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Well, to be blunt, we think the Moog Sub Phatty is the best damn synth you can buy for under a thousand bucks. How’s that? Hands down, when you put everything together and add it up (sound, features, feel, usability, flexibility, price) we can’t find another synth, especially an analog synth, that can touch it in this price range.
Here are a few things we love, after testing out the Moog Sub Phatty for several weeks. For starters, the variable wave form selector on both oscillators is fantastic, allowing you to continuously sweep from triangle all the way to pulse width, and everything in between. And it’s smooth as butter, allowing you to accurately dial in the exact waveform(s) you desire, detuning them ever so slightly using the frequency knob, and then adjusting the amazing 4-pole ladder filter Moog is so famous for to make the final sound mega-beefy. Toss in a sub-oscillator an octave below oscillator one, and you find out pretty quickly where the “sub” in Sub Phatty comes from.
Everything about the Sub Phatty feels high-end – from the tank-like construction, to the heavy-duty pitch and mod wheels, down to the front panel buttons and knobs, and the excellent semi-weighted keybed. In fact, we loved the feel of the Sub Phatty so much it became our go-to MIDI controller for a while (and that’s not even really what it’s meant for). Speaking of MIDI, every knob you see (while providing real-time panel controls) can also transmit MIDI CC data, making this a pretty kick-ass MIDI machine on top of its status as a pretty kick-ass analog synth.
If you’re looking for the flat-out best sounding synth, and your budget is under $1000, then look no further. If money is even tighter, you can get almost all the way there with a MIDI keyboard controller and the Moog Minitaur, but trust us, once you fall for the Sub Phatty, you’ll be hooked.
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Every single thing about it is amazing.
Sound Engine: Analog
Number of Keys: 25
Type of Keys: Semi-Weighted
Other Controllers: Pitch Bend, Mod Wheel
Sound Sources: 2 Variable Waveshape Oscillators, 1 Square Wave Sub Oscillator, 1 Noise Generator
Mod Sources: Triangle, Square, Saw, Ramp, SH, Filter Envelope
Mod Destinations: Pitch, Osc 2 Pitch Only, Filter, Waveshape
CV/Gate Inputs: Filter CV, Pitch CV, Volume CV, KB Gate
What do you think of our review of the Moog Sub Phatty analog synthesizer? Let us know in the comments below or drop a line on the Performer Magazine Facebook page or on Twitter @Performermag. And be sure to read more from the special Synth Issue of Performer Magazine.