Moog Little Phatty
The Little Phatty is the next great thing to emerge from the revitalized Moog Music synthesizer company. It is sort of a notch below the Voyager, but should not really be categorized as such because the Little Phatty is a powerful synth with a layout and design that looks less into the past and more towards the future.
The Little Phatty boasts a 100 percent analog signal path, 100 user editable presets and a 37-note keyboard. It is a monophonic synth with two oscillators (the Voyager has three osc). Waveform selector is continuously variable between waveforms (tri, saw, square, pulse) and there is oscillator-sync. The filter is the classic Moog ladder design. Two ADSR envelope generators are available for the volume and the filter. And finally a nice LFO with six waveshapes, four destinations and rate/depth controls helps to get things moving. The 'Master' section of the keyboard has controls for Tuning, +/-2 Octave Transpose, Glide, Pitch/Mod wheels and some data entry controls. There are no on-board sequencers or effects, however.
The interface couldn't be simpler and despite the minimized number of buttons and knobs, there are no hidden pages or sub-layers of button functions - all controls are still very hands-on and provide excellent visual feedback via two-tone back-lit buttons, dials and pitch bend / mod wheels. Beautiful, hand-built, simple, effective, powerful - classic Moog design. The Little Phatty is designed to offer a 21st century analog Moog synthesizer in a compact portable package and at a price every musician can afford.
The standard edition is the Stage model (pictured top). Moog initially released a special, limited edition run of 1,200 individually numbered Bob Moog Tribute Edition synths. The limited run, Tribute Edition of the Little Phatty (pictured above) has special Moog wood side panels, a Bob Moog signature plate across the front and rear, comes with a CD-ROM featuring highlights of the Bob Moog Memorial Celebration Service and a special Bob Moog poster.
OK so they aren't that cheap. And they aren't very feature-rich compared with some of its competitors. But it is a genuine Moog. Its sound engine was designed by the late and great Bob Moog himself. It's the final synth he built for us. And it simply sounds amazing! It's analog but with such ultra-stability and such a modern and expressive interface, using the Little Phatty is an absolute joy - for experimenting, learning, jamming and having fun - it's one of the best 21st century synths for analog basses, leads, effects, noises and more.
Demos & Media
Sources: 4 waveforms (saw, sqr, tri, ramp) + Filt. Env. + Osc 2, (Sample & Hold and Noise also available on Stage Edition).
Destinations: Filter, Pitch, Wave, Osc. 2.
Images from Moog Music
Reviewed December 2007.