Thursday, February 05, 2009


I'm done. Building this filter that is. I hesitated a few years before I bought one, and I went for a MOTM-420 first (a filter that has many characteristics of Korg's infamous MS-20 synth) followed a year later by the MOTM-440 ( very close sounding to the legendary Sequential Circuits Prophet 5) and now finally the MOTM-490, based on the Moog 904A filter, which was designed with the famous ladder filter principle by Dr Bob Moog. Yes, you read that right, its based on one of Moog's earliest filter design , and has that sound of the early Moog modulars, so it's not a Minimoog mimic, but it sounds great.
I've created some sounds using it, and it is immediately apparent that this is a different beast from the other filters. I will post a few sound samples in due course, but for now, let me try to describe it which is perhaps the hardest of it all, trying to capture sound in words is almost impossible but I'll try: The MOTM-440 low pass filter is a beautiful sounding filter that simply oozes quality, it can sound clean, but also growl, very musical and does all that in a sophisticated way,does that make sense at all? Then there is the MOTM-420, which is a versatile filter as it can also function as a bandpass and high pass filter , besides the low pass setting. It is a filter that 'can' sound a little grittier, but is no slouch in providing deep and rumbling basses, be it that it is not as smooth as the 440 in doing so, it has it's own qualities and it's fun to use. This brings me to the MOTM-490. This thing is raw, it rumbles, it has some dirty qualities when pushed and great for overdriven sounds, it is not subtle, but very musical indeed, qualities that are so characteristic for this Moog filter design, and with instantly recognisable sound, and this is perhaps the greatest achievement, to recreate a classic filter, the one that started it all for that matter, with modern equivalents, and sound so close to the original.
I'll keep you posted.


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