Moog SUB-37 ► 220 custom sounds

Presets compatible with Subsequent-37!


FAQ / read before you buy

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What’s in the bundle?:
You will receive all the sounds from all my demos plus extra (220 presets + their variations = 256 patches / presets in total). The sequences that I play from the SUB’s onboard sequencer are also stored as patch data:)

What format / import method?:
All my patches come in a soundbank available as sysex format and in Sub 37 Editor format. You will get both and you can use whichever you prefer. Note: they will also work with the Subsequent 37 model.

What genre / style?:
There is no one style, because YOU decide what style these patches will be played in. It’s a wide variety of sounds that are meant to inspire, make you look at the synth in a different light and give you a great choice of directions. Some patches are bread & butter, some offbeat; they’re the result of me trying to find the limits of the instrument. The sounds are ready-to-use in music or can serve as starting points; just pick the textures or dynamics that you like and easily fine-tune them to suit your exact taste or purpose.

Any external stuff?:
The sounds in my demo do not come dry out of the SUB-37, but if you have one, it’s probably obvious for you, as the synth has no onboard effects. To improve people’s listening experience and add variety (the demo is over 20 minutes long) the majority of sounds in my demo have some simple delay and / or reverb, but nothing that would alter the original timbre of the synth (no phasers, flangers, distortions, etc.)


Notes on grades lower than 3/3:

[modern]: sounds equally modern & vintage (clean, classic filters, no wavetables)
[organic]: too stable, not as organic as the champions (like Matrixbrute or Prologue)
[engine]: deep, but no fm, no wavetables, no various filters
[flex]: timbres & textures rather staying in the “moog” domain
[ui]: comfortable, but occasionally requires menu-diving or software



THE SOUND

I hated the Sub during the first 2 weeks, which for my standards was an extremely long time to gel with a synth. It sounded like a dehydrated donkey. Compared to the Matrixbrute it sounded very un-organic. The inherent SUB-37 tone was very… “stable” or “static”. Un-lively.

However, things moved fast forward when I hooked it up to a simple delay / reverb unit and magic started to happen. I guess this is the type of synth that might be underwhelming as a standalone unit, yet gains new powers and defeats the competitors when you couple it with an external FX box.

Then I learned the synth inside out, disconnected the external FX and once more went back to experience the original dry Sub sound. The result of this side-switching is that now I find it to be a very airy, lucid & pristine timbre that retains these qualities regardless of the kind of patch that I’m playing: a clean triangle-wave lead or a wildly modulated & distorted sequence. The oscillators are very bold-sounding, the envelopes are very snappy, and probably that’s why it sounded blunt to my ears, especially if there was no FX to soften or diffuse the sound. But the thick low end and the bright high end with the 4-option filter plus the ultra-fast LFOs turn the SUB-37 into a small factory of unique and well-balanced sounds that on the one hand are surely “dry”, but on the other hand attract the listener’s attention with their “confidence” and wide spectrum of frequencies. That’s why it excels in neither the “modern” nor the “vintage” texture of sound, but it can do both to a satisfactory degree (although in my final judgment I would lean towards the first option and call the sound rather “modern” than “vintage”).

I appreciate the Moog’s timbre even more after I’ve spent some time with my Pro-3. The Sequential synth is surely more powerful in terms of engine features and versatility, but it’s harder to quickly come up with a variety of sounds that are ready-to-use in music. It’s a device for a more experienced sound designer, whereas the Sub-37 is a more direct machine, in terms of interface as well as sound appeal. The learning curve is not as steep as in Pro-3. Besides, what real value is there in the Pro-3 eFXects if I don’t find myself using them too often, because they don’t sound very appealing to my ears?


BUILD QUALITY

You don’t have to touch it – just by looking at the pictures one can already see the Sub-37 is a quality piece. It’s all wood and metal plus some classic knobs. However, there is one thing that doesn’t match or fit this package, and it’s the buttons. Some amount of muscle strain is required to click them, and sometimes they even need a second click when the first one had been too soft.

Also, I’ve seen some people complain that their brand-new Moogs arive with one or two buttons already recessed. Mine were ok and I learned to live with them; I’m tolerant because I’ve seen worse (Poly-61, Casio CZ). Also, I’d suggest that if you have the opportunity to visit a store somewhere, go and feel the keybed for yourself. It’s a little stiff and can take away some joy of playing.

The unit that I got from a friend had been in service under warranty. I don’t know what the issue was, but I have my suspicions – when I was using headphones, the sound would die out from time to time. I googled it and it seemed I was not the only one experiencing that problem. But I used the Russian way of fixing things: I would bang the panel with my fist a couple of times near the “headphones out” socket and the sound would come back. Seems like some loose wire connections.

USER INTERFACE

The knobs feel great and the panel gives you 90% of the access that you need during music-making sessions. But you mustn’t forget that it’s a modern synth, not one coming from the 1970’s, which means there is much more stuff packed into it, which means there will be some hidden paths & menu diving. As far as simple adjustments come into play (e.g. arp swing), they’re just one click away and the editing is very comfortable. However, the feature that needs some major unearthing is the sequencer. I’ll put it this way…: the SUB-37 does have a sequencer, but if you are not going to use the Moog software, just forget about its existence. Just assume the sequencer is not there. Because only through the software will you be able to utilize this feature. And I don’t mean that you will be able to utilize the sequencer to its full potential – I mean even the basic features. Without the software control it’s just too much pain. Our lives are too short to fiddle around with those buttons, plus, why do it when the software is really brilliant. Apart from the sequencer control, it gives you easy access to some features and modulations that would otherwise stay undiscovered or ignored due to oversight or negligence. It unveils the true heart and face of the instrument. (On the other hand I’m not really sure if having to use software in order to use hardware is an okay situation.)

Quirks? Sure. The big “WTF?” moment on this synth is the tempo knob – it does not show the tempo.  It just shows the position of the knob within its vast resolution. So if the knob has a physical resolution of, say, 4000 steps, it means that if you move it halfway, it will show “2000” instead of “130 BPM”. Synth designers never fail to surprise us.


OUTRO

The reason for which I appreciate my SUB-37 most is the sequencer, which I think is the centerpiece of the instrument. Without it the SUB-37 would lose the bigger part of its appeal and become just a solo / bass synth. Don’t get me wrong – the sound coming out of this machine is superb and even the simplest patches will find their way into your tracks. But the biggest excitement, originality and dynamic variety comes into the picture once you find a way for the waveshapes, lfos, loopable envelopes and the switchable filter to dance harmoniously together within a sequence.

I think the SUB-37 is a nice choice for beginners who wish to dabble in electronic music as well as anybody who uses synths profesionally with a view to keep a balance between price, quality, features and ease of use. Maybe this thing doesn’t sound like the early Moogs, but at least you can use it to create something more original and nuanced than a “Parliament bass” or a “Gary Numan lead”.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Doug

    Hi – Just purchased your preset pack for the Moog Subsequent 37 – very nice – thank you! Question – I do not see any of your presets identified by “category” such as Lead, Bass, Arp, etc. Just wondering whether they are identified and I am just not seeing them in the Moog software editor.

    Thank you.

    1. Jexus WCOG

      Hi Doug. No, unfortunately they are not assigned to a category. I know that categorizong would help people to quickly find a sound, but the majority of my patches are experimental and atypical to the degree that it makes it hard for me to categorize them;)

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