Moog Music has made official the launch of the Moogerfooger MF-108M Cluster Flux. Leaked specs went out yesterday. I was editing a book; hopefully you were doing something less work-like, such as sipping beers aside the beach with your iPhones completely powered down and stowed. But now that it’s official, we know full specifications on the hardware (below), and pricing and availability. The Cluster Flux will list for US$599; expect lower prices street. You’ll be able to get it third quarter of this year.

Why is the Cluster Flux worth leaking? Moog already has a lovely line of analog Moogerfooger effects units, but the Cluster Flux is a unique flanger / chorus / vibrato / modulated effect unit. It promises to do the usual sounds those features entail, but loaded up with hardware controls, it can do more, too, says Moog – like a “wider range of modulated delay line effects” more. And in usual Moogerfooger fashion, you get a full complement of CV and MIDI controls, too.

Two other observations: first, the design of this will look familiar to those of you who have used Moog’s iOS app. Second, Cluster Flux to me sounds more like a Metasonix product name than Moog. Actually — no, then it’d be just Clusterf***, and one of those knob labels would require you to shield youngsters’ eyes. And there would be a tube stolen from a rotting Soviet submarine, not what the Moog press release describes as “state-of-the-art all-analog circuitry.”

I’ve been waiting some time for a Moogerfooger to move from “nice to have” territory into “have to have.” And for those of us on a budget, who can’t fill up our studios with Moog hardware the way the company’s NAMM booth exhibits do, that means being choosy. This one could be the one, looking at the specs. I’ll reserve judgment until I get to play with it.

The specs (copying and pasting; I hear editor-sent attack dogs scratching at the door and actually need to run for it so they don’t savagely tear off my limbs — catch you later):

The MF-108M Cluster Flux is more powerful than traditional chorus/flange effects offering musicians the added modulation of multiple LFO waveforms: Sine, Triangle, Square, Saw, Ramp and Random, to create many kinds of new modulated BBD Delay effects. MIDI IN allows control of Delay Time, Range, Feedback, Output Level, LFO Waveform, LFO Rate, LFO Amount and Mix. Additional features include:

· The ability to sync LFO modulation effects to MIDI Clock or Tap Tempo
· The ability to control Delay Time w/ MIDI Notes for “tuned” flanger comb-filter effects.
· CV control of Delay Time, LFO Rate, Feedback, LFO Amount, Mix
· Send/Return Insert for external processing of BBD signals.
· A second output configurable via DIP switches for different types of stereo outputs
· A Spillover mode allows for creation of interesting drones and other feedback effects.
· Control of Delay Time, Mix and Feedback in Chorus setting for extreme chorus effects
· Bi-polar feedback design creates Flanging effects w/ even or odd harmonic emphasis.
· Wide-ranging LFO Rate for very slow to audio rate modulation
· Input/Output Level controls for use w/ wide range of devices.

Readers are already pointing to rival gear from maker Eventide. It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison in some ways — but, then, sometimes you want an apple, sometimes an orange. I hope we’ll get to cover more soon from both these vendors.