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Moog Spectravox Finally Makes It To Market – With New Functions!


Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Moog Spectravox

Moog Spectravox  · 

Source:
Moog

Vocoder, filter bank and analogue spectral processor: the Moog Spectravox has it all. And now it can finally be yours.

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Moog Spectravox

Moog has a long history with vocoders. Although the company didn’t release a vocoder until the 1978 16 Channel Vocoder, experiments with vocoding go back to the late 1960s and Bob’s prototype work with Wendy Carlos for the A Clockwork Orange soundtrack. Moog would come back to vocoding in 2019 with the Spectravox, a 10-band tabletop vocoder limited to those attending Moogfest that year.

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That is, until now: Moog Music has now put Spectravox into wide release – and made a few changes from its 2019 version. And just in time for Superbooth24.

Spectral Voices

A “semi-modular analog spectral processor designed to broaden the horizons of musical expression and sound design,” in the words of Moog, Spectravox is a vocoder, spectral processor/filter bank and monophonic analogue synthesizer. It’s not just an instrument, it’s “a portal into uncharted sonic realms, offering lively drones and colorful tonal sweeps that breathe life into any sound composition”. Gosh.

Moog Spectravox voice recording
Moog Spectravox

From Synth To Vocoder

Some vocoders don’t have any onboard sound. Spectravox, however, has a single analogue VCO with saw and pulse waves as well as a noise generator. It’s also got a simple envelope with decay stage. So you could use it as a very basic monophonic Moog synth if you wanted.

However, that would be missing the point. Using the onboard synth as the carrier and your voice as the modulator, you can use Spectravox as a vocoder. To facilitate this, it has a combo jack for microphones and instruments on the front panel. By adding in noise from the generator as well as the Hiss/Buzz function (borrowed from the 16 Channel Vocoder) you can increase intelligibility. You can also use an external sound as a carrier.

Moog Spectravox
Moog Spectravox

And Spectral Processor

Spectravox also features 10 filter bands. This includes eight fixed bandpass filters plus low and high shelves. There are overall cutoff (called Spectral Shift) and Resonance dials as well. This can be used in concert with the vocoder function or as a dedicated filter bank.

You can modulate the filter bank with the Shift LFO Rate and Shift LFO Amt dials.

Semi-Modular and Eurorack Compatible

As with Mother-32, DFAM and Subharmonicon, Spectravox follows the usual Moog tabletop format. You can use it as-is or as a 60HP Eurorack module.

As with the other instruments in the series, Spectravox is semi-modular. Semi-normalled, it will work without patches but making connections can add functionality.

Eagle-eyed readers will already have realized that the mass-market Spectravox has additional patch points not featured on the 2019 version (and not to mention a different colour). Losing the filter bank sliders, it now has small pots, presumably to make room for two patch points for each filter band: VCA/CV in and envelope follower out.

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Price and Availability

I think it’s cool that Moog has finally made the Spectravox widely available. Although I do prefer the look of the silver original, I appreciate having the additional filter bank patch points. 

Moog Spectravox is available now and sells for $599.

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  • Moog Spectravox: Moog
  • Moog Spectravox: Moog
Moog Spectravox lead

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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