My attention was first brought to Moog’s Sub Phatty after viewing an interview with music production duo The Chainsmokers. They used it on their hit track “Roses”.
From what I understand, the days are numbered for Moog’s Sub Phatty. This became apparent recently when trying to purchase one. Many of the big retailers no longer stock it.
Enter the Subsequent 25, Moog’s successor to the Sub Phatty.
In years not long past, the analogue mono-synth market has been somewhat congested and Moog’s very own Grandmother and Matriarch synths have set a new level for 70’s analogue allure. So can the Subsequent 25 sculpt its own place?
Enter The Subsequent 25
First off, the resemblance between the Sub Phatty and the Subsequent 25 are undeniable, most specifically visually. The front panels are almost identical. The Subsequent 25 features 31 knobs and 13 buttons, the vast majority of which are direct synthesis controls. These allow direct access the Subsequent 25’s 16 presets. Some of these buttons double up as a way to access hidden parameters, and thankfully, the manual offers a handy reference card in which the hidden parameter button combinations are revealed.
However, if you plan to use the Moog Subsequent 25 with a computer, as I do, the free software editor will give you access to all the hidden parameters and more.
The dual oscillators provided by the Subsequent 25 deliver transpose switches capable of four octaves, and a variable waveform control which sweeps from sawtooth to triangle, square and pulse. The second oscillator offers an additional plus or minus 7 semitone detune control, and there’s also a Hard Sync option which locks the second oscillator’s phase reset to the first.
We find the first hidden parameters in the oscillator section. A Beat Frequency can be used by enabling Shift mode on the Oscillator 2 frequency control.
This counteracts Oscillator 2’s frequency by a fixed amount, ± 3.5Hz. This creates a detuning so that the beating of both oscillators against each other is constant, regardless of the note being played. Another parameter hidden behind the Hard Sync button will enable oscillator phase reset.
Both oscillators feed into the mixer section, along with noise and the sub‐oscillator, which is fixed as a square wave one octave below Oscillator 1. The mixer section is classic Moog. Turn any knob past around 12 o’clock and the signal will begin to overdrive the filter in a very pleasing manner.
By using the Shift mode and Noise control, the external input can be mixed in . Without anything plugged into the input, the synth’s output will feed back into the mixer section for the classic Minimoog feedback trick, which is a great way of adding some grunge and further saturation. From the mixer, the signal somewhat predictably heads to the filter.
There really isn’t much one can say about the classic Moog ladder filter that hasn’t already been said. It sounds fantastic. The huge filter cutoff knob feels incredibly smooth and is joined by resonance, envelope and keyboard amount, and the Multi drive control, which adds anything from gentle tube‐like warmth to aggressive clipping.