BUYING MY SOUNDS / PATCHES:
(they will also work on SUBSEQUENT 37)
To get my SUB sounds (256 in total), please transfer
€ 26 (Euro) to this paypal address: [wcologarb at tlen.pl] writing
"sub37 sounds" in the title. When I get notified about your payment, I
will send the sounds to the email you provided in paypal.
The sounds in
my demo do not come dry out of the SUB-37, but if you have one, it's probably
obvious for you, as the synth has no onboard effects. To improve people's
listening experience and add variety (the demo is over 20 minutes long) the majority of sounds in my demo have some simple delay and / or reverb,
or stereo expansion going on, but nothing that would recognizably alter the original
timbre of the synth (I mean phasers, flangers, distortions, etc.) The sound at 7:30, demo part 1 (belly dance)
sounds like it is heavily chorused, but it's not (that's just SUB's feedback);
the sound at 5:00, demo part 1 (highway) sounds like it is layered with a kick
drum, but that's just heavy amp modulation by the SUB's sawtooth / ramp lfo.
You don't have
to touch it - just by looking at the pictures one can already see that SUB-37 is
a quality piece. It's all wood and metal plus some classic knobs. However, there
is one thing that doesn't match or fit this package, and it's the buttons. They require a bit of
muscle strain to click, and sometimes even need a second click when the
first one had been too soft. Also, I've seen some people complain that their brand-new Moogs arive
with one or two buttons already recessed. Mine were ok and learned to with them
- I'm tolerant because I've seen worse (Poly-61, Casio CZ). Also, I'd suggest
that if you have the opportunity to visit a store somewhere, go and feel the
keyboard for yourself. It's a little stiff and can take away some joy of playing.
The unit that I
got from a friend had been in service under warranty. I don't know what the issue was, but I
have my suspicions - when I was using headphones, the sound would die out from
time to time. I googled it and it seemed I was not the only one
experiencing that problem. But I used the Russian way of fixing things: I would bang the panel near the "headphones out" socket
several times and the sound would come back.
Again, just by
looking at it one could think that this is a WYSIWYG, instant-gratification
synth. But it's a modern synth, not one coming from the 1970's, which means
there is much more stuff packed into it, which means there will be some hidden
paths & menu diving. And as far as simple adjustments are concerned (e.g. arp
swing) it's just one click away, but the feature that needs some major
unearthing is the sequencer. I'll put it this way...: the SUB-37 does have a sequencer, but if you are not going to use
the Moog software, just forget about its existence. Just assume the sequencer
is not there. Because only through the software will you be able to
utilize this feature. And I don't mean that you will be able to utilize the
sequencer to its full potential. I mean even the basic features. Without the
software control it's just too much pain. Our lives are too short to fiddle
around with those buttons, plus, why do it when the software is really brilliant.
Apart from the sequencer control, it gives you easy access to some
features and modulations that otherwise would stay undiscovered or ignored due
to lack of time or negligence. It unveils the true heart and face of the
instrument (on the other hand I'm not really sure that having to use software to
use hardware is an okay situation...).
Fun fact: the tempo knob
does not show the tempo. If I was younger, I'd say LOL WTF? It just shows the
position of the knob within its vast resolution. So if the knob has physical
resolution of, say, 4000 steps, when you move it halfway, it will show "2000" instead
of "130 BPM". Another bug: sometimes the software assignes wrong patch
names or overwrites patches with wrong (neighboring) sounds. Pretty annoying.
I did not like the Sub during the first 2 weeks. It sounded like a dehydrated donkey. But
things moved fast forward when I hooked it up to a simple delay / reverb unit and
magic started to happen. Well, actually only the half of it. To make it
fully magical some dynamic animation was needed. Because after you give water to
the donkey and hydrate it, it's standing still and just munching hay. You have
to invite the donkey to move from one place to another. Speaking in practical
terms, the SUB-37 sound is very "stable". Not moving. Not lively. So the other
half of the magic is putting it through some tremolo / rotary
stuff. At least that's my approach to connect with this instrument and get
inspired. But in most of the cases reverb is enough to give you bliss, and I
think the kind of sounds you make on a Moog do not necessarily entail motion as
I define it. Pads (=polyphonic synths) need motion and panorama, while monophonic Moogs excel
at leads and basses, which are rather dynamically static. Still, compared to a
Matrixbrute, this Moog sounds quite metallic.
all in all I think it's an interesting synth. It's the first Moog that I've probed in-depth
so I cannot compare it to other Moog models, but if I was to formulate my
opinion about the "Moog sound" on this model only, I'd say it's quite underwhelming.
But I'm not sure whether it would be underwhelming on its own, or underwhelming
relative to the Moog hype and "legend". Casting away the hype and legend and not
taking them into consideration, the sound is original, interesting, classy.
I think these three adjectives are enough to give a seal of approval to a synth.
Add to that all the goodies like loopable envelopes, paraphony, shortcuts for
quick mod-matrix assignments, of which there is a lot under the hood, and we're
good. My thoughts about this synth and my appreciation of it basically boil down
to the sequencer. I think it is the centerpiece of this instrument. Without it,
the SUB-37 would lose the bigger part of its appeal and become just a solo /
bass synth. Who would need that?