Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

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jondom22
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Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:58 pm

Longtime lurker, new guy here. Guitarist primarily. Wasn't a huge pedal guy until more recently, and somehow never got onto the moogerfooger train in time. Always wanted a ring mod since seeing wayne krantz play back in the early 2000s, but had been content with my EHX Ring Thing for a long time.

Fast forward, have a Cluster Flux incoming, waiting to pull the trigger on the 102, the 103 and poss the 105m, but had a couple Qs...

TLDR: Q's about Impedance Mismatch, Stereo Output phase cancellation, and Midi to CV

- Impedance - Seems like the gist is that there's a bit of an impedance mismatch with passive instruments (more pronounced on some pedals), that causes a bit of loss of high end or induces a high noise floor (due to increasing output gain as compensation). Just wanted to see if folks had luck with any high z to low z impedance transformers, preamps, di boxes in general, and whether you needed to also use a reamp box to go from low z to high z on the output before hitting a guitar amp?

- Stereo: 103, 105m, and 108m all have "stereo" outputs. Seems like the 105 is the only one that wouldn't phase cancel when summing to mono. Just listening to some videos of the 108 and 103 and reading the manual, the way they create the stereo image is essentially phase cancelling the right or left output from each other which sounds huge on headphones or a good stereo listening environment, but ends up cancelling out the effect when summed to mono on said listening environment. Whereas the 105 is true stereo output as each side receives only 4/8 filter bands. Any insights on the other stereo output dip-switch routings or tips (ie add a simple 20ms fully wet delay on one of the outputs)?

- Midi to CV box...since I will be using mostly on a guitar pedalboard with a solid midi controller and midi-controllable expression sweeps via CCs (SA Reflex), I was thinking of getting a midi to cv box for the 102 and/or the 103 so I could essentially create presets, and also modulate all 4 of their controllable outputs via midi expression pedal (otherwise would need an SA reflex for each to control just 3 outputs). Any recs on small midi to cv boxes to set up simple CC #'s per output + midi channel?

thanks

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:01 pm

bumpity bump

donato
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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by donato » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:13 pm

The 103 isn't exactly stereo. You can kind of use it that way, but you can certainly use it as mono also. All of these are discontinued, if you want them I'd encourage you to buy them ASAP. Moogerfoogers tend to get inflated prices after discontinuation. They're all really good. The 104 is the best IMO.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by snakejaw » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:42 am

Be careful when you take that plunge. They drained the pool some time ago. The Moogerfoogers are discontinued, so you'll be buying used. The prices are high. Often double or more than what they went for retail.

I love my MF-103. I'm thinking of getting a second one, so I'll be able to process in true stereo.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:16 pm

donato wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:13 pm
The 103 isn't exactly stereo. You can kind of use it that way, but you can certainly use it as mono also. All of these are discontinued, if you want them I'd encourage you to buy them ASAP. Moogerfoogers tend to get inflated prices after discontinuation. They're all really good. The 104 is the best IMO.
Ya, I missed the boat originally so I know I gotta pay a bit more than what they retailed. Just got my cluster flux mod-108m today and it absolutely rules...specially with fuzz and my Montreal assembly Purpll. Absolutely mint shape too!

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by snakejaw » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:23 am

I don't know why Moog discontinued the Moogerfoogers. They're superb and I would think that they sold well. Does anyone know what was behind Moog's decision to stop production?

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by diller » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:50 am

snakejaw wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:23 am
I don't know why Moog discontinued the Moogerfoogers. They're superb and I would think that they sold well. Does anyone know what was behind Moog's decision to stop production?
To starve the market and push used prices up as well as clearing out the somewhat failed mini lineup. When they bring back the full size line they will sell a ton of them this way. Especially if 101, 102 and 103 have some redesign. 2021 NAMM should see the return of the Moogerfooger lineup.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:16 am

diller wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:50 am
021 NAMM should see the return of the Moogerfooger lineup.
You saying that out of direct knowledge, or just guessing? It would make sense for sure, tho it would suck for me spending a bit extra $ now only to see their value go down and potentially lose out on new features. Anyways, got my 108M yesterday, in love. Only tried with my guitar/fuzz/pll so far, can't wait to try on some drums/synths.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:58 pm

Anyone have success changing the midi channel on the Cluster Flux? I have it responding to Midi CC messages on Channel 1 successfully, but wanted to change the midi channel to 10. The manual says it needs to receive a "Midi Channel Mode" message on the new channel, but that doesn't seem to work.

"MIDI CHANNEL
The default MIDI Channel for the MF-108M is Channel one. To change this, press and hold both the Tap Tempo and Bypass switches. While holding both, send a MIDI Channel Mode message to the Cluster Flux on the desired MIDI Channel. The MIDI LED will flash green indicating that the message has been received. The MF-108M will now only receive MIDI messages on that channel"

This is what I could find - https://beatbars.com/blog/midi-channels.html

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by dBVelocity » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:43 pm

The terminology of a mode message is a bit confusing, it's still sending a CC on the desired channel while the pedal is "listening". I'm pretty sure that's what I did and it works fine.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:02 pm

dBVelocity wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:43 pm
The terminology of a mode message is a bit confusing, you are still sending a CC on the desired channel while the pedal is "listening". I'm pretty sure that's what I did and it works fine.
Ya that’s what I had assumed, but when I tried that it didn’t change the channel. Still responding on channel 1
:(

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by dBVelocity » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:06 pm

It's admittedly been a while as it's a "set and forget" function. Wouldn't hurt to try a CC in the 120 -127 zone and some value with it, or perhaps a PC message?

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:11 pm

jondom22 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:58 pm
- Impedance - Seems like the gist is that there's a bit of an impedance mismatch with passive instruments (more pronounced on some pedals), that causes a bit of loss of high end or induces a high noise floor (due to increasing output gain as compensation). Just wanted to see if folks had luck with any high z to low z impedance transformers, preamps, di boxes in general, and whether you needed to also use a reamp box to go from low z to high z on the output before hitting a guitar amp?
The term "impedance mismatch" is an unfortunate one. Many folks take that to mean the output impedance of a given device or instrument must be the same as the input impedance of whatever the instrument is plugging into. This is not true. "Impedance matching" refers to making sure the input impedance of a given device is suited to the output impedance of whatever is plugged into it. With passive pickups (bass or guitar), they are "wanting" to be plugged in to something with a high input impedance. "Low into High". So if the Moogel Foogenator has a low input impedance, and I want to plug my guitar with passive pickups into it, what do I do? Buffer to the rescue!

A dedicated buffer pedal is not required, not even a little bit. A really cost effective way to obtain a solid buffer is to go with a used Boss stomp box. Pretty much any Boss stomp box has an input buffer. Whether the pedal is engaged (LED on) or not (LED off) the buffer is still engaged. As long as the pedal has power to it (via internal battery or external power supply) the buffer is engaged. The input impedance of nearly every Boss pedal is right around one MegOhm, which is the same as any good amplifier. So placing nearly any Boss stomp box (including tuners and the excellent LS-2 line switcher) before the Moogy Thingy will prevent passive pickup "loading". Either Roland or Boss websites - can't recall which one - offer up an input impedance chart that lists every Boss pedal. There's only two .. maybe three .. out of the entire Boss line that do not have One MegOhm input impedance stages. A $25 dollar used Boss flanger (or whatever) gets you into a solid buffer pedal. My favorite for the job is the Boss LS-2 Line Switcher. Very transparent, and it has two channels of super clean gain up to 20db per channel. Excellent A/B pedal, with two "clean boosters" thrown in, and of course the high impedance buffer thing. Boss in-line tuners also have the high impedance input buffer, so it doesn't have to be some sort of dirtbox or phase shifter or everwhat to get that high impedance buffer.

This is just one example of how to get the passive pickups to be happy with devices that have low impedance input stages. I'll leave it to the reader to extrapolate these notions to suit their own needs.


:tu:
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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:29 pm

dBVelocity wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:06 pm
It's admittedly been a while as it's a "set and forget" function. Wouldn't hurt to try a CC in the 120 -127 zone and some value with it, or perhaps a PC message?
Yup. That's the second thing I tried. CC message between #122 on Channel 10 but it didn't work. I didn't try a PC message yet tho. Otherwise it responds perfectly normal to Midi clock and messages on channel 1.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by dBVelocity » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:50 pm

Ok, well before I dig out my unit and setup a midi controller, I suggest a CC that the pedal actually recognizes. Sometimes an ignored CC is exactly that.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by snakejaw » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:51 pm

diller wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:50 am
snakejaw wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:23 am
I don't know why Moog discontinued the Moogerfoogers. They're superb and I would think that they sold well. Does anyone know what was behind Moog's decision to stop production?
To starve the market and push used prices up as well as clearing out the somewhat failed mini lineup. When they bring back the full size line they will sell a ton of them this way. Especially if 101, 102 and 103 have some redesign. 2021 NAMM should see the return of the Moogerfooger lineup.
Wow. I didn't know Moog was so Eeeeevil!!!

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:08 am

Rex Coil 7 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:11 pm
The term "impedance mismatch" is an unfortunate one. Many folks take that to mean the output impedance of a given device or instrument must be the same as the input impedance of whatever the instrument is plugging into. This is not true. "Impedance matching" refers to making sure the input impedance of a given device is suited to the output impedance of whatever is plugged into it. With passive pickups (bass or guitar), they are "wanting" to be plugged in to something with a high input impedance. "Low into High". So if the Moogel Foogenator has a low input impedance, and I want to plug my guitar with passive pickups into it, what do I do? Buffer to the rescue!

A dedicated buffer pedal is not required, not even a little bit. A really cost effective way to obtain a solid buffer is to go with a used Boss stomp box. Pretty much any Boss stomp box has an input buffer. Whether the pedal is engaged (LED on) or not (LED off) the buffer is still engaged. As long as the pedal has power to it (via internal battery or external power supply) the buffer is engaged. The input impedance of nearly every Boss pedal is right around one MegOhm, which is the same as any good amplifier. So placing nearly any Boss stomp box (including tuners and the excellent LS-2 line switcher) before the Moogy Thingy will prevent passive pickup "loading". Either Roland or Boss websites - can't recall which one - offer up an input impedance chart that lists every Boss pedal. There's only two .. maybe three .. out of the entire Boss line that do not have One MegOhm input impedance stages. A $25 dollar used Boss flanger (or whatever) gets you into a solid buffer pedal. My favorite for the job is the Boss LS-2 Line Switcher. Very transparent, and it has two channels of super clean gain up to 20db per channel. Excellent A/B pedal, with two "clean boosters" thrown in, and of course the high impedance buffer thing. Boss in-line tuners also have the high impedance input buffer, so it doesn't have to be some sort of dirtbox or phase shifter or everwhat to get that high impedance buffer.

This is just one example of how to get the passive pickups to be happy with devices that have low impedance input stages. I'll leave it to the reader to extrapolate these notions to suit their own needs.


:tu:
Thanks for chiming in with the insights Rex! So far the Cluster Flux I got sounds fantastic in my chain without any attenuation of high frequencies due to loading. I do typically have some buffered effects pedals in my chain towards the beginning and end.

I may have misspoke with my terminology regarding impedance mismatch. To be clear, there were a number of guitarists who complained that some of the moogerfoogers caused 1 of 2 problems: high noise floor (most likely being from the need to raise the output volume to compensate), or "tone suck" when bypassed (aka attenuation of high frequencies and overall volume). The common advice of increasing the input drive/gain on the moogerfoogers, and using buffered pedals before and after didn't seem to alleviate the problems some had. Looked like some people resorted to using active preamps to get up to line level and then bring back down post-moogerfooger, and others having success with using passive impedance transformers similar to a DI. The biggest culprit seems to be the MF-101 as far as I've researched.

Anyways, just wanted to gain some technical insights as I embark on this journey, and thank you for your time. I have the 102 and 103 coming next week to join my 108m, and am really excited. Had a blast running my guitar minilogue xd through the 108m, and experimenting with hidden parameter CCs for the 108 that let you crank the delay time by 8 times. That was like Sonic Youth feedback heaven!

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:12 am

dBVelocity wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:50 pm
Ok, well before I dig out my unit and setup a midi controller, I suggest a CC that the pedal actually recognizes. Sometimes an ignored CC is exactly that.
Ha, well that's actually what I first tried (CC #75 to change the base delay time). Worked great on channel 1, but sending that same message on Channel 10 while holding the two footswitches didn't change the channel unfortunately (Midi LED is supposed to flash green, instead it just illuminated red).

Appreciate all your help with this, of the dozen midi controllable pedals I own I never had this much difficulty changing the midi channel haha.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by dBVelocity » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:26 am

Yeah seems like it wasn't this hard for me, I can verify that the midi channel can be assigned and it is stored on power cycle. ... Ok looked up some of the CC and #77 is midi note mode which could be indicative to what the manual is referencing?

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:28 am

dBVelocity wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:26 am
Yeah seems like it wasn't this hard for me, I can verify that the midi channel can be assigned and it is stored on power cycle. ... Ok looked up some of the CC and #77 is midi note mode which could be indicative to what the manual is referencing?
I think that relates to using midi notes to play the delay time like an oscillator, one of the cooler things it can do that i have yet to explore.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by dBVelocity » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:38 am

Well sure, but being a "mode" that is accessed by midi that's relevant to the moog, it's worth a try. Easy to turn it off again should it take.

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:53 am

dBVelocity wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:38 am
Well sure, but being a "mode" that is accessed by midi that's relevant to the moog, it's worth a try. Easy to turn it off again should it take.
Cool, I'll check that out tmrw and let you know how it goes. Thanks again my dude!

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by dBVelocity » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:54 am

:foul: Ok, I just setup and got a quick verify that PC messages easily change the channel. So do that and you should be good. :guinness:

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by Brian2020 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:55 am

Wow I really need to explore the MIDI capability of my MF-108M (and probably the MF-104M as well). I hadn’t payed much attention to it and clearly missed some of the things it can do. Not 100% sure that I have a way to send CC’s. Looks like I need to hit the books (manuals) tonight and brush up on what these awesome boxes of analog goodness can do when MIDI gets involved.

I chased down a bunch of these right after hearing about the line being discontinued. Some really awesome effects but also a big investment that is quite large when they’re all set up next to each other. The MF-105 MuRF (non-MIDI version) was the one that I got along with the least out of the bunch. The 101, 102, and 103 are all excellent and weren’t outrageous in price. The 104M and 108M are killer, but that price - ouch! The CP-251 is great but the prices have gone up so much that it might not be worth it. Definitely consider one if you see a good deal though!

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Re: Bout to take the plunge...Moogerfoogers

Post by jondom22 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:13 am

dBVelocity wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:54 am
:foul: Ok, I just setup and got a quick verify that PC messages easily change the channel. So do that and you should be good. :guinness:
Weird, I just tried sending PC 10 on Channel 10, and PC 10 on Channel 1 while holding down both footswitches, and neither worked. Still only responding to messages on Midi Channel 1 and midi clock.

Are you using the 108M or a different device? Wonder if I need a firmware update to do this (I feel like it's prob up to date as it's in mint shape).

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