For those of you who are not entirely familiar with the MoogerFooger range of pedals from Moog Music, you are really in for a treat with this fun tool. The MF-107 FreqBox is big, brash and full of attitude, allowing you to integrate your synthesisers for additional filter options. But the real fun comes when you get the MF-107 into your guitar signal chain and really start experimenting with your playing and making the features of this outlandish pedal stand out. This is not just your typical envelope filter pedal that offers that same sound we’ve all heard time and time again. This thing will mess your tone up and spit it out at a different frequency to what you intended, if you let it. But if you can tame the beast, some really cool sounds can be achieved.
On first impression of this, or any MoogerFooger pedal, you’ll most likely be taken aback by the size of the unit. These are by no means high production run, compact PCB builds. They are hand made works of analogue circuitry art. This pedal will take up a lot of space on your pedal board and may just weigh about as much as your guitar, but your get that from wooden end-cheeks and quality components. The pots are big and sturdy and the rocker switch for engaging the sync feature is really tough. It’s built to last and offers a timeless look to ensure it is never out of place when it does.
The sound might throw you a little though; to start with, there is a simple drive feature that will allow you to gain up your guitar signal slightly and push it a little harder into your amp. Not the main purpose of this pedal, but it is a nice aside to be able to use it for subtle overdrive. Once you engage the VCO the MF-107 plays a gritty note with every note played on the guitar. This secondary note stays the same as the frequency set on the control, no matter what you play on the guitar. You can blend the clean and effect signal to get a nice balance and create a gritty ghost sound. When you engage the sync feature, the VCO then tracks your guitar note and delivers a really nasty, distorted rendition of that note. Now you need to start sculpting that sound.
Controlling the envelope will allow this grit to wind up at various speeds as you play giving you more of the clean sound to start with, sweeping into a gritty tone somewhat like an auto-wah. You can introduce an expression pedal for a range of features, including controlling this envelope sweep for greater character. Adjusting the VCO waveform and the frequency modulation amount allows you to deliver more musical sounds, or just end up somewhere on the other side of noise. It’s like the lovechild of a dirty distortion and envelope filter, with all number of variations possible. Let’s face it; this pedal is not concerned about retaining the integrity of your guitar tone. In fact it does everything but, and that’s the beauty of it.
Hits and Misses
Built super tough
Great analogue richness
Creates sounds totally unlike any other pedal
Takes a little getting used to