- Connecting the Mother-32, as well as relocating it to an open-ended modular cabinet
- Crafting your own sounds using its synthesis engine, including learning the differences between oscillator and modulator waveshapes, filter modes, and envelope types
- Programming the powerful step sequencer, including holds, rests, slurs, accents, and ratchets
- Editing sequences, including live performance tricks
- Patching the Mother-32 to other modules, including the important use of attenuators, mixers, and multiples
- Adding a second envelope generator to the Mother-32
- Adding a second (and third!) oscillator to the Mother-32
Skill Level Beginner
- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of Learning Modular, and welcome to Learning Modular Synthesis with the Moog Mother-32 semimodular synth. Now this little guy has a lot going for it. Inside this little box is a full-blown synth that can contains one voltage-controlled oscillator with a pulse and sawtooth wave form, a Moog-designed filter with both low-pass and high-pass modes, a low-frequency modulator for oscillation that includes triangle and square waves, a two-stage attack/decay envelope generator that has an optional sustain stage, and a simple voltage-controlled amplifier.
It also contains a MIDI-to-controlled voltage converter that can be used to control the Mother-32, or to send out to other modular synthesizer gear. And finally, the Mother-32 has a really capable step sequencer. You can save up to 64 sequences that are one to 32 steps in length. What's made the Mother-32 so popular is that this is the gateway for many into a full-blown modular synthesizer. Now, if you're new to modular synths, they can be a little bit daunting. You have to build your own collection of modules.
You need to connect them together yourself every time you want to make a sound, and that can be a lot to learn. Whereas, with a semimodular synth like the Mother-32, everything you need to get started is behind one panel. It's already been wired together for you so it makes most of the common synthesizer sounds right out of the box, and it also has this patch panel. That allows you to override the internal wiring to come up with some alternate wirings and some alternate sounds, and more importantly, this is the gateway to connect it to other modules.
Other oscillators, filters, envelope generators, modules beyond your wildest imagination to expand the capabilities of the Moog Mother-32. This course is divided into roughly three sections. First, I'm going to show you how to use the synthesizer inside the Mother-32. You'll learn all about the oscillator, its filter, and also its modulation sources, the LFO and the envelope generator. Then I'll dive into its powerful step sequencer, because it has a lot of additional features, including note duration, accents, glides, holds, rests, and even ratcheting, where one note can repeat multiple times for a given step.
Then we'll get to my favorite part of the course, taking the Mother-32 out of its case, and putting it into a Eurorack format modular synth case. I'll show you how to connect up the power, what you need to do to get sound out of it, what important glue modules you need to add, including attenuators, mixers, and multiples, and I'll also go through connecting your first two extension modules, an additional envelope generator, and a second oscillator. My goal in this course is to take someone who's relatively new to synthesizers like the Mother-32, make you comfortable using it, and most importantly, get you over that tall first step into the world of modular synthesizers.
So, let's have some fun, and let's go take a nice trip together into the land of modular synthesis.