Moogerfoogers are creative little boxes made by the beautiful minds at Moog Music Inc., great for the studio but also highly valuable in a live, stomp-box application. With unique features such as the hard sync switch and half a dozen 1/4″ I/Os in the back (each with a specific function) it was easy to lose track of time while searching for sounds. Spending a few hours with the MF-107 unit certainly brought out the gear “freq” in me. Let’s take a look at some of the features I “freq”uently used, and I promise to leave behind the terrible puns.
Figuring Everything Out
User manuals are for newbies and warranty info, but seasoned musicians always know what they’re doing, right? Well with the MF-107, the Moog team decided to save the nerdy info of “How It Works” (great section for guys like me), and started with preset knob positions for some great sounds. By following these presets, it was quick and easy to learn how each part of the unit functioned without going into detail, and really left it up to the user to find their perfect tone along the way. There are settings from purely synthesized tones to percussive/dissonant noises. Spending your time in this section of the manual will get you where you’re looking to go quickly, and I found myself referencing it pretty often for more ideas or tips.
At the heart of this oscillating device is the ability to hard sync to the input signal. For most applications we coupled the MF-107 with an electric guitar playing lead, single note riffs, but the device works well with most monophonic signals (slight muddiness/cuts out with extreme frequency inputs). The hard sync feature takes the input audio and makes the oscillator follow it. Depending on other settings like drive and waveform, the hard sync can change your sound to just about anything from a lo-fi, gritty distortion to a clean synth doubling the guitar. If you choose not to use the hard sync, some sweeping of the Freq knob will best help you find a desirable fixed tone to mix in with your sound.
Staying true to it’s analog roots, there are no MIDI features associated with the FreqBox, only 1/4″ ins and outs. The two main I/Os are the audio in and out, but by cross patching or using other controllers like expression pedals you gain so many more features out of the device. It seems like the most common example of this is using an expression/volume pedal on the Frequency input, allowing you to sweep the range by foot. This creates a wah-like effect on the oscillator when lightly mixed with your signal. On a full mix, it almost acts like a theremin depending on where your foot is how complex your input is. Combine this feature with the hard sync for some really interesting new sounds.
While you could take the same approach to other inputs like the Waveform, Envelope Amount, and Frequency Modulation Amount, it gets even more interesting when using outputs to adjust them. Since the MF-107 uses line level signals, the device can be patched in with other gear like the rest of the Moogerfooger family. Connecting several devices in this manner will give you a more complex, unique sound, and experimenting with different waveform inputs will surprise you with something you couldn’t get out of the MF-107 by itself.
The MF-107 is perfect for people looking for a one-of-a-kind sound that would be hard to replicate, even if someone has the same unit. With so many different control options, the MF-107 needs to be well documented to recall previously created tones. There is absolutely nothing like this on the market when it comes to plugins, which is surprising considering how much synthesized music is being created in-the-box these days. Moog has always prided itself on creating the best in analog devices, and the Moogerfooger line fits in well with the amazing synthesizers. The MF-107 will provide any gear-head with hours of use and experimentation.