Moog Rogue

Moog Rogue Image

The Moog Rogue could be the very definition of cheap Moog bass. It's a two-oscillator analog monosynth from Moog that, while having genuine and highly desirable Moog componentry, its design cut many corners to make this Moog's most compact and inexpensive offering of its time. In fact, the design was so simplified and streamlined that Moog licensed the design to Tandy/Radioshack who built the nearly identical Realistic Concertmate MG-1, which actually offers more features for less bucks! Incidentally the Rogue is also utilized as the Moog Taurus II Bass Synth with 1-1/2 octave bass pedals instead of the Rogue's 2-1/2 octave keyboard.

The Rogue could be considered a very scaled down version of the Prodigy (which was itself a very scaled down Minimoog) offering far fewer synthesis options and flexibility. Only two waveforms per oscillator (saw and square/rectangle) and, unlike the Prodigy, the oscillators must play the exact same waveform and pitch range, for a much more limited sonic range of synth tones. You cannot mix Sawtooth with Square/Rectangle waves on the Rogue, whereas you can on the Prodigy and Liberation. Another cutback is the single envelope generator that is shared by both the Filter and the Loudness Amp, offering just Attack, Release and a switchable Sustain mode (OFF, HALF, FULL). Still, the Rogue has a decent Moog filter with an external audio input.

Moog was definitely cutting costs with this model, making it the smallest, simplest and most basic synth in their line-up; yet still versatile and user-friendly enough to be used as the Taurus II Bass Pedal synth and an entry-level electronic tinkering Radioshack junkies music machine. To this day, the Rogue is still an inexpensive place to get good Moog sounds! It is used by Peter Gabriel, Add N To (X), 808 State, Stereolab, Mr. Oizo and KMFDM.

Here is a table highlighting some of the differences pointed out by a user between the MG-1 and Rogue.

Realistic Concertmate MG-1 Moog Rogue
Sliders for modulation Switches for modulation
Divide-down polyphonic organ --
No Pitch/MOD wheels Independant Pitch/MOD wheels
Keyboard tracking switches Keyboard tracking knob
Independent waveform selection and pitch --
Ring modulator effect --
Osc sync on/off Osc sync contour
Keyboard response is slower --

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39 Visitor comments
Aux
January 22, 2009 @ 4:59 am
I love the Rogue and I use it a lot in my daily work as commercial composer: great bass- and leadsounds, but it is also quit easy to create drum- and percussion sounds.
c g gross
December 5, 2008 @ 1:44 pm
I agree that price and sound aren't always connected. I just came across the receipt for my Rogue (purchased in '85)-- $104.94 including sales tax ain't so bad for a versatile synth that was my main axe for a long time. I don't use it as much now that I'm using software synths more often, but the Rogue still sounds great and I still enjoy playing it.
cw murdock
November 23, 2008 @ 6:28 am
the "Concertmate" MG1 had this extra chanel called "polyphony" that makes a super cheesy organ sound that only stereolab are allowed to make sound awesome. with a cv gate interface you can get more bottom octaves and you can make this baby, or the MG1, self oscillate and get serious "brown note" bass tones.
Len
October 14, 2008 @ 7:22 pm
I love this site! But I can't help but feel this review is being a little bit too elitist about synths in general and Moogs in particular. Inexpensive doesn't mean "bad sounding." Consumer or prosumer doesn't mean "bad sounding" either. While this ain't no Minimoog, it's got that unmistakable Moog tone and filtering that is sought after. I'm glad Moog made a synth for the masses in the form of a Radio Shack cheapie. Power to the people! I'm sure Peter Gabriel, Stereolab and KMFDM don't feel threatened...
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCOs:
    OSC 1: Pitch: 32', 16', 8'; Wave: Sawtooth, Rectangle.
    OSC 2: Pitch: 32', 16', 8'; Wave: Sawtooth, Square.
  • Memory - None
  • Filter - 1 24dB/oct lowpass w/ cutoff, emphasis, env amount
  • VCA - Attack, Release
  • Keyboard - 32 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - NO
  • Control - CV / GATE (V-trig in, S-trig out)
  • Date Produced - 1981
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Perfect Circuit Audio.

    Thanks to Pete Moulton and Eric White for providing information.

    Updated June, 2008.

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