Mini D vs. Voyager

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.
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Mattew96
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by Mattew96 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:23 am

I'd just like to say two things.
My personal preference is for the minimoog Voyager, based only off of the numerous demos I've heard, music it was used in, articles I've read, etc. As I've always wished to go out there and find EITHER a D or a voyager to mess with... but sadly it's difficult, and one could argue I'm too young to bother at this point anyways... but I've done a lot of research on the topic and a damned huge amount of LISTENING to the various flavours of the moogs, and I just have to side with the functional voyager.
Secondly, ROWR!!! CATFIGHT!!!
(and for the most part, on a very trivial, off topic point! Tsk tsk ;D)
It did make for an entertaining read though...
Grapple with reality.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by dzlvs8 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:25 am

Moped10 wrote: the Voyager I chose to buy vs a mini sounds plenty raw in the raw music I make with it, in my opinion- if someone describes my music as "plastic", they'd better do so to my face- sheesh
of course, I run a in/out feed from the mix in/out to the inst insert, and play it through a 40 year old Fender Twin- makes that critical sonic difference in the rock bands I play with- I'm reminded of my Prodigy, tonewise overall, and I find that to be a good thing- plus the 3rd Osc, Osc sync, tuning stability, repair-ability (I live in NC), modulation megafun, c'mon! Did I mention OSC SYNC!? I didn't want to buy an instrument that I'd be nervous about dragging out to gigs-
it seems most of the Voyager naysayers are mini owners- justifying their purchases perhaps? I suppose you could accuse me of the same, but I use this thing ALL the time, while dishes remain unwashed, etc., and if it weren't pleasing to my ear (and the bands that hire me or the businesses that buy my jingles), I'd sell it for something else-
But whatever, to each his own, right?
Just don't call someone's music "probably plastic" because of the flavor of their Moog! how ludicrous!
I have played both a D and a voyager. Most others posting have played only one of them or neither! IN COMPARISON, to the D, the voyager sounds plasticy. It lacks sound character, when compared to the D. That doesn't mean that the voyager is DCO plasticy or anything to that extreme. Yes, a voyager is raw-ish and rawer than most stuff out there, but it is not model D raw. The D sounds way more alive and raw. Maybe thats because the D I am comparing with is one with the original oscillators. They are the supposably "unstable" oscillators" but to me they just sound alive, raw, and awesome.

I'll take a Voyager any day. But I'll kill somebody with my bare hands if they try to take away my model D.

Also, you are the one and only person that I have heard of that plays a minimoog through a guitar amp by choice. I also have a 1974 Fender Twin Reverb with JBL D120F speakers, blackplate RCA 6L6's and RCA 7025 tubes. You cant possible get any better than that and STILL my amp is not magical. You are missing critical frequencies when you run a minimoog through a Twin Reverb (or any other guitar amp). I just tested it out. It makes the filter sound 2 pole.

Voyager=Prodigy. I would agree with that, as far as a basic tone.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by SSquirrel » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:01 pm

dzlvs8 wrote:IN COMPARISON, to the D, the voyager sounds plasticy. It lacks sound character, when compared to the D. That doesn't mean that the voyager is DCO plasticy or anything to that extreme. Yes, a voyager is raw-ish and rawer than most stuff out there, but it is not model D raw. The D sounds way more alive and raw. Maybe thats because the D I am comparing with is one with the original oscillators. They are the supposably "unstable" oscillators" but to me they just sound alive, raw, and awesome.
Actually the issue is rising vs falling ramps on oscillators and low-fi OTAs used for the VCA on the Model D. If you run the oscillators from the Voyager out and into the Model D's filter section, oscillator 3 will sound identical. 1 and 2 are still a bit different, but some of the missing high end sheen of the Voyager comes down to this.

http://www.moogmusic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9431

Very interesting thread and finally answers some of the questions people have had about why teh D and Voyager sound different. Makes me wonder if someone will try replacing the VCA chips w/low-fi chips comparable to the ones in the D to make the Voyager sound more similar. Add in the slewrate mod for the Voyager and that is another step closer.

Personally I don't have either and would be happy with either one. There are so many CV In/Out on the Voyager, esp w/the VX-351 and CP251 added on, I would be having way too much fun just plugging random cables all over to see what happens to worry about if it sounded like a D or not :)

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:22 am

shaft9000 wrote:back on topic of D vs Mini -
it is just a matter of preference/priorities. the voyager will do 2-4x the quantity of different sounds as the D. it is the more technically capable synth by any technical standard.
it just depends on one thing - if you like the sounds that the D inspires you to make that much more, that you will live without all the extras the voyager offers.... and take a risk on a 30+yr old synth.
and that's about all there is to it.

This.
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:29 am

Also, I just want to say that if the thread is called "Mini D [D is extraneous] vs. Voyager," you are comparing the two. There is simply no other way to interpret that title.
Since Moog has a very distinct history of tone, there is also simply no way someone isn't going to compare the tone of the two, which differs.
On top of all of that, there are a LOT of people on the internet who insist that there is no difference between the two... which is ludicrous on a level which simply must be addressed.
What you seek in your music is a subjective conversation. "Mini D vs. Voyager" requires comparison, which presupposes that there is an objective means of comparison. Shaft's post addresses that comparison objectively. It comes down to tone vs. functionality. This is not to say that the Voyager lacks tone, or that the Mini lacks functionality. But it IS to say that the Mini has more of a distinctive (and desirable, by some) tone, and the Voyager kicks the Mini's a*s when it comes to functionality.
To reduce all of it to "horses for courses" is to wholly ignore the title of the thread.
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by tomorrowstops » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:21 pm

Not sure if I really have anything new to add to this comparison, but I recently bought a Mini and happily ditched the Voyager OS I've had for a couple of years now.

There is definitely no question as to the Voyager's superior feature set. It can do a lot more than the Mini can.

Sonically speaking, however, my personal preference is the Mini all day long. Its simply the most vibrantly alive sounding piece of electronic gear I've ever heard. It's a little unpredictable at times, a little hard to keep in tune at times, but it just sounds so real to me. The Voyager definitely didn't leave me with that feeling.

That being said, I do not regret one second of the two years I spent with the Voyager. I made the decision to let her go based on finances and for my efforts to keep an efficient 'minimalistic' studio.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by shaft9000 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:02 am

funny, i've just sold my voyagerOS too.
to a bff - so it's not gone forever in case i miss it

While it's layout and inviting UI has obvious appeal, i was becoming all too aware of the other edge of that sword - i was getting tired of everything being either a variation on cat yowls. and that damned one-note organ syndrome, or fx with limited range.... of course that's not ALL it does but it gravitates there, and i've got a good-sized modular(s) and what analog the mini doesn't excel at is better done there.

i doubt i'll ever get an old mini, either. not out of necessity anyway - for furniture if anything! ;)

i find that my modcan covers the bigwarmmoog sound and then some(some(some))
i prefer my ARP to Moog when I need that authentic 70's vibe. I WOULD like to try a MOS-LAB system or MacBeth mk1. But they are not Moogs, influence aside.
i also got tired of the Moog hardwired approach to making synth sound.
I say this without derision or scorn - but minis, although fantastic electronic instruments are kind of lame for synthesis. It's no wonder people were screaming for FM and digitals by the 80s. After having a 2600, then Wiard(!) and Serge(!) the limitations or virtues of classic Moog-style analog are wearing pretty thin on me.

I'm sure if I was in a funk, revival or prog outfit I'd keep it, no question - and i do still have my Phatty - but in the end i only have space for 5-6 keyboards and i have a CS-60 on the way.
Despite it being easily one of the all-time greatest lead and bass synths, the Voyager was the least-special to me in terms of what i use it for.
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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:34 am

shaft9000 wrote: i was getting tired of everything being either a variation on cat yowls. and that damned one-note organ syndrome, [...]
I like to defend the Voyager, but I know what you are talking about. :lol:

Here's a rather extreme example:



With the four pole filter the resonance control has a very limited range that is useful. I've noticed that a big number of the presets do not employ any resonance at all. That's often where it goes to the organ sound territory. In overall, I think many famous moog sounds are pretty close to organs or electric pianos. That's what it feels like playing them too.

I've often considered selling the unit, but then I listen to some of the recordings I've made with it and can't think of another alternative that could stretch to so many different things in the end. If I want a buzzier vintage tone for a bass or a lead sound I can use some of my more modest vintage synths. I don't think having a vintage tone for the experimental / modular synth end of it matters that much. I can always record things to my Fostex 8-track if I want that.
Last edited by nvbrkr on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by nvbrkr » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:41 pm

editing error ---

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Re: Mini D vs. Voyager

Post by shaft9000 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:18 am

yeah i don't want to detract from the fact it's a great instrument. nothing's perfect for everything.

w/ voyagerOS the lack of 1 & 2-pole mode and no active re-triggering switch(only switchable on power-up) are it's only flaws, imho. Seemingly endless bass, smooth smooth leads of great variety, and lovely UI & build are among it's many virtues.

if you can only get one analog keyboard synth - all things considered, a Voyager is way up there if not the best(subjective opinion) option today

but if you want a D only a D will do.
Sorry Marc, but it's Moog Music's own 'fault' that people now call the original minimoogs that everyone knows the model D. It would've never happened if voyager was just called Moog Voyager, and didn't say "minimoog" on the plate, too.
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