The MicroMoog was a tiny, single-oscillator mono synth released in 1975 that no one’s ever heard of. It’s kind of like the Bontempi of the analogue world – it’s a cheap and nasty alternative to the MiniMoog, but it’s still a Moog and despite its shabby and plastic exterior it has the ability to pump out some decent sounds. And that’s really the Samples From Mars angle, namely that this is an interesting and characterful-sounding synth that has a brashness and a slightly unstable and dirty texture to it that you don’t find on modern Moogs.
The MicroMoog features a single oscillator, a -24dB per octave low pass filter with envelope generator, a VCA, noise generator, sample and hold circuit, LFO and modulation routing. The Micro From Mars, of course, takes it to a whole other place, bumping up the polyphony, adding an arpeggiator, effects and modulators, taking the source material and really turning it into something else. They stress that they worked hard to retain the original character, sampling at both the cleanest and dirtiest ranges of its sonic potential, recording long modulations and processing through a range of analogue gear. The end result sounds pretty beefy from the examples on the website.
I wonder if we’ll ever run out of old bits of junk to sample and turn into instruments. Does the Micro From Mars have something different, something that makes it stand out from the vast numbers of virtual analogue synths we have at our disposal? I imagine I’m probably going to be asking that question a lot as time goes on. Samples From Mars have a very eclectic collection of sampled instruments and drum machines, all presented with a certain style of vintage coolness that I like a lot, and all at decent prices so the Micro From Mars fits their profile very nicely.
Micro From Mars is available now for Kontakt 5.5, Ableton, Logic, Reason, SFZ and HALion formats for USD $44, or if you don’t want the Kontakt version you can get it for USD $34 to run in everything else.
More information: http://samplesfrommars.com/products/micro-from-mars