NAMM 2015: Moog Announces New System Modulars

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Moog spent three years researching and building faithful recreations of the classic modular System 55, System 35, and System 15 modular synthesizers. The flagship System 55 is a highly sophisticated and dynamic analog instrument comprising 36 handcrafted modules housed in two hand-finished solid walnut cabinets. Each module is hand-built to the original factory specifications by hand-stuffing and hand-soldering components to the circuit board and using traditional wiring methods. The System 55 also comes with the highly coveted 960 Sequential controller for incorporating extensive rhythmic complexity and expanse into the creative process. Quantities are limited, as only 55 units will be built. The smaller System 35 comprises 22 handcrafted modules and is made to the same specifications with a limited quantity of 35 units made. And finally, the smallest System 15 offers 14 modules and is designed for portability and the performing musician, with a limited quantity of 150 units made. All three models ship with an assortment of patch cables.

System 55 Modules

System 35 Modules

Model 15 Modules

5x 902 Voltage Controlled Amplifiers

3x 902 Voltage Controlled Amplifiers

2x 902 Voltage Controlled Amplifiers

1x 903A Random Signal Generator

1x 904A Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter

1x 904A Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter

1x 904A Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter

1x 904B Voltage Controlled High Pass Filter

1x 907A Fixed Filter Bank

1x 904B Voltage Controlled High Pass Filter

1x 907A Fixed Filter Bank

2x 911 Envelope Generators

5x 911 Envelope Generators

3x 911 Envelope Generators

1x 921 Voltage Controlled Oscillator

1x 911A Dual Trigger Delay

1x 921 Voltage Controlled Oscillator

1x 921A Oscillator driver

1x 914 Fixed Filter Bank

2x 921A Oscillator drivers

2x 921B Oscillators

1x 921 Voltage Controlled Oscillator

4x 921B Oscillators

1x 923 Random Noise/Filter

2x 921A Oscillator Drivers

1x 923 Random Noise/Filter

1x 995 Attenuator

6x 921B Oscillators

2x CP3A Console Panels

1x CP15 Console Panel

1x 960 Sequential Controller

1x CP4A Console Panel

1x 130 Watt 120 VAC Power Supply

1x 961 Interface

1x CP8A Console Panel

1x 962 Sequential Switch

1x CP35 Console Panel

1x 992 Control Voltage Panel

1x 180 Watt 120 VAC

1x 993 Trigger and Envelope Voltages Panel

1x 994 Dual Multiples Panel

1x 995 Attenuator

1x CP2 Console Panel

3x CP3A Console Panels

1x CP8 Console Panel

1x 350 Watt 120 VAC

Module Descriptions

902 Voltage Controlled Amplifier

The 902 is a differential input and output circuit, which gives an overall voltage gain of 2 (6 dB) when the manual pot is at its maximum (6) or when a voltage of 6 volts is applied to the control input. Maximum sum of control voltage is approximately 7.5 control volts, producing +4.7 dB or a gain of 3. There are two modes of gain response: linear and exponential.

903A Random Signal Generator

The 903 produces continuous bursts of random frequencies and waveshapes from approximately 25 Hz to 20 kHz. Two types of energy distribution are provided: white noise and pink noise.

904A Voltage-Controlled Low Pass Filter

The 904A is the classic Moog-style ladder filter that attenuates frequencies above the fixed control voltage cutoff point at a rate of 24 db per octave. The cutoff point is voltage controlled through the control input jacks. The regeneration pot (variable Q) varies the amount of internal feedback, creating a resonant peak at the cutoff frequency, which will self-oscillate at higher settings, creating a voltage-controlled sine wave generator. As the regeneration circuit narrows and increases the strength of the cutoff frequency peak, the amplitude of the lower frequencies decreases.

904B Voltage-Controlled High Pass Filter

The 904B attenuates input signal frequencies below its nominal cutoff frequency setting at a rate of 24 dB per octave. As the fundamental frequency is generally the loudest component of a complex tone, deletion of the lowest frequency range can radically alter the timbre. There are two frequency range settings; the low encompasses 4 Hz to 20 kHz, while the high range shifts 1.5 octaves up to 10 Hz to 50 kHz.

907A Fixed Filter Bank

The 907A is a non-voltage controlled modifier, which cuts or boosts the gain of the center frequency bands indicated on each of the each center posts, in addition to the cuff points set by the low pass and high pass filter at either frequency extreme.

911 Envelope Generators

At the introduction of a switch-to-ground (S-trigger) trigger signal from an external source, the 911 produces a single voltage contour whose time/voltage variation is determined by pots T1, T2, T3 and a time-constant-sustain level pot. Closure of the input trigger switch directs the voltage contour to the T3 (final decay), regardless of what stage was in current operation.

911A Dual Trigger Delay

The 911 is designed to be used with two or more 911A envelope generators. It provides one or two time delays on an input trigger voltage, bound for the activation of an envelope switch trigger. There are three modes of operation available.

  • Off: Delays are activated independently through individual trigger inputs.
  • Parallel: Trigger input to top 911A activates timing circuit on both simultaneously.
  • Series: Trigger input to top 911A activates top timing circuit, then triggers second upon activation of first.

914 Fixed Filter Bank

Similar in function to the 907A Fixed Filter Bank, the 914 extends the range to 14 separate passband controls: high pass, low pass, and 12 center frequency knobs. Each passband range has an attenuation slope of 12 dB per octave above or below the center frequency indicated.

921 Voltage Controlled Oscillator

The 921 produces variable Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, and Rectangle waveforms with frequencies ranging from .01 Hz to 40 kHz. The nominal frequency is set manually by the scale, coarse range, frequency, and octave range controls. The unit features pulse width modulation (PWM) of the rectangular waveform. All manual controls on this module can be moved or switched during operation and the module functions as both an audio or control voltage generator.

921A Oscillator Driver

The 921A is a control voltage processor, which drives associated 921B oscillators through internally wired connections. Two voltages are generated: one for frequency control and one for rectangular wave duty cycle. Control inputs to this module change the frequency of its associated oscillators in volt/octave increments. Two ranges are provided on the frequency pot: semi-tone and octave. These ranges are selected by the white switch below the Frequency pot. Control inputs for frequency and rectangular width are summing.

921B Oscillators

The 921B generates frequencies from 1 Hz to 40 kHz, minimum. They are wired in groups to a common 921A Oscillator Drive, which provides both exponential frequency control and rectangular width voltage control. This oscillator generates both sub-audio and audio frequencies for control and audio signal use. The Frequency pot at the top of the module has a two-octave range for fine-tuning, while the Range switch shifts the frequency of the oscillator in octaves, up or down. The 921 may be phase-locked via the synch input jack, and the associated three-position switch. Generally, phase locking is limited to the first six harmonics of the input signal. A sawtooth waveform is recommended for best synchronization results.

932 Random Noise/Filter

The white and pink noise outputs of the 923 produce continuous bursts of random frequencies and waveshape throughout the audio spectrum. Parallel outputs are proved for both noise sources. The two manual sweep filters, Low Pass and High Pass, are single-pole circuits with a frequency cutoff slope of 6 dB per octave.

960 Sequential Controller

The 960 has a wide variation of functions, both as an independent module and in combination with the 961 Interface and 962 Sequential Switch. The sequencer module consists of a voltage-controlled clock oscillator, which drives three rows of eight steps each. Indicator lights show sequence and step position status. A separate potentiometer for each step permits up to eight different voltage settings to be selected for each row. The DC voltage output corresponds to the column of pots below the lighted stage. Voltage range switches for each row determine the DC voltage range of each pot. Two parallel outputs are provided for each row.

Jacks for trigger inputs and outputs appear below each column and inputs activate that stage independently of the clock oscillator trigger. Trigger outputs are available for any other V-trigger-activated input. Manual trigger buttons are included for each of the eight stages. Switches found immediately below each step position permit normal, skip, or stop functions. A ninth position providing skip (continuous progression through the eight steps) or stop (one progression to closure) functions is included at the end of the row.

Timing control for the eight steps is accomplished via the Third Row Control of Timing switch, which connects the third row of the sequencer into the control input of the clock speed for each stage according to the settings on the third row pots. The Shift input admits an external clock input to the sequencing circuit and may be used in addition to or exclusive of the internal clock oscillator trigger.

Manual shift from step to step is accomplished with the button next to the shift input jack, as well as individual manual trigger buttons for each step found under each step column. Manual buttons or external v-trigger sources initiate the clock oscillator start and stop functions. The clock oscillator is capable of producing frequencies from .1 Hz to 1 kHz and offers both octave and fine-adjust controls. The clock oscillator is standardized to one volt per octave.

961 Interface

 Four independent circuits are found on the 961: one Audio-In to V-trigger Out circuit, one S-trigger In to V-trigger Out circuit, and two V-trigger In to S-trigger Out circuits. All interface circuits may be used simultaneously, in combination, or separately.

The Audio to V-trigger circuit generates V-triggers when the audio input level rises above the threshold set on the Sensitivity potentiometer. This V-trigger sensitivity varies with the frequency band of the audio signal and with the frequency of its amplitude peaks. V-trigger duration aligns with the length of time the audio signal remains above the sensitivity threshold. Two parallel V-trigger outputs are included.

The S-trigger to V-trigger circuits convert any Short-to-ground trigger input to a V-trigger output.

Each V-trigger-In to S-trigger-Out circuit has two columns of six jacks each for input triggers and one S-trigger output. Column A of the V-trigger inputs will convert V-trigger signals to S-triggers with duration equal to the input. Column B determines S-trigger duration by the Switch-on-time knob only. B Column S-triggers will block, extend or fore-shorten Column B V-trigger inputs to conform to whatever duration is indicated on the B-column potentiometer. A minimum switch-on time of 40 milliseconds and maximum time of 4 seconds duration is available. Simultaneous inputs to both A and B columns may be made. Simultaneous inputs to two parallel jacks will result in the longer of the two trigger signals being accepted.

962 Sequential Switch

The 962 selects between two or three signal inputs, coupling one signal to the output jack at a time. A V-trigger pulse introduced to the Shift Input initiates the sequence. The Sequential Switch will alternate between stages 1 and 2; disregarding stage three until a standard (tip-sleeve) phone plug is patched into Signal Input 3. A connection to Input 3 will cause the Sequential Switch to alternate between the three stages (in order) when triggered. Separate V-trigger input and output jacks are provided for each of the three stages, as well as buttons for manual switching. A small light for each stage indicates its status, on (coupled to the output) or off.

992 Control Voltage Panel

The 992 is used for routing up to four control-voltage signals to the 904B Low Pass Filter. The fourth input on the panel contains a signal-inverting attenuator circuit.

993 Trigger and Envelope Voltages Panel

The 993 is a signal-routing module for S-triggers coming from one or two controllers. Lighted switches labeled "FROM 1" and "FROM 2" at the top of the panel connect the controller trigger outputs (when lighted) to the 911A Dual Trigger Delay. The lower three left-hand column switches route the trigger signal as follows: top switch—to left 911 with no delay, center switch—to center 911 with delay set by top 911A delay unit, bottom switch—to the right 911 with delay set by the bottom911A. The right-hand green switches connect the DC control voltages from the 911's to their respective 902 Voltage Controlled Amplifiers: Left to left, center to center, right to right.

994 Dual Multiples Panel

The 994 is a multiple device, which permits multiple distribution of one signal to several different places. This process is often called signal splitting. Multiples are used for many purposes; from linking two patch cords together, sending a single signal to several different modules at the same time, to doubling or tripling the amplitude of a signal by sending it X3 to a particular source.

995 Attenuator

The 995 reduces the gain or amplitude of any applied input signal, control, or audio. Moving clockwise from zero gain to unity with input, these attenuators can be used for reducing the effect of a control upon a voltage-controlled module, providing up to three variable outputs from a single source input or reducing the gain of an entire signal complex.

CP3A Console Panels

The CP3A module has four varied functions. The primary circuit is a 4 x 1 mixer with positive and negative outputs and a maximum gain of 2x. This mixer can combine both AC and/or DC voltages. The second series of functions are four signal-routing switches, which connect the incoming control voltages from keyboard, ribbon, or other controller units to the frequency control input of associated oscillator drivers found directly above the switching panel. The fourth input switch has both an external input jack and attenuator (found directly below). This input jack is connected to the Oscillator Driver when the associated switch is on and the attenuator set above zero. At "10," a signal introduced here will be equal to one that is introduced directly into the frequency control inputs found on the Oscillator Driver itself. The two final elements found on the CP3A are a multiple (signal splitting—one input becomes three) and trunk line jacks, which carry a signal to the rear of the synthesizer.

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