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This article was originally published in issue #40
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Moog is a name that needs no introduction to any musician, the company being synonymous with the best in analogue synth and effects design for decades now. The company’s Minifooger range is based around a series of compact, all-analogue effects units in a foot pedal format, housed in a rugged cast-aluminium case and with high quality components for uncompromising tone. Moog sent us the Flange and Chorus Minifooger pedals to check out.
Both of these pedals feature 100% analogue operation with Bucket Brigade chip based modulation, true bypass, mono or stereo operation and expression pedal input. The whole range is built to survive a bomb blast and feels superb in operation thanks to their intuitive, solid controls and excellent construction. Both pedals are powered by a standard centre negative 9v DC input and feature a single in and out for mono operation or stereo via a TRS cable, using an internal switch to move between the two modes. Internally the pedals are very impressive, with an incredibly clean design and a back plate that is very easy to remove for battery access. Particularly impressive is the battery housing itself, designed so that the battery simply pushes into place, locking into the case with no extraneous wires that could be damaged over time.
Moog Minifooger MF Flange
The MF Flange features four main controls: Rate, Depth, Time and Feedback, plus a two-position type switch that moves between alternate flange modes - vocal or traditional flanging. Due to the analogue design the controls are very interactive and can produce a huge range of different sounds that cross into chorus and almost ring-modulation territory. The rate dial allows you to control the rate of the modulation sweep, from very slow at the minimum value up to very percussive pulsing sounds at the highest. The Depth control is assigned to the amount of modulation and can give a wide array of light and subtle sounds up to complete tonal madness if required. The Time dial allows you to craft either traditional flanging sounds at the maximum position to warmer sounds as the control is dialled back for tones that approach chorus-like qualities. Finally, the Feedback control can take the effect from a smooth and subtle sound at the minimum position adding more frequency peaks and metallic tones as higher settings are dialled in. The expression input is mapped to the Time control for further shaping of your tone.
The sheer range of sounds on offer is staggering and even subtle changes to the controls can yield new results that sound consistently fantastic. These are undoubtedly some of the best flange sounds you will hear in a pedal format with thick, lush modulations all the way up to crazy, uncontrolled textures plus all the classic flange sounds we know and love!
Moog Minifooger MF Chorus
The MF Chorus features exactly the same control layout as the MF Flange with Rate, Depth, Time and Feedback controls but with a three-way Mix switch for even more tonal options. The Rate and Depth dials do exactly what you’d expect, controlling the depth and rate of the chorus modulation. Combined with one another these two controls allow you to dial in gorgeous, subtle analogue vibrato and chorusing all the way up to rotary style effects and fast modulated craziness if required. The Feedback control gives the chorusing a resonant peak that increases as the dial is turned up for more extreme sounds whilst the Time control can take the sound from brighter chorus sounds at the minimum, fattening the sound in the mid position before turning the pedal into a great modulated slapback delay effect with higher feedback settings. Finally, the Mix switch allows for three different settings with open and natural chorusing in the lowest position, fatter and warmer chorus in the middle and Vibrato effects in the upper position where only the wet signal is heard. The expression input is mapped to the rate control for further creative possibilities.
As with the MF Flange, the MF Chorus represents some of the best analogue modulation tones you are likely to hear from a pedal with incredibly lush and warm sounds that are a pleasure to play, great slapback delays or even tonal madness at higher modulations depths and rates.
Both of these pedals are fantastic, analogue units that not only sound superb but are superbly built and represent good value considering the quality on offer and the option of stereo or mono operation. They are easy to operate and offer a far wider range of tones than you might expect, so if you want the best that analogue pedals have to offer, you’d be crazy to not check out these two excellent examples. Highly recommended!