First, there was Mother-32. Now, Moog has another affordable patchable desktop (“semi-modular”): Drummer From Another Mother (DFAM), for percussion synthesis.

With a US$599 street, that Moog name, and patchability without being overwhelming (or requiring a Eurorack investment) – all combined with musicians’ insatiable appetite for percussion – I suspect this one will be a hit.

So, what’s the angle? Basically, think 2 oscillators + 1 noise oscillator, 8-step sequencer, analog envelopes, and the signature Moog ladder filter — and then a mess of patch points for combining it.

There’s also a clever way of launching the instrument: starting tomorrow in Los Angeles, the DFAM will take over The Cactus Store on Echo Park Avenue, powering a … biofeedback installation? Hey, we’ve seen cute installations from team Moog before, so why not? Artists like Daedelus, Bernie Krause, John Tejada, Mike Dean & Bana Haffar are all slated to make appearances. So you’ll hear some of the experts take this for a ride – and get to go for a test drive yourself – if you’re in the LA area.

For the rest of us, it sounds something like this:

Full specs:

SOUND ENGINE: Analog

ANALOG SEQUENCER: 8-Steps With Pitch and Velocity Per-Step

SEQUENCER PANEL CONTROLS: Tempo, Run/Stop, Trigger, Advance

SOUND SOURCES: 2 Oscillators With Square and Triangle Waveforms, 1 White Noise Generator, 1 External Audio Input

FREQUENCY CONTROL: +/- 5 Octaves (10 Octave Range)

MIXER: Level controls for Oscillator 1, Oscillator 2 and White Noise/External Audio Input

FILTER: 20Hz-20KHz Switchable Low Pass / High Pass 4-Pole Transistor Ladder Filter

ENVELOPES: VCO EG w/ Voltage Controlled Decay and Bipolar Amount Control, VCF EG w/ Voltage Controlled Decay and Bipolar Amount Control, VCA EG w/ Voltage Controlled Decay and Selectable Fast/Slow Attack Time

PATCHBAY: 24x 3.5mm Jacks

PATCHBAY INPUTS: Trigger, VCA CV, Velocity, VCA Decay, External Audio, VCF Decay, Noise Level, VCO Decay, VCF Mod, VCO 1 CV, 1→2 FM Amount, VCO 2 CV, Tempo, Run/Stop, Advance/Clock.

PATCHBAY OUTPUTS: VCA, VCA EG, VCF EG, VCO EG, VCO 1, VCO 2, Trigger, Velocity, Pitch.

AUDIO OUTPUT: ¼” TS Line / ¼” TRS Headphones (Shared Output Jack)

INCLUDED POWER SUPPLY: 100-240VAC; 50-60Hz, +12VDC 1200mA

POWER CONSUMPTION: 3.0W

EURORACK CURRENT DRAW: 230mA (+12V – from 10-pin header)

EURORACK MOUNTING DIMENSIONS: 60HP (1”/26mm Module Depth)

WEIGHT: 3.5lbs

DIMENSIONS: 12.57”W x 4.21“H (with knobs) x 5.24“D

More:

https://www.moogmusic.com/products/semi-modular/dfam-drummer-another-mother

  • Nurturing synthesis.

  • Good stuff! But… 8 steps? Still, you can clock this from an external sequencer I presume.

  • Yoni Mazuz

    I wonder if this will go on sale during Moogfest like the Mother-32 did the last two years…

  • Baron Von Creepz

    screw the DFAM – what’s the yellow thing on the left in the picture?

  • chap

    As far as i understand it’s just one drum voice ? That looks incredibly expensive.

    • Pop

      Yes, looks like 1 voice. Although like most things modular, it is largely the way it is controlled and modulated that makes it appear to sound like more than that.
      And yes, like most things Moog, its spendy..

  • Spankous

    fairly expensive for what it offers imho. But who am i to say so. I hope some more down to earth developers bring out something more affordable for normal earners

    • Polite Society

      You aren’t exactly starved for choice/price range these days.

  • Foosnark

    I’ve heard some nice things done with the DIY workshop version, but was hoping if they released a commerical version it’d be a little bit enhanced.

    The disappointing part to me is the sequencer. 8 steps is okay, but there’s no reset, no way to change the length, skip steps (I suppose zero velocity is close) or do ratcheting or change directions. In an instrument with this price that’s a shame.

  • So, it is called a “Drummer”, but what it is not is … a drum machine. Well, nothing to see here, please move on…

    • Pop

      It is a drum machine. Perhaps not the kind you are used to, but a drum machine none the less
      (It isn’t called a ‘Drummer’ either)

      • “Drummer From Another Mother”. And yes, maybe that’s only me. But I consider a drum machine something that has dedicated voices for kick, snare and all the other sounds that a drum set consists of. That’s why they’re called “drum machines.”
        This is a monophonic synthesizer that makes percussive sounds and noises. You can do this with pretty much any other synthesizer that has fast and snappy enough envelopes and – if you want – a step sequencer.

        • Spankous

          i agree completely. This is not a drum machine in my logic either. Of course with enough openness and fantasy you can call anything anything but…. 🙂 It looks cool and sounds nice but i find it very expensive for what it offers. i would say 200-300 euros from the 650 or what it costs are “moog” and “buying a piece of history” arguments…. hehe

        • DrüMünkey

          Honestly it’s a product of people using all the wrong terms for all these years… Seriisly, drum machine is a stupid term. At best we should talk about “percussion synth” when we talk about sound generation that relays on or focuses on shorter tones. And we should have used the term “percussion sequencer” when we talk about how the voices are triggered.

          The term that seems to be more common in Europe, etc. of Drum Computer makes sense for things like Rytm, etc.

  • Nagasaki Nightrider

    It’s silly for Moog to price this the same as the Mother 32, when it is
    such a less complex product: simpler synth voice, bare-bones sequencer,
    less CV connectivity, no memory, no MIDI. That’s all fine, but using the
    same chassis as it’s sister product and putting Mother in the name
    doesn’t justify $600 ($679 if you buy direct!). I’m sure it will be fun
    to use and sound good, but damn.

    I have a decent collection of small analog drum/percussion and mono synth voices in both standalone and Euro format that are all at least as capable from a synthesis
    standpoint as the DFAM and which all cost less, in some cases much less. If any one of them had a goofy little 8-step sequencer included and been priced hundreds of dollars more as a result, I would never have bought them.

    I’m sure they’ll sell a bunch of these, but whereas I think the Mother 32 is good value for what you get, the DFAM is trading on that goodwill somewhat cynically, it seems. Sort of evens out in the end.

  • Loowfizzz

    I really like the concept of having just one voice for drums and you have to wiggle that it gets interesting.

  • Max

    So we heard some bds, some noise sounds, some modulated sounds – meh
    It makes sense to add some percussion to the mother thing, but this is weird.
    A one handed drummer that plays an unspecific synth sound?

  • Polite Society

    3:20 in to that video… <3 <3 <3