The Colour-Coded Perfection of BEC’s Moog Matriarch

British techno dynamo BEC reviews the colourful and intuitive Moog Matriarch. 

I first got the chance to try the new Moog Matriarch synth at Moog’s popup at Amsterdam Dance Event. I love how Moog names all their synths as part of a family, and I understood right away why the Matriarch got the name it did, as head of the tribe. The semi-modular paraphonic analog synthesizer is pretty much all I could want in a synth (without meaning to come across ridiculously cheesy!). It sounds incredible. Coming from a very visual graphic design background, the way a piece of equipment looks can be a potent factor when I’m deciding what I’d like to purchase for my studio (which, I do not own my own yet, just stolen from a friend).

The design of the Matriarch is like no other synth I have seen, and I love how Moog has brought a bright color scheme and design to cover what’s referred to as “the mother of all mothers” and “the pinnacle of Moog’s semi-modular family.” Not to mention how easy it is to distinguish each part of the interface, with clearly divided sections that almost replicate its user manual, along with aesthetics that are impeccably pleasing.

The insanely intricate arpeggiator makes it incredibly easy to come up with new ideas, even when my creativity is lacking. As always, I love slapping something in random mode and seeing what comes out. But with the Matriarch, the synth’s random mode can order four sequencers with three banks of 256 notes inside them, and four notes per polyphony. Which, as you can guess, is a recipe for some crazy synth lines and arpeggiated sequences. When using this with the Moog stereo analog delay, the result is stunning and hard to describe with words.

The fact that the semi-modular Matriarch allows you to patch not only into itself but into other machines, like the Mother-32, brings about endless sonic capabilities. It is undoubtedly not a synthesizer that I could find myself becoming bored with. This one is bound to be a crucial, lifelong studio piece that is there to stay.

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