Seeing as Moog staked out iOS territory with its Animoog, Model 15, and Filtatron apps years ago, it was always a bit surprising that Moog didn’t join the Minimoog app melee. After all, there are at least two Mini-centric iOS synths currently available, and both are quite popular with iPad-based producers.
So, before we get into the nuances of the official Moog Minimoog Model D app, let’s get this out of the way: It’s the best of the pack.
Like Moog’s other apps, the interface is cleaner and more detailed than many iOS synths. While the knobs are a bit smaller, they’re still easy to quickly manipulate. And thanks to the instantly customizable MIDI mappings, they are a breeze to configure with nearly any controller.
Amenities abound, with AUv3, IAA, and Audiobus compatibility, as well as Ableton Link for syncing its arpeggiator and delay. As a result, the Minimoog Model D app integrates beautifully with any iPad music rig.
As for the synth itself, it’s a Model D through and through. Aside from an extra LFO (the same found on their recent hardware reissue) and built-in effects, the synthesis tools are faithful to the original, which makes whipping up patches a breeze thanks to its iconic design: three oscillators, noise generator, ladder filter, and dedicated envelopes for filter and amp.
I compared the filter to my Slim Phatty and it was astonishingly close, especially in the “juicy resonance” department. You can even replicate the iconic feedback effect by simply cranking the external input knob in the mixer section—a common trick for savvy users—and this also interacts authentically with the main volume knob. There are a couple of simple customization options on the settings page that will let you switch envelope curves and select between monophonic triggering and polyphonic modes, but that’s it. And if you are going for an authentic Minimoog sound, that is all you’ll need.
The effects processors strongly evoke the Moogerfooger pedals and slide down gracefully from the top of the interface. In addition to the arpeggiator, there’s a delay, an audio-based loop recorder, and a Bender module. The delay can be synced (great for Link users) and offers ridiculously long times suitable for psychedelic artists, in addition to room-like slapback tricks.
Inspired by the Cluster Flux, the Bender is essentially a chorus/flanger, but with a wider range of delay times than either effect, making it useful for more exotic modulated processing. The Looper includes an overdub option and an embedded Share button that lets you send audio files via nearly any iOS method, including direct app transfer, mail, and even messages!
If you’re already familiar with subtractive synthesis, it’s tough to get confused about the Model D’s feature, which is a big reason it was such a huge success in the first place. But if you’re a newcomer, the app includes one of the best manuals I’ve ever encountered in a product. As a college professor, I’d happily recommend this to my students for grasping the essentials of analog synthesis.
While it’s no exaggeration to say that our market may have finally reached “peak-Minimoog” with all of the hardware and software options currently available, in the iOS universe there’s no longer a contest. This is the Model D you’ve waited for.
State-of-the-art Minimoog emulation. Integrated effects, arpeggiator, and looper. Four-voice polyphonic. iOS compatibility includes Ableton Link.
Additional LFO offers only triangle and square waveforms.
Francis Preve has been designing synthesizer presets professionally since 2000. Check out his Scapes project at francispreve.com.