Just in from the Messe trade show in Frankfurt: a massive Moog sample library with 22 of “Moog’s Greatest Hits” of yesterday and today, plus sampler and guitar processing updates from IK. But will it all be a little too pristine?
IK Multimedia (the sampler maker), Sonic Reality (the soundware house), and Moog Music (contributing their back catalog of instruments) have collaborated on a new sampled soundware library of Moog gear. What’s unique here is the scope: they’ve sampled everything from the Polymoog to the Minimoog and Memorymoog to the Taurus Pedals and even new instruments like the Moog Voyager. Best of all, you’ll get sampled modular Moogs, which is a good thing as it’s tough to find well-maintained modulars. It’s an all-Moog, all-the-time sample library. SampleMOOG should be out later this year.
That’s all great news, and generally Moog Music has been very careful about licensing: if they approve something, it’s likely to be at least reasonably well done. Dave Kerzner and Sonic Reality are to me one of the better sample houses out there. But, I’ve polled the contributors to CDM and it seems we all feel the same way: samples are not really what we want.
CDM’s James Grahame puts it best:
I want the sweet sound of a Moog filter on the edge of self-oscillation. I want filters that drift. I want oscillators with the air and space that only very high harmonic content can bring. I don’t want my oscillators to start at exactly the same phase point each time I hammer a key.
Got that, instrument designers?
I’m a little disappointed that the sampler here is SampleTank; while it’s a decent sampler, its architecture seems to me a bit rigid and better-suited to pristine samples than analog. But that could be an opportunity: now’s the time to add just these kind of capabilities to the instrument. The new SampleTank 2.5 adds some nice new features: aux and master effects routings, and the Classic Studio Reverb engine, which could warm up some of these sounds. But what about modeling some of the quirks that only analog instruments have?
The idea isn’t new. CDM’s Lee Sherman observes that his Alesis Ion and Micron even have an analog drift option. (Any other suggestions, software or hardware, do say so in comments.)
With 22 instruments, all authorized by Moog, SampleMOOG may well turn out to be a must-buy, and we look forward to trying it out. But here’s our challenge to synth designers: start modeling the quirks of analog instruments.