The Moog Source Analog Synthesizer

The Moog Source analog synthesizer is a monophonic Z80 microprocessor-controlled analog synthesizer that was made by Moog Music from 1981 to 1985.┬áThe Moog Source was Moog’s first synthesizer to offer patch memory storage.

The Source, for better or worse, used a flat-panel membrane keyboard to replace the standard buttons, knobs and sliders and featured colorful panel graphics. Unfortunately, the membrane panels are a weak point on the Source, and tend to malfunction over time.

Because of this, the Moog Source offers a relatively inexpensive option for classic Moog sounds.

Sound on Sound had this to say about the Moog Source:

The Source has the ‘classic’ Moog sound: a dirty, warm low-pass filter, and those rich oscillators. The sound oozes quality and class; the lead lines sear, and the bass is deep and squelchy. To my ears, when it was side by side with a Minimoog, the Source sounded identical, so long as the Mini was using only two oscillators. It is definitely a richer-sounding synthesizer than the Moog Prodigy or Moog Rogue — and it’s programmable!

With the current fascination for analogue monosynths, and considering the fact that some machines are fetching really silly prices, the Source is an inexpensive way to get ‘that sound’. If you can track one down, it’s perfect for deep, floor-shattering bass and the kind of lead line once favoured by Stevie Wonder (and more recently, Jamiroquai).

Moog Source Features:

  • Memory capable of holding 16 presets
  • 37-note keyboard
  • Two VCOs that can be selected among three waveforms and three octaves.
  • Programmed presets can be saved to an audio cassette interface.
  • 24dB/octave VCF has parameters for keyboard tracking, cutoff frequency, resonance, and envelope amount.
  • Two ADSR envelope generators that can be set in single or multi trigger modes, one for the VCF and one for the VCA.
  • LFO
  • sample and hold.
  • The Source also features a rudimentary sequencer.

Moog Source Resources:

3 thoughts on “The Moog Source Analog Synthesizer

  1. Devo used these on the New Traditionalists album, most notably as the solo sound on 'Jerkin Back and Forth'. You can see them perform with them on 'Fridays'.

    I have always wanted one.

  2. My first synth was the Moog Source. The guy I sold it to said the membrane panel on it broke a couple years after he bought it from me in 1989

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