Moog Bass Shootout: Animoog vs Moog Little Phatty vs Arturia Minimoog V

This video captures a Moog bass shoutout: Animoog vs Moog Little Phatty vs Arturia Minimoog V.

And $1 vs. $1300 vs. $200.

The settings are close, but the results have lots of tiny and not so tiny differences.  While the analog and virtual analog synths don’t all sound the same – they do all sound pretty wicked – and very ‘Moog’.

To my ears, the Moog Little Phatty sounds the best, followed by Animoog and Arturia Minimoog V.

What do you think? Patch differences? Different synth architectures? Virtual analog vs real analog?

Technical details below.

via 66pbass:

Animoog Taurus bass impression, compared with “Taurus” presets from the Moog Little Phatty, and Arturia Minimoog V. $1 vs. $1300 vs. $200.

First thing I worked on with the Moog Animoog iPad app, was programming a passable Taurus-type bass sound(two saws, octave apart, detuned slightly). There is mojo coming from both the Little Phatty and Arturia Minimoog that I couldn’t capture, but I feel like this’ll do a pretty good job in a pinch.

To program the sound, this is what I found:
1. Build off of a static saw Timbre. “StaticFatSaw1” is good. Putting a “Sine” wave, or “OctaveSaw” in the Timbre slot next to it gives some good variation moving around on the X/Y pad.

2. The key for me to getting the vibe in the right ballpark was forcing the synth to output a mono audio signal, and using the “Detune” control to separate the saw into two separate octaves. This can be accomplished in two ways I’ve found:
-(preferable) “Unison” set to “4”, “Detune” set to approximately “8”, and ONLY use the Left audio output from the iPad(I used the “tip” side only of a stereo 1/8″ TRS to dual mono 1/4″ TS cable, coming out of the headphone jack)
– “Unison” set to “2”, and “Detune” very slightly under “10”. This’ll sound alright coming out of the iPad speaker, but is less flexible, and would be difficult to perform with.

3. all Orbit, Path, Delay settings to “0”

4. approx. fiter settings: Drive “10”, Env. “0”, Freq “5.3”, Res. “1”
– maxing out the filter “Drive” seemed to be a key to getting the right amount of “spit” in the sound with the filter wide open.

5. approx. Thick settings: Crush “0”, Drive “2.5”

6. I zeroed out all Mods, except for one, that makes the poly-pressure open up the filter freq:
– Source off, amount “0”
– Control poly-pressure, amount “+33”
– Destination: filter-freq

7. Setting the KB scale to “Chromatic” with “Mono” and “Legato” makes the on screen keyboard act as I would expect. “Cor” at “10”, “Glide” around 45%.

All three Synths recorded straight into Steinberg MR816csx. Levels adjusted slightly, no additional post processing.

59 thoughts on “Moog Bass Shootout: Animoog vs Moog Little Phatty vs Arturia Minimoog V

    1. Its far stupider to design sounds on a Motif screen. And when you add a midi keyboard into this…the jokes seems yo be on you man.

        1. I was talking about sound design. I talked about playing also, hence the midi keyboard part. This synth, as well as the whole world, is not made solely for you. Excellent synth, excellent interface for sound design and real time controlling your sounds, which normal synths lack.

          You can consider iPad as a REALLY versatile sound module or rack, that you can play independently anywhere in the world as well as extend your expression possibilities in your other wise fully featured studio.

          1. “Excellent synth, excellent interface for sound design and real time controlling your sounds, which normal synths lack.”

            Now you’re really kidding, aren’t you? I mean, you don’t wanna tell me that this iThing gives you a better real time control than a hardware synth? C’mon …

            1. There is no synth, that does it all.

              As a synthesizer, iPad is super versatile and hands on, small and portable, not too expensive, and new synthesis engines typically cost 4,99$, and it sounds great. iPad expands any synthesists studio. Try doing guitar strumming with your hardware synth without arpeggiator or Karma, try doing it with 499$ synth. You don’t find such an all around synth for 499$ even from second hand market. Many of us don’t (yet) have Buchla, so touch screen, among many things, gives you an affordable keyboard, where each key can act as slider…so it can be pretty expressive. At least as an expansion for midi keyboard.

              And, in addition to being a fantastic synth, iPad can also be a bloody superb Midi controller for your hardware modules. Also, no skipping values of cheap knobs here!

        2. To each his own…When checking out an iPad and a few apps I did not like it. It was not inspiring to me. I do like the Motif quite a bit and to give example on why its not so stupid:
          Many iPad apps are VA’s, such as the Animoog. The touchscreen waveshaping is cool but knobs on iPad apps are bizarre to me. Its not my cup of tea at all. The Motif has nothing wrong with how you lay out a sound. My two favorite synths are the Korg Poly61 and the Poly800. They sound great and few synths have touched on their vibe. Editing sounds on either one is a pain in the ass, but it really makes you focus on creating playable sounds rather than tweaking the sound you have. Most of the best synth riffs Ive ever written were written on these synths, debatably due to the fact that I was forced to make a great sound to begin with and really use the theory of sound design to get the most out of each patch.

          Editing sounds in the fashion of these synths was an 80’s trend, the DX7 was the same way and you’ll never hear someone knock it and rarely would anyone change anything about it. Ive been around a minute or two and enough to see that the iPad is a trend that has taken off very successfully, but it will never be an iPad I lust after. If anything, it would be a MAM Freebass, a Waldorf Pulse or Microwave, a Nord Modular G2, Yamaha TX81, an Emu Proteus 2500 or Orbit, Access Virus Ti, Novation Nova, Akai MPC5000, Roland JP8000 or an SP808EX….All these would cost more or less than an iPad yet I still continually, after all these years, look for stuff like this.

          Now if Moog made an affordable Poly synth, analogue or digital, Im sure it will sound great. The fact is it wont happen anytime soon. Personally, if I were to drop cash on anyone selling Poly synths with inflated prices it would probably be a Dave Smith or a Studio Electronics. I like a balance though. The iPad wont come close to the choice piece of gear I own and sure as hell doesnt have the vibe or character. THe only reason I agree with Andy at all is because I believe in supporting the synth industry. Grab a Mochika, a Paia Fatman, build a Modular, pick up a Blofeld or a Shruthi-1, find an old Nord Lead (or a 2)…Pair that with a small sequencer and jam then tell me whats more fun to have. Personally Ill collect the hardware but if you prefer the iPad then so be it, to each their own. In a way I almost hope you all do because in the same fashion that VST’s wounded the hardware industry i will be standing by, waiting to collect your “trash”.

          (Roland groove gear is a great example, high quality sounds on the dollar these days…I always wanted a DR202 and then I got one, for $35)

    2. Synthtopia, please for the love of god stop this hiding posts crap. People are aloud to have unpopular opinions. Any form of censorship just hurts the integrity of the site and draws comparisons to the government of the country who manufactures iPads….

      1. Zombitron

        Actually, it’s you and the other readers of the site that cause comments to be hidden, with your feedback.

        Don’t confuse readers deciding that comments are irrelevant with censorship.

        I’m open to feedback on the threshold for hiding comments. Do you think we need to make it harder for readers to ‘vote comments down’?

        1. No, I just find it silly to hide the ones that are disliked….Just because people dont like the comment doesnt mean its wrong. I dont think it needs to be more difficult, but a forum is for discussion. Obviously, if someone is just ‘trolling’ and not offering any relevant points, sure, hide it…but I think Andy just has an unpopular point of view which is perfectly fine to have.

          1. Zombitron

            I understand where you are coming from – but I think that it’s better that you and other readers can decide if someone is ‘trolling’, relatively democratically, than having me or anyone else make that decision unilaterally.

            The threshold is set high enough that comments have to be voted down by a lot of readers to get hidden. And I’ve yet to see a comment that adds anything thoughtful to the discussion affected by this.

            I am interested in your feedback on this, though. If there’s a way to tweak the voting system to make it more useful and usable, I’m open to it.

    1. Try to play a fast synth riff (maybe using even more than one and a half octave) on that thing and ask again. If you can play at all. No offense, but a lot of people using stuff like that just can add midi events into a piano roll. No problem with that, especially you really don’t need a proper keyboard then.

  1. It was also a stupid idea to make the horseless carriage… And the ball-point pen? That makes writing so lame compared to quill and ink. Another thing I hate, it’s so silly, is the internet. I was just fine getting my news and info from a printing press.

    And don’t get me started on these crazy hospitals now – once they got rid of leeches and bloodletting I figured why bother?

    1. Leeches are still used by modern hospitals, as are maggots.

      As cool as the Animoog is, it sounds (from youtube- I don’t YET have an iPad) the the filter is pretty steppy, where the little phatty’s is definitely not.

      1. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy this iPad stuff. Don’t fall prey to this gigantic marketing campaign. When you have a studio with a halfway decent computer you should rather invest your money in something more useful. At least ask yourself if you really need overpriced hardware like that to run softsynths on.

        1. I have several keyboards, guitars, amps, fx, and a computer that can easily run any plugin I want.
          There are loads of iPad apps that can do things that are simply not feasible to do with any of my hardware or PC, and lots of them look like a ton of fun too.

          But thanks for sharing your opinion…

        2. I agree, the most I would want an ipad for is maybe touchOSC or a neat sequencer. I think the Fairlight app is neat but for the most part I’ll stick with my “horse drawn buggy” hardware sequencer and my “lead pencil” Waldorfs. The iPad is a cute gimmick, but I like to build things not based on a SDK and I like to work on things that arent pieces of plastic made in china. I love to play instruments that have real knobs, physical filters, and if I have to go into a menu its maybe to setup some midi settings. I would just rather have the real thing, period.

          That said, I shouldnt have chimed in since Im not the biggest Moog fan…Too much dolla, not enough holla. They tend to sell their name a bit more than the product. Doing a side by side comparison of my Bass Station KB to a Little Fatty I would gladly take a Bass Station ANY day. Even though its a little plastic DCO box, it just plain sounds better to me. But to each their own. Now on the iPad subject:

          Would you rather have an El Monterey burrito or go to a Mexican restaurant and get the real thing?

      2. First off… the filter on an original, all analog prophet 5 is much steppier. I’ve owned a lil phatty also, and the animoog is a deeper synth. I do agree though that the phatty is a more competent instrument.

        I don’t get why anyone is hating on this thing… manipulating a wavetable via touchscreen is awesome!

  2. What I notice when watching the video is that there seems to be quite a lag with the Animoog keys, compared to the Little Phatty. Sound wise the Animoog is impressive.
    Arturia sounds really bad, with the static digital hiss.

  3. Arturia sounds bad to me. Really buzzy high end, at least through iPad speakers. 🙂 I certainly like the animoog better. In fact, in some ways I like an animoog better than a little phatty! That’s more from a sound design standpoint though.

    As a test it’s a bit of fun and appreciated, but it’s a reductionist BS to make it a monetary judgement, especially based on a bass sound.

  4. Hey all, this is my vid. One important comment, is that the visable lag is mostly related to my poor video editing. I wanted to get as clean a recording as possible for the audio, and didn’t do a great job lining up the clips by hand.

    The latency on the Animoog seems the same as most of the othe iOS synths. Not great, but good enough for many things.

  5. I am not a professional synth user, although I wish I was. I thought the video was good for a comparison between animoog and the other stuff. However, as I only have an iPad and many music apps, I will say that animoog is definatly the best music app I own. It dies amazing things and with headphones on, sounds amazing. It makes up for not having external synths at my disposal for sure.

  6. I played the video with my screen off. then back on again.
    The software sounds like crap.
    The other two are close with the edge going to the hardware. Pretty cool we live in a age where you can get something so good sounding for so little money.

  7. As the Animoog’s oscillators are using wavetables, it is probably closer to a MicroWave or Venom than to a Minimoog – which doesn’t mean of course that you can’t program convincing “analog” sounds.

  8. For a long time I thought “Software gets you close enough… much cheaper and takes up no space.” So silly of me. Now that I own a few analogs it’s really clear that there is something that hasn’t yet been emulated and maybe never will. Don’t get me wrong, I use software a lot for things it’s great for. No analog is going to do what Absynth does so easily. But when I want a thick analog sounding lead or bass, it’s my ATC-1 or Prophet 08. Maybe one day I’ll add a real Moog to the bunch…

  9. If the use is in a similar context to an actual Taurus pedal(pads, half/whole notes), I think the UI is very functional.

  10. Analog vs. digital argument aside; why would anyone pay more than $10 for a VIRTUAL synth? Blows my mind that Arturia charges hundreds of dollars for VSTs.

  11. Animoog $1 plus the cost of an iPad. $600 – $850

    Arturia Minimoog V $300 plus the cost of a computer, interface etc….Something decent $1000

    MOOG Little Phatty $1300

    Cool tones none the less. Myself I worked out of the box for the entire beginning of my career, Once I made some dolla’s I purchased a Voyager. Now I own every MOOGERFOOGER except Analog Delay and am looking for a Slim Phatty. I still use soft synths, but love what my analog gear does for me.

    1. yeah… the iPad is more powerful than the original computers that ran Rebirth and cubase back in the day… so YOU CAN make great music on the iPad. It’s only going to get better.

    2. Now think about that for a minute…..

      Are Moog Slim Phatties alone able to fully create complete tracks that people would purchase?

  12. don’t forget it was a very basic preset and sound design he was touching, not even playing.
    the interface is far from anything a detailed musician would want to trust during a live performance.
    and the warmth and saturation of real analog is far superior to the currently demonstrated clones.
    it does sound great, can be fun to play with and is worth .99 but is no replacement for anything.

  13. I have it and it’s a lot of fun to play with. I’m not gonna get in on the iCatFight thing, haha. But it’s a cool synth and a cool app. ‘Nough said.

  14. I got analog, digital, vintage and new school gear. I like it all. Why limit the technology you use? Cool if you don’t like something you don’t buy, but don’t knock ohers for being open minded. (synthtopia og’s) all know the real analog thing will give you a better sound. The average listener could care less tho.
    Anything made in the ipad can be ran through analog filters and/or a DAW to make it sound better like any othr piece of gear. Stop hatin.

  15. To my ear there were little differences in volume, filter cut-off, release slope and LFO phase/shape that might have explained some of the differences in perception. I did think that the lil phatty & animoog sounded pretty nice. The Arturia was significantly less impressive.

    But because I know about the wave-matrix thing on the Animoog, and the way the keys & scales work– and I think it’s still .99!!!– if you have an iPad, and don’t have Animoog– you really should do it. I also played the Animoog with a midi controller and it works fine.

    For knobs and really analog lovelies, that lil phatty is sweet sounding.

    1. The video is really good. There is bit of a difference in the amount of detuning (and perhaps number of oscillators?) in the first examples. The release time on the first Arturia is pretty short and linear compared to the nice release on the Moogs. The filter seemed close, but probably hard to set it exactly the same.

      I think the video does a really nice job of showing the similarities in the sounds, and the difficulty of matching a rig when there are so many factors.

  16. I recorded using Animoog during the weekend and even though you aren’t playing traditional “keys” the touchscreen allows for a different form of expression that is unable to be duplicated on a traditional keyboard.
    It is a different way of doing things and the sounds are fantastic.

  17. Gonna be controversial but…to my ears the Arturia Minimoog sounds better than the Animoog. The Animoog sounds decent enough, but a bit thin, plastic and static by comparison to the Phatty, whereas the Arturia seems to hold up slightly better IMHO. People love to hate the Arturia synths but I like their Minimoog a lot. I’ve found myself using it for guide tracks with the intention of replacing it later with a Voyager, and then ending up leaving it because it sat better in the mix than the Voyager.

    1. But the Arturia doesn’t sound like a synth! It sounds like a sample, overlaid with static hiss.
      That’s my main gripe with Arturia synths, they all sound the same. They mimic the basic sound but none of the character.

  18. BAH! If you are arguing over minute differences between Moog bass sounds, you need to get laid REAL bad, heh heh. People argue over the technical details too much and the quality of the MUSIC far too little. Besides, I would not buy from Arturia with Khadaffy’s money. Dongles fiercely suck. I’d have a CS80v if not for that. My advice, as a real MiniMoog owner: pick a version and play. They all have more than enough Moog-y richness for the job. I’ve heard them and none are slouches.

  19. i used to drag an 8 space rack with my slim phatty and a rack tuner for tuning the SP and a midi mixer and a roland JP 1010 and a Korg something or other that i sold recently, and a dsi mopho and a 2 tier keyboard stand and 2 midi controllers plus my amp to shows. Now i have a 1 tier keyboard and 2 tiny little akai controllers that i velcroed to a board an ipod and an ipad and noone can tell the difference. ill do shows with my ipad and ipod from now on thank you very much … these devices do have their place for sure.

  20. I have owned all 3 and I agree that overall sound it goes LP, Ani, Arturia. As for the anti iPad comments I think your full of it if you can’t see the iPad being an extremely usable interface for music making. I sold my Electribe ER-1 for an iPad and I have been very happy with it for a year and a half. I recently bought the ER-1 again in case I wanted to use the iPad for another program but the original hardware lacks wayy to much compared to the iElectribe. I have owned many analog synths poly and mono from Moog to Dave Smith, Korg, Studio Electronics, etc along with a vast amount of digitals and workstations and I just don’t understand the gripes with the iPad. I feel like everyone who burns it hasn’t used it with the serious apps for more than an hour. The animoog alone sounds at least as good as any VA VST i’ve ever come accross and I have tried many vst’s to say the least. Sure knobs are a great hands on quick way to program but what synths have you used before to do accelerometer based pitch bends and modulation?… None.

  21. If a big name synth manufacturer put out a unit that had a 10 inch digital screen on it, embedded in a metal or plastic case with a row of keys on it and a bunch of jacks on the back, you would think it is awesome. Put out just the screen and synth (iPad) and you complain that it’s a toy. Seriously here, the only thing that differentiates the synth engine and screen on something like a Jupiter 88 (or any other modern keyboard) from an iPad is a handful of years worth of mass production on powerful components to bring the price down to $500! It’s still all software and processors, just different boxes! It’s like arguing that a banana smoothie taste terrible because you can’t see the peel.

    So get over it. Even if you have legitimate complaints about the iPad sound now, like latency or stepping filters, you are already using the same approach to technology on your “real” keyboards… they just have a lot of extra hardware bolted around them. Even if there are analog oscillators in it, they are being digitally controlled, etc. My iPad 1 out of the box is more powerful than my ProTools 3 system was back in the day, but everyone saw that and thought a spaceship had landed in our studio! Huge volumes of fantastic music was made on less than that much computational power. The only thing missing is the hardware I/O, which most of us totally don’t need now that we can do so much “in the box”, and can be worked around with add on units. If you see the iPad as limiting, you are looking into a mirror of your own limitations.

    Give it two or three years, the iPad will be far more powerful than embedded processors in modern synths, and there will be fierce competition for breakout box I/O units, and the last shreds of any legitimate argument go away. Big name manufacturers will release iPad only synths instead of risking tons of money to develop hardware that would be inferior. You have that long to work on your “letting go” issues before you are officially dinosaurs for avoiding mobile apps/hardware!

  22. I thought this was actually a really helpful experiment! Thank you. but, I had to stop reading when you guys started talking about shipping costs and geography. These comments are like a really repressed version of youtube comments.

  23. I used to kid myself into thinking analog sounded superior. Case closed. Then I picked up the Arturia Moog Modular. Then I set up identical patches on it and my Voyager. A number of different patches in fact. I have been using synths since 1972. If you know how to program there is NO difference in sound. None. Now I know Arturia really has their shit together with their TAE tech and all, but bottom line is that their stuff, at least, sounds JUST like the vintage hardware they emulate. I immediately bought the entire V-Collection. They are all dead on. And I used to own all of the originals. Dead on.

  24. I’m a little late, but i must say: nothing in the digital world comes close arturia minimoog. We play this thing for years, and with a good PA and interface, you can hear the tonal quality of this little piece of software. You can not compare sounds, which come out of an PC- or iPad-Speaker; they haven’t the range and linearity to represent the tone created by the software. The low end, for example, is not hearable without professionel audio gear (and i don’t mean a big “HiFi”-Amplifier). The Arturia killed two amplifiers before we noticed, how deep it goes down.

    Sorry for my bad english,


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