Moog One Synthesizer In-Depth Review

In this video, synthesist and developer Tim Shoebridge shares an in-depth look at the Moog One synthesizer, along with audio demos and his thoughts on it.

“Fundamentally, this video contains my personal opinions on this synth, having owned and played it for the last six months,” he notes. “It’s like a sports car! I absolutely love this synthesizer.”

Topics covered:

00:01:09 Introduction
00:06:24 LFOs
00:11:50 VCOs
00:14:58 VCFs
00:21:56 Modulation
00:24:39 VARS
00:30:28 Transforms
00:36:23 Quirks & Limitations
00:46:56 Tuning Issues
00:56:11 Multi Synth Engine Patch
01:03:59 Conclusions

27 thoughts on “Moog One Synthesizer In-Depth Review

  1. An expensive synth. Big $$$

    Is there a reverse mortgage kind of thing with synthesizers? They pay for me to have the synth now and get it when I die.

    1. Nah.

      16 voice analog synth with 3 oscs, 2 filters and million lfo’s and envelopes, all with such routing possibilities and memory structure, as well as creative programming functions, powerful effect algorithms and routing capabilities and cv, and just overall outstanding amount of synthesizer power:
      Is just impressive regrdless of manufacturer.

      On the contrary, I think the notion, that such a behemoth wouldn’t be AT LEAST impressive must stem from irrational antipathy towards Moog.

    2. That’s ridiculous.

      The Moog One is objectively one of the greatest analog synths ever created, a more powerful synth than justifiably revered synths like the Yamaha CS-80, the Roland Jupiter 8 or the Prophet 5.

      While the Moog One is expensive, it’s a better instrument and a better value than a lot of the revered classic synths. I’ve lusted after a Prophet 5 forever, but those classic analogs are more valuable now as collectibles than as instruments.

      And there’s really not a lot of current analog synths with similar power to compare to the Moog One. There are definitely lots of affordable choices – like the Deepmind 12 or the Prologue – but the Moog One is on another level entirely.

      There’s always been a market for professional, high-end synths – and while you can bicker over which one is the best or if their for ‘hipster collectors’, we have better synths available to us than Vangelis or Jarre or Carlos or TD did when they created their master works. That’s both amazing and a little daunting.

      1. Ok AnalOG, then get someone to make some demos with it that aren’t all tried and true worn out brassy/farty Moog sounds, but polyphonic. I have yet to hear “an amazing range of sound” from this beast, even with my own hands on time with it (UI is clunky btw, imo).

        BTW, you all just proved my point. 🙂

        1. How would you change the UI to improve it? Take into consideration there’s already a lot of real estate and controls on the unit, but you already know that

      2. “one of the greatest analog synths ever created, a more powerful synth than justifiably revered synths like the Yamaha CS-80, the Roland Jupiter 8 or the Prophet 5. ” ….. puaaahhh .ROFL…..ROFL….ROFL…:-))))

    3. You’ve got it backwards. It’s an impressive synth no matter who makes it. But if it didn’t bear the Moog name, it wouldn’t be able to command the same price.

    4. well, he is kinda bipolar with this review but here, i picked a better line of him for you: ”if you try and think of what the competition is for this synth, i dont think there is any competition for this synth, no other synth manifacture has developed and build something that sale today that does what this thing is capable of doing and that is pretty much a fact.”

  2. Hm.. The Moog One. It’s a great and powerful synthesizer – no doubt. And it looks nice – and very much so.
    However – even if I am old enough to actually afford one – I’m still reluctant.
    The reasons are personal (of course)
    – For one I cannot see what that synth will add to my music that I currently cannot achieve with the stuff I already have.
    – Secondly – the more powerful (i.e. versatile) a synth gets, the less character it’s got.

  3. still 3 out of 4 bought go back. The tuning problems can’t be solved, and moreover the One simply sounds dull, two-dimensional, without any inspiration. Basically an analog – digital hybrid synth. No matter how hard the marketing department tries, it remains a disaster. One of the few synthesizers that gather dust in every shop and are immediately available.

    But hey, the One has great Mini Oled Displays, which visualize a saw tooth or a sine wave, so great. Sorry for my sarcasm, I would have liked to buy a polyphonic Moog, but I can still get upset about this chimera of a polyphonic analog synthesizer.Moog just can’t Poly.

    1. yeah the ob6 and prophet 6 sound so much more rich and compelling, there’s something about the One sound that sounds like there’s something wrong with the phasing that sucks the life out of the output

      I am absolutely convinced the people who end up buying it defend it to death because of how much they paid/lost vs. those who quietly resell it and speak no more of it 😉

      1. I’ve owned both, returned both, the dsi synths sound sterile, lifeless /the oscillators/ and their filters are the most boring ones I’ve ever heard, even though the ob-6 is having the famous sem filter it still cant bring the synth to life, sorry but dsi just sound cold.

      2. The Moog One sounds great! It’s rich, clear, beautiful sounding synthesizer that would make any enthusiast want to try it. In saying that, all Moog synths sound great. The M-One is a Moog, which means its range of timbre is characteristically Moog, and we’ve all heard that sound before. A lot of technology in the box, a lot of design, a lot of options, but still, at the end of the day, it sounds like a Moog. Nothing inventive there. Give me an OB6-Prophet6 combo any day over a Moog!

  4. I agree. I’ve had my share of Moogs & enjoyed them, but they go south as polys. Not that the >sound< is bad at all, but they come across like giant carnival organs in that form, or like Farfisas with added balls, in the case of the Polymoog. It also takes double the work to make them not say 'Moog' so loudly, which nukes the point of having one. You buy a Strat to get a Strat, not to play ukelele stuff on it.

    I get the feeling that lurking inside the Moog One is a new 'Memorymoog' with all of the character, at half the price. Its hard to say if Moog has any trickle-down ideas about it, since its such a massive circuit-beast inside, but you'd probably see a lot more Moog Twos around @ $4k. Trim off the touch pad, save costs on the smaller total case, for instance.

    My take: the best Moog "poly" is the Grandmother. It offers modular powers without becoming a mass of cords, but also offers some decent poly options. Look at a Moog as mostly a solo voice & you'll get a lot more from it.

  5. I look at this site everyday, ocassionally see some tidbit that is inspiring or make me wish I had more cash but I rarely see anything on par with ableton, max msp or reaktor. And before any analog purists start raging about the sound differences, id you can’t make interesting music on whatever gear you have you can’t make interesting music. Also if you can’t make your computer sound analog if that’s what you want you don’t know how to use your stupid computer. Seeing hundreds of similar eurorack modules and analog clones is getting really boring. Can’t wait to see something that we as cool as the nord lead or modular when those cane out. Ps wanna be Klaus Schulz outdoor modular jammers……. you know.

  6. See that lovely Matriarch right above the One? I was seriously contemplating the One, then played the Matriarch. IMHO, and for my needs.. I prefer the Matriarch all day long. It sounds better, is much more immediate (classic, logical UI) and is one of the best sounding synths I have ever used. And although it was not about saving $$, you can throw in a MatrixBrute, P6 and OB6 for the same amount of cash.

    1. I absolutely agree.I’ve had the Matriarch since January, it’s a wonderful synth that has everything that “The One” doesn’t have. The Matriarch has character and in my opinion it’s the best Moog that has been released in the last 10 years (besides the D-Reissue). I had “THE ONE ” – The name alone pisses me off. I hope that the responsible marketing fuzzy will have to make a living under the bridges of NY . I never thought that Moog talks like a Hedgefont Manager or Adolf H “The ONE” ….. Embarrissing- standing here for 2 months and I am still shocked about so much rubbish in one instrument. A stillborn, sorry to say that so clearly. But currently there is nothing poly analog on 21st Century synthesizers besides the P6 or OB 6 that is worth mentioning – ok, a Schmidt, but that’s another topic.

      1. The Black Corporation range of synths are absolutely worth mentioning – especially the Xerxes. All of their synths have defined character and all of them are worth owning. The Xerxes in particular is an absolutely amazing synth and has all of the character that the One is missing. Miss their range at your own peril. Future classics.

        1. oh yes, thats true, however I wouldn´t call them “future classics” , they are mimicing current “classics” and doing a great job.

  7. One more review showcasing how bland this synth is. The correction warble is clearly inexcusable in a synth of that price and a brand of that statue. I hope they fix it. All this power didn’t end up crafting interesting sound, perhaps because they got stuck in the past. No thru-zero fm, no wavefolders, run of the mill digital effects, what did they expect?

  8. Hey Tim, great review and very circumspect about the Moog 1. Good balance in terms of examining features, performance, and shortcomings. Thoughtful and informative. Thanks.

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