Reviewed: Moog Grandmother Semi-Modular Analogue Synthesiser

Innovative Music | | Expect to Pay: $1499

Every now and then, the creative geniuses at Moog Music really get it right. Yes, pretty much every instrument they have ever released is on my wish list, but there are some standout models that simply capture everyone’s attention. I remember when the Little Phatty came out some years back and you couldn’t even sell your grandmother for one in the first six months because they were that popular. It seems fitting that Moog has now released a new semi-modular synth that is again set to be the most popular keyboard on the market, the Grandmother.

Based on the classic Moog modular synth system, the Grandmother takes a number of modular elements and hardwires them into one frame with a 32-note keyboard and some funky colour co-ordination so that no other synth on the market looks or sounds quite like it. The beauty of the Grandmother is that you don’t need to think ‘modular’ to operate it—don’t get in a panic thinking you’ll need a degree in physics to understand how to pull a sound out of this device.


It wants to be heard and makes it easy for you to do so, but has the added advantage of being able to change the signal path within the unit via the modular patching functions. There are two oscillators, an arpeggiator, modulation, filter, envelope, and even a spring reverb tank to name just some of the sections found wired logically to the output. With 41 patch points, you can get into the heart of the Grandmother and really let your creativity go wild.



The Grandmother allows you to patch into the signal path at any point, ensuring it also becomes a great tool for working without synths as well. Combined with the Mother-32 it becomes a handy keyboard to the rack unit and can allow you access to those classic Moog filters for use with other synths when you just want to add it as an effect. Some of the sounds you get from the Grandmother are sweet, dreamy soundscapes, while others venture into the realm of visceral distortion. For all of you going through a Synthwave moment, like so many of us are, the Grandmother’s arpeggiator allows for some beautiful dreamscape sequences that could be the base for any great hit.


For performance, recording and sound design, you really are going to love working with this synth. It is, for me, the coolest device Moog has come up with since the Little Phatty, and I’m sure it’s going to be even more popular than that was. The big question is: Have you got yours on order yet? These guys are going to be in demand right from the start, so don’t mess around. You need to hear a Moog Grandmother to understand what it is capable of and how easy it is to work with. When you hear one, you will need to take it home.

Hits and Misses


Incredible Moog sound

Easy layout and control

Modular ability means greater scope for creativity