MTMReviews Moog Slim Phatty
Moog’s new synth is one of the company’s most affordable to date. Mike Willox finds out if quality has been compromised...
how you want the synth to handle MIDI – although, sadly, it doesn’t accept aftertouch, which is a big omission. If you’re using the synth as part of a DAW setup (and have a spare port) then you’re probably best off using the USB connection (the Moog declared itself immediately in the Input Routing options of our MIDI track in Cubase 5), enabling your controller to be routed straight to the Slim Phatty.
Slim Phatty Manufacturer Moog Price £699 Contact Source Distribution 020 8962 5080 Web www.moogmusic.com
Ask anyone who has even the most tenuous grasp of music technology to name a brand of synthesizer and they’ll probably say ‘Moog’. The continuity of Moog’s success is down to several factors, but the key has always been in the quality of the oscillators and Moog’s inimitable filter. The latest incarnation of the company’s Little Phatty range is a Moog at its most basic, but the classic Moog oscillators and filter are at the heart of this excellent-sounding synth, which brings the essentials of subtractive synthesis at a more affordable price.
Phat boy Slim The Slim Phatty is a superbly built, 3U-high desktop module that has the option to be either rackmounted (optional ears are available for around £25) or be surrounded in a very lovely looking bespoke wood surround that’s available from Moog for a smidgeon over £100. The solid sheet-metal casing is cut in a way that angles the fascia up
KeyFeatures ● 2 variable oscillators ● Versatile filter ● CV inputs ● DIN/USB MIDI ● Tap tempo ● Arpeggiator ● Pot mapping to the user, enabling very ergonomic use of the well laid-out control surface, whichever way you choose to mount it.
The 100% analogue signal path comprises two VCOs, a voltagecontrolled low-pass filter, two envelope generators (one for volume and the other to shape the filter cut-off frequency) and an LFO. The inclusion of an arpeggiator – which can be clocked externally as well as to the LFO – makes it an incredibly versatile synth, ideally suited to all types of dance music.
The ins and outs As with the larger models in the range, the connectivity options are excellent: CV inputs for volume, pitch and filter as well as a keyboard gate input. There’s a mono output and a single input socket for using the 24dB/oct Moog ladder filter to process external audio signals. There’s also a headphone output.
Essentially, the Slim shares the same control surface as its stablemates in the Phatty family. An incredible depth of subtractive synthesis is possible from so few retro-styled knobs and red and amber backlit buttons.
The control surface is divided into six sections. On the far left is the Master panel, from where the more advanced preset settings can be accessed as well as global settings. The middle four panels – from where modulation, oscillator, filter and envelope parameters are adjusted – each have their own large rotary controller for each step of the synthesis path. Finally, on the far right of the control surface is the main volume control. You can turn off the signal from the audio output (and hear the output only via the headphone socket on the back) by pressing the backlit button under the
The classic Moogoscillators and inimitable Moog filter are at the heart of this excellent-sounding synth
MIDI connectivity is served by DIN in and out sockets as well as USB, and there’s a comprehensive range of options in the Master menu to set up volume knob. This is a useful function for live and studio work, when the synthesist may want to program the synth before bringing it up into the mix.
86 | February 2011 magazine