The Mother-32 sequencer gets a bit of an overhaul in the form of a 2.0 firmware update for Moog’s popular semi-modular monosynth.
Owning a Mother-32 makes you feel like you’ve entered the world of proper synthesizers. It has a vibe and flavour to it that reassures any sense of purchase anxiety in the knowledge that you made a sound decision. It does everything you expect a quality synth to do and ignites a love for simple subtractive synthesis and an appreciation of that sound.
Thankfully the great aspects of the synth carry you through the slightly frustrating experience of the sequencer. The sequencer is usable, functional but it can be hard and often needs regular referrals back to the manual to interpret the lights and button combinations required to do simple tasks.
The updates to the sequencer haven’t reworked it into a magically intuitive system but they added functionality that will lessen the pain and make it a more interesting place to play. Oh, and there’s an auto-save mode which is truly the best thing ever.
The big creative improvement is in sequencer directions. You can now fire the sequence forwards, backwards, in a pendulum and randomly. There are new tempo modes for external clock including step-advance and selecting a step based on voltage.
They’ve added new Clock divisions (you can literally just turn the tempo knob to change the sequencer speed relative to the clock) and new Swing modes. Along with the ability to auto-save the current pattern you can also “write protect” a pattern so that you can’t over-write it. This is great for improvising in performance without ruining your starting point. And also you now know that you’ve saved a pattern successfully because the LEDs will light up to tell you (thank you!).
Getting to the settings is now easier and more available along with assigning functions to that assignable output jack.
There are a few bug fixes and other tweaks but the improvements to the sequencer are really welcome and will make a lot of already happy users even happier.
The v2.0 firmware is free to download and comes with detailed documentation and a free “Exploration Patchbook” e-book of patches to try. It even has a quick guide to the sequencer at the top which is the clearest explanation I’ve ever seen. You install the firmware from a computer over a MIDI connection – full instructions are supplied.