Which DIY kits come closest to getting a minimoog sound?

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Vertical
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Which DIY kits come closest to getting a minimoog sound?

Post by Vertical » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:56 pm

I want to get back into the DIY scene. I have built a Fatman in the past, and want to do something similar again. I am willing to go modular, since There doesn't seem to be anything sold as a DIY minimoog kit.

I want something that will be worth the project time and investment, so I'm hoping the return will be something that can come close to sounding like a minimoog.

Any suggestions? Is there anything out there that has a similar ladder filter?

I want to stick to kits and not get into buying my own parts and making PCBs, and front panels.

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Post by WDW » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:49 pm

Hey, Vertical. I'm going to cut you some slack, because you have not been here in a while. The moderators are locking all threads that are posted in the wrong sub-forum, because there has been an onslaught of misposted threads clogging up the works and consuming an insane amount of moderating time. For future reference, this type of thread goes in BUYER'S GUIDE.

Moved...

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Post by meatballfulton » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:59 pm

Synthesizer Technology used to offer a kit for the Moog-style filter, but they dropped all their kits about 2 years ago.

All the other kits I know about don't have a Moog filter.
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Post by Altitude » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:38 pm

The Oakley Filterex is a moog filter clone but it is not offered as a kit

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Post by futureworlder » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:31 pm

Vertical,
I've had the same ambitions as you at one point, so I'm speaking from experience. After a lot of research and deliberation, I went with a Blacet-based system. The great thing about Blacet is that they sell kits and completes, so you can mix and match; build what you want and save some money, or just buy pre-assembled and not have to deal with troubleshooting the module afterwards.

There are a few things that make a MiniMoog a MiniMoog, and the Blacet offerings, with exception to the filter and glide, seem to make the most sense:

3 OSC, mixer section, 24db lowpass VCF, slopes generator (for portamento & glide, and a few envelopes (one has to be more or less dedicated to the filter- the Final Filtre has this, but it's not a true Moog clone design).

The Filter is really what makes a Moog sound like a Moog, and the closest thing in the modular world I've come across is the MOTM (Synthesis Technology) 1490, which, just so happens to also be available in Blacet/ Frac-Rack format. Also, a slopes generator for portamento/glide would be best handled by something like a Bananalogue VCS (which is actually one-half of a Serge Dual Slope Generator) but you could use it for soooo many other things as well; it's quite possibly the most versatile module you can get in that format (but hey, it's a Serge design)


I did the math, and it looks like this...
kits:
3 Blacet VCO's $567 (189 usd/ea. - you could use just 2 and get away w/it
dual VCA $130 (this is a quad VCA, which is great for the Moog filter as the resonance will decrease as the input increases, so you might want to dedicate one VCA to pumping up the output level on the filter)
2 EGs $284 (142 ea and you need one dedicated to the filter)
1 LFO $98 (if you want to be authentic, you can skip this, but if you're doing any kind of nice Moog-ey FM, you'll lose an OSC :(
1 split & 1 mix $98 (this comes as a 2-for-1 pack- you'll need a good mixer section for the OSCs, and the splitter is nice for modulation routing and synching the OSCs)
1 (at least) multiple $30 - (you could prob. make these yourself, it would involve a bit of drilling & filing the faceplates, but if you have a template and know how to solder, these are dead easy to make)
assembled stuff:
Blacet 500 mA power supply $98 - nice, compact PS that will power 6 modules
distro board $29 (you need one of these if your system is gonna go over 5 modules, this will allow 9 more
MOTM 1490 "Moog" Transistor Ladder 24db lowpass VCF - $199 (these things sound sooo nice in a modular system)
Bananalogue VCS $215 (a total "Swiss Army" module, you can use it as an LFO, glide, VCO, distortion, filter, gate, attenuator- if you're building a Frac or Euro-format modular, you def should have at least one of these; sooo versatile (I've even programmed this thing to just sit there and "wooooop...wooooop...woooooop" like the beginning of 'We Are the Robots'; insane little module.

by my accounts, without a case/cabinet (I handbuilt a nice little case out of Poplar for my system) this will run you about $1800, kits and all.

The great thing about building a modular like this is when you're done, you'll have a machine that can not only sound like a Moog, but can do things a MiniMoog would never be capable of, even with heavy modding.

Of course, you could always just get something like a Little Phatty, a CP-251 and a few Moogerfoogers for the same price, but you still won't have all the modulation routing options and flexibility that a true modular will give you.

Or, you could do what I did and build a little modular AND get a LP :wink:

hope this helps...

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Post by JSRockit » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:34 pm

Not a kit, but the MFB Synth II may be something you'd be into.
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Post by cornutt » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:48 pm

The Music from Outer Space VCF is a sorta kinda Moog transistor ladder. Bridechamber has a full kit for $105 US.

(Edit: It's MOTM format.)
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Post by clusterchord » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:31 pm

ive been plannin to make a lil modular quasi-minimoog for a long time..


ditto on 1490 i too think MOTM has nailed the ladder sound.


however, the triangle-core VCOs from Blacet sound nothing like minimoog or moog900 oscillators (which are saw core like ARP, and recently oakley/motm). Blacet sounds more like west coast buchla/serge/planB type of sound.

otoh, ive talked with Paul just recently, and he said after a delay of more than a yr, that he be coming out with 1300 VCO (for Frac) within three months. he said he already got AHaven ppl wanting a large batch so..

if it sounds the same as MOTM-300, and i see no reason not, its gonna be a very close, if not perfect emulation of moogy VCOs. not a kit, but still, a first moog-type VCO in a small format like Frac. i wont meniton doepfer, cwejman and AS as they are far form moog character as they could possibly be.



so my plan is, for starters 2x1300, 1490, 2xEG1, dual MOTM Vca forgot the model number.. MIXER and Blacet INPUT Processor (it has slew limiter). i already got the Blacet rack, PSU and Time Machine CV BBD delay. probably gonna have to add another rack.

in second round, id hopefully get another (3rd) VCO, S/H and LFO and a GX-1 diode multimode filter - this thing is crazy - i had it in Yamaha SY-2, phenomenal character, highly unstable and organic filter. esp in highpass mode.
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Post by Cirrus Winery » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:00 am

clusterchord wrote:if it sounds the same as MOTM-300, and i see no reason not, its gonna be a very close, if not perfect emulation of moogy VCOs. not a kit, but still, a first moog-type VCO in a small format like Frac. i wont meniton doepfer, cwejman and AS as they are far form moog character as they could possibly be.
How is the character of the Dotcom (synthesizers.com) VCOs?

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Post by Vertical » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:54 am

Cirrus Winery wrote:
clusterchord wrote:
How is the character of the Dotcom (synthesizers.com) VCOs?
I was wondering the same thing. Actually, can anyone speak to the Dotcom VCO and the oakley VCO?

From the online demos, the Oakley VCO sounds pretty amazing. Anyone know first hand for either?

Also how about the Dotcom ladder filter? How authentic is that to moog?


A dilema I am running into is that as I come closer and closer to the $2000+ mark, I am tempted to just get a Voyager OS. Any thoughts on that dilema?

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Post by clusterchord » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:57 am

i havent touced neither MOTM or .COM in real life, only listened to tons of demos and album material using these systems. so with this grain of salt, i like to think MOTM is closer to moog. but, regardless of the emulation context, i prefer MOTM over COM, its somehow bigger and more musical. some friends did a single VCO/VCF/VCA system demos, and it totally blew me off.

Oakley filters seem outta this world too - superladder (moog with 4 and 1pole and LP/BP output !!) and his SEM (SVF 2pole multimode). not sure if his PCBs can fit in the frac dimensions.

he stated his VCO design is based on the late ver minimoog from late 70s, i.e. "new oscillator board". i played this version of mini, and its awesome too, but most agree its different a bit from earlier versions ("old osc board" and prehistoric musonics/R.A.Moog versions) that we know from early 70s records by yes/jan hammer/etc. usual ajdectives are, more in yourface, focused, less drifty, less warm. taste dependant.

from first hand experience, imo model D eats voyager alive. vyg can be made ot sound alike, but only sometimes. overall character is different.
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Post by Vertical » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:07 am

clusterchord wrote: from first hand experience, imo model D eats voyager alive. vyg can be made ot sound alike, but only sometimes. overall character is different.
Wow, you are right! I just listened to this comparison test. No way, I'll ever get a voyager now. Not even close...
https://www.moogmusic.com/members/?sect ... &cat_id=49

Which now makes me wonder.. If Moog couldn't reproduce the mini's sound, can these MOTM/Oakleys do it?

clusterchord wrote: some friends did a single VCO/VCF/VCA system demos, and it totally blew me off.
Did these demos sound beter than a voyager? Closer to original Moog?
clusterchord wrote: he stated his VCO design is based on the late ver minimoog from late 70s, i.e. "new oscillator board". i played this version of mini, and its awesome too, but most agree its different a bit from earlier versions ("old osc board" and prehistoric musonics/R.A.Moog versions) that we know from early 70s records by yes/jan hammer/etc. usual ajdectives are, more in yourface, focused, less drifty, less warm. taste dependant.
So between dotcom, blacet, MOTM, and Oakley, seems most like the model D?

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