The Minimoog is arguably the de facto standard by which all analog synths are measured. There's just no substitute for the real thing, and Moog's classic 3-oscillator design and unmistakable filters are as real as it gets.
Good times, Good synths
I've been meaning to write this for a long, long while and now that I've found the time I was to make sure I say this up front, Sales Engineer Matt McKible made the process of purchasing this item, this momentous item that represents so much to me and all I've ever wanted to have to myself to discoverer and synthesize on one of the world's most powerful synthesizers. When I finally decided to have one in my life, Matt McKible suggested all the things I would and could need with it. He called multiple times to follow up, and I even received a call from another Sweetwater employee one day, who was calling me as a favor of Mark, who was off that day, but persisted in keeping up with his customer's happiness.
So, sufficed to say how high I hold the customer service I've experienced here and how much help and knowledge was offered to me as I made more and more decisions.
As for the synth, it's a Moog Voyager. It's a Moog Voyager and I don't think anyone is really even trying to replicate the noises it makes, which to take into consideration of your needs, it IS a monosynth, So thinking one layer or go at a time can help organize or infuriate you when playing. I think everyone should try one out, I think I see more younger players leaning towards live sampling and using Ableton 9 Live as the colossal instrument it can be, but I think the mixture of both analog and digital sounds can have certain unique tones, especially dark sounds of artists like James Blake, Chelsea Wolfe, and Purity Ring.
I love my Moog, I'll leave it to my kid when I die and maybe sometime for beyond us alive, people will play just one more time, if only just to remember when we were alive.
I wanted to invest in a piece of gear that would give me a widest pallet of sound for the money. This thing is beyond what I had hoped for. I have put it to good use on my productions adding sounds that I could not have come up with any other way. I love it.
This thing is amazing! You can easily store presets, view them on the screen, and cycle through them with ease. You can even use the pitch controls on the oscillators as arpeggiators, very helpful if you're like me and like unique tones, even on monophonic instruments. There really isn't a whole lot of need for CV expansion, unless you personally feel you want to experience a modular like synth. So many different tones can be birthed by being able to use more than one oscillator at once! But my personal favorite feature is the mod wheel, you can dial in some super filthy bass tones and use the filters to wobble them with ease, instead of having to twist a knob! But if you were to have to twist one of these knobs live, they (well, at least those pitch ones I spoke of for arpeggiating) easily click to the next setting, so this thing is really crafted to perfection from what I experienced. I only got to play on one for about 10 minutes, but I fell in love with it.
Long ago, as far back as the early 60's, there were Moogs, and they pretty much started everything in the way of analog synths. Musicians got bored with Hammond B3, Clavinet, and Fender Rhodes keyboards, and quickly picked up this amazing instrument to expand their creativity further. We hear Moogs on most 70's rock, MTV 80's NewWave hits, and we even hear Moogs making the sound effects of spaceships and machinery on old science fiction movies. Some of the sounds on the 60's TV show Star Trek were made with the Moog. There is nothing anywhere that can compare with the Voyager, in looks, sounds, or feel. The Moog Voyager is a genuine hands down analog synthesizer that will keep you playing it for hours. The look and feel of this synth is just too amazing! It is housed in a genuine wood cabinet, and the control panel is pure retro; old-style science-fair knobs and rocker switches, and the touch pad works on an x-y axis, and by placing different degrees of finger pressure on it, you can modulate the sounds in some pretty interesting ways. Don't be afraid of the Voyager because it is monophonic (one note at a time). When founder Robert Moog was designing the Voyager, his concept was to give a single played note the best tonal shaping capabilities possible, and if this would of been done polyphonic-wise, the architecture of the controls on the Voyager would have not been possible. The Voyager plays one note at a time, but it is a very complicated note; you can vibrate it, squiggle it, arpeggiate it, and even drone it, and more! It has three variable ocillators, two filters, and an lfo source. Also your standard pitch and mod wheels can be assigned from two modulation sources, and there is a digital lcd screen with 7 banks of 127 presets each, which can all be edited and saved to users. The Voyager sounds thick and creamy, Pure Analog pleasure! Basses, leads, Frampton guitar talk box, wah wahs, and weird sounding special fx can be played on it, and if you need more, you can run an external sound source in stereo into it and modulate it like a fourth ocillator. I tried playing a cd with techno beats through the external ins, and I got some amazing sounds. And if you really wanna' have full sound building cspability of the Voyager, then go ahead and buy the optional VX-351 patch bay, and this will allow you to assign modulation sources to destinations with patch cords, just like the Moogs worked in the 60's! This synthesizer is a beautiful hand-built, boutique instrument, and all the famous music greats from Joe Walsh to Jordan Rudis play a Voyager. It has been used on more records than any other synth in the world. Roger O'Donnell keyboardist for "The Cure" recently released a solo album, playing every song on it with just one Voyager synth. The album is called "The Truth In Me". The Moog Voyager is a piece of analog history, available to us in modern times. If you enjoy playing analog or digital keyboard synthesizers your recordings and stage performances will take on a whole new life with one of these. You owe it to yourself to buy a Voyager!
Totally Unique sound
High price but very well made and a very smooth and unique sound. I think I may prefer the sound of the slim phatty to the Voyager in it's character which is grittier and has a little more bite but the Voyager has it's own strengths and is just a joy to use. It has a very mellow and smooth sound. If you can afford this beast and you love analog synths you simply must have one. It's a bit of a luxury for me but I've made many cool sounds with it and I wouldn't want to be without one.
Great Sound but Concerns about Build Quality
I would love to give the Voyager a five-star rating; in fact, if I were considering only the sound and the features, I could easily do it. Unfortunately, both of the Voyagers that I reviewed had obvious problems with quality control in their final assembly.
1) The hinged flip up panel of the first unit I received did not lie flat, the upper right corner being about a quarter of inch higher than the left.
2) The legend decal on the back of the unit, the one that labels the inputs and outputs, was not uniformly attached to the surface, with air bubbles present in numerous places.
3) The TNC lamp connection was slightly flattened on the bottom edge, with thread marks visible in the wooden frame immediately below it. Apparently, the damage had occurred during assembly since the connection does not reach the frame when assembled.
I contacted Moog about the issue with the unit not lying flat, and they sent me a short video showing how to easily correct it. In this case, I certainly commend Moog for the excellent response of their service technicians.
Given the remaining problems with the unit, Sweetwater sent me a replacement unit. Needless to say, I was surprised to see that the flip up panel did not seat correctly on the replacement unit. I was also surprised to find that the decal problem was actually worse on the replacement unit than on the one I was originally sent. In fact, the problem was even present on the front decal that carries the labels for the abundance of switches and knobs. The only improvement was that the TNC lamp connection was not bent.
I opted to keep the first unit I was sent, and shipped the replacement back to Sweetwater without having ever plugged it in.
One more item worth mentioning: in the weeks following my decision to keep the Voyager, I discovered that one of the modulation routings is actually mislabeled on the front decal. One of the Mod Wheel sources is labeled "ON/Mod 1." This should actually be labeled "ON/Mod 2."
The fact that I kept the Voyager despite the numerous flaws with the final assembly is due solely to the features and the quality of sound that the Voyager brings. It's unfortunate that a synth of this sonic quality, with this feature set, and at this price point is allowed to leave the factory with such fundamental problems.
Moog has done it again. This is another legend in the world of analog synth.... It is one of the best boards out there. I've tryed the the nord lead, test drove the access virus and the alesis andromeda. This is one of the best purchases I made since the voxbox.
Earning an extremely high cool factor, the Voyager is dripping with rich tonal variety and extensive expansion capabilities. The preloaded sounds are eclectic and reminiscent, while the memory bank and LCD read out are quite a great leap for Moog-kind. The XYA touch surface is a welcome addition allowing for even more creative variety from the monophonic Voyager. As in years past, the new Moog maintains its namesake tradition of classic soundscapes limited only to the imagination of the composer. From the depths of hades to the outer limits of ethereal environments and all points in between, A tradition has grown and a legacy has been solidified. And the wheels light up blue.