Moog Source

Moog Source Image

Moog's Source was their first to offer patch memory storage as well as some other new features. It boasted 16 memory locations so you could finally save and recall your synth patches. A casette-tape jack was also implemented to transfer your patches to and from an external tape and free up the on-board memory for additional new patches. But in an effort to modernize with the eighties, the Moog had replaced all buttons, knobs and sliders with flat-panel membrane buttons and a single data-wheel assignment format. At the time, this may have seemed far-out, but in all actuality it is the Source's downfall.

Moog Source Image

Parameters are edited not with hands-on sliders and knobs but by assigning a selected parameter to the dedicated data wheel. This is very tedious and does not allow for true hands-on tweaking during performances nor can you adjust different parameters simultaneously or while playing. These days, the membrane buttons don't always seem to work quite right either. However, those famous monophonic Moog sounds are still inside this synth which has two fat analog oscillators and the legendary 24 dB Moog filter.

Moog Source Image

The Source has been used by Tangerine Dream, Jan Hammer, Depeche Mode, Devo, Vince Clarke, New Order, Ultravox, Josh Wink, Front Line Assembly, Moog Cookbook, Kitaro, Imperial Drag, The Cars, Phish, The Rentals, King Crimson, Blur, and Gary Numan.

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42 Visitor comments
September 26, 2009 @ 10:06 pm
cosmetically speaking, SO WHAT! it's a moog source! one of the bes synths to come out at the time and it's got amazing sounds programmed into it. if you're worried about the fact that it looks like a "fisher price toy", and then all you can say is it's a colorful addition to any studio. you probably shouldn't own one! l@mer indeed.
August 5, 2009 @ 7:03 am
Wow, this is a nice sounding synth, but horribly ugly, looks like something Fisher Price would come up with for ages 2-5 :). However, its pretty unique and a colorful adition to any studio.
February 9, 2009 @ 10:04 am
The source was my first Moog and i just love it. Folk moan about the single dial parameter access being slow and cumbersome but a lot of the functions are simple on/off sections (eg waveshapes) which work by just touching the membrane panel and don't even use the dial... In fact only the parameters coloured "orange" require you to use the dial.
the goat
October 16, 2008 @ 8:53 am
If you couldn't afford a Mini, this was a great alternative. Like most Moogs, the oscillator tuning was a horror, but very easy to tweak sounds live.
This replaced my Roland SH09 and 101 - you can't beat the posing power, or the programmability - and seriously outdid them for sounds.
Shares the mire sensible data wheel concept with the Roland apha-dial. A lesson there for certain synths that forced you to hold a button and count the digits!

I replaced this with an OSCar, but that was mainly for MIDI.
August 27, 2008 @ 7:28 pm
One of the nicest sounding twin VCO monosynths there are. Classy punchy bass and much, much more. Makes an SH-101 or something sound like a toy. The downfall of this instrument is that the membrane pad puts people off. It shouldnt, it's extremely easy to edit, you tap the parameter button you want then spin the beautifully weighted data wheel. Easy as that. None of the main parameters are on seperate pages. It's all up there ready to tweak ,on the fly, just like any Moog. The review above is incorrect. You can easily edit sounds whilst playing and in live situations. Hell you only have two hands, one to play, one to tweak. Hit the button, spin the knob. How is that difficult! Also I never heard of or seen a Source with a broken down membrane. I own three sources and they all work perfectly, very reliable. If you are going to buy one it is worth seeking out a late MK2 model as it has a Roland style Din-Sync input to sync up the arpeggiator or sequences to say a TR-808.
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Rated 4.21 (417 Votes)

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  • 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 VCO's + Noise Gen. with ramp, triangle, variable width pulse waveforms
  • Memory - 16 patches (plus casette-tape save/load)
  • Filter - cutoff, res, ADSR env
  • LFO - square or triangle
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - YES
  • Control - CV /GATE
  • Date Produced - 1981
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