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Moog SUB-37  | demo + 256 patches
(compatible with Subsequent-37)



 



   


(they will also work on SUBSEQUENT 37)

Via PayPal:
Please transfer 26,00 (Euro) to this paypal address: [wcologarb at gmail.com] writing "sub37 patches" + your email in the title / note. I will send the soundset after I get notified about your payment (max 24 hours).

Via Debit / Credit Card:
Send me an email letting me know you'd like to have your card charged - I will send you a payment request and it will be processed by my Paypal (you don't have to own a Paypal account, your card is enough - here's a fuller explanation).

How many patches?:
The whole set of my sounds fills up the Sub (256 presets), although some of the sounds (especially the ones from the video demo) come in variations to make it easier to deconstruct them.

Need to hear more patches in different musical style?:
Apart from the video demo, here's an audio demo of more of my sounds, this time without reverb or delay:

[ https://soundcloud.com/jexus-wc-olo-garb ]

What format / import method?:
All my patches come in a soundbank available as sysex format and in Sub 37 Editor format. You will get both and you can use whichever you prefer. Note: they will also work with the Subsequent 37 model.

Any external processing?:
The sounds in my demo do not come dry out of the SUB-37, but if you have one, it's probably obvious for you, as the synth has no onboard effects. To improve people's listening experience and add variety (the demo is over 20 minutes long) the majority of sounds in my demo have some simple delay and / or reverb, but nothing that would alter the original timbre of the synth (I mean phasers, flangers, distortions, etc.) The sound at 7:30, demo part 1 (belly dance) sounds like it is heavily chorused, but it's not (that's just SUB's feedback); the sound at 5:00, demo part 1 (highway) sounds like it is layered with a kick drum, but that's just heavy amp modulation by the SUB's sawtooth / ramp lfo.


Notes on grades lower than 3/3:

modern: sounds equally modern & vintage (clean, classic filters, no wavetables)
vintage: too stable, not as organic as the champions (like Matrixbrute)
engine: deep, but no fm, no wavetables, no various filters
low end: great, but not as dense as the champions (like Pro-3)
plasticity: textures rather staying in the "moog" domain
versatility: nice, but again - just classic filters, no wavetables, etc.
ui & ease of use: comfortable, but occasionally requires menu-diving or software


THE SOUND

I hated the Sub during the first 2 weeks, which for my standards was an extremely long time to gel with a synth. It sounded like a dehydrated donkey. Compared to the Matrixbrute it sounded very un-organic. The inherent SUB-37 tone was very "stable" - not moving / not lively. I think the fact that there are no onboard effects and the synth has a mono audio output was a challenge for me: I needed to re-wire my ears and my approach to sound design. Things moved fast forward when I hooked it up to a simple delay / reverb unit and magic started to happen. I guess this is the type of synth that might be underwhelming as a standalone unit, yet gains new powers and defeats the competitors when you couple it with an external FX box.

Then I learned the synth inside out, disconnected the external FX and again went back to the original Sub sound. Now I find it to be a very airy, lucid & pristine timbre that retains these qualities regardless of the kind of patch that you're playing: a clean triangle-wave lead or a wildly modulated & distorted sequence. The oscillators are very bold-sounding, the envelopes are very snappy, and probably that's why it sounded blunt to my ears, especially if there was no FX to soften or diffuse the sound. But the thick low end and the bright high end with the 4-option filter plus ultra-fast LFOs turn the Sub-37 into a small factory of unique and well-balanced sounds that on the one hand are surely "dry", but on the other attract the attention with their "confidence" and wide spectrum of frequencies. That's why it excels in neither the "modern" nor the "vintage" texture of sound, but it can do both to a satisfactory degree (although in my final judgment I would lean towards the first option and call the sound rather "modern" than "vintage").

BUILD QUALITY

You don't have to touch it - just by looking at the pictures one can already see that SUB-37 is a quality piece. It's all wood and metal plus some classic knobs. However, there is one thing that doesn't match or fit this package, and it's the buttons. It requires a bit of muscle strain to click them, and sometimes they even need a second click when the first one had been too soft. Also, I've seen some people complain that their brand-new Moogs arive with one or two buttons already recessed. Mine were ok and I learned to live with them; I'm tolerant because I've seen worse (Poly-61, Casio CZ). Also, I'd suggest that if you have the opportunity to visit a store somewhere, go and feel the keyboard for yourself. It's a little stiff and can take away some joy of playing.

The unit that I got from a friend had been in service under warranty. I don't know what the issue was, but I have my suspicions - when I was using headphones, the sound would die out from time to time. I googled it and it seemed I was not the only one experiencing that problem. But I used the Russian way of fixing things: I would bang the panel with my fist a couple of times near the "headphones  out" socket and the sound would come back. Seems like some loose wire connections.

USER INTERFACE

The knobs feel great and the panel gives you 90% of the access that you need during music-making sessions. But you mustn't forget that it's a modern synth, not one coming from the 1970's, which means there is much more stuff packed into it, which means there will be some hidden paths & menu diving. As far as simple adjustments come into play (e.g. arp swing), they're just one click away and the editing is very comfortable. However, the feature that needs some major unearthing is the sequencer. I'll put it this way...: the SUB-37 does have a sequencer, but if you are not going to use the Moog software, just forget about its existence. Just assume the sequencer is not there. Because only through the software will you be able to utilize this feature. And I don't mean that you will be able to utilize the sequencer to its full potential - I mean even the basic features. Without the software control it's just too much pain. Our lives are too short to fiddle around with those buttons, plus, why do it when the software is really brilliant. Apart from the sequencer control, it gives you easy access to some features and modulations that otherwise would stay undiscovered or ignored due to lack of time or negligence. It unveils the true heart and face of the instrument. (On the other hand I'm not really sure that having to use software to use hardware is an okay situation.)

Quirks? Sure. The big "WTF?" moment on this synth is the tempo knob - it does not show the tempo.  It just shows the position of the knob within its vast resolution. So if the knob has physical resolution of, say, 4000 steps, when you move it halfway, it will show "2000" instead of "130 BPM". Synth designers never fail to surprise us.

THE END

The reason for which I appreciate my SUB-37 most is the sequencer, which I think is the centerpiece of the instrument. Without it the SUB-37 would lose the bigger part of its appeal and become just a solo / bass synth. Don't get me wrong - the quality of the sounds is enough to find room for even the simplest one of them in your songs. But the biggest excitement, originality and dynamic variety comes when you find a way for the waveshapes, lfos, loopable envelopes and the switchable filter to dance harmoniously together within a sequence. I think the Sub-37 is a nice choice for beginners who wish to dabble in electronic music as well as anybody who uses synths profesionally with a view to keep a balance between price, quality, features and ease of use. Maybe it doesn't sound like the early Moogs, but at least you can make something more on it than a Parliament bass or a Gary Numan lead.

If you have a limited budget and you don't need the entire spectrum of the Sub sound, or you're worried about the one-voice polyphony, you will get some of the Sub flavors from the polyphonic Novation Peak / Summit for a similar price.

 

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