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Moog unveils new synth called the Subharmonicon

The semi-modular analog polyrhythmic instrument is out now

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 12 May 2020
Moog unveils new synth called the Subharmonicon

Moog Music has unveiled a new synthesiser called the Subharmonicon.

It follows the Matriarch, Grandmother, Mother-32, and DFAM in Moog’s semi-modular analog family of instruments.

The versatile synth has two VCOs, four Subharmonic Oscillators, two 4-Step Sequencers, and four Rhythm Generators, making it capable of producing richly textured sound patterns. It’s also compatible with other Eurorack instruments such as the Mother-32, DFAM and more.

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The design was inspired by the work of 20th century composer and music theorist Joseph Schillinger, who pioneered a method of composition based on mathematical processes that can be applied to any genre, and the Rhythmicon instrument designed by Leon Theremin, which is heralded as the world’s first electronic drum machine.

Steve Dunnington, Senior Hardware Lead at Moog Music, said: “A long time ago, when I was in college and first met Bob [Moog], the Rhythmicon came up a couple of times. One of his other students was into Schillinger…and I’ve always been fascinated by patterns that repeat differently each time…and that’s a thing you can explore [with Subharmonicon].

“This instrument was inspired by some of the ideas and musical concepts of Schillinger, such as the idea that by taking a set of pitches and superimposing them on a set of rhythms with a different length will generate rotating musical motives.”

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To mark the announcement, Moog has released a short film scored by Suzanne Ciani using the Subharmonicon and made in collaboration with Scott Kiernan. It’s called Music As Living Matter, and questions examines conventions of music and opens them up to fresh interpretations.

Suzanne Ciani said: “What I love about this instrument is that it gives you a more organic and fluid beat pattern that is off the grid. It is intuitive and yet full of surprises.”

The Subharmonicon is available now worldwide, you can find a list of Moog dealers here. Found out more about it on Moog's website.

Watch Music As Living Matter and Subharmonicon demos below.

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter

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