Yeah, this isn’t just marketing: the newest Moog Voyager is really old school — and it just makes us want it more. Moog Music has taken out twenty years of recent technology and kept the classic tech — all in a new case that’s fully wooden and entirely devoid of glowing mod wheels. In fact, the actual marketing side steps just how old school the Old School is:

“Priced between the Voyager and Little Phatty, this modern classic makes the coveted Voyager sound and design easier to own than ever!”

All of that is technically true (and we are coveting), but — reality check. The Moog Voyager Old School as a left-brained compromise? A value buy? I don’t think so. You’re shelling out US$2600 on the most beautifully anachronistic synth keyboard from Moog yet. You’re going to use nothing but control voltage because you think digital makes people’s souls weak.

New! Now with 100% less of the 80s, 90s, and today!

We’d like to suggest an alternative slogan / t-shirt design: “Presets are for posers; MIDI is for pussies.”

I’m only half joking. Coming to an annual trade show could easily lull you into the idea that music technology is a simple, linear progression from one idea to another. (Now with 10% more this year of exactly what we had last year!) How boring would that be? Mercifully, Moog Music — and quite a bit of other stuff we’ve seen, great and awful — reminds us that design is about choice and personality. It’s not rocket science — it’s cooking.

We’ll have more of the latest Moog (among other things) as we finish off our NAMM videos.

Why is this woman smiling? Because she’s Anna Montoya of the Volts Per Octave, an all-Moog duo — even if the two say they actually have so many Moogs at this point, they can’t fit one more.

Oh, and one last tip to Moog: we’re awaiting the Really Old School model. What’s with the keyboard being attached? And why is everything patched for you in advance?

  • dead_red_eyes

    This looks like a good replacement for my old MiniMoog. I can't wait to try one out!

  • Riddler

    c'mon, they should have included at least basic midi…

  • Moog girl is hot.

  • Rozling

    LOL – I read the billboard as: "No Music, No Midi, No Sound."

    Myles: I concur.

  • Cloud

    I can do without MIDI but, dude, presets PLEASE!

    I can't imagine having to write down knob placements for each patch I make. I know that's how it used to be done but, that's way too old school for me.

  • Yeah sorry, no go for me too. No presets and no MIDI pretty much limits the beast to tinkering. There's a reason these things were invented, you know. That's goofy.

  • This isn't a synth for people who make music i think. Its just a couple grand worth of bragging rights and wasted time. Can't believe Moog made a synth specifically for readers of Analogue haven. Anyway, I wanna know about the Access Ti Snow! Something actually useful. But yes, more importantly. Moog girl = Hot.

  • _object.session

    anyone have a sense of how much losing each of these features would cut down on the price? in other words, how much do you think it'd cost if it had midi?

    the volts per octave in a small way helped me decide where to go for graduate school. imagine flying across the country to somewhere you've never been, don't know anyone. visiting for only two days, you have only an hour to walk around and see if you can feel comfortable in the environment . . and you see two people playing an arsenal of synths right in the street. (and they're pretty good!)

    does anyone know if the volts per octave have a website or something? now that i think about it, might be fun to check them out in concert. (and not because the girl is hot.)

  • gwenhwyfaer

    My first thought was "what's a twelve-year-old doing with a miniMoog?"

    I guess I'm just getting old…

  • @Rozling:

    I think you mean the upcoming Moog Voyager Amish Edition. Hey, doesn't need carbon offsets.

  • dead_red_eyes

    ""We’d like to suggest an alternative slogan / t-shirt design: “Presets are for posers; MIDI is for pussies.â€ย"

    Hahaha. Agreed! MIDI is for a MIDI controller, not a Moog!

  • Moogs are currently outside of my budget. But if I were to get one, I think I would have to go with this model. Certainly not for everyone, that's for sure.

  • thegoodbutcher

    If it's really old school, does that mean it's all discrete, no op amps?

  • i'm sure anyone with a minimoog or a modular synth will have something to say to cloud/brian/lost. ๐Ÿ™‚

    speaking from my own experience .. my sherman filterbank has no presets, and it's anything but useless.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Peter said it best seismo, "Presets are for posers".


  • Pingback: LCD TV and household electronics » Blog Archive » Moog Voyager Old School: All Analog, All Wood, No Presets, No MIDI()

  • So we've reached the point where "old school" is a selling point in the electronic music market? Whatever happened to innovation, pushing boundaries, etc.? Ok, I realize the market is mature and diverse enough to support many different approaches, but honestly – trying to turn the *lack* of features into a selling point is just a bunch of overheated marketing hype, with no value at all to actual music-makers. Posers indeed.

  • kj

    beatfix, if you really think "trying to turn the *lack* of features into a selling point is just a bunch of overheated marketing hype, with no value at all to actual music-makers" then you my friend, are no real musician. have you ever heard of people like brian eno, for example, talk about *less* features being *more* conducive to CREATIVITY? and i'm sure most here would agree that a lack of creativity is what a great deal of music made in the "electronic music market" is lacking today.

    is there a comparable term to "luddite" for those people who tell us that everything new ( and bigger and faster and more feature-laden ) is *always* better than everything old? cuz beatfix and his ilk exemplify that flawed "thinking."

  • Jemex

    is the sound any different than the normal voyager?

    if the sound, components, filters, and circuitry are all the same, I would be willing to spend the extra money ( even though i dont have anything close to what it costs) so that i could save my patches. MIDI i could do without as i have many other midi/controller devices. but the pathces man, the patches…

  • dead_red_eyes

    Well said kj.

  • gwenhwyfaer

    Er, if you have to pay through the nose to artificially limit your options, it's not going to be quite the enhancement to creativity that having to make do with whatever you can get at the local flea market would be.

    (It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle…)

  • JB

    @ Beatfix,

    Moog has a niche market for analog enthusiasts and look like they're doing fine business-wise. They may be hyping its alleged lacking features but to a lot of people this is what the voyager should have been, an orthodox update to the most classic synthesizer ever made. You can't take a classic company like Moog and complain about pushing boundaries and innovation, they've matured in what they do, just look at all the other companies for new ways of doing things.

  • Matt

    For less money you could probably get one of these and be just as "oldschool":

  • Matt

    I don't know if urls are held for moderation but here's another try:

    "There's no weak westernized MIDI or decadent capitalist on-board microprocessor to store patches."

  • I think people are missing the point. The Voyager OS doesn't have to perform an analog-to-digital (and subsequent d-to-a) conversion for the front panel controls. That means the panel is connected *directly* to the synth circuitry – each of the controls is represented as an infinitely variable analog source.

    As far as the keyboard is concerned, this means that there is absolutely zero delay between hitting a key and triggering a sound. With a traditional digital controlled analog synth, there is a slight delay while the onboard processor scans the keyboard, determines what to do with a key on/off command and triggers the analog circuitry.

    The delay is even greater when controlled by external MIDI, since it is a relatively slow serial protocol.

  • Tank The Frank

    @ James G.:

    sure, but they should at least put in basic MIDI-in and out for sequencing purposes. I think it's an awesome synth, but having to buy an additional MIDI-to-CV interface (which may also need a walwart) sucks.

    i would take this one over the full voyager any day (one of the reasons is the direct control from the front panel), but considering that I can't trigger it from my MPC is pretty annoying…

  • The Volt Per Octaves' web site is:

    Annie and her husband Nick are great people. I'm good friends with them and my own music project ( has opened for them here in Santa Barbara on occasion.

  • bliss

    Personally, I don't think that there is anything wrong with marketing old ideas minus new thinking. The old logic works well enough sometimes. Also, there's nothing wrong with knowing how to play well enough to record without depending on a robot, i.e., a sequencer. Sometimes folks want a Stradivarius and not a ZETA. Go Moog!

    Anyway, I'd definitely like to take a voyage with the girl in the picture. I'm best friends with Isaac the bartender. Free drinks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • gwenhwyfaer

    <blockquote cite="James Grahame">I think people are missing the point. The Voyager OS doesn’t have to perform an analog-to-digital (and subsequent d-to-a) conversion for the front panel controls. That means the panel is connected *directly* to the synth circuitry…

    Wow, what a revelation! I bet they could only dream of doing things that way in, er, 1972… Even Yamaha's little CS01 could claim that as one of its attributes. And in case you hadn't noticed, cheap, fast, accurate, high-resolution DACs have become pretty common in the last few years.

    With a traditional digital controlled analog synth, there is a slight delay while the onboard processor scans the keyboard, determines what to do with a key on/off command and triggers the analog circuitry.

    Even on the most insanely digital of synths, that delay is on the order of 2-4ms. It's also constant, which renders it even less noticeable. It takes longer than that for the sound to hit your ear from the speakers…

    The delay is even greater when controlled by external MIDI, since it is a relatively slow serial protocol.

    Yeah. MIDI events take 960us to transmit – 640us if you use running status – and negligible time to process. And on a monophonic instrument, it's not like you have to worry about phasing.

    (This comment has to be one of the worst examples I've ever seen of applying audiophile-think to synth technology…)

  • @gwen – Actually, Moog Music are the guys applying 'audiophile-think' to their gear. I'm just trying to come up with a couple of semi-plausible reasons that could possibly justify the 'advantages' of the Voyager OS.

    There's actually a third: An argument could be made that digital circuitry adds noise that impacts the audio quality. Of course, once again the difference is negligible and probably damn-near unnoticeable.

    The truth is that it's a great marketing stunt for Moog – blogs and music forums are buzzing about it.

    Moog instruments are already expensive boutique status symbols, so this announcement is merely adding a retro jewel to their crown.

  • i don't think moog needs to be defended, here, as i'm sure the sales figures for the OS will prove that they were "right" in thinking that a bunch of users want a purely analog instrument.

    so, the voyagerOS aside, i think people are forgetting (and here i've chosen not to use the words "arrogant", "narrow minded" or "naive") that "process" is a huge part of creating music. everyone approaches music differently, and the tools we use inform heavily on that process. choosing gear like the OS will take you down a different path than say, a virusTI. it's a beautiful thing, either way you go.

    so don't be so quick to say that gear like the OS isn't for people who "make music."

    so, is it marketing hype? yeah, but what isn't? if moog had stripped the voyager down and then raised the price ("pure ceramic potentiometers! balanced woodgrain end cheeks! gold lined jacks!") i'd be calling "foul." but that's not the case. so.

  • Pingback: Moog Voyager Old School()

  • kj et al, you're missing the point – i'm all in favor of restricting choices as a way of spurring creativity, when it's done consciously, from the artist's point of view. to suggest that Moog knows what's best for me as an artist, and has thus restricted my choices for my benefit, is inane. to then further try and sell that under a lame moniker like "old school"…

    i'm sure that there are plenty of people who will be able to do great things with this instrument. but to suggest that it would be somehow less valuable to musicians if it had added features such as MIDI and presets only serves to expose a lack of creative discipline on the part of music makers.

  • @beatfix, others — this probably warrants a separate post, but I think you're reading way too much into this.

    People with analog setups don't need MIDI or even, necessarily, preset memory. (And because this is still effectively a Minimoog, at least you're not writing down elaborate patch cord setups like you did on the Moog Modular.) So Moog added a model to their product line without these, reducing the price by a significant margin (I think somewhere in the viscinity of $800 or something). Then they came up with a cheeky name, and we came up with an even more cheeky description, because I personally found the whole idea kind of funny. I'm not giving up either MIDI or presets in my studio, but I have worked that way, so I do see the appeal.

    Moog isn't forcing you to do anything. They have both the Little Phatty and the original Minimoog Voyager with MIDI and preset management. They've released computer editing software for both. Their new multi-pedal has USB, for crying out loud.

    And no one's forcing anyone to buy a Moog, either — the Dave Smith line has more voices and a distinctive sound for less money, and it's still analog.

    So, I wouldn't worry too much about the marketing "hype." The main selling point for the OS isn't the prestige of lacking these features; it's just a lower price for people who find MIDI and preset management superfluous (really). And there obviously are some of those people, because there were plenty of inquiries about the OS at the booth from what I heard.

  • Oh, I will add, though — I agree with you, beatfix, in that MIDI and presets aren't an impediment to creativity. That'd be ridiculous to claim that. I don't think Moog is claiming that — again, they had a foot pedal with MIDI over USB in the same booth, so even the Rolls of analog is agnostic about that issue. The Moog folks read this site, so they can't be TOO allergic to digital, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • peter – i agree the argument may be a bit overblown (on both sides) – my point is that notions like "retro" and "old school" are more fashion than function. i don't have any beef with the Voyager OS as an instrument, presets or no – it's just that the marketing campaign is embarrassing in its frivolous appeal to coolness (a point that you made with a more deft and humorous touch). hence the "overheated marketing hype" comment, which was the point of my original post. oh, and lest anyone is confused by my tone – i enjoy the back and forth banter, on both sides. cheers, j e f f

  • dead_red_eyes

    I'm curious beatfix, do you own a Moog? Or have you ever owned one? Do you own any analog synths at all?

  • Maybe something's wrong with me, but "old school" I have to think is not in any way overheated marketing speak. It's exactly what this is: the Moog Voyager minus its more modern accouterments, the Voyager preset memory, MIDI, and touchpad. Every time I talked to the Moog people, they kept repeating, basically, "it's cheaper", so I didn't get the appeal to coolness. The community for whom control voltage snobbery = hipsterdom is, I think, fairly select. (Not nonexistent, but not, uh, widespread.)

    Interestingly, Moog was not far from Akai, which has taken the compact and streamlined MPC and added a whole bunch of weight and features with the 5000. This seems to be an ongoing thing in our industry: put stuff in, and take it out again. Of course, as long as you find a market for that, you can't really argue with them from a business perspective.

    Now, you want REAL marketing, come up with a slogan like "Every Nun Needs a Synthi." I look forward to the day we top that one.

  • @dead_red_eyes – I do not own a Moog. I have never owned a Moog. I own no analog (music) synths at all. It would seem that in your opinion this makes me unqualified to comment – you can just tune out my posts.

    @Peter – I think a more interesting discussion than the politics of coolness is why it is that companies do this hokey-pokey dance with features. The purely business angle is so dry – there must be more to it? I think it's a balm for our overstimulated brains – when I burn out on sequencing loops and tracks in Live, I reach for my turntables.

    As for marketing slogans, I think you had a nice turn of phrase in your original post – how about "Are You Beautifully Anachronistic?"

  • dead_red_eyes

    @ beatfix – All I did was ask questions, never once did I remotely suggest that you were unqualified to comment. I just wanted to see if you had any "old school" synths or not. Obviously this Moog isn't for you, and yet somehow you seem very offended by it's very existance. For "old school" guys like me, this new Moog is a great thing because it's a chance to buy a brand new analog synth. A lot of older analog synths don't really age well and the components can take forever to warm up, otherwise you get a shitty performance out of them … usually they just won't stay in tune like my old Mini Moog. I'd also really love to see a re-issued Mini Moog while we're at it.

  • Fair enough – at this point I think we're talking at right angles to one another anyway. I never meant to suggest that this (or any) instrument doesn't deserve to exist – ultimately the market will decide, and I'd rather see more options out there than fewer. I'd hate to see this become a trend, though.

    For a bit of background – I'm one of those people who has an 8×8 MIDI matrix router and a small army of controllers – I like it when I can jack into new pieces of sound gear and see how they respond to different control devices.

  • Well, in fairness, I think part of what we're seeing here is that Moog really hasn't been able to top the pricey but excellent Micromoog Voyager. The Little Phatty was an excellent smaller, cheaper alternative, but it's tough to know what else they can do. But people were at least interested in these, so whether the OS captures everyone's heart in the way the Voyager did, someone will buy it.

  • I spent all weekend with the OS prototypes… They sound dope !!

    And even though it has the same analog board as the Voyager, it does sound a bit closer to the Model D. Somewhere in between the two.

    And BTW, yes my wife IS VERY HOT ๐Ÿ˜‰ !!!!

  • Hi Nick! It was awesome hanging with you and Anna last week!

    Yep the old school is really not about hype, or retro being cool, or any of that stuff… not really, although those views are there to be taken if you want. Steve Dunnington was the head of the Voyager OS project, and he had a very simple slogan for it which unfortunately we haven't been able to use:

    "Got Balls?"


  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Best Product Slogan Ever: Minimoog Old School()

  • I agree that "old school" itself is not necessarily marketing hype. But the community that surrounds and indulges in analog-only is to me, and apparently others get this as well, pretty highbrow. Me, I want to talk sounds and stuff — Reaktor, Voyager, Access, Juno, Maelstrom, I don't care. The guy at my Guitar Center (right, go figure!) thinks I'm retarded because I use soft synths and need to be able to save what I done for a later date. Whatever. (Dude, I draw pictures full-time, I'm a single dad, and the dishes gotta be done. Give me my preset.)

    The fact that there's some defensiveness on the part of the not-necessarily-analog crowd sure can't be a surprise. I ride bikes and the fixies are the same way to the gearheads. Maybe everyone needs therapy. I say "hit preset 34 and let's all pogo dance!"

  • Pingback: News | NAMM 2008: CreateDigitalMusic assesses NAMMรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs key products |

  • Damon

    I have been playing keys since the 70s and I am very pleased to see this.

  • kabang!

    c'mon you negators, remember midi to cv???

  • kabang!

    it IS for those who can afford it of course, and it just simply wasn't made for presets. So for those with the bucks AND the taste, its seems to me like a totally kick ass performance live piece of kit. -who needs presets when you just keep evolving a sound over and over again?

    you also need second-nature subtractive skills for this. -something that presets dont help to cultivate. – I personally wish the technology hadn't gone so far and i wish it would slow down. that way, maybe music would be as consistently good as it was up to the 70s and i wouldnt waste as much money on music with NO shelf life.

  • kabang!

    Gwenh.. You had a point.. almost. (i love when people trap themselves cause their motive is to be dismissive)

    Its not paying thru the nose to artificially limit; its paying for a BETTER SOUND when it comes to moog.

    AND the enhancement to creativity will be creating your own sounds and not becoming complacent with trendy presets or being thrown-off by them.

    'make do with what they can get..' -er, hunting till kingdom-come in flea markets for acceptable (lets be real) instruments is as artificial as saving for a synth with LIMITED, YET INSPIRING functions.

    Do you think Brian Eno was saying dont spend money? No, he said limits are good for creativity, period.

    ( remove the log from your eye first..)

  • Interesting comments..

    In the uk, due to the strength of the pound, the voyager comes in at 1800 pounds from one sole distributor. The phatty at 749 ( or 700 if you know someone in the dealership). Now ive been told by a little bird that here, this will hit the streets at 1500 pounds. Thats o.t.t. AND A no-brainer in terms of choice for many people int he market for moog gear.

    Ive owned TWO voyagers – the keyboard and the RME, and sold both for more or less what i paid for them cause id used them to the hilt in soundtrack work. Not only that, but in my humble opinion, my roland system 100 can wipe the the floor with it in terms of sound creativity and scope. However, i think the price point is too close to the "full fat" voyager" to merit popularity in the same scale.

    The whole ethos of moog, is liek someone else stated here…they are boutique like instruments, but much sought after for that brand "halo effect". I was even fortunate enough to own a model d in the 1990's, which if

    my memory serves me correctly, is far more powerful in terms of sonic power, due to its trully inherant analog nature. Bob said it himself years back, that even the "new minimoog" will not be able to replicate "that" sound, due to the stability of new technology and so on.

    My jaw will only really drop as and when moog unleash their (Whisper it) poly synth, which is apparently supposed to be a polyphonic little phatty?!

    As long as compromises keep being made somewhere along the line, the market for second hand mini's, memorymoogs and EVEN voyagers (there's shedloads of them on ebay at any given moment), will always be alive.

    Pity…i remember a memorymoog destroying a set of monitors AND the channel strip in a studio, before bursting into flames internally, many moons ago. And all because of one button which switched it into UNISON MODE..

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Video: Volt Per Octaves Synth Duo Mooging Out Live()

  • carlos

    Keep those analogue beats coming, be modern implemented or not.Thank you MOOG GUYS!!!!!

  • jamezdd73

    So, in short, if I were to choose between a Moog Voyager Old School, or a Moog Little Phatty 2, which one would be the better option? Any advice? I'm looking at getting either of these soon, and the Voyager Performer is way out of my budget.

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Moog Adds CV Control to their Theremin, Discontinues Minimoog Old School()

  • Bosse

    The first voyager I actually crave. FINALLY: no presets , no ugly screens, no annoying bloat. You think a violin comes with f-ing presets? 100% hands on, now this is an actual instrument! When this thing starts hitting the second-hand market, I'll be over it like a starved wolf.