There are certain music technology names that not only define certain sectors of the market but that are also brands that have reached the wider world consciousness. In terms of synthesis, Moog is one of those brands and their original hardware designs fully deserve their ‘classic’ status.
Moog are not, however, a company stuck in their classic heritage and they have embraced software synthesis fully. That has included iOS and, in iOS terms, they are also responsible for one of the synth apps that has achieved a ‘classic’ status in Animoog, while their Filtatron filter app brings the smooth sound of their analog filters into a very affordable format.
In you are a synth geek and an iOS music app addict, the odds are that news of a new Moog iOS synth app is going to be greeted with some sense of excitement…. If so, then now might be the time to get excited then as Moog’s Model 15 iOS music app has hit the App Store today. Model 15 is, apparently, a pretty faithful reproduction (but with some added extras to exploit the touchscreen interface) of the hardware version of the Model 15, and that itself was the subject of a limited-run reproduction (150 units world-wide) recently. This is a fully modular synth, the origins of which date back to the early 1970s…. and, as you will undoubtedly have heard on countless recordings (whether you realise it or not), it makes some pretty awesome sounds.
OK, so an iOS might not have the coolness of the hardware unit, and we can argue the toss about whether a virtual synth really captures the exact sound of the hardware…. but, frankly, when the hardware cost US$10,000 (that was the price of the reissue hardware recently) and the iOS app costs US$29.99/UK£22.99, then lots of synth-heads will simply shout ‘bargain’ and bite Moog’s hand off….
Pricing aside, the app requires iOS9.0 or later (9.3 is recommended as it bought some improvements to the iOS audio drivers), hardware that is iPhone 5s/iPad Air or newer and is a 200MB download. It ships with Audiobus, IAA and Ableton Link support, full MIDI support (including for Bluetooth MIDI if you have appropriate hardware), features that exploit 3D Touch on suitable iPhones and the Apple Pencil.
As shown in the screenshots here, Model 15 most certainly looks the part and, while modular synths are not something to be tackled lightly, I expect many iOS musicians will find this a very appealing prospect. As ever, a full review will follow once I have been able to fully dig in…. but this certainly looks very good on first impressions and I’m sure it will sell by the bucketload. Fortunately, the iOS app is not limited to 150 units world wide…. :-)
Moog Model 15