Moog Mother-32 a Semi-Modular Analog Synthesizer Review
The Moog Mother-32 developed and created in the classic Moog design with dark wood side panels on the side and legendary buttons. The case has a desktop format with an angled user interface with all its controls, switches and plug-in options. Following Mother-32 the DFAM was launched. Both synths perform very well in combination. See also our DFAM review here: Moog DFAM Mutant Percussion Synth Review.
There is not much to install, you unpack the box, connect the power and audio and you are ready to go. The included accessories and manual are in excellent character. Combined with visual design and packaging.
The Semi-Modular Mother-32 is not a complex synthesizer. It is a comparatively modest constructed synths. Mother-32 possesses the signature Moog characters and tones. Alongside the famous Moog sound, you get at an average range price point some new synth in a convenient form factor.
The vibe of the Mother-32 can be warm, dark, solid or light, deep and mellow. If you take it further you can produce experimental and some rough and experimental tone. If you add external Pedals like the Strymon Big Sky you can create great sounding atmospheres and large obscure drone-like soundscapes. The more effects you can add the more possibilities to produce bombastic and powerful sounds you have. The blend with extra synthesizers, sequencers, effect panels and modular gives you boundless ways to express your creativity.
User interface & Usability
Like with the Moog DFAM small changes can lead to dramatic results, so try it out. Semi-modular means that you can use the Mother-32 and use a patch cable to extend it. I do patch up my DFAM and Mother-32 with a longer patch cable. To be clear, you can use the Mother-32 without a single cable to plug. The necessary signal path is already connected.
The Mother-32 serves as a single voice, semi-modular tabletop synthesizer. It has 32 patch points that introduce you into modular probabilities. It is a semi-modular synth, similar to the Moog DFAM. You can with ease removed the stylish and fancy housing to install the synth into a Eurorack case (requires 60 HP). If you want to combine a DFAM and Mother-32 you can use a 2 tier or alternative a 3 tier rack kit to accumulate the synths. I did install my Mother-32 and the DFAM into a 3 tier rack for a short period. I kept the two synths (DFAM and Mother-32) separate at the end.
Mother-32’s keyboard includes an octave with its 13 notes, a total of eight octaves to choose from. You can also use the midi port to connect the Midi keyboard. The Moog Mother-32’s step-sequencer and keyboard share the gray buttons on the bottom of the user interface. The step-sequencer has the most length of 32 steps per pattern. In total, Mother-32 has 64 pattern memory slots.
Different from the DFAM where the Midi port was missing you can attach a Midi controller to perform. Syncing a Mother-32 with a DFAM only requires a patch cable. Patch from the ASSIGN output jack on the Mother-32 Patchbay, into the ADV / CLOCK input on the DFAM.
If you are coming from a DAW and software Synths you need to learn that there are now presets available for your to use. You can not save the setting of a great sounding groove. If you look at some of the “presets” in the manual keep in mind that the sound will be always different.
After the MPC Live and MPC X, the Mother-32 followed by the DFAM is key synth in my approach performing outside the box or DAW less. DAW less means that you no longer depend on a computer and a digital audio workstation (DAW). With Moog noodling around and performing for some serious tracks you will enjoy your compositions in a different way, possibly find the old feeling when you started your expert composition or producer journey.
Mother-32 Firmware v2.0 a Major Updates for Moog Mother-32
April 2020: Moog released Mother-32 Firmware v2.0! This major instrument update provides access to a host of dynamic new features, including multiple sequencer directions, improved and expanded clocking options, CV-addressed sequencer control, selectable swing intervals, the ability to ignore start/stop messages, and more.
Rating: Five out of five stars
Moog’s Mother-32 Moog is an extremely versatile semi-modular analog synthesizer. Mother-32 has all to be an iconic and classic synth, certainly a strong market. The warmth, softness, and saturation vibe is unquestionably a Moog synthesizer. As you can expect from a Moog product it is of exceptional build quality and delivers the fabulous Moog sound combined with a truly compelling sequencer. Mother-32 performs well with other Eurorack modules. As part of a modular system with all of its standard components, it is an excellent base module. If you obtain similar modular elements you would face a much higher price point compared to the Mother-32.