The 40th anniversary of the Minimoog hits this year: that’s four decades since the original reshaped the very notion of what a synthesizer looks like. Moog Music has answered with a real beast. It returns the core of the Minimoog Model D, but with the Voyager’s stable oscillators, patch storage, signature X/Y touch surface, pot mapping, and MIDI control – all while retaining a 100% analog signal path, if you’re a purist. Just like the Voyager, that means some analog-ically good sound, without sacrificing modern convenience. (Yes, even the Minimoog’s original creators recall that working without patch memory was a huge pain.)

And then it gets, well … a lot bigger. There are 61 keys instead of the original 44, plus a touch-sensitive ribbon controller, so you get more octaves and control. (I’ve long loved having ribbons on a keyboard since I first tried one on a Kurzweil.) And in an unexpected departure, the all-in-one keyboard design is coupled with patching right on the front panel, a feature we haven’t seen in a major instrument since 1970s keyboards from the likes of England’s EMS.

With raw voltage to patch in or out, the XL allows new sound customization, and unique opportunities to integrate it with other analog gear. To route out to other gear, you get 20 CV outputs, covering the keyboard, wheels, LFOs, ribbon, and more, 3 gate outputs, and 3 4-way mults. You also get inputs: 10 CV ins for the oscillators, of course, but also mod, sample & hold, LFO rate, and more, plus 4 gate inputs for envelope, LFO, and S&H gate.

In short, Control Voltage is back. At US$4995, a lot of people won’t be able to afford the XL, but that’s little matter. The instrument we’ll be gawking at in centerfolds, that boys and girls will paste on their ceiling and dream about as they go to bed at night, will be analog. Sorry, digital.

And yes, this did leak out a little bit early, but this is now fully confirmed by CDM’s contacts at the Moog Music company. And since you may not want to put CDM, Synthtopia, or Matrixsynth under your pillow – that iPad could certainly disrupt your sleep – you’ll be glad to know that Keyboard Magazine will have a feature hitting newsstands soon.

More specs than you can shake a patch cord at – plus an “add to cart” button that could make you break into a sweat:
Minimoog Voyager XL @ Moog Music

Summary:

61-Note Velocity Sensitive Keyboard with After-Pressure
Ribbon Controller with Pitch and Gate CV Outputs
Touch Surface Controller with X, Y, A and Gate Outputs
Stereo External Audio Input
Effects Loop Insert
2 Active Attenuators
4-Input CV Mixer
Lag Processor
2nd MIDI-Synced LFO
3 Four-Way Mults
20 Control Voltage Outputs
3 Gate Outputs
10 Control Voltage Inputs
4 Gate Inputs
2 Modulation Busses
Solid Oak Cabinet
Tilting Control Panel

And for a full-sized image of the front panel, enjoy:

moog_front_big.jpg

Images courtesy Moog Music.

  • Jeff kausler

    Mother fucker!

  • llama_factory_3000

    So I'm wondering how patch storage is useful on a thing that requires manual patch cables. What does a patch really mean when it is half a patch? A pure old-school semi-modular might be more interesting, considering this is basically just a Voyager with the accessories welded on. Also 85 lbs? Gulp.

    Anyway, Moog stuff is cool, but I'd be more interested in a polyphonic though. And maybe with some sub-oscs for extra grit/teeth.

  • Armando

    I just got a HUGE boner.

  • http://twitter.com/dirtRAID Brand B

    This is pretty rad.

    @llama_factory_3000

    I believe the patch storage is used the same as the previous Voyagers ( snapshot of the front panel CV values stored as a 7 or 14 bit numbers ), the additional CV and audio inputs/outputs are just that – ADDITIONAL. This is very similar to how the MS-20 was made.

  • http://jredsmyth.bandcamp.com Smyth

    I love that the patch name on the large image picture is, "Here it comes." Haha.

  • Brendan

    I think they just gave one of these to Devo.

  • Deeznutz

    Get an RME, Expanders, all the Foogers and a nice controller and you'll still have money for some hookers and blow.

  • robgs

    pure synth porn… I feel dirty :-)

  • Tinyminimicro

    And I jizzed in my pants!

  • Jim Aikin

    Looks like the Moog folks are running for the goal post with what they do best. I get excited looking at it … but I'd agree with Llama Factory that front panel patching is sort of the opposite of having a stored bank of presets. Also, maybe I'm just an old fogey (well, actually, I am an old fogey, no way around it), but most of the bass and lead lines that I write cover no more than three octaves, tops, so I'm not sure why a monophonic synth needs a 5-octave keyboard.

  • Jamire

    I'm a guitarist so I need one of these NOW!

  • tony

    every time I look at this…I just want to rub my naughty bits on the screen.

  • Benjamen Dorrell

    you get what you pay for these days….

    but isn't a eurorack much cooler?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I realize once you make a Minimoog XL, what you wind up getting is a Megamoog.

  • veta

    only $4995 for a monosynth??!!

    SPLENDID! I'LL TAKE TWO!!!

  • http://bedroomproducersblog.com/ bedroom producer&#03

    whoa is all i have to say.

  • http://www.document02.com Document 02

    At 3k$ for the basic voyager, 5k$ seems right to get the semi modular touch and square the number of sounds you can get out of the beast, but both are a total rip-off compared to a real modular like the portable 22 from synthesizers.com at 3k$ with keyboard & where slightly more than 5k$ gets you the 44 with 6 oscs & keyboard….

  • strunkdts

    Thats one sexy beast, but it sure is alot of coin!

    I think ill stick to building my modular with choice Harvestman, TipTop and ExpertSleepers modules.

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    Maybe you could do it yourself (by half price):

    http://www.befaco.org

    It is not moog but it is analog and open hardware…

    ;)

  • J. Phoenix

    Joygasm.

    Wallet pains.

  • s ford

    that and a big bag of weed and a 4 track. and a big box of cookies.

    it'd the best week of your life.

    without christina hendricks, that is.

  • Jay

    Is this a limited edition synth?

    Or is it a long-term product?

  • BenAlex

    I just think I had a nerdgasm. Analog is back! Now some one for the love of God (well… Moog) give me one of those!

  • Stij

    Kinda surprised this isn't a polysynth, honestly. Oh well, still looks awesome. A MINImoog XL seems like a contradiction in terms, though :P

  • http://dancerobotdance.com Brian Biggs

    Peter, that was my exact thought. Not much Mini about this Moog. Thanks but I'll take my Euro modular.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, the people have spoken – bring back the Polymoog. (It hits age 40 in 2015. Just sayin'.)

    Of course, the Polymoog had 71 keys, so we could either have a 49-key Polyminimoog (Polymini!), or perhaps a Polymoog XL with 88 keys. ;)

  • amnesia

    Bring back the MemoryMoog! But make it work this time!

  • Michael Una

    OMFG. Now if I can just realize my lifelong dream of finding a box full of money.

  • Stoky

    This is the most deformed shittymoog i have ever seen.

    WTF

    we need some basic function on the voyager and they do another more expensive monster?

    Where is the arpeggiator on the voyager?

    Where the midi-over-usb on the voyager?

    Where a decent and professional editor and integration on the voyager?

    i love moog but this thing suxxxx

  • Pat

    Mike, Cyril, Amos…you know I send the love. BUT. Where is the fantabulous sweet ring mod and duophony of the Sonic 6 on this box? (surreptitious shout-out to Gene Zumchak) Not to mention my eye-busting 'retro livery' dare concept. I know you are looking. A cc# may be ready in the coming months. Hand in pants for now.

  • Erdem

    It is too big to be monophonic. Moog should consider going 4 voices at least.

  • http://xfader.com regend

    drooling

  • justin

    Why would you need such a big keyboard when you cant even play chords? This thing is ridiculous and i would be surprised if it sells very many units, it seems very redundant to what its already on the market for less money.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/insilicolive insilico

    what a beast. have to agree with others though… make another poly moog!

  • http://granularmatter.blogspot.com George P. Macklin

    I side with Benjamen Dorrell and Brian Biggs. $5000 would get you a really nice Eurorack modular system with a lot more options and multiple voices. I Modcan or MOTM system would be a really nice alternative.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, I'm jealous of anyone who has $5000 to spend on either a Eurorack or a Minimoog XL. But that said, I think it's comparing apples to oranges. This is a beautiful instrument, and the Moog and Eurorack / MOTM etc. each have their own personality.

    For anyone who's in this pricerange, I do think the Moog gives you something special, even if it's questionable what you'll do with the extra keys. Of course, it's not the only option, and if you really want to start talking value-for-money purely, I don't think *any* of the instruments you're mentioning can stand up to the value of a computer-based system — not if we're talking pure sound value per dollar. Investments are about more than just that, though, which is why people are willing to sink money into all of these options.

    James Grahame has more good analysis:
    http://www.retrothing.com/2010/09/moog-revisits-t

  • http://granularmatter.blogspot.com George P. Macklin

    "I don’t think *any* of the instruments you’re mentioning can stand up to the value of a computer-based system"

    I will completely agree with that statement. A computer coupled with a decent audio interface and a flexible controller is all anyone really needs to get serious about music. Everything else creates exciting and different workflows to explore. :-)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @George: yep, exactly.

  • greg

    The price of this synth could buy me a master degree, for instance at Goldsmith (London) that has one of the oldest electronic music studios in the UK. It looks like an awesome synth but that won't make you a better musician.

  • Irony

    Greg just redefined 'irony'

  • http://djfamily.ru m-clis

    The main idea is to make a big minimoog for the people who really loves moog and are real geeks. No reason why just a man, who wants synth for a "daily job" will buy this huge-monotimbral-piece-of-art – it's just not the thing you really NEED in the studio these days. So better get some rare old-skool moogy and couple of different synths with all these USB, editors and etc.

  • http://nickkent.net nick

    My first reaction was, hey it's a Moog Korg MS-20.

    I have a Voyager and like it, but I consider it a monosynth with useful expansion. I have the CV expander and control processor boxes.

    At first I was thinking darn, I'll have to get one because it's more like a real modular, then I started counting up the jacks and it's more or less just the expansion boxes with some twists like the extra LFO.

    I like the Voyager as a great full featured monosynth. I even sent the name "Voyager" in when Moog Music was having a contest to name it but didn't win anything. I think it's quite shy of being a good modular though I think the expansion is great. If you start tallying up the ins and outs I don't see many the Voyager didn't have. I guess an extra LFO with temp sync. What the Voyager and this is missing is a lot of patchpoints one would want in a good modular. Things like controlling the individual oscillators with patchcords, controlling the filters separately, it has a pair of filters for instance and you can't fully work with them separately. It's a stange way to work with some modulation bus options, I guess some pot mapping type digital control and some physical patch cords (which I saw as mostly outside world connecting but now are right in front of you)

    Oh, I noticed it doesn't say how many memories it has so I presume it has none and the LCD is for the digital parameters and modulation.

  • Pat

    All silliness aside from the comment I posted, some notes upon further reflection:

    - Nick (hello!), I believe it's premature to write off memories on this item due to no mention of them as yet. I'd hope they'd retain that from the Voyager SE, but the facts as they become known are not based on my hopes. Speak up, Moog Music!

    - The one 'innovation' (coughcough) here is the ribbon controller and I have seen no details as to how it is supposed to work, or to what it may be analagous – CS-80, Andromeda, old skool Moog ribbon, something else?

    - Like the 2nd LFO a lot, wish there were a 'quad speed' option as well as the 'ultra-slow' idea they've pursued here.

    - Still no separate waveform modulation per VCO option? (sigh)

    O, what I would have to sell to acquire this.

    My .02 and best wishes,

    ~Pat

  • joeblow

    I am just a dude with Reason 5. I am not in the market for a real analog synth, but if i were a geeky Saudi prince in love with LFOs and patch chord, i would get 5 of those, but not in oak as they would not match the finish of my delicate carpet.

    Let me go back in time and re-read the reactions from another post and compare:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2009/10/26/buch

    I'll let you be the judge…

  • Brian

    That is one dirty bitch right there :D Thanks moog :) Price as it stands is the reason i will never consider buying this but i'm sure it will have many happy homes and loving owners.

  • Pat

    You do realize that this is the best-looking controller you'll ever touch for all those swank Mellotron, Prophet and ARP Omni sounds you cooked up on the laptop, right?

  • http://www.ronsunsinger.com Ron

    CV is back? I have a modern 50 unit modular with about 200 CV options on it. There are virtually no patchpoints on this thing that do me any good. What about CV I/Os for the 3 individual oscillators and two filters?

    It's just a Voyager with the 2 breakout boxes stuck on it.

  • zahush76

    This thing puzzles me. If money was not an issue – i'd probably buy it just because i can, without feeling the need to justify the expense.

    But if i'm a musician who's trying to save up for this kind of equiptment than the price is totaly strange.

    If you go, for example, to Nova-Musik you can get a minimoog voyager select series with 3 moogerfoogers (the 102, 103 and 107), two expression pedals, a DVD and a shirt:
    http://www.novamusik.com/search.aspx?type=Model&a

    All of this costs 3600$! With a budget of 5000$ that would leave you with an extra 1400$. Let's say that in order to level up the voyager to the voyager xl – i'll get the cp-251 (= 379$) and the vx-351 (= 295$).

    That leaves you with about 720$ with which you can buy the analog delay moogerfooger.

    So, for the same money on moog stuff – it's absurd you can get so much more if you use it to buy a "regular" minimoog voyager plus almost all the moogerfoogers available, expansions, ex pedals etc – instead of a voyager "xl" for the same money.

    And this is not comparing moog to other stuff, but to itself. Moog beats itself in it's own territory.

  • http://www.curvebender.com BrianK

    "It’s just a Voyager with the 2 breakout boxes stuck on it." Yes, and a ribbon and a bigger keyboard. It's not designed as a "new synth" – it's a Voyager, just like all the other Voyagers, with more features for those who want them. I want them! And am not finding using the 251 and 351 very handy to use. This will be much better all atached.

    Plus the MAIN thing I do with Voyager is MIDI out to polyphonically play samples and then route them thru the Voyager for tone control. I play with both hands, many people don't. I ordered one of the XL's and am selling my old Voyager…