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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42 Visitor comments
A.Hubert
January 15, 2010 @ 1:52 pm
Pete Moulton and Erik White are complete morons. This Moog Rogue is NOT identical at all to the Concertmate MG-1. In fact, the Realistic MG1 made by Moog music for Tandy, is superior in many ways to the Rogue.
It has independent octaves settings and waveform settings for each VCO. It also has a polyphonic section (although limited to square wave). The power-supply is internal.

But the Rogue does have real mod wheels, instead of sliders. Oh, and the name Moog on the back instead of Realistic.
Personally I'd buy a Realistic MG1 over a Rogue any day. Same Moog sound, more features, lower price.
A lot of infos about many synths are completely wrong on this site, and somebody should take the time to correct that !
Uriel
December 14, 2009 @ 6:07 pm
Played one today, it's serious fun. Thought it would be more expensive... sure, it's limited with regard to wave selection etcetera, but it's got all those heavy monobasses and moog leads, just a brilliant little hands-on machine.
Didn't really like the pitch wheel, though, and the external input didn't seem to work :(
Hiko
December 12, 2009 @ 5:42 am
I've got one a few weeks ago. I replaced toggle and slide switches, and also upper and lower keyboard insulator.
I'm impressed that the keyboard assy was made in Japan.
This synth is compact, light, and simple but its sound is really bold.
Yes, Peter, it's the five-star synth for me, too!
Peter
November 19, 2009 @ 5:14 pm
The Moog Rogue, without a doubt, is the most underrated analog synth in history!!! To see VSE rate it with only 2 stars is simply crazy! I have been playing synths for 25 years, I have played, or owned just about every synthesizer ever made, and I can say without hesitation that the Rogue is the best sounding synthesizer I ever heard! Not even close! Even my Memory Moog in unison can't touch it! The Rogue blows the Source away, there simply is no comparison. I would even say that it sounds as powerful as the Mini. No analog synth I have ever played can create its thick, throbbing sound. You truly hear the creamy, pulsating voltages. Sure, the controls are very basic, but you can get any sound in the world from this synth. Don't waste your money on an overrated, overpriced Source. Maybe the Rogue I play is different then any other one, but if the rest of them sound anything near this true analog monster, it is worth every penny!
Pip
November 11, 2009 @ 8:37 pm
I too had and loved one of these! I inherited it from my older sister who tired of it quickly and I remember buying it new in a music shop in ~1980. The assistant told us he was still finding new sounds on it after months, but I was still finding new sounds after 20 years!

A surprisingly versatile machine given its limited structure, but there were inputs and ouputs at the back which enabled you to include it in effects chains as a great outboard filter, modulator or gate for any audio. I had great fun wiring into my polymoog inputs at one time - some totally amazing sounds...
 
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VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 4.04 (480 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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

    Thanks to Pete Moulton and Eric White for providing information.

    Updated June, 2008.

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