Well, after a long wait — a bit too long methinks — Moog’s hot new analog synth, the Sub 37, arrived at my door yesterday. Our cats were quite intrigued with the box, but unfortunately for them it wasn’t to become their plaything du jour. The box contents are all mine.
The Sub 37’s packaging is quite nice, including a basic introduction to analog synthesis on the box itself. A printed manual and a nearly poster-sized one-sheet listing the synth’s panel controls and functions rounded out the paper documentation.
Tiptoe through the Sub 37 Presets
I spent the next hour or so running through the Sub 37’s nice variety of presets. As expected, this synth covers a wide range of sounds with everything easily tweakable from the array of panel controls.
I wish I knew about Pot Mode before diving in, as the default ABS setting causes parameters to immediately jump to a knob’s physical value when touched. This led to some unmusical filter pops when tweaking the cutoff frequency knob. Moog recommends using either THRU or RLTV for live performance and ABS mode during sound design sessions. This setting is accessible using the Global menu.
As you may have heard, the Sub 37 sounds incredible. The classic 4-pole Moog filter gets a little extra bite with the Multidrive control. This thing is capable of a full range of classic sounds from basses to leads to outer space.
The synth’s paraphony comes into play in Duo Mode, where the two oscillators are capable of playing two notes at once through the same filter. Holding down a drone note with one finger while doing a lead with another is a blast.
The Sub 37’s two DAHDSR envelopes are hard-wired to the filter and amplifier respectively. Both are capable of looping, which lends itself nicely to creating patches with a sense of motion. I would have preferred having six discrete knobs to control the envelopes instead of using a switch to access the Delay and Hold settings, but this isn’t a big issue.
Yes Virginia, the Sub 37 Sequencer can do Odd Time Signatures
Whenever I get new piece of musical gear — hardware or software — if there’s a sequencer, the first thing I check is whether or not you can vary the time signature. It’s not like everything I do is Crimson-esque avant-prog, but I want the option (3/4 is my favorite timing anyway.) Thankfully, the Sub 37 sequencer is capable of any number of steps from 1 to 32. Boom!
Latching the arpeggiator also led to much fun with my TrapKat easily accessible for some quick motorik beats — in 15/8! I just bought the world’s most expensive and coolest metronome! Modulation options abound with the two LFOs.
Needless to say, Moog has a winner on its hands with the Sub 37. The fact that I had to wait nearly 10 months for delivery after my pre-order beautifully illustrates that point. Expect to read more about the Sub 37 here at TabMuse as new discoveries are made!