Moog seems to have something special planned for Moogfest – na klar!

“Werkstatt” looks to be a kit synth the company has prepared for the event in Asheville, North Carolina later this week. As Synthtopia observes, the photo was revealed on the Instagram feed for the event – and appears to coincide with a three-hour assembly workshop with the engineers.

“Werkstatt” means “workshop” in German, so the kit function is obvious.

Looking at the picture, a whole lot is clear. The architecture is a single-oscillator monosynth, switchable between saw waves and PWM. Both the filter and oscillator mod can be set to either an independent LFO or the envelope. (I really like that interface, actually. Note the dedicated controls for each.) Attack / Decay / sustain switch controls the envelope (hmmm, always a tasteful choice). A bit like the Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano, there are small triggers buttons for pitch in case you don’t have a keyboard handy. And there are small knobs, resembling the KORG monotrons – looking at that and the screws, and this appears to be an ultra-compact instrument.

The most interesting feature is doubtless the analog patch bay along the right-hand side of the unit, implemented as a simple header strip. This should suggest semi-modular capabilities by patching with jumper wires. A prototype shot shows those jumpers in action and a 1/4″ jack plug for audio coming out the back.

The big question, apart from whether there’s also MIDI onboard or this is intended as a standalone unit, is whether Moog intends to offer this to a wider audience, or it’s just a special one-off experiment for Moogfest. It sure looks nice, so I imagine a lot of folks will have their fingers crossed for a bigger release. We’ll find out.

That German name is doubly interesting, though, as there’s been widespread speculation that Moog might get into Eurorack – the format developed in Germany by Dieter Doepfer and pioneered initially by European builders. At the very least, there’s some Germany envy going on. Fortunately, no envy is needed here; I’ll be representing CDM in Asheville, and will get a chance to sit down with Chief Engineer Cyril Lance, so I expect all will be revealed. I’m thrilled to get to look at this and have even more than usual subject matter for chatting with Cyril. Can’t wait.

Bis bald!

PS – the Moogfest Instagram feed is full of awesome:

  • Regend

    The Engineer tier and above tiers includes a 3 hour workshop to make a synth. I think that level will be the ones that will get to build this kit. The knobs look similar to the Korg Volca series. Would be awesome to see this as part of a new DIY series. I am wondering what the VIP goodie bag includes. I would have gone if it includes an instrument =

  • ExasperaTron 5000

    Peter, if the moment presents itself, you might want to ask Moog’s guy when they’re planning to stop wasting time and energy on all this inconsequential nonsense and make the thing that everyone who knows anything about synthesizers _really_ wants and expects from them: The modern-day successor to the Memorymoog. That is, a 16-voice poly, discrete, digitally-controlled, fully-programmable, uncompromising analog synthesizer with velocity and poly aftertouch, tons of modulation possibilities and dedicated knobs in true old-school style and a thoroughly modern USB/MIDI implementation, priced for and aimed at professionals rather than dabblers. I know this is not a new idea to them, and would be very interested to learn whether they’ve decided to get back to making serious new synths, rather than heading further down the smaller/cheaper route (which they’ve pretty much covered – How much smaller and cheaper can they possibly go at this point?) I would venture that this is in fact the real “big question.” Have a good time at the ‘Fest.

  • Bot

    Envy anyone that can attend the workshops and/or concerts. As for me, I’d love to think I own a Sub 37 one day, that’s a most interesting and desirable synthesizer.