If you think Moog’s entry into iPad synthesizers is too new-fangled, something for the kids, and nothing compared to the authentic analogness of … uh … analog, you’ll like this, at the opposite end of the spectrum.

In the same week they unveiled their first iOS synth, Moog has their first 500 series module – and it’s a classic, derived from Dr. Moog’s legendary Ladder Filter design. Engineering audio isn’t quite like engineering bridges and airplanes: it’s actually the unique flaws in what might have otherwise been a forgettable filter design that led to a distinctive distortion, first heard in Moog modules but made famous by the Minimoog. That signature sound is what you get in this module.

I propose we celebrate Ladder Filter Day on October 28 – the 45h anniversary of Dr. Moog being granted the patent for the “Electronic High Pass and Low Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistance of Bipolar Transistors.” (I also propose that you greet everyone you see on that day with “Happy Electronic High Pass and Low Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistance of Bipolar Transistors Day!”)

Here’s some good reading on the original Ladder Filter:
The Classic Sound of the Moog Ladder Filter [Universal Audio Blog; check out their references at the bottom, too]
Analogue Systems has some good thoughts on what made the filter special, in the commentary for their own module, influenced by the same

But seriously – what’s in this module?

  • Low pass and high pass analog filter modes with cutoff
  • Attack and release parameters
  • Amount (positive/negative), which you can drive hard enough to make compression-like sounds or even reverse filtering, claim Moog
  • Resonance, which you can push into self-oscillation
  • 2Pole/4Pole: (12db per octave/24db per octave)
  • Relay bypass switch
  • Modernized design, including XLR (Via 500 rack) balanced line level

Better trade in your 64GB iPad 2 now — US$769, available in December 2011. That our else you need a special relationship with Analog Santa Claus. (Can I actually please have a chat with Analog Father Christmas?)

One downside: it doesn’t play Angry Birds. But you could make a sound like a flock of angry birds – which, by astounding coincidence, is also how I’d describe CDM comment threads earlier this week. Have at it:


  • At first, this image inspired a vision of a bizarre analog future where a synthesis giant called Moogfer reigned supreme over all foolhardy mortals who dared challenge its reign. Then I actually read the headline and realized that this is 500 Series, not Eurorack. Tears.

    Also, I know that VC isn't really standard on 500 Series gear, but it seems wrong to keep a beautiful Moog filter like this from being able to communicate with its own kin.

  • No control voltage over parameters is kind of silly Moog. API 500 Series is a great format but it's not really a proper synthesizer format.

  • is it multi-touch?

  • Interesting choice of format… I think good a choice. I wonder if more people have Lunchboxes than Monorocket cases and alike? I have a Lunchbox. 

  • I'm sure this will be a great unit, but it seems an odd choice to me to have not made this a Eurorack. (and also to have no CV inputs) With the Eurorack renaissance of late I would have thought that it would be the best market to target.

  • i'm willing to bet…this is only the beginning and other 500 series units will appear. this is what i would consider bare-bones Moog filter to add to your 500 box.

  • Zaxx

    800 bucks. Laughably Moog.  

  • Charlie Lesoine

    Dang that is expensive. I could buy a whole moog slim phatty for that price. How much do you think the components cost? $20?

  • 5meohd

    ^^^ lol.. I dare Moog to answer. Honestly.

  • Ma-chew!!

    Fucking Clown Shoes!!!!


    Definitely should have been euro and CV able!

  • pulsn

    What´s the point of it without CV? Boring!

  • Radiophobic

    Compare the prices of these 500 series modules to that of euro modules. Euro seems to be the right choice to go for budget modulars. This seems to fit on the mid to high end scale. Moog doesn't make equipment for budget minded people, they make equipment for people who are willing to pay a premium. 

  • Radiophobic

    And for the people complaining about the lack of cv and what not. Look at what other modules are available in the same format offer.

  • Peter Kirn

    It's the first of more 500 series units to come, say Moog, yes. I would have liked to see Eurorack, too, but there's certainly plenty of Eurorack out there.

  • You should change the name of the blog to create analog music!

  • s ford

    I wouldn't say this Moog thing is that expensive… 

    Check out some other API 500 format units, and they seem about the same price or so. 


    They are products aimed at the high end (studio) consumer. 

  • pulsn

    Ok, talking to some ppl. i know understand that the lunchbox is something like a hardware plug in mastering box. So Moog is swimming against the stream. Why not. Guess i am not in the target group. But i like the design. đŸ˜‰

  • i think this is really awesome and exciting! as a recording and mix engineer for a living, this is extremely interesting. i got to play with this yesterday at AES and despite it not having any CV capabilities, which i was very cautious about, it has a world of really neat sonic mangling capabilities. in just a few minutes i was very surprised with how inspiring it was. i give this 2 thumbs up, even though the moog guys said it would sell for about 600, which is a bit cheaper then most 500 series modules. 

    on another note, if you are a bit bummed about prices for this, check out the&nbsp ;http://www.groupdiy.com/ forum who are doing some great DIY 500 series things!

  • I was hoping for a 900 series reissue, but understand consumers want moog to do something forward thinking. All I want in a moog modular are the artifacts that made those beasts sound great (including tuning problems), which I can't find on any of their current product offering. I would certainly hope that CV controls would be centrally located on a module for the whole system. Surely they have built in expansion for this. Otherwise they have just made an MF-101 for 8 times the price! Hopefully this is an actual 904 circuit. And I hope there will be a way to get notch and bandpass out of the HP/LP configuration.

  • Evan

    "Moog doesn’t make equipment for budget minded people, they make equipment for people who are willing to pay a premium. "

    Animoog: 99 cents.

  • eettaann

    I'm not sure why they (moog music) and reviewers have been leaving out what i thought to be 2 very important features of the module. 1- the envelope can be keyed and 2- they can be stereo paired. when you look at other lunchbox modules out there, this design makes a lot of sense. i was extremely lucky to hear a few prototypes at the moog factory a couple weeks ago and i cannot overstate how great it sounds. and this is just the first of a series. 

  • I know it's a bit late now but…“Happy Electronic High Pass and Low Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistance of Bipolar Transistors Day!” I hope the day went off alright for everyone.