Moog Music today announced that it is releasing the Moog Werkstatt – originally designed for a hands-on workshop during Moogfest 2014 – as a limited edition hackable synthesizer.
During Moogfest, the comppany facilitated a two-day workshop, in which Moog engineers assisted 125 participants in building Werkstatt, an educational, patchable analog synthesizer designed specifically for the event. It was Moog’s first workshop since 1997, when Bob Moog held a theremin workshop in Portland, Maine.
The Moogfest synth building workshop received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants. There was substantial interest in a wider release for the Werkstatt at Synthtopia and elsewhere. The challenge, though, was that the Werkstatt was originally designed for assembly at synth-building sessions at Moogfest 2014, with the help of Moog’s product engineers & technicians.
Moog has responded to interest by creating a no-soldering-required version of Werkstatt, the Werkstatt-Ø1 Moogfest 2014 Analog Synthesizer. They are releasing it in limited quantities to a small number of US dealers only. Here’s Moog’s official intro video for the Werkstatt-Ø1:
“We created Werkstatt specifically as an educational tool for teaching electronics assembly techniques and analog synthesizer circuit design in a workshop at Moogfest 2014.” said Moog Product Development Specialist Steve Dunnington, creator of the Werkstatt.“That workshop was very special for the Moog engineers. We learned so much from the experience and each of the participants.”
Since the end of Moogfest 2014, Moog responded to interest and decided to modify Werkstatt to make it appropriate outside of a workshop setting.
Boards are pre-built, so the Werkstatt doesn’t require soldering, just assembly. This means it’s not limited to users that have experience with soldering, but preserves the design’s patchability, expansion options and hackability.
“While we can’t duplicate the experience of the Moogfest 2014 Engineering VIP Workshop,” adds Dunnington, “Werkstatt-Ø1 will still offer a valuable and fun educational experience for customers.”
Here’s a video we shot at Moogfest, with Dunnington and Moog’s Trent Thompson:
The Werkstatt-Ø1 Moogfest 2014 Analog Synthesizer
The Werkstatt-Ø1 Moogfest 2014 Analog Synthesizer features a single voltage controlled oscillator with two selectable waveshapes, saw and pulse. This section also includes a control for adjusting pulse width modulation and oscillator frequency, which extends from 8Hz to 16KHz.
The voltage controlled filter section houses a classic 4-pole Moog Ladder Filter with 20Hz-20kHz frequency response, and a variable resonance control that is capable of driving the filter into self oscillation.
Werkstatt-Ø1 has two selectable modulation sources; a dual waveshape LFO with 0.2Hz-600Hz sweepable range, and a variable attack/decay envelope section with sustain on/off switch. Modulation sources are easily assigned via dedicated VCO and VCF modulation sections, each with a variable control for modulation amount.
Also included in each Werkstatt-Ø1 is a breadboard-style patchable header, which expands its sonic abilities. This patchable header features a dedicated external audio input, and control voltage inputs for VCO linear FM, VCO exponential FM, VCF, VCA, and LFO. CV outputs are in pairs, and include dual outputs for Keyboard CV, EG, LFO, VCF, VCO, Gate, and Trigger.
Pricing and Availability
The Moog Music Werkstatt-01 is priced at US $329, and will be available in limited quantities through the following list of retailers:
- Switched On
- Perfect Circuit Audio
- Analogue Haven
- Big City Music
- Midwest Pro Sound
- Nova Musik
- Foxtone Music
- Main Drag Music
- Sweetwater Sound
- Alto Music
- Three Wave Music
- Control Voltage
Retailers are taking pre-orders now and expect to be able to ship initial units later this month. For additional information, see the Moog Music website.
71 thoughts on “You Asked, They Listened: Moog Music Releases Limited Edition Werkstatt-01 Synth Kit”
Now doesn’t that sound nice
yes, it doesn’t sound nice. Check the youtube demo.
Who cares really.
Uhm – people that are into synths?
For another hundred bucks or so you could get a BS2 or Microbrute.
It’s true the microbrute is a great value, on paper. The sounds though, aieee, just don’t appeal to me. Nasal, harsh. This is the real deal, if you like warm and fat. I have one. If you were starting out and had no keyboard or anything, yeah, I agree microbrute is a better starting point. But if this is your 5th sound box, the sound/price is really awesome.
MicroBrute is great. Not as fat sounding as this Moog Werkstatt, but still sounds great with huge tonal variety.
I run the MicroBrute through a Wiard Boogie Filter if I need it to sound fatter.
The Werkstatt filter is super fat.
I wouldn’t be so quick to discount the Microbrute. This is coming from a huge Moog fanboy (me). I was not impressed with the Minibrute when I played it, but my buddy got a Microbrute, and after 3 min with it, I wanted one. I got it, and it actually surprised me, a lot. For only $250 USD at Guitar Center, that thing is a goddamn STEAL. It may not be as ‘fat’ (phat) as a Moog in some respects, but man that thing is mean, and can really scream. It can actually cut through a mix better in some instances than my Moog. It’s got ever so many different timbres you can pull out of it. Plus a step sequencer and patching?? It’s a huge synth in a tiny package, and somehow ridiculously under-priced. That said, I would still love to get my hands on this Werkstatt-Ø1. 🙂
And for $150 you can get a Volca Bass, which is a great deal, but doesn’t sound as good and is made of plastic.
This seems fairly priced for what it is. It looks like Moog didn’t compromise on the sound quality or the build quality. This may be most popular with people that want to have a good starting point for custom builds – I could see putting this into a larger case, with real jacks and more patch points.
and for 90 bucks you can get yourself three monotrons and create modular monotron environment! that said, I don’t see the point comparing these.
i don’t think you can really do a head to head comparison. different features to suit different people.
i find the moog more appealing than those because it has more cv outs, is more hackable and i like the smaller form factor. (if i’m going to use keys i want 61) i’d have more fun using something like, korg little bits, ardunio and werkstatt.
no soldering?! what fun is that?
You know that nobody at Moog wanted to have the job of doing tech support for all the mangled Werkstatt builds, though.
I built one of these at Moogfest, and I have to concur. What’s the fun without the soldering?
Moog should do like the old days and sell schematic diagrams, with parts list and PCB layout ready for photolithographing. You want hardcorp? Go hardcorp. No pussyfooting around.
Add 1/8th inch jacks to the top or back, and I’d buy one for +100 smackers. I really love the sound of this guy. Just can’t be bothered with the interfacing yet.
or you could add 3mm/ 1/8″ jacks yourself for just $5
I’ll do it for your for $100, just send me a werkstat I’ll put 1/8 inch jacks on it, and ship it back after I recieve payment
did you mean for audio or for the patchbay?
$329 for a Moog synth that’s patchable sounds like a deal. I’d love to see this behind a 5U panel, but that’s another story.
shouldn’t be hard to mod 🙂
wut about midi or c/v ? i dont know if i woud want to use it without a sequencer – but what do i know rite?
MIDI sort of isn’t the point of this. It does have CV in – if you actually look at the breakout section on the right of the unit, it has both linear and exponential VCO frequency inputs, so it’ll be compatible with all your CV kit (in theory). A jumper with a jack on it wouldn’t be hard to solder up at all.
Got one of these?
i think 300usd for a single oscillator synth is kinda silly. it’s not like making it patchable is drastically more expensive.
yeah, what is that – $50 for parts and $279 for the brand name. But I’d likely buy one as I am prone to idiocy.
Show me a $50 kit for an analog synth, that actually plays in tune and offers excellent expansion capabilities, plus uses quality parts like a custom steel case, and your comment might start to make sense. You’d be hard pressed to get the case alone for $50!
You don’t want to look into modulars, then. You can easily pay $300 for a single oscillator, and it can be a good deal, too!
Compared to other synths in this pricerange, like Arturia Microbrute/Minibrute, DSI Mopho, MFB, Stylophone S2 this Werkstatt seems to sound really thinny and boring, like the worst synth Moog ever made. Reading the comments here I figure most people don’t seem to judge by sound and only look at the brand, but don’t you have ears man?
Better get those ears checked out, of you think this sounds ‘thinny’ next to a Microbrute, Mopho or a Stylophone.
A single oscillator synth with a 24 db/oct Moog filter, like this, is going to sound massive on bass, as some of the demo sounds showcase.
But different strokes for different folks. I’d be hesitant to hack on any of those other synths, and this is made for it.
I take the internal speakers of my Macbook as reference, because in the end it’s what music is going to be listened with. And judging by them this Werkstatt even sounds a lot worse than a Korg Monotron. As in, no punch. Maybe there is a lot of punch in the bass range, maybe not, I don’t care. If it sounds crap on my Macbook speakers there is no point to get it for me, although I’d probably get it anyway if it was offered in Germany too, as I got and used the Volcas while not being convinced by them.
However, if you do have your ears checked and test one of the analog Arturia brutes side by side with a ms20 mini you’ll figure they don’t lack anything soundwise, at least that’s how it went for me after testing both several times for several hours. I didn’t compare to Moog a lot because it was too pricey at the moment, but I don’t remember ever disliking any analog Moog synth. Just listening said demos on my Macbook I’m really surprised how thin the Werkstatt sounds. Maybe it’s the volume of the demos, maybe it’s my ignorance regarding bass, I hear what you mean modulation wise but not in the mids and highs which a lead and even a bass synth should cover well. Just doesn’t sound as saturated as 95% of similar prised synths do. Waiting for demos proving me wrong.
you take your macbook internal speakers as a reference?
no offense – but this is, by far the most ignorant and bizarre thing i have ever read on the music related forum.
If you’re looking for gear not being in need of any EQing at best, it is the way to go. Sorry to inform you that I’m trying to get rid of EQs in terms of music production, and for that reason take my Macbook speakers as quite good reference. And if it’s only bass sounds, some basses sound amazing here, some don’t. It’s simply about how great stuff sounds without tons of bass. In the end, I want to enjoy even my own stuff on my Macbook speakers, hence they being the reference for first impressions.
Internal macbook speakers are not an effective reference. Use something better.
This is a joke, right? There is no way that you seriously consider crappy laptop speakers as an adequate reference for judging the sound of a synth – especially when the demo is playing bass notes. All you are hearing is the resonance. That is why it sounds thin to you.
I do think that the price is a little much for what it is. I would have liked to see it available for less, but maybe the fact that it is a limited run forced them to keep the price high. There are many comparables in that price range that have more features and don’t require modding to make them useful. If I was still a beginner at synth DIY, then I might get it so I have something cool to learn with, but it isn’t something I see myself purchasing right now at that price.
I use a piezo element epoxied to a bongo drum for reference. I don’t find the sound of the Moog tinny, but I do find it buzzy and muffled. Also, I can’t understand a word the presenter is saying.
I can see the point in checking what stuff sounds like on any number of different speaker set ups, including computer speakers, but as a reference point..erm?
Also, Moog didn’t listen to me, or anyone else living outside US. It’s only released or US market, and there are a lot of people living in the rest of the world wanting to take part in things like this. Imagine all synth manufacturers now offering simple synths only for the country they are placed at. Good thing there is Vermona here in such a case! lol
meant to say for US market, not or US. Sorry my fault.
It’s not necessarily easy to make things available worldwide. Dealing with taxes, regulations and approvals, warranty, power supply, etc. Seems like they just wanted to put this out with the least amount of hassle.
Are you really complaining that there are no vendors in your country right after you said you didn’t like the way it sounds?
Make up your mind and then learn about international shipping if you really are interested!
I would get one anyway if I can test it at a local store and convince myself it’s not as bad as my first impression was. And yes, I feel disappointed I can’t do so. In the end demos never show the full spectrum of sounds.
so you are complaining that the synth sounds crap and then that its only released in the US.
incredible. just incredible. and do get the em ears checked.
What’s with the German name? The guy can’t even pronounce it correctly :/
Plus the “Ø” thing. Swedish Elektron nod? Monte Python reference?
or you know…just a symbol for zero. smh.
i know! is it Mooog or Mogue? jeez!
I think it means “workshop”….
Not at this price point for me.
I ordered mine from Control Voltage earlier in the week. I wonder how limited this release is.
Looks like a lot of fun to me. I have been having lots of fun lately programming ARM chips to drive my Minitaur CV inputs, and if anything this seems like even more fun to control with CV.
“The challenge, though, was that the Werkstatt was originally designed for assembly at synth-building sessions at Moogfest 2014, with the help of Moog’s product engineers & technicians.”
… There are plenty of DIY’ers out there perfectly capable of soldering a couple switches and potentiometers to a circuit board. The challenge is “how much money can Moog squeeze out of this”. It would definitely be cheaper if they released it as a true DIY kit, but then Moog wouldn’t be able to sell one for as much, and not as many….since not everyone knows how to solder, and shouldn’t try to learn on a $300 synth.
Sounds good though, I still kinda want one. And there IS that small experimenting section where you can solder in whatever you want (to mod your Moog!) , so I give Moog props on that.
FYI – if you watch the video, they point out that many of the traces can be cut and turned into patch points, so there are more patch points available to serious hackers than the patch bay & the proto area.
A Moog synth for $329? What’s not to like?
The fact that it’s not available in my country ( and I would have to pay 21% vat + import duty if I order from the USA)…
I totally agree with you. This would have been great if it was available outside the US but with shipping and Tax I might as well just pay the extra for a Minitaur (which I want anyway). I would have love to have seen this as a full kit at maybe a slightly cheaper price. Still, it sounds pretty awesome!
Get the Minitaur. It’s loads of fun. One of my favorite synths. Through a guitar amp it can knock down your whole neighborhood.
I know for a fact this came up last time the Werkstatt was covered here, but it bears repeating—those protoboard style connectors wear out very quickly if you’re patching in and out of the same ones over and over. I’d suggest the first “mod” for any buyer of this synth be replacing them with some 1/8″ jacks.
A side effect would be easier eurorack compatibility. Now, I don’t own any eurocrack yet, bgut damn if this isn’t making me think about grabbing a Maths and couple of LFOs and maybe an extra filter and heck, why not a Tides and a Galilean Moons and and and
or use a breakout board. or solder jacks on in parallel. there’s no point in removing them.
No soldering, just put in the box and screw together.. What a f-in joke, just like that MS-20 kit, if you’re gonna do a kit, let the user actually do something, fail Moog, fail Korg.
i remember them stressing out how this wasn´t no monotribe or monotron.
it´s clearly a rip off of the concept. i am not complaining but korg beat them to the innovation punch.
only moog took the budget pocket synth and made it less budget.
Wasn’t MIDI like the most inexpensive part of a synth?
Remove the keyboard buttons and add midi in. Add in a second oscillator and a better ADSR. Sell it for around $400. It would sell bucket loads.
Doesn’t thing like that exist already? You know… called Minitaur.
Proves that Moog could make a 6-voice poly synth for $1500, and I really wish they would!!
This looks like it’s marketed directly to hipsters and those who base their purchases on hype… no midi, no keyboard, extremely limited synth architecture… patchbay that will fail on you after a year… the “moog filter”…lol Guys… it’s NOT the same filter as the one in a moog modular, model D, or voyager…
The price seems fair because you are paying for a name. But this thing is waay outclassed by it’s competitors… buy a microbrute, or even a used VA like the Novation UltraNova… it will sound “phatter.” I promise. Plus, you will get keys, midi, patches, etc…
That’s what I’m saying.
It’d be great if they’d open-source this design. Doubt they will, though.
the synth looks fun,
the comments are debby downers
so much gas
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