Sonic LAB: Moog Grandmother Synthesizer Review

We take a look at the new Moog Granmother Semi Modular Analog Synthesizer. With circuits taken from the classic Moog modules, Sequencer, arpeggiator and spring reverb.

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Analog Monoxide says:

Would prefer the fader to be on release myself. I underestimated Grandmother a bit 🙂 Nicer than I thought. Not something I’ll personally get, I’d prefer a M32, but still – props to Moog.

Alan Hewitt says:

Moog was very savvy to have you lay your hands on this synth. No doubt they will see a dramatic uptick in orders as a result.

CordFluke says:

This surprised me. I wasn’t hugely into the MG when it was announced. However, it sounds lush! Some really powerful meaty sounds coming out of it. Also, just to wade in on the design of it… I love it! Very 60’s retro cool 🙂 Great review as always from the SonicState crew.

Dr. Conflict says:

This has to be the most over-rated and limited synth ever. Why anyone would want to buy this other than the fact that it’s a Moog is beyond me.

Antoine Dupont says:

10:46 Mason – Exceeder

Saam says:

Hi, I’m the local idiot, please be nice… I am relatively new to synths. I am having tons of fun but also feel like I am not catching on quite quickly enough with respect to sound design aspect of the whole ordeal. How would one generate harmonic graphs or visual oscillator output graphs like what he is using here @2:40 ? Thank you in advance, sorry for being ignorant.

* AnimalHeadSpirit * says:

I’m just not feeling the colors. Wish they’d offer an all black version.

nektar says:

Discrete circuits would have been nice at that price for the things that are on offer, instead of SMD. And the reports of the DC plug not sitting well ain’t making me crack my wallet open.
Never the less, decent sound, fun interface, very limited and an overblown price because of the brand name…yup its a Moog synth.

Pulse2AM says:

That low end will cure constipation, good for us older folks.

TheKuzmann says:

Great synth with stupidest name ever.

synthpron67 says:

Thank you!

Synct says:

Ramp down xD Aw Nick, I love you 😀

Adamski A. says:

Very Moog opus-esque looking . I like it . Its diffrent almost looks like a waldorf kb 37 with modules dropped in . Very intuitive interface, winner winner wallets thinner !!!

TooSlowTube says:

It would have been nice if they’d put in a few routing switches, for some of the more obvious patching choices – like key velocity to filter cut off. I like modular synths, but having wires everywhere, getting in the way of the knobs, is my least favourite part.

A switch to select the number of poles on the filter would be good too. Sometimes you want a 4 pole filter, sometimes you want a 2 pole one. Filters that let you select from 1 to 4 poles do exist. It doesn’t seem like a major engineering challenge.

TooSlowTube says:

Linear vs Exponential FM difference – if you modulate linear FM with a symmetrical waveform, it stays on the same average pitch. Exponential FM doesn’t because the up modulation doesn’t equal the down modulation.

So, you might aim for vibrato, but you get something a litttle different, with exponential FM – you get vibrato with pitch bend, which you might not want.

Ja'Maul Redmond says:

time to sell some stuff!

KWHCoaster says:

Have to look for some of those funky LED patch cables. 🙂

T Jessen says:

What is this light up cable that he plugs in at 16.29? Looks cool.

Pete M says:

Mooog, not Moug.

AfroDJMac USA says:

I had a few minutes with one and I really enjoyed the sound… love that spring reverb. I’d like to hear something running through its input.
That jam at the end of this video was excellent!

Cavscout101 says:

What are those patch cables that light up?

Jay Kaufman says:

That sequence you have going in amazing!

Mars Face says:

how about feeding the euro out back to the mixer for a feedback loop

Joe Kastelic says:

When I had the luck to visit the factory in Asheville, I was particularly surprised by the Grandmother. Nice sound, nice feel, and actually a pretty nice look.

Dogboy73 says:

Love the Grandmother. Makes perfect sense & yet no sense what so ever. Like a woman you love that is no good for you what so fucking ever! Story of my life. Will probably buy one because I never learn.

Ashley Sinani says:

i died at 6:53

Paul Bismut says:

Just talking about sound: Wich one as your first Moog and desert island synth?
-This one ?
-Model D ? ( berhinger to stay in range price )
-Sub 37 ?

Alonso Hidalgo says:

I kinda felt the same way about its looks when this thing was announced. I looked at the pictures and all I could think was “Fisher Price toy”, but now I kind of like it and it sounds awesome too.

themutantalienjesus says:

some fat ass low end

nathan bell says:

How does this compare with the subsequent 37?


Boring synth.

Panta Flux says:

9:20 Having a different type of control element for Sustain actually makes sense, because Sustain is the only level-based parameter whereas Attack, Decay and Release are time-based parameters.

Galexy333 says:

@ 6:55 lmao ya made my morning nick! Thanks. review is on point as usual 🙂

Yotam Cohen says:

kinda reminds me of the Moog source, idk why it just does. The pitchbend wheels design and the colorful scheme

Human Electrification says:


mickey thompson says:

Looks ghastly – a little bit of Source, a little bit of Opus III, but mostly it’s Radio Shack.
If only it sounded as shit as it looks, I wouldn’t want one.
Dreadful name too.

AdjustableSquelch says:

879? you could pick up a 2nd hand sub37 for less

ToyKeeper says:

I want to like this, but it mostly looks like an expensive way to downgrade from a Minibrute 2.

Grumbledore Music says:

thats a top tier monty python sketch, this is also a top tier synth it sounds gorgeous

Guido Alonso says:

Always nice to have Nick’s reviews on the synth you look forward to get. I believe the sustain fader choice is just because S is an amplitude level, whereas AD-R are all time based. I agree it would’ve been more useful to have a fader on the decay instead.

Cam Long says:

Review the Audiothingies MicroMonsta!

Ryan Dean says:

Hmmm been browsing the manual while I watched this. Really seems like the oscillator section is the only “module” in ol’ grandmama here that doesn’t have some significant caveat or compromise. Only one LFO with fairly limited capabilities. No way to adjust behavior of the mod wheel -it always modulates the LFO’s affect on the filter cutoff, pulse width modulation AND *pitch* at the same time?! I hope I’m mis-reading that, because I’d want the option of turning off that pitch modulation, and I’d definitely want to be able to affect LFO rate (speed) with the mod wheel. No CV control over attenuator, passive mult ok those are always handy but trivially cheap. Only one envelope and yeah it is ridiculous that they gave the sustain – the most boring stage of an ADSR and worst choice to modulate in a performance – a special focus-grabbing control mechanism. The spring reverb was one of he most interesting parts to me and it seems like it’s just kinda meh. But most disappointing of all – the filter… What a bummer. No CV control over resonance… lame but unfortunately maybe for the best when you consider: increasing the resonance dramatically kills the bass frequencies. And all in all, those dramatic volume variations caused by modulating the cutoff and res will be a nightmare to mix in a full track. All of these are unfortunately “classic” vcf problems, but they’re problems that have been solved in numerous other filters.

Some undeniable pros though:
Those oscillators. Yes. Was strongly considering this unit from those alone.
Good to see the patch points accept standard voltage ranges. Most are -5v – 5v. The CV ins of the subsequent 37 are all 0v-5v, which you really have to watch out for if trying to patch it to other synth gear.
Hopefully the keybed is decent?
Price. This serves as a reminder that the best components come at a price. Sure, a Subsequent 37 can run 2x the price, but it easily brings 10x the features and arguably 100x the possibilities. Even more if you consider the Sub/Subsequent’s preset memory and great vst & DAW compatibility. But I’d still maybe snatch up a used Grandmother if I saw it going for the price of a new Mother 32, even with these limitations.

Moms Spagheddi says:

Imo Moogs most interesting and cool release since the Sub37… so cool, would love to have one 🙂

officialloner88 says:

Prime example of why moog is so great.

Ryan Johnson says:

Unfortunately its american and thanks to #45 and the impending inflation, trade war youre totally winning. I doubt i will buy it. Not untill trump is voted out.

Ryan Jones says:

Great video as always. The past week or so has seen a few cracking videos on the Grandmother come out.

So, a Grandmother or an Minibrute 2? Both look a lot of fun – tough to decide!!!

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