Moogerfoogers are among the most sought after effect pedals. They were originally introduced in 1998 and were in many ways direct descendants of some of the . They were in 2018, but even during their lifetime they might be hard to get due to limited production. For this reason, they command quite the premium on the used market, with the MF-104 analog delay sometimes going north of $1,500.
But just four years after pulling the plug, Moog is bringing the family back to life, as are a series of plugins that digitally recreate the original pedals. All seven – the MF-101S Low Pass Filter, MF-102S Ring Modulator, MF-103S 12-Stage Phaser, MF-104S Analog Delay, MF-105S MuRF, MF-107S FreqBox and MF-108S cluster streams – are available as part of a single collection for $249. However, Moog is offering the bundle at an introductory price of $149, which isn’t a bad deal.
I’ve had a few days to play with them at this point, and overall I’m pretty impressed. But I want to say that I never had the pleasure of playing on the original pedals. I can’t tell you how convincingly the plugin version of Cluster Flux recreates the real deal. I can only tell you that as plugins they are pretty solid.
The MF-104S delay is a no-brainer. It quite convincingly recreates the sound of an analog BBD (bucket brigade delay). Like all other plugins, it has a user interface that recreates the look of its physical counterpart. There are footswitches on the bottom, as well as a set of knobs and switches on the face to change settings. You can also click the CV button to expose virtual inputs that would normally be used to connect to other modular gear. Here they expose ways for your DAW or other plugins to control the Moogerfooger for some really available sounds.
This ability to be controlled by or control other gear has always been a selling point of Moogerfoogers. Just like their built-in LFOs. Being able to easily modulate the parameters allowed them to create sounds that other effects pedals really couldn’t. But in the world of audio plugins, that’s pretty standard. Moog makes it easier than others, where you may have to manually map the controls you want to automate. But that’s not really a huge differentiator.
Like most plugins, the MF-104 can do subtle things, like the named preset for Mort Garson’s classic album, but really excels at the weirder end of the spectrum. Constantly changing delay times, cranking the player, or using the LFO to slowly increase the level of feedback until you get a crescendo of noise, then abruptly reduce it creates the kind of textures that other effects might have. difficult to evoke without outside help.
Another highlight is the MF-105S MuRF. It’s hard to describe exactly what it does, but it’s basically a bank of resonant filters that you can control using a built-in pattern generator. This can create phasing or flanger type effects, or some sort of complex wah, or even a tremolo. There are few things in the world like it. It can even turn something simple and melodic into a sharp rhythm track.
The 107-FreqBox is probably the weak point of the collection for me. It is a collection of synchronized oscillators with FM modulation. The weather is relatively harsh, cold and strange. But I found most of the factory presets to be almost unusable. Much of the effect relies on distorted and overdriven sounds, and this is an area that I think Moog could greatly improve here on all levels.
Finally, it is worth talking about the MF-101 low-pass filter and the MF-108 cluster stream. (The phaser and ring modulator are fine, but more or less do what it says on the box.) The low pass filter is a solid recreation of the which makes a Moog synth sound like a Moog synth. Except that here it’s easy to apply to guitar, bass or even vocals. The Cluster Flux is a flanger, chorus and vibrato all in one. It can cover everything from lo-fi tape chirps to a thick 80s chorus for that goth goth that’s drowning in its own tearful vibe.
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