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
Atlanta Vintage Keyboards
November 19, 2010 @ 9:13 am
Arcade Fire are using a Rogue both in the studio and live, as an integral part of their onstage keyboard rig.
Benjamin AM
September 3, 2010 @ 2:12 am
My favourite synth, but the Rogue suffers from a few problems. First, is the infamous black tar, which is a [beep] to clean up. Second, is a strange AC power adapter. This can be solved by installing an IEC power plug. Third, the oscillators are linked. They can easily be separated. Fourth, the CV controls are set up in an inconvenient TRS wiring. This can easily be undone and separated into individual mono jacks. It is also do-able to make the Rogue semi-modular by adding a small daughter board to have CV inputs to control filter cutoff and several other options. These also help with the limited modulation options. Sixth, the voltage follower for pitch comes after the glide knob. this makes for weird glide on long sustain. Easy fix, make another voltage follower between keyboard CV and glide with and 1uF a poly cap(low leakage) to hold CV. Last, no mod rate LED. Easy, a transistor and two resistors. So it has a few problems, but at least most of them can be fixed!
Drugoyeah
May 12, 2010 @ 3:13 pm
Also Radiohead used this synth in "Hail to the thief" album. Great Sound.
JT1120
May 7, 2010 @ 1:27 pm
I had one of these. It had incredibly fat bass, truly fantastic. Thanks to a now ex-wife who pawned it, I now only have memories.
NYC Rock
April 17, 2010 @ 8:32 am
Add LCD Soundsystem to the user list. It's all over Sound Of Silver (the pulsing bass on "Someone Great") and they've proudly used it onstage until at least last year.
 
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  • 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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