a big problem though. I would have also liked an IEC power supply as opposed to a power brick with IEC connection. Not a big problem but I'd prefer a universal option that are easy to come by.

In terms of sound this thing sounds HUGE!!! It's that classic Moog sound in the lows and can soar when it wants too all passed through a butter filter. I'm mainly using it for basses so I'm getting lots of dirty sequences and arpeggios from it. The mixer past 12 is just gritty deliciousness.

In terms of features It's got all the ingredients a mono synth should have and they've even thrown in a spring reverb. I'm not one for mental modulation so happy enough with the LFO. Sequencer is great, easy to program and 256 notes!

I bought this and a Prophet Rev 2 at the same time and have barely touched the prophet. I can just get where I want to be so quickly with the grandmother but I also feel like it has depths that are as yet unexplored.

For me it's just beautiful. My favourite Moog I've owned so far.
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Analog fatness - ultimate bass monster
rebimol 20.05.2020
Let me start with the fact that this thing is a true analog stuff! Even on board effect is analog. And it is truly great!

If compare it to mini moog , this one easily tops it with sound design possibilities. Just learn this synth a little bit.

Grandmother has multiple patch points : need FM ? you got it . FM doesn't sound in tune? - click the SYNC button and you get nice and polite FM that follows pitch.

Modulation wheel - wow there are a lot of destination options unlike what we have in mini. Patch points allows you re-trigger the lfo and use S&H and some other cool tricks.

What Grandmother does the best is the bass. It has so much bass that you need to cut it with the eq! Simply combine PWM square and Saw oscillators and it starts moving your room already.

You can also do beautiful Moog style leads just add a chorus and a good lush reverb on top.

But don't expect it to do everything. This machine is mainly focused on basses and leads.

CONS - Quality (thats why 3 stars)

Thats the main thing I was struggling with this synth! It looks like its built like a tank from the outside, but its really an old fragile grandmother inside. I had to send it twice to the service department because cutoff filter knob was
becoming noisy and this looks like a typical issue with this synth, really didn't expect it from the Moog machine :(

In general, this synth gets my highest recommendations and I strongly suggest to buy with the Thomann. They give 3 years guarantee which already helped my in dealing with the quality issues ;)
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Impressive sound design capabilities
nearof 21.05.2020
The sound design capabilities of this product are astonishing !
One may think that the small number modules would limit the versatility of the sounds produced by this synthesizer, but the reality is quite the opposite:
- The oscillators can produce a large variety of waveforms, each with their own distinct harmonic richness.
- The low pass filter has that "creamy" signature of Moog's filter. Coupled with its resonance, so many distinct and unique sounds can be created using the same oscillators configuration.
- The VCA tweaking can result in powerful plucked sounds, as well as soft one.
- The spring reverb brings much more character than a simple reverb effect.

Also, the ability to use an external sound source as an additional oscillator can turn this monophonic synthesizer into a paraphonic synthesizer.

Would recommend it to anyone interested in sound design and as first semi modular synthesizer.
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Best Value Moog
Jones the Tron 05.05.2020
I waited a full year to write the review so I could give a user's opinion; it's been in the studio and used on stage and I can't fault this little synth, it's a gem.
Touted as a semi-modular it can be used without patch leads as a standard 2 VCO monosynth with LFO modulation and a silky filter based on Moog's 904a ladder filter. From deep bass to searing leads the GM has a character all its own, it doesn't pretend to be a minimoog nor is it a Rogue.
Combined with some unique features, I love the arp and sequencing functions, this is a very capable synth at a bargain price. Real quality keybed (take note Korg) make it a joy to play live too.
Patching capability really brings this life, from very simple like patching the LFO to the mixer to so its a 3rd VCO/Sub Osc to more complex - I utilise two way patching between GM and eurorack to get the best out of it - shows what this lil Moog is made of.
Overall - it's the best value Moog out there, and I might just get another and patch them together.
Good bits - everything, its a real Moog
Bad bits - like most new gear, I wish the power was inside and took an IEC cable
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