December 7, 2012

Moog Moogerfooger Pedals: Using Control Voltage

In our last piece of exclusive content on the Moog Minitaur and Moog Moogerfooger pedals, Amos showed off how to integrate multiple analog synthesizers into your performance or production. This time Amos shows off the control voltage functionality on the Moogerfooger pedals. For those of you already familiar with control voltage and its applicable uses, you can watch the video to see how Amos uses CV with the Moogerfooger pedals. For those of you unfamiliar with control voltage, here is a brief explanation:

Control Voltage Explained

Voltage is the measurement of how much power is passing through a circuit. Control voltage is typically used to control the pitch or the parameters of an analog synthesizer. This varies in application based on the type of electronic device you are using. For example when voltage is increased on an amplifier it increases the volume. Control voltage for analog synthesizers is used to control the parameters of that synthesizer rather than sending actual sound signal. On a device like the Moog Minimoog Voyager, the increase in voltage is equal to the increase in a pitch’s octave. So for instance going from three volts to four volts will increase the octave by one which was a technology developed by Bob Moog. This was something used more often in the days before MIDI and digital controllers. Rock legends like Keith Emerson were bringing massive Buchla and Moog designed rigs on stage and performing with them live. Today you have guys like deadmau5 and Trent Reznor using the same technology to create analog synthesizer sounds on stage and in the studio. The appeal of these synthesizers and utilizing control voltage is that you can’t quite emulate the same sonic depth with digital software and plugins. This is why control voltage and the analog synthesizer have become important in the electronic music production world, and its the reason why we are seeing it integrated within modern devices.

Keith Emerson and his massive analog rig

We are beginning to see this applied to controllers like the Akai Max 49 Keyboard MIDI Controller with its Control Voltage I/O. This is a great addition to the digital world as it allows you to control all of your analog synthesizers and capture their unique sound within today’s digital recording environment. Be sure to check out the video where Amos goes over how control voltage gets connected and how it sounds when controlling the various parameters of the Moogerfooger pedals.

Moogerfooger Control Voltage

The advantages of having control voltage on the Moogerfooger pedals is their ability to be linked to one another as well as providing control of the paramaters of one effect on top of the other. This can create some interesting and expressive effects depending on how you connect the control voltage I/O with one another, and how you control the parameters. The advantage of using something like the Moogerfooger pedals and an expresion pedal when performing live is that those same transitions and effects that come from other pedals would require manual manipulation through a knob on that pedal, but with control voltage you can make dramatic shifts and tonal changes with ease and with a sonic quality that is unmatched. This is why Moog reissued the MF-104M Moogerfooger Analog Delay Pedal (there were only 1000 made of the original MF-104M) because people wanted that signature delay sound that you can only get from an analog machine. Check out the line of Moogerfooger pedals on our website for more information.

If you are starting to get burned out on your software plugins and VSTs, it might be time to invest in some outboard analog gear. The great thing about Moog, the Minitaur, and the Moogerfooger pedals specifically, is that you can pick up smaller pieces that don’t require as large of an investment and start building your rig piece by piece. Its a great way to start pulling different sounds into your production and sometimes its nice to get your hands on analog control and get away from the computer mouse once in a while. Not to mention they are pretty fun to play with.

What’s your favorite Moogerfooger pedal? Do you have questions about control voltage? Are you looking to get a Moog synth but have more questions? Leave us your questions and comments below.



Hey guys this is Morgan with We are here at the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina. Amos is going to show us how to take advantage of the CV functionality of the Minitaur and the MoogerFooger Pedals.

Another thing that I wanted to make sure to show was some of the amazing ways that you can use control voltage interactions between different Moog pedals and products. All of our gear has CV inputs or CV in and outputs which you can use to interconnect and link the effects together to just multiply what they can do by an amazing degree. So I had already mentioned I am using pitch and gate control voltage from this sequencer to the Minitaur. But we are also going to hook in control voltage inputs and outputs from the MoogerFoogers as well. The MoogerFooger ring modulator has an output for the carrier oscillator that’s giving it that ringing sound. You can take that voltage out of the ring modulator and plug it into any of your effects control voltage inputs for amazing audio rate modulation.

So we’ll start with this very plain sound here, add a little bit of resonance to the filter, and I am now going to connect the ring modulator’s carrier CV output to the filter cutoff frequency input here. And that gives you this very funky sound. And so now that we got that sound dialed in, I can take the LFO output on the 104 here, excuse me this is a 102 ring modulator. Now that we have that dialed in, we can take the LFO output from the ring modulator and use that to control another parameter, say the LFO amount on the 12 stage phaser. So now we’ve brought the phaser into the picture, but we’re controlling how much of this effect is active, using an LFO that’s built into this effect. So these are cross modulating each other and at the same time, feeding back into the synthesizer.

And it’s this level of total flexibility, full bandwidth audio rate modulation, this is the kind of stuff that brings computers to their knees. You just can’t get it sounding as good. The best way to do it is in the analog domain and it’s immediately apparent live and in recordings that you’ve taken the extra time and trouble to do the real thing.