How Moog Makes Synthesizer Apps

Developer Matthew Fecher (Audiokit) shared this in-depth interview with Geert Bevin, Software Engineering Manager and Software Product Manager at Moog Music, on how the company makes music apps.

Moog has created some of the most widely used music apps for iOS – including Animoog, Model D and Model 15. Their apps have been notable for their interface design and sound quality, but also for their frequency of updates and integration of new platform capabilities.

Last week, they released a free update for Model 15, adding support for a new operating system, macOS. The update makes Moog Model 15 one of the few software synthesizers to work in your DAW, standalone, on an iPad and on mobile devices.

In the interview, Fecher talks with Bevin about how Moog makes their apps, what goes into making an accurate virtual instrument, porting apps across platforms, Apple Silicon Macs and more.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro: Meet Geert Bevin, Head of Software Engineering
0:50 What MOOG is working on?
2:11 What it Means to move an iOS App to Mac
2:55 How to make a realistic Synthesizer emulation?
7:39 How to work for a company like MOOG?
16:47 What technologies should you learn to make music apps?
17:45 What Geert learned from Roger Linn
23:47 Why do you use Apple-centric platforms & tech?
27:04 Any apps coming for Windows?
27:30 Challenges you face making music apps at this level?
30:26 Porting AUv3s from iOS to M1 Silicon Machines
34:06 Whose bug is it: Apple bugs or app dev issues?
36:03 How Beta Testing is handled at Moog
39:40 What’s it like being a developer in the small town of Asheville
43:40 Finding Inspiration + Creativity
45:55 What does M1/Apple Silicon mean for the future of music apps?
51:30 Will users have to pay to get Moog apps on the desktop?
53:18 Music makes people’s lives better
56:10 Final thoughts / advice for App Developers
59:37 Go to WWDC

Note: Bevin is also one of the creators of MPE and has helped Roger Linn develop the LinnStrument. See our interview with Geert Bevin On MPE & Creating A New Standard Of Musical Expression.

9 thoughts on “How Moog Makes Synthesizer Apps

  1. Can’t comment on future ports to windows? Why is that a secret? Guess I can’t be bothered to purchase them then even if they do happen to poof into existence.

    1. Geert is a software developer and isn’t allowed to announce unreleased products. That’s not the way businesses work. Not sure why you’re getting angry about that.

      This is one reason that the company I work for doesn’t usually let the engineering team do interviews or talk to end users. Everyone always asks, “When is the new version of [redacted] coming out?” and my honest answer would have to be, “When we get it to stop crashing/glitching/finished.”

  2. And IOS app, ported to an OSX app cant just be poofed into a windows program. Either you piss people off with a secret, or you tell them it’s coming and piss them off with how long it takes to port. Damned if you do…. Its great btw.

  3. Hey Moog how about update your 500 series Delay APP THAT IS useless because you won’t update it ,not good for a $1000 module and the App is a very important part of the advertisement sale that open up new delays times etc…

    1. what do you want them to update? it’s working fine… you also have the stand alone and the plug-ins editors for win/mac for free. and if you are not so lazy you can also do all this and much more with a midi cc.
      most delay units don’t do anything remotely like that, especially analog ones.
      i guess the more you get, the more you complain. useless my a$$

  4. It’s a shame we haven’t seen Model 15 or Animoog ported to Windows. I think it’s a bigger missed opportunity than they realize. On the hardware side they HAVE come around to understanding how beneficial introducing Eurorack compatible instruments could be to the company’s bottom line. While I don’t think Window’s VSTs of these products will have as much impact, I do think they could pay back for development time.

    In the end though, it’s their company, their decisions.

    1. Most audio app developers do iOS & MacOS first now, because they are much more profitable platforms, and many of these music apps will never make it to Android & Windows.

      Android and Windows are more expensive to develop for, because of the variety of devices you have to support, piracy is rampant and they represent a smaller niche than iOS & MacOS.

      Android/Windows users seem to want to ignore or deny this, but it’s been like this for years.

Leave a Reply