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Synthesists everywhere have been anxiously pining away for something like the Moog One for decades. This formidable all-analog polysynth was designed to fulfill every synthesist’s dreams while simultaneously charting bold new paths to unexplored sonic horizons.
In a nutshell, Moog One represents the employee-owned company’s first polyphonic analog synthesizer in over thirty years, making it the culmination of several decades of sonic excellence.
This version of Moog One enjoys 16-voice polyphony with some ear-popping extras. For one, each voice features 3 analog VCOs, dual source noise generators, 2 analog filters, 4 LFOs, 3 envelopes, and an entirely analog mixer with external audio input. If that’s not enough, the each of the synthesizer’s three timbres can be split / layered along a finely-crafted 61-note keyboard. Each timbre enjoys its own arpeggiator, sequencer, and an effects library featuring reverbs designed by Eventide.
Years in the making, this beauty is housed inside a hand-finished ash cabinet with a resilient aluminum enclosure. In regards to controls, Moog One features 73 knobs and 144 buttons, ensuring no shortage of options.
One of the most immediately noticeable features of this behemoth is its center-panel LCD, which facilitates an expedient and wholly transparent workflow where all crucial parameters are immediately visible. Gone are the days where players had to estimate their desired configurations, now it’s all crystal clear!
Under the hood, Moog One’s vast internal architecture provides nearly limitless possibilities for creative sound design. It’s potential is so vast that many of us had to take some time to wrap our heads around its immense feature set.
Reality really starts to bend under the realization that each of Moog One’s voices feature three brand new triangle core analog VCOs. Each oscillator’s output consists of a user-defined mix of the selectable triangle or sawtooth wave, as well as a variable-width pulse waveform. The rise/fall time of the triangle wave and reset of the sawtooth can be manipulated and modulated to create plethoras of analog-soaked goodness. Blending each of the waves together opens the door to confoundingly complex waveforms that were previously unattainable in the analog domain.
Synthesis is much more fun with noise, which is why Moog One houses a dual-source noise generator capable of emitting several different colors of noise. Users can subsequently select and mix their noise before injecting some delectable dynamics with One’s nifty noise envelope generator. Construct percussive assaults, bodacious breaths, or emphatic impacts with ease.
Every sound source comes to a head in Moog One’s comprehensive analog mixer section, which features volume controls and filter routing for every oscillator, ring modulator, noise generator—and even the external audio input! Shape different sound sources with different filters, or process them all at once. See why this is the One yet?
Ladder and State Variable filters are essential components of the Moog sound, which is why One includes each. The multimode filter is as precise as one would expect, while the ladder enjoys selectable lowpass / highpass behavior. Users can process them in series, parallel, or mobilize them independently for a plethora of sound design options.
Folks will pleased to learn that One’s envelope section is as comprehensive and dynamic as ever. Each voice contians of three assignable DAHADSR envelopes. Additionally, this section features looping, time scaling, synchronization capabilities, and envelope curves that can be assigned at each stage.
Bump the bass even further with One’s integrated Low Frequency Oscillators. Each voice is decorated with four of these wide-range beauties, ensuring no shortage of possible modulation points. Synchronize via MIDI, execute clock division, initialize delay times, repeats per-instance, fade times, and more.
Every synthesizer should have plenty of modulation potential, which is why One makes assigning modulation points a synch. Any of the each voice’s four LFOs and 3 envelopes can be assigned at the push of a button. An adjacent knob determines the modulation path and amount. There’s also an internal modulation matrix that provides immediate visual indication of One’s most essential parameters.
For all their fury, many polysynths are sorely lacking in effects. One is not one of them. On the contrary, One features an expansive and expanding library of programmable effects and master bus effects. This epic selection includes delay, chorus, bit reduction, and even vocoding. On top of all that, there is a deep reverb selection designed by Eventide (including their Blackhole, Plate, Hall, Room, and Shimmer). User can deploy any of these effects to two different areas: as synth effects or as master bus effects.
One’s Synth Effects apply to each individual timbral layer. Conversely, Master Bus Effects are routed via sends to each of the three synthesizers. Despite the fundamentally digital nature of the effects section, One boasts a completely analog signal path!
Replete with unbridled potential, One is made up of three separate analog polysynths. This tri-timbral design means each voice can be assigned, layered, split, or stacked with an ear-gouging 48 oscillators in Unison Mode!
Each of One’s synthesizer’s features an integrated step sequencer, arpeggiator, and effects processor. A dedicated Panel Focus module ensures simplified multitimbral synthesis operation. One’s front panel knobs and buttons will reconfigure based on what voice is selected, from there users have exclusive access to that particular layer of timbrality. Users can also select multiple layers at a single time for simultaneous adjustment.
Yes, one’s comprehensive control set is as advanced as its sonic potential. Moog have spared no expense in providing all the fundamentals, with some stunning additions.
One’s stunning 61-note Fatar keyboard features velocity and aftertouch for an inherently dynamic workflow, with the adjacent pitch and modulation wheels imparting an additional layer of control. However, the most intuitive control potential is located in One’s fully-assignable pressure-sensitive X/Y pad—and excellent means of continuously-variable control.
Up to now, this description has focussed on One’s most immediate features. However, the dedicated More button opens several latent parameters, which can be subsequently edited via LCD screen for even more advanced sculpting.
Speaking of sculpting, One features an inherently versatile preset environment that allows users to store specific parameter settings for each timbral layer, including each layers’ sequencer, arpeggiator, and modulation settings. This provides a quick and efficient means of recalling meticulously-programmed endeavors that would typically take hours or weeks to recreate.
Honing in on One’s advanced preset management system is a sure way to construct and deploy some the most singular sonics in the biz. This behemoth has the ability to store and recall thousands of presets. On top of that, it provides an easy means of categorizing and editing them—and even includes a USB connection for interfacing with an external drive!
Instantly transfer and load presets via One’s Performance Set module, which lets users load up to 64 presets for instant selection. Live performances and recording sessions will never be the same!
That’s not all, folks! Moog One’s User Space stores all global behavior, MIDI information, both port and pedal settings, knob settings, and even LCD brightness. Needless to mention, this lends some much needed convenience to both studios and gigging musicians who need a quick means of customizing the instrument to their specific surroundings.
Years in the making, One’s User Space architecture is not limited to a single person. Multiple spaces can be created, stored, and deployed from the instrument’s internal memory or external USB drive, providing an expedient means of transferring entire workspaces from one instrument to another.
One of the most handy features of this already stunning synthesizer is its Snapshot button. Press it to instantly capture a time-stamped picture of a selected preset’s current settings. As anyone who has delved deep into the annals of synthesis knows all too well, this is a novel way to avoid the burden of constantly saving data manually during the writing/experimentation phase.
Users will be pleased to know that One’s rear panel contains all the necessary connections for interfacing with the outside world. There are two assignable pairs of stereo outputs, 4 inserts, and 2 external inputs that support both XLR and 1/4”. There are also a 5-pin DIN and USB connections for easy MIDI interfacing.
Rocking out with a modular synthesizer is no problem with One’s nine configurable CV ins and out. This means users can interface all of their favorite modular gear with one of the most powerful synthesizers in the world.
Specs aside, Moog’s One was designed to be intuitive and fun to use. Though its expansive features may initially seem daunting, users will find that the workflow is surprisingly straightforward.
Engineers, musicians, and sound designers alike will surely agree that One is a major game changer.
Lush, clean, and crisp, One is by far the most advanced synthesizer Moog has ever produced. Stay tuned for some crazy videos exploring its dizzying features.
Forget all that was previously known about synthesis—One has effectively reset the clock.