Moog Sub Phatty Synthesizer Overview

2013 NAMM Show: In this video, Sweetwater’s Daniel Fisher takes a deep look at the new Moog Sub Phatty 25-key analog synthesizer. This video is a lot more hands-on and  detailed than what we’ve seen previously and includes lots of audio demos. 

In addition to discussing the architecture of the Sub Phatty and its capabilities, he explores what you can do, integrating it with other Moog devices, like the Clusterflux and MF-104M Delay pedals.

via SweetwaterSound

52 thoughts on “Moog Sub Phatty Synthesizer Overview

    1. A rack version for $799 would be much more tempting than the keyboard version for $999. A 2-octave keyboard takes up space without being useful as a controller, and I really hate that wavy back. On the plus side, it does sound fairly interesting and it’s more competitively priced that I would have expected.

      1. I second the stupid wavy arse on the thing. What could they call the Slim Sub Phatty?
        ..Might have just answered my own question there..


        1. 100% agreement on this. 2 octaves are kinda useless. This has just about every feature I’ve wanted out of Moog and may buy anyway, but it won’t get gigged due to the form factor.

      2. This keyboard doesn’t raise the cost by 200$.

        900$ rack vs 950$ keyboard model.

        Keyboard model for me every time(as far as I have space).

        In fact, I will buy 4 of them for polychain.

          1. Good point.

            Looks like Moog took a little extra from those keys.

            (I still think that in this case, Moog is charging remarkably small amount of “Moog” extra this time, and I feel that this price is rather tight in Moog standards)

  1. I know it’s a Moog, I know it’s all analogue, I know he Priceline is good given those facts….but I just can’t hear a sound I would use. Spoilt by Dive, Zebra and even Arturia SEM. I dont play live, I am over hardware, the difference between ‘recorded’ real analogue and good digital VA is so marginal now that it isn’t worth the cost….roll on Zebra 3 🙂

    Ps- completely subjective but from what I have seen I prefer the Minibrute and it costs a lot less.

    1. Yeah, I have the Minibrute, and it makes way more sonically interesting tones, in my opinion. I also have a Voyager and I think that has more depth than this as well.

    2. I absolutely love Diva and Zebra. But software on a computer can’t compete with the sound of an analog hardware synth.

      1. Yeah, I’m inclined to think 2 x Minibrute’s linked together would sound far more interesting than this even without the Moogerfoogers. In fact if a Minibrute was linked with the new rumoured MS20 (for a total of around 1100 euro) you’d have an animal 3 oscillator synth that would give most other mono synths a run for thier money. Food for thought.

  2. It’s basically a minibrute with an extra oscillator and much less function for twice the price. It’s cool and all but you could get a minibrute and a minitaur hook them together and have a really insane amount of possibilities for the same price.

    1. I dunno, i’m not hearing anything special. Its sounds good, very competent and solid, but not special. Minibrute on the other hand has a ‘sound’, which does make it special.

      1. It sounds great, different in sonically pleasant way, it has great control over sound, a lot of tweakability far more than mini brute, looks more durable, and it is capable of the classic sounds as well as those screaming leads as mini brute. It is more expensive though. Both of them are good synths sub phatty with pre and post flter overdrive and mini brute with metalizer, or how they call it, but this looks more versatile.

  3. I’m not sure you get the same build quality when buying a Minibrute and Moog builds and tests its synthesizers in USA not in China which also has a cost (and that’s the kind of thing I’m ready to pay for). This should be taken in account imho…
    Oh, and don’t forget the Moog filter too 🙂

      1. Probably true, but they are not paid fairly for their expertise. And hours and working conditions can be very rough for the Chinese worker.

        I don’t boycott Chinese products, but I am willing to pay a little more for an item that was made in a country where human rights are respected.

    1. I like to support local workers, but sadly American made stuff is often crappier. I don’t think that is the case with Moog, but it is with most other products.

      1. I have an awesome respect for American made products: Steinway, Caterpillar, Sub Zero, Kitchen Aid, among other fabulous quality brands. Not to mention Honda Accords and other foreign brand products made in the USA.

  4. Ok, so it sounds pretty good when you hear it raw. But then he passes it through a couple of thousand dollars worth of Moogerfoogers and it sounds awesome. Not a great sales pitch.

    1. It will be a classic. It’s one of the few interesting and original synthesizers produced in time when most synths in the market are the same stuff again and again, under the new label.

      Remember eighties? FM synthesis, phase-distortion synthesis…wavetable synthesis shortly after.

      Now almost nothing revolutionary happens, but even so minibrute has its own voice, and the most synths you could say that about belong to decades long past! As a matter of rule, synths of today don’t have personality — a characteristic that defines vintage machines like prophet 5, SEM, polivoks, MS20 etc.

      Minibrute, again, has it.

    2. 10 years form now the Minibrute will be made from what its made from now. Metal, with plastic ends, just like the Sub Phatty. Its not going to turn into plastic over time.

  5. I see where everyone’s coming from, but here’s my take.

    What did the old model D do that the SP doesn’t? Yes, it’s missing the bent saw waveform, but this has continuously variable ones, so you can make one anyway. The oscillators sound “moogy” enough for my tastes. Sure, it’s no vintage beauty but it captures the ethos of what the Mini was supposed to be about. Yes, the MiniBrute has more features and the metalliser thing, and it’s cheaper. However, some of us do just want a moog. The arturia is an awesome synth, and I don’t think moog would even have done this if the minibrute didn’t exist. Going back to the mini, it includes the ability to get that nasty drive – on top of Bob’s fortunate miscalculation, the oscillators can be overdriven pre-filter, multidrive gives it a crazy edge and I’m pretty sure you can still give it the classic feedback.

    Am I missing anything? For the people who want the crazy in-depth editing, there’s the voyager. For people who want a nice sound for a low price, there’s the minibrute. For someone who wants to start going analog, and wants something similar (at least workflow-wise) to the model D, this is at least an attainable price! Although having to do button combos for things like changing pitch bend range is a bit fiddly, Amos has shaved a fair bit off the price, and there’s clearly more that can be added (I’m thinking arpeggiation at some point). Remember that to change the bend range on the model D/old school, you had to take the back of the casing off!

  6. I really hope there’s a “latch” button. I don’t think I could cope with yet another hidden latch. and guessing this thing has no arpeggiator?

    I love every single sound that comes out of this thing but I’m getting really confused as to whether it replaces my LP or anticipated micro korg MS20. which has the same harsh sound.

  7. OF all the new stuff coming to Namm, this is very exciting as is the re-birth of MS-20, and even the King Korg could be interesting, I know its not analog, but a knobby polyphonic synth could be really interesting of the price is right. Companies have listened to what people want – the ability to tweak live and less menu diving, I hope other companies take note (Roland & Yamaha!)

  8. I think lots of people just miss the point about synths like this – In fact why are they even commenting? If you never play live and you do everything in the box that’s fine, that’s your choice – but don’t complain when a synth clearly not designed for you doesn’t float your boat!

    I have a Minibrute and a Minitaur, which are both very nice, – the Minibrute in particular is a future classic just because of it’s amazing bang for buck, but this sits very interestingly into a gap between the two. I was actually looking at Phattys, and a vintage Source recently and thinking that they seemed lovely but I couldn’t justify the money considering I have those other synths. THIS on the other hand, makes a lot of sense. It’s better looking than the Phatty, it’s well equipped considering Moogs tend to go for quality rather than quantity of options, and it’ll sounds better than any VA or softsynth on a big sound system.

  9. Don’t know about Sub Phatty, but LP has the most nicest sound I’ve heard. it’s a personal opinion of course.

  10. Still waiting for an apology from all those who didn’t like my analysis when this was launched. I pointed out there would be no way this would be under $800 and that moogs brand was high quality with high price. Everyone seemed to not like that…turned out to be true. Well done moog on everything but the name…this may compliment a voyager.

      1. No award needed…I just think its crazy that you get 30 negative votes for saying moog isn’t putting out a 599 cheap synth.

      2. No award needed…I just think its crazy that you get 30 negative votes for saying moog isn’t putting out $599 synth and that’s not their brand

  11. Yeah, it sounds like how you’d expect it to sound (which is good). I think for $100 more I would get the Minibrute and the Minotaur and be happier than if I just purchased the Sub Phatty.

  12. I too have a Minibrute and am considering getting another one but hoping Arturia will release a tabletop minus the keyboard. With two Minibrutes CVed or Midi’d together you have a pretty powerful two oscillator synth thats more versatile than the Moog and for the same $$.

  13. I sold my Slim Phatty because of the unstable Oscs, far worse then my aging (although modded by Ken Rich) Model D!, so the thought of some stable ones is tempting. I know lots of folks passed on the DSI Mopho keyboard as a gigging board simply because of the small 2.5 octave, and this is even smaller. Yet……I still want one….

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