There is one name that lives in the world of synthesiser folklore ahead of all others, the name that was adorned by many of the various models from the brand, and the name of the inventor and creator of some of the most musical and challenging synthesisers to this day. I am, of course, talking of Moog, the legacy of the late Dr Bob Moog that carries on with a very forward thinking company today that is constantly delivering new designs and products to meet the market’s needs. That is exactly what the Moog Subsequent 37 is: the result of user demands coming to fruition in a serious keyboard that is now readily available in Australia.
It’s undeniable that the Moog name carries a lot of cache to a unit in the synth world, but the Moog of today is a big leap forward from what many people may have in their minds - images of the old wooden cased mono-synths and only a handful of models that really stand out. Yes, Moog has a long history and a heritage in synth design that cannot be left behind, but at the same time, it is not being held back by this history either, moving forward and creating products and promotions that get users talking. The Moog stand at the 2017 NAMM show was certainly one that got people intrigued, and so too were the products that followed, such as the Subsequent 37, the result of user input to redefine a synthesiser to meet the demands of the modern synth nerd. Let’s start by saying, this thing is a beast. Like all Moog instruments, nothing has been done by halves with the Subsequent 37; it feels like every bit of the price-tag is justifiable in build quality alone, even before you hear it.
In use, it is just a joy to play with. The Subsequent 37 is a 'paraphonic' synth, so it offers two voices at once, which doesn’t lend itself to chordal playing, but does allow for a range of cool effects to be achieved with the note cut-off and return when the polyphony is maxed out and reclaimed from multiple keys. It’s basically built on the framework of the Sub 37 synth, with a range of upgrades after user feedback was actually listened to; nice one, Moog. There is a tonne of additional headroom in this engine, so you get plenty of beautiful clean tones before you decide to mess them up with the filter stage and heaps of volume on the output side. But what it has that is undeniable is a little something called touch-ability. You just want to get your hands onto the unit and tweak the sounds to create your own. With a whole gamut of knobs and switches on the front panel, this synth is a delight to work with, as just about anything you could want to adjust is there. The result is big, fat, and bold basslines that just cannot be achieved from a plug-in or a digital keyboard engine. There is a rawness to the sound and a unique tone in every patch, whilst still having that ‘Moog’ sound and feel to it. Put simply, if you want raw energy and big bass, the Moog Subsequent 37 should be in your arsenal.
Hits and Misses
Classic Moog look and feel
Modern design and control
Upgraded features to meet market demands
I don’t own one, and that is a real problem