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Moog SUB-37  | demo + sounds


 

 

   

BUYING MY SOUNDBANK / PATCHES:
(they will also work on SUBSEQUENT 37)

Via Paypal: Please transfer 26,00 (Euro) to this paypal address: [wcologarb at tlen.pl] writing "sub37 sounds" and your email in the title. I will send the presets after I get notified about your payment. The whole set of my sounds fills up the Sub (256 sounds), although some of the sounds (especially the ones from the video demo) come in variations to make it easier to deconstruct them.

Via credit card: Send me an email letting me know you'd like to have your card charged - I will send you a payment request and it will be processed by my Paypal (you don't have to own a Paypal account, your card is enough).

All my patches come in sysex format and in Sub 37 Editor format, you can use whichever you prefer.

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, 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.


MY THOUGHTS:

BUILD QUALITY

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. It requires a bit of muscle strain to click them, and sometimes they 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 I learned to live 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. Seems like some loose wire connections.

UI

Again, just by looking at it one could think 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.

THE SOUND

I did not like the Sub during the first 2 weeks. It sounded like a dehydrated donkey. 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 pretty un-organic.

THE END

Grumbling aside, 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. I'm not sure whether it would be underwhelming on its own, or underwhelming relative to the Moog hype and "legend". Putting aside the hype and the 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 dry-sounding solo / bass synth. Who would need that?
 


 

 

 

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