Moog “The Source”: EXS

A library of sampled sounds from Moog’s “The Source”



Just like our Big Block: Clavinet / Pianet library, there’s an interesting story behind this instrument. One of my work colleagues found this in a closet he was cleaning out. Being a guitarist, he had no interested in what was (then) a non-working synthesizer.

I took it to the local Moog repair source in the Bay Area – This Old Synth. Chris did a great job. He found several issues, and got this baby back up and running. He:

  1. Replaced the factory sounds
  2. Replaced the battery
  3. Performed the “Crazy Fox” 5V regulator fix – I didn’t know such a thing existed
  4. Replaced a bad CD5051 CV chip
  5. Replaced a bad 100 ohm resistor replaced to re-enable keyboard scaling. Also changed the keyboard current source 4558 chip in case strained as cheap part
  6. Did a burn-in-test

Once I got it home, I sampled it on minor thirds at 48Khz, 24-bit through a PreSonus Studio Live 32 console over Firewire directly into my Mac. From there, I used a number of editors to get you the samples you hear today, including SoundForge Mac, DSP Quattro, and Wavelab.

The Source was Moog’s first synthesizer to offer patch memory storage. The design was also the first (and only) Moog synthesizer to feature a flat-panel membrane keyboard to replace the standard buttons, knobs and sliders, along with multihued panel graphics that were very different from anything Moog offered at the time. Sound wise it is considered to sound more like the original Moog Minimoog than any other synthesizer made by Moog and was introduced as its replacement.

In addition to the memory capable of holding 16 presets, the Source features a 37-note keyboard, and two VCOs that can be selected among three waveforms and three octaves. Programmed presets can be saved to an audiocassette interface to free up the onboard memory for additional new patches. The 24dB/octave VCF has parameters for keyboard tracking, cutoff frequency, resonance, and envelope amount. There are two ADSR envelope generators that can be set in single or multi trigger modes, one for the VCF and one for the VCA. For modulation, the Source features LFO and sample and hold. The unit also features a rudimentary sequencer. The Source was made in at least 2 versions the latter offering more voltage control options.

The instrument was used extensively by the band Devo on their 1981 album New Traditionalists, and the band also appeared in early print ads for the keyboard.

The Source was also used by Toby Smith, keyboard player from the band Jamiroquai, Depeche Mode and most notably by New Order, especially on the track “Blue Monday”. (Wikipedia)

In this library, you will receive at least 525 samples and at least 50 presets – I’m programming more all the time, as these samples are really good.

If you want to know about the The Source – you should know that I sold it about a year ago to a vintage keyboard enthusiast in Switzerland. After purchase, reconditioning and shipment, I sold it at a profit – but I don’t regret it. The lack of pulse-width modulation was a non-starter for me. I took a great instrument, made it better, and sold it to a very happy user.

Once I got The Source back from the shop, it had a set of factory programs in it. I sampled the best sounds to my ears., and I was after mapped synth sounds.

Each of the 11 Factory sounds is offered in both Mono and Polyphonic versions – either with no or very little effects. These sounds will get you the sound of Moog’s The Source as if you purchased it in 1981.

The remaining 28 presets are my “inventions” – using the sampler engine to create news sounds based on those original sampled keymaps.

Each instrument’s presets have been tuned to equal temperament tuning using a Strobotuner.

Included programs:

000Lead 1 – Factory #1 (M)Factory Program 1 – Classic Minimoog Sound
001Lead 2 – Factory #2 (M)Factory Program 2 – Square Wave + High Rez
002Horn – Factory #3 (M)Factory Program 3 – Tuba to Trumpet
003Flute – Factory #4 (M)Factory Program 4 – Sine Wave w/ Hint of Noise
004Clav Bass – Factory #5 (M)Factory Program 5 – Classic Synthesizer Clavinet
005Vibes – Factory #6 (M)Factory Program 6 – Vibraphone
006Harpsichord – Factory #8 (M)Factory Program 8 – 8va 2nd Oscillator for full stop
007Organ – Factory #9 (M)Factory Program 9 – Percussive Filter
008Trill Voice – Factory #10 (M)Factory Program 10 – Fat Resonant Filter
009Taurus – Factory #11 (M)Factory Program 11 – Full Taurus Pedal –  fat
010Synthe Vox – Factory #12 (M)Factory Program 12 – Metal-like vocal sound
011Lead 1 (P)Factory Program 1 – Polyphonic Version
012Lead 2 (P)Factory Program 2 – Polyphonic Version
013Horn (P)Factory Program 3 – Polyphonic Version
014Flute (P)Factory Program 4 – Polyphonic Version
015Clav Bass (P)Factory Program 5 – Polyphonic Version
016Vibes (P)Factory Program 6 – Polyphonic Version
017Harpsichord (P)Factory Program 8 – Polyphonic Version
018Organ (P)Factory Program 9 – Polyphonic Version
019Trill Voice (P)Factory Program 10 – Polyphonic Version
020Taurus (P)Factory Program 11 – Polyphonic Version
021Synthe Vox (P)Factory Program 12 – Polyphonic Version
022Poly Filter CompPoly synth with a nice rezzy filter spank
023Rezzo MetallicMetallic square patch – also a keyboard comp
024Dyn. Saw BrassDynamic Vel > Filter programming
025Gater PadGater effect up front in this thematic poly synth
026Plucky Clav-likeShort, sweet, clavinet
027Fat Filter ModDistorted filter sweep solo synth
028Filter PadWarm, soft brass-like filter and pad
029Metal TremMetal Pad. Mod Wheel > Tremolo
030RectifiedBroken rectifier solo distorted synth
031Thipper BassOctave fast filter swept solo bass
032Plunk Sub BassSub bass with a hint of filter attack
033Powa BassPower distorted bass
034Solstice StringsMetallic, mid-rangie Film Score strings
035Digital ImpersonatorDynamic FM-like keys
036MKS 7DMKS-70 like pad. Twin Peaks!
037Sizzle PadPad with high frequency “sizzle” filter elements
038Big Saw PadClassic Polymoog sound
039Large SquaresResonant Squares poly synth
040Sync Sweep + Tube AmpSampled through a tube amp
04170’s Solo SynthSolo synth with delay
042Buzzy Solo SynthHigh frequency buzz on a solo synth
043Source does PPGA keyboard comp that sounds like a PPG
044Van TrellisBlade Runner synthesizer
045Fat and WideWide panned Toto-like brass synth
046Not CertainBreathy brass with distortion
047It’s a SignSine-wave synthesizer
048Wet P5P5 filter mod with Chorus and Reverb
049+ Sub BassAlmost invisible sub-bass. Layer with another