A Love Letter To The Moog DFAM, “One Of The Most Interesting Analog Synthesizer Products That Has Been Released In Decades’

The latest Mylar Melodies video takes an in-depth look at the Moog DFAM, ‘one of the most interesting analog synthesizer products that has been released in decades’.

Video Summary:

“Here’s a demo video explaining the Moog DFAM and why I think one of the most original, interesting analogue synths to come out in years. In it I’ll explain how it works, jam a little, pairing it with a TR08, and Mother-32 at the end!

Strangely I shot this video several years ago (March 2018 according to the files) but never got round to editing it at the time. In the spirit of better late than never – here it is now. A lot has changed since then, but then a lot has not. It’s still a very original take on subtractive synthesis, and it can teach us a lot about approaches we can take on a modular synth too (think – sequencers controlling VCA’s that control envelopes that are used to modulate parameters). And it’s still fun as hell to jam on.

PS. Spot the error when I’m talking about the noisy VCF input (actually what’s happening is the pitch sequencer CV is directly stepping the filter since whatever you put into the socket replaces the default routing).

PPS. There’s some plugin reverb on this not pictured (Valhalla Vintage Verb and Eventide Blackhole, UAD Galaxy Tape Echo)”

30 thoughts on “A Love Letter To The Moog DFAM, “One Of The Most Interesting Analog Synthesizer Products That Has Been Released In Decades’

  1. I had a DFAM. Kept for a few months. Sold it. Then bought again. And sold it for good.
    I was able to make a few interesting percussive loops withit. But it took so long to get there. It was at the same time a very playable machine but unfortunately a great source of frustration as it is difficult to get outside of the kind of basic percussive sound it can make. Always the same color that I could not stand anymore after a few months.

  2. Same here, kind of a love-hate relationship with it (as with all three the Moog semi’s). The hands-on concept is good fun, as is the sound when you get gritty. However, I found the sound as a whole rather limited, even with the patch bay, so I sold it. A different aesthetic, but I use a Manis/Basimilus + Mimetic as my groove foundation, never looked back.

    1. Indeed! Cool stuff to do with DFAM
      – put quantizers on the VCO’s
      – modulate the VCA Decay, VCF Decay, and VCO decay with a (cheap) Behringer 960
      – modulate Noise, CF, and FM Amt with a 2nd 960
      – add Mother-32’s and a SubH!

      A very cool group of euro-synths Moog created. Love ’em! Never leave ’em!

  3. Its a matter of the right tool for the right job. I’ve never heard a Moog make a bad sound, with the big asterisk of * “Depending on your intent.” Its a gnarly beast on purpose. You know who you are. You buy a DFAM for dance and so-called experimental, not string quartets. A DFAM and Mother 32 are instant Schulze or D&B.

    I can understand an instrument that just doesn’t ring your bell, but give it a year. I usually kept one piece each from different makers for the range of voices.

  4. Can this box make those good, hard, punchy kicks? I’m not a fan of kick drums that have a lot of distortion or long, headache-inducing tails. Hard, gut-punching, analog kick drums.

    1. Yes it can but making conventional drum noises is not where the DFAM lives. As the video shows it’s for making rhythmic synth loops for extreme techno destruction. At least that’s what I love mine for, paired with analog four and analog rytm it’s the most inspiriation minimal setup I’ve used.
      But if you’re looking for a drum machine you’re going to be badly disappointed

    2. Yes, it definitely can in multiple ways, but it might not be the most straightforward tool if you are just looking for a good kick. Depends on the context of your intentions I guess 🙂

  5. Most of these Videos are Stockholm-Syndrom-induced Shills. As it has been said before; it has a nice sound, that is pretty samey and ultimately a much to expensive luxury toy. It’s like a drunken elephant “in the Track”, unpractical and clumsy.
    As a cheap alternative: iOS Ruismaker Noir. You can also run 5 of those simultaneously (without raising rents in your neighborhood too)

      1. Calling the DFAM an Instrument is a far stretch. Hate it or love it Mr Pucci Galucci; there is lots of good stuff happening on iOS. 2nd hand ones are DIRT cheap and run several MIDI and SYnth apps at the same time easily.

        1. I am well aware of what’s happening on iOS Mr. Jaeger Schmaeger. But the fact my iPad is helpful in the studio does not make DFAM anything less. Two things can be great at the same time, and most people will never find themselves in a situation where they have to chose between a semi-modular analog drum machine and a tablet computer.

        1. >Most of these Videos are Stockholm-Syndrom-induced Shills.

          well said.
          Title of this threat is hilarious to me.

          i listen to al sorts of industrial music (and more harmonic music too) for decades but i dont like the sound of these. and indeed al very samey. i always hope it will surprice me, but no…
          Top-salesman Mylar can make everything sound really good, so that tells me something.

          is it not possible to silence steps????
          can it make 7 step (for example) long sequences?

          whenever i hear these raindrops i feel like getting out my desktop evolver and create a universe.
          but with save options and, admittedly, plasticky knobs.
          o wait. this Moog has no knob-caps at all.
          if the Edge sounds about the same i dont think i need to pick it up as first B-brand synth.

          1. if you looking for shortcomings like the number of steps or the material of knobs you missing the point. i guess it’s just not for you.

            1. agree that material of knobs is arguably not of the greatest importance, although we are talking about a high-end instrument here. But number of steps do have a significant impact on the sound here on this sequencer based machine. i also would like step repeats and i am not sure if it’s possible to do back-forth style sequencing, essentially doubling the effective amount of steps. these factors would expand the rhythmic capabilities quite essentially. muting some steps still my first concern. and gate lenghts

            2. i don’t get the arguments. I was talking about the sound in first place and the inability to program syncopated rhythms, not ‘number of steps’,
              which is a humble omission in my giant opinon 😉

              i guess it’s just for you

              1. You don’t seem to understand that this is not a drum machine, it’s not marketed as one and no buyer should expect it to be one. .

                But it is a complete Eurorack synth voice that is tailored to percussive sounds. So if you want syncopated 64-step sequences, it’s no more complex than connecting two cables to your drum machine or step sequencer.

    1. you could say the same about any x0x roland machines, they are not sprinkled with magic dust,
      they sound great because of the people who find a way to make it “practical” in music context and afterward people with the same kind of logic like you who wanted a conventional way to copy their music..
      and now with their phone…

    2. Frank – it sounds like you either don’t have any experience with the DFAM, or you don’t understand modular synths.

      All the Moog Euro modules offer great bang for the buck, if you know what you’re doing.

      You can play the DFAM like a Minimoog, use it to create sequenced bass riffs, use it as a drum module, used it to create beats, use it as a step sequencer and in many other ways.

  6. My comments and answers to other users get deleted here. I repeat; this device is unnecessary and the shilling focused reports here are beyond sus. Get some creative content going or leave it. It’s all so samey nowadays, tiring and boring.

    1. NOT Frank – comments from first-time commenters on this site are always held for human moderation. This keeps spam and hate speech off the site.

      If you post repetitive comments using multiple user names, your comments will be treated as spam. If you use a consistent identify and contribute constructively to the site, this should not be an issue.

  7. I like Mylar, his videos are thorough and his quirky delivery is unique. However, and this is not specific to him or his videos, people will say positive things when they’re given free gear. Can anyone really claim that this mundane drum synth is one of the more interesting analog synths in years?

    Musicians should realize that a large number of these very professional “product review” videos are coordinated behind the scenes. It should be an industry standard that reviewers are transparent about whether they received free equipment in exchange for positive reviews.

    1. “Musicians should realize that a large number of these very professional “product review” videos are coordinated behind the scenes. It should be an industry standard that reviewers are transparent about whether they received free equipment in exchange for positive reviews.”

      Completely wrong. Why do people make up naive conspiracies. when it’s transparent how these things work?

      Every “professional product review” discloses if it is sponsored, in any way. It’s the law and it’s required by Youtube. Here’s what they say about it:

      “If your content has a paid product placement, endorsement, or other commercial relationship, you need to tell YouTube so that we can facilitate disclosures to users. Note that you may have more obligations depending on the laws in your jurisdiction. If you don’t follow those obligations, we may act against your content or account.”

      What companies DO give to ‘synthfluencers’ is early access to new products.

      Early access is not a payment, endorsement, etc that has to be disclosed. But it’s worth $$ to reviewers, because everybody’s interested in new gear. Do a review of new gear, people watch your video and you make money.

      This is where it gets a little “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

      Companies will only give early access to reviewers that have a history of doing balanced reviews AND who have a big audience. And reviewers know that if they trash a synth, the manufacturer will never give them early access again.

      That’s why all the reviews from people with a big audience – people like loopop and Nick Batt – balance any ‘cons’ of a piece of gear with some ‘pros’. They’re not getting paid directly say a synth is great, but they know they’ll lose early access if they rip into a company’s synth.

      That’s how the sausage gets made and that’s why you always have to pay attention to the end of the video when they talk about the pros and cons of a piece of gear.

    2. first, he have it for years and it’s a relatively old product so this is not the case of reviewer help a brand to promote a new product.
      second, if he wanted to just give a favorable review he didn’t have to say it’s “One Of The Most Interesting Analog Synthesizer”. he really enjoyed it and he covered why in details.
      third, what the reviewer “feel” about a product should not be important to the viewer/reader. if a viewer feel he don’t know much so he decide based on the reviewer opinion the “problem” is with the viewer.
      potential buyer can go try it on some shop demo or rtfm but it should be used like just another perspective.
      btw, this is not a review, its dedicate video to show what this guy like about this synth. i guess mainly for people that already have it.

  8. No matter what one thinks of the DFAM’s qualities, this is a great video to watch and listen to. Really great to experience this exploration. Thanks!
    Running to check if there’s one on the Mother32 as well 🙂

    1. > gadi: …first, he have it for years and it’s a relatively old product so this is not the case of reviewer help a brand to promote a new product.

      wrong.

      >Adi Soffer Running to check if there’s one on the Mother32 as well…

      you will find an official product-presentation of both DFAM and Mother from Mylar himself.

      > erik: musicians should realize that a large number of these very professional “product review” videos are coordinated behind the scenes. It should be an industry standard that reviewers are transparent about whether they received free equipment in exchange for positive reviews.

      absolutely right. all the synthfluencers are salesmen

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