First impressions after a real testrun with the Moog Modular 15 iOS app


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It sure is busy times in the Moog factory these days – as we reported a couple of days ago not only are we running full speed towards Moogfest and seeing a new Bob Moog documentary being created, now we have also seen a new iOS app find its way to the app store – the Moog Modular-15 synth. We just spent all of  last evening playing around with the new Moog Model-15 synth for iOS, and what a gem it is. To be honest we’re not hard core modular guys here at Stereoklang, but at least we had the ability to measure the performance of this new app with our Sub 37 studio synth and boy is this little soft synth doing a great job emulating all the classic Moog filters. It does really sound very impressive, especially with all that audio rate modulation being part of what it can do. You can also drive the mixer for some nice saturation and nasty filters – it sure is a Moog under the hood.

Add to that the fact that you can switch it into poly mode to clone the current voice (all identical) for four voice poly, though you will need some later hardware for this and iOS 9.3.1  to get the most from this (iPad Air/2) We hear it totally rocks on an iPad Pro.

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Sure, we know that the Moog crew really has the technical skills to pull this off. It feels like ages ago since we here at Stereoklang made a review of the app. The Animoog for example, now with a several year’s on its neck, is still one of our favorites in the world of iOS synths, but it is even more fun to see how Moog has taken this emulation to the next level and especially so when it comes to the user interface side of things.

Sure, we know that the Moog crew really has the technical skills to pull this off. It feels like ages ago since we here at Stereoklang made a review of the Filatron app. The Animoog for example, now with a several year’s on its neck, is still one of our favorites in the world of iOS synths, but it is even more fun to see how Moog has taken this emulation to the next level and especially so when it comes to the user interface side of things.

The ability to zoom in is beautifully done and something that is really crucial, especially if you are running it on your iPhone. Below are a couple of snaps of the UI on a iPhone device.

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The other thing is the way tutorials are nicely built in to the user experience, paired with the way the patch cables easily will find their right paths by illumination and the use of 3D graphics to more easy navigate when you have many cables running. In a bid to make all zooming, panning and modular patching throughout the application feel completely natural, Apple’s new Metal graphics technology has been used. Our friend AfroDJMac has also tried it out and fortunately he made a great video capture of his first experimentation wit the app, you can view the video below. One cannot more than agree to his comment: “The app sounds incredible, and looks fantastic. It’s making use of the power of the latest generations of iOS devices, and has really raised the bar. As you can tell from the video, I am very excited about it!!”

The original Moog Model-15 hardware modular synthesizer was originally released in 1973, and was re-released last year as a $10,000 limited edition reissue offering a complete analog synth voice. You can see a video of it below:

Moog Music says that the Model 15 iOS app is designed to meticulously recreate the ‘power and transcendent sound quality’ of each module of the original modules, including the Moog 921–series oscillators, 904A Low Pass Filter and the 907 Fixed Filter Bank.

While no app can recreate the experience of working with a hardware modular, the Model 15 app extends the original’s design in musically interesting ways – adding support for polyphony and even Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression (MPE) – a new standard for expressive synthesis control. And Bluetooth LE support means that you can connect advanced keyboard controllers, like the ROLI Rise, for wireless MPE control. In the video below we can watch Suzanne Ciani, one of the first and most influential female electronic music composers and synthesists, creating a short sonic sketch using the Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer app. Ciani explores the custom-programmed sounds she designed in the app alongside Moog technicians as they hand-build the app’s hardware modular namesake at the Moog Factory.

More specifications below:

The Model 15 App features both monophonic and 4-voice polyphonic operation is easily commanded via 4 seamlessly integrated controllers. Simple swipes and taps provide instant access to a traditional Moog keyboard, 1150 ribbon controller, 8-step sequencing arpeggiator and the award-winning Animoog keyboard with 22 built-in scales and polyphonic modulation capabilities.

Also included are extended features which expand the capabilities of the app beyond the traditional offerings of the hardware Moog Model 15. These include total MIDI integration, assignment for external control, use as a MIDI controller, dedicated Audio Bridge and MIDI Bridge modules, looping recorder module with overdubbing, a master ping-pong delay module and a new extension cabinet that includes additional amplifiers and voltage-controlled reversible attenuators that can be used for effects like ring-modulation.

Because the Model 15 App utilizes Apple’s Metal technology, only 64-bit devices are supported. Compatible devices include iPhone 5s or newer, iPod touch 6 or newer, iPad Air or newer, and the iPad Pro.

Additional Features:

  • Ships with over 160 unique presets
  • Recreates the sound of a hardware Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer
  • Easily share presets and recordings with anyone
  • Tutorial patches to assist all experience levels
  • Intuitive patching and cable coloring
  • Support for landscape and portrait modes
  • Voltage-controlled stereo ping-pong delay
  • Expressive sequencing arpeggiator
  • Moog 1150 Ribbon controller
  • Real-time looping recorder with overdub and immediate sharing
  • Up to two controllers on-screen (iPad only)
  • Optional left-handed UI operation

Supports:

  • 3D Touch and Apple Pencil integration for after pressure
  • Note-per-channel MIDI controllers
  • Ableton Link
  • Inter-App Audio and Audiobus
  • MIDI Bridge and Audio Bridge
  • 7 and 14-Bit MIDI
  • MIDI Program Change
  • Bluetooth LE MIDI controllers
  • Typing keyboards for shortcuts and musical typing
  • AudioCopy, AudioPaste and AudioShare