The Moog Sub Phatty Filter – ‘How Delicious It Is!’

Synth savant Marc Doty continues his in-depth look at the Moog Sub Phatty synthesizer, introduced at this year’s NAMM Show.

In the first video in the series, Doty looked at the Sub Phatty’s oscillators. In the second of his Sub Phatty videos, he takes a look at the Sub Phatty filter.

He mention’s Moog’s Amos Gaynes in the video – check out Gaynes’ demo of the Sub Phatty.

If you like Doty’s videos, check out his AutomaticGainsay on YouTube.

9 thoughts on “The Moog Sub Phatty Filter – ‘How Delicious It Is!’

  1. I really liked this little synth and it’s possible that someday I’ll get one… BUT I think the Little/Slim’s filter is better and you get a more creamy overdrive sound that is more pleasent to my ears. I guess it is focusing on something a little more aggressive. My 2 cents…

    1. Hmm, I don’t know. That’s actually a really interesting question. Honestly, I’m perfectly happy with overdriven/distorted sounds, because it can be so different depending upon the source of sound, so you can really interesting/different results by using the exact same process/circuit/algorithm. Personally, I love how the Sub Phatty sounds, and the versatility of its sound more than justifies its price point.

  2. Not saying anything negative or positive about it, but I find it curious that recently we equate modern synths with loads of overdrive… Does anyone know what started this? Was it the Minibrute perhaps? This synth seems to be a direct response to it… Perhaps I am missing something else.

    1. Because everyone on the planet that is producing electronic dance music throws distortion on their lead sounds because it makes it sound fat and dirty.

  3. That’s an interesting point, but I think that the DSI Mopho and really, the Little Phatty were on that vibe before the excellent Minibrute. The Phatty’s been out since 2006. The Evolver series also has made use of a lot of crazy distortion in some of its preset sounds.

    I think it started when we as players felt that synths were too clean sounding. Also, the trick of routing the output of a synth into its own input goes back right to the Minimoog. We later learned that this was such a great sounding synth partly because of a mistake whereby the oscillators were driving the filter too hard. That is what is being replicated on the SP.

    1. Or for a more technical explanation why overdrive makes sense in a subtractive synth: Overdrive/Distortion/Clipping all introduce new harmonics to a signal, making it sonically richer up to the point where you get something nasty that resembles noise more than anything else. Filtering on the other hand takes out harmonics or emphasizes certain frequency bands. Consequently the sonic range of a synth with overdrive before the filters will be larger than that of the same synth without overdrive.

      I for one welcome our new overdriven and distorted synth overlords!

  4. The trouble with a lot of these overdrive\distortion\diode clipping type sounds is that although they sound fantastic in isolation, in most of the music that I make, they are just too fat, and contain too many frequencies\harmonics.
    This means that they obscure or obliterate the rest of the mix unless they are reduced in volume to a point where they become gutless…….

    1. As mentioned by the commenter above, the overdrive gives harmonic richness to a subtractive synthesizer — your filters are designed to cut/subtract frequencies while the overdrive/resonance/etc allows you to ADD frequencies. People may use it in excess, but in small doses it is very important to proper sound design. I think the Sub Phatty is extremely versatile for sound design. You have a versatile filter that can act as a 24db filter or a 12db filter (switchable) giving you the best of both worlds.

      If you ever have a hard time deciding on a synth…… save up for the most expensive one in your list, then buy them all, one by one, and return them if you don’t like them. Almost every store has a 30-day return policy. I don’t think anyone needs more than 30 days to determine if they like something.

      But yeah, don’t be swayed by the grittiness of modern synths… most of these synths still can produce warm and soft tones. It’s up to you whether you overload things. 🙂

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