Moog unleashes Minifooger analog effects pedals
Moog Music has announced a new range of versatile and expressive analog effects stomps for electric guitar and bass. Each of the five affordable and compact Minifoogers features an expression pedal input that can be CV-controlled (just like an old Moog synth), and gives the player control of one predetermined parameter for the chosen unit, expanding the stomp's sound beyond what's available via the knobs up top.
The Moog Minifooger stomps are all hand-assembled at the company's Asheville factory, benefit from a road-ready cast aluminum housing, and can run on battery power or 9 V DC. When switched off, a true bypass design ensures that the Moog pedal is cut from the signal chain completely. They all have the same 5.75 x 3.25 x 2.25 in (14.4 x 8.3 x 5.8 cm) dimensions, and tip the scales at 18 oz (0.5 kg) each.
"The sonic capabilities of Minifoogers are extensive, but they are also easy to use," says Cyril Lance, Chief Engineer at Moog Music. "You can just close your eyes, turn knobs, and create modern, vintage, or other worldly sounds."
The MF Drive
This overdrive pedal is reported to be very responsive to the picking of a player thanks to a drive section comprising Moog's 4-pole Ladder Filter, and two types of amplifiers (a FET and an OTA). It has a tone knob that's linked to the sweep filter control, both dynamically working with the input gain to produce output designed to sound like a cranked up tube amp, while retaining the color of the instrument being played.
There's a Peak switch for the filter that adds 15 dB boost at the cutoff, and Moog says that a whole new level of sound creation can be achieved when used with a connected expression pedal. A Drive switch is also available, which gives the Gain knob a range of 6.8 dB to 48 dB in the down position, and 16 dB to 57 dB in the up position. This model carries a suggested retail price of US$179.
The MF Boost
This stomp allows players to switch the signal between a voltage-controlled amp (VCA) and a "colored" OTA, and has been designed to create a boutique amp sound no matter what guitar and amp is being used. It's said to add natural compression to the input, as well as enhancing the tone as it pumps up the volume.
Its Boost switch sends the input signal down the VCA path when in the down position, for a clean, articulate, slightly boosted sound. When knocked into the up position, the Boost switch routes the signal to the OTA path for a classic creamy boosted tone. An expression pedal plugged into this unit gives players access to more gain than is available via the knobs on the top. The MF Boost has been given a suggested retail of $149.
The MF Delay
This pedal has an analog delay repeat range from 35 ms to 700 ms. At the shorter end, the kind of short single-repeat effects popular with some rockabilly players can be created. As the echo gets longer, the repeats are reported to become darker with a unique warmth and character. The unit also features a drive circuit for tone tweaking and a 22 dB boost.
The MF Delay is made using more than 300 components, including four Bucket Brigade Delay chips, a discrete JFET input stage, and a vintage compander circuit. A connected expression pedal can be used to create infinite feedback or to control the delay time. The price for this model has been set at $209.
The MF Ring
The MF Ring has been based on Moog's Moogerfooger MF-102 ring modulator, which itself can be traced back to Moog's original modular synths. It produces sum and difference frequencies between the input and a carrier oscillator, and is capable of creating a wide range of effects – from a subtle tremolo to outrageous harmonic distortion, with divebombs, swoops, shifts and gongs also available somewhere in its sonic arsenal. The expression pedal input offers players dominion over the Frequency control. This stomp is priced at $159, and it's probably worth repeating that the MF Ring can be battery-powered, as well as juiced via 9 V AC.
The MF Trem
Apart from my old EHX fuzzbox, the most frequently used pedal on my board is the tremolo. Moog says that this unit has been based around a balanced modulator and sub-audio VCO, the upshot of which is an analog stomp with effects ranging from a classic optical tremolo right up to the fringe of phaser or chorus territories. Players can take control of the Speed parameter by plugging in an expression pedal. This model has a suggested retail of $189.
Shipping will begin later this month for all of the stomps except the MF Delay, which will follow in November.
The video below shows Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen putting the Minifoogers through their paces.
Product page: Minifooger