Matriarch, Moog’s eminently patchable semi-modular paraphonic instrument, just got a slew of updates for playability. And there are new patch ideas, both in book and video form.

I have strong feelings on this one – the Matriarch is one of my favorite Moog designs ever. It’s a brilliant combination of patchable design with clear layout and controls. With 90 patch points, there are a lot of options – but the device is engineered so that you can overdrive various stages of that architecture and still produce musical sounds. We worked on an extensive feature series on that below, thanks to producer Lars Hemmerling and the engineering team at Moog. But now you get still more ideas for this device and some new patch possibilities.

The book and firmware update are both available when you log into your Moog Music account on their site.

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Moog Matriarch with bag bundle @ Thomann.de

Moog Matriarch and accessories @ Thomann.de

Moog Matriarch @ Sweetwater

First, the 1.30 update, which adds a lot of well thought-out performance options – velocity curves and pitch wheel changes being especially welcome:

  • MIDI Velocity Curves:¬† Base, linear, stretched, and compressed.
  • Pitch Wheel information added to the KB CV Out: “The Pitch Wheel setting will now come out of the KB CV Out alongside the keyboard information. Try using the KB CV Out to modulate the stereo delay time 1 input to create longer delay times when you play higher notes on the keyboard. While holding a note, moving the Pitch Wheel will not only adjust the pitch, but it will now also modulate the delay time.”
  • Response to the TIME 1 IN CV of the Stereo Delay is improved when synced.
  • KB GATE OUT will now follow MULTI TRIG selection.
  • KB VEL OUT (Keyboard Velocity CV Out), KB AT OUT (Keyboard Aftertouch CV Out), KB CV OUT (Keyboard CV Out), and KB GATE OUT (Keyboard Gate Out) correctly update when MIDI notes are played.
  • Global Setting 4.1: Delayed Keyboard Octave Shift has been improved and now also applies to the keyboard CV output.
  • Octave Transpose controls are now more responsive.
  • PPQN IN and OUT have been improved
  • CC94 has been added to allow switching voice modes over MIDI.
  • Spurious MIDI messaging no longer occurs when HOLD function is engaged.

The included documentation in the box with Matriarch is already extensive. But there’s now a free downloadable guide entitled Patching with Intention that goes deeper, including tutorials and more examples. (I’m not sure about the title there, though – stay tuned for my book Patching with Reckless Abandon and Destructive Intent, please! Thinking I can find a very tasteful vintage engraving of a demon or something for the cover.)

They’ve also got two videos going. I will absolutely be patching this into a modular now that I’ve finally got one – and interfacing with Eurorack I know was one of the original design concepts for the instrument. Ring modulation is always worth additional explanation. And the stereo capabilities are one reason to opt for the Matriarch, and do tend to be a bit more subtle. Have a look:

Here’s our series on the Matriarch, complete with patching ideas and chats with the engineers:

And this is the album I did with the Matriarch, just to put my music where my mouth is:

Matriarch Firmware v1.3.0 Now Available