Moog has released another synth and you know what that means? Yes indeed, we get treated to another awesomely trippy introductory video that’ll blow your mind and remind you that Moog is so much more than sound and electronics. It’s a lifestyle, an aspirational state of being, an attitude and asthetic that seems slightly otherworldly and just out of reach. I love it. Introducing the Matriarch.
Anyway, it’s new Moog synth time – yay! At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a Grandmother and it does share the same styling, colourful layout and several of the same modules. It’s built in the same way taking it’s technology from the vintage circuitry of classic Moog synthesizer modules. But the big difference is that the Matriach has 4 analog VCOs which gives it 4 notes of paraphony. It’s not polyphonic as such because that would require each VCO to have it’s own envelope, VCA, filter and signal path, instead you get two of everything else which makes it very versatile without actually being a polysnth.
Each oscillator has 4 waveforms to choose from; triangle, sawtooth, square and pulse with pulse width modulation, hard sync and FM inputs. A mixer modular lets you introduce noise and an external input. There’s a dual analog ladder filter with parallel, stereo and series modes available. One envelope is dedicated to the filter, the other to the dual VCA. There are two LFOs for modulation with 6 waveforms and then some useful utilities like a 2×4 mult and 3x bipolar attenuators.
There are 90 patch points intersperced amongst the modules, all of the Eurorack compatible to ensure an easy integration with the popular modular system. It’s semi-modular so it will play sound without any patching which means it’s not intimidating to regular synth users. There’s an emphasis on stereo sound which is why so many components are doubled up and that culminates in the Stereo Delay module. Sadly the spring reverb from the Grandmother isn’t here.
With the 49 note full-sized keyboard it’s a much wider machine than the Grandmother and somehow that gives the overall look a better balance when compared to the former’s chunkiness. And the magic is rounded off with a 256 step sequencer with up to 4 notes per step and an arpeggiator.
Some people never like the colourful styling of the Grandmother but I thought it was strikingly beautiful. The Matriarch builds on that to what is instantly a classic synthesizer instrument. And listening to the demos I’m transported to the kind of world I want to live in – one where I have one of these all to myself.
The Moog Matriarch is available now for $1,999.00.