Best Moog VST Plugins – 2020 Top Picks Reviewed

Some synths changed the way people thought about them. Others had that legendary sound that made them immortal. And there are those who radically changed the world of instruments. But we won’t talk about them. We’re going to talk about the one that has all the traits combined, the king of the synths - the Moog.

Comparison Chart of the Best Moog Vst Plugins

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 16-voice virtual analog synth
  • Over 1,200 presets
  • Takes only 50MB for installation
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  • 32-voice Minimoog emulator
  • More than 1000 factory presets
  • Modulation Matrix with up to 8 connections
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  • 38 sample-based vintage synths
  • More than 2.100 sounds
  • 38 effects from Amplitube and T-Racks
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  • Original and new Moog Modular modules
  • 600+ presets
  • 24-step sequencer built-in
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  • 8x oversampled engine
  • 530 presets included
  • High quality reverb and delay built-in
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  • Authentic Minimoog experience
  • 383 sounds at professional sample rate
  • Zero-Delay Feedback filter
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  • Contains all three versions of the Taurus
  • Over 1GB of samples in 100 presets
  • Can be played as polyphonic instrument
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  • Hybrid emulation of Minimoog Model D
  • 6000 factory patches
  • Real-time morphing between up to 12 patches
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What is a Moog Synthesizer?

Moog Synthesizer is a monophonic analog synthesizer that comes in various formats and features. But, when you say “Moog synth” you’re probably thinking of its most famous model, the legendary Minimoog. Moog Synthesizer phrase is also related to the Moog Modular, the first model Robert Moog ever made. 

But, generally speaking, it’s a synthesizer that is made from voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, envelopes, amplifiers, noise generator, and ring modulators that form a waveform by connecting a patch cord and whose pitch is controlled by a voltage input.

History of Minimoog

Moog is an American company that has created several synthesizers since 1964. Apart from Moog Modular, their best product was called Minimoog. This model was so famous that it was manufactured from 1971 to June 2017. 

It was a game-changer for many reasons. First, it broke the idea that synthesizers need to be gigantic and complex. It was for the first time that the synthesizer was packed in one piece. It was also the first synthesizer that included the pitch wheel controller. 

Back in 2002, Moog created a Minimoog Voyager as an updated version of the iconic model D.

Pros and Cons of Moog VST Plugins

Lets put down the good and bad things about Moog VST: 

Pros

Below are the main pros:

The Sound

Once you play it for the first time, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. It’s that good. It can be warm, fat, thick, aggressive, or mellow and you can make it fit any song genre you may think of. And if we may add, whenever you use it, it will stand out as the ingredient that was missing. 

Tweaking

You can create a useful sound from scratch with a couple of twists and turns. Even small changes on patches can make an audible difference.

So, we strongly advise that you assign MIDI controls to its knobs and play around a lot! 

Learning Machine

Moog front panel layout has been an inspiration for many synths. Once you master it you can apply that experience to any other synth out there. Some features may be named differently but the principles remain the same.

u-He Diva

Cons

Below are the main cons:

Digital

Analog parts of the original Moogs are the state of the art even today. Digital emulations simply lack that electricity run through circuits to get the same response and sound quality. But don’t be disappointed, even two hardware Moog sound different in exact settings.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best Moog VST plugins:

  1. u-He Diva
  2. Arturia Mini V
  3. IK Multimedia Syntronik

Review of the Best Moog VST Plugins

Here’s our Moog list based on the current offer:

Best Overall:
 u-He Diva

PROS

  • Takes only 50MB for installation
  • Over 1,200 presets sorted into various categories
  • Interesting individual voice detuning per oscillator mode
  • Based on several vintage analog synths waveforms and filters
  • 16-voice virtual analog synth with dual filter and LFO interface

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a standalone mode
  • Arpeggiator has only a set of basic options

Features and Specifications

Diva comes with faithfully modeled waveforms and filters from many legendary synths. Even individual voice detuning is possible from the Trimmer page so you can achieve that unbalanced timbre just like on the hardware analog synths.

Regarding specifications, it relies on CPU power a lot so modern processors are recommended especially for performing in Divine mode which utilizes multi-thread architecture. It requires only 50MB and 1GB of RAM but due to certain presets, more memory is always welcomed. NKS file support is also provided.

Why it Stands Out to Us

To be fair, this VST is not the dedicated Moog VST. It’s much more. It’s one of the most versatile and affordable soft synths on the market with the huge third-party preset collection, numerous tutorials, and blog entries and a very active community.

But at the very core of its sound it has Minimoog waveforms and filters inside and an interface that will allow you to recreate any Moog sound you want. And there is no way you would complain to have the essentials of both Jupiters, Alpha Juno, Juno 60, and MS20 included in this offer, right?

Runner-up:
 Arturia Mini V

PROS

  • More than 1000 factory presets
  • 32-voice polyphony with unison mode
  • True emulation of Minimoog synthesizer
  • Modulation Matrix with up to 8 connections
  • Modern features added such as vocal filter and automation

CONS

  • Doesn’t support 32-bit OS
  • We expected from Arturia to include other Minimoog models, too

Features and Specifications

This plugin provides you with the emulation of the Minimoog in a 32-voice polyphony mode. All waveforms were recreated Compared to the original it also provides you with extra features such as Automation, LFO, Arpeggiator, and Modulation Matrix that allows up to 8 connections simultaneously. Vocal Filter is another feature that improves the overall pack and can be used for formant-shifting effects.

There are 1.000 sounds organized in a nice preset browser that allows you some advanced search based on keyword, category, and type of instrument.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Arturia’s TAE engine has created exceptional software once again. And you gotta love how they treat the visual aspect for every plugin. This visual design looks so good that it almost feels like having a one - every knob is in exact position.

We really approve of Arturia’s vintage synths approach. It’s not just about recreating it with the extreme level of respect, but also improving them in a way they would be if they were made today. While you would expect an arp mode, having a polyphonic Minimoog at this quality is a dream come true for many keyboard players out there.

Best for the Money:
 IK Multimedia Syntronik

PROS

  • 4 dynamic arpeggiators
  • 38 effects derived from Amplitube and T-Racks
  • Sample-based library with more than 2.100 sounds
  • Incredibly affordable collection of 38 vintage synths
  • 17 dedicated user interfaces matching original look and feel

CONS

  • Only 4-part multitimbral
  • Limited editing due to its sampling nature

Features and Specifications

This software comes with a total of 50GB of sampled content providing you 2.100 presets from 38 iconic vintage synthesizers such as Minimoog, Oberheim-Xa, Jupiter 8, CS-80, Prophet-5 among others. It’s also equipped with top-notch effects derived straight from Amplitube and T-Racks series and contains a powerful arpeggiator that can be run in four instances at once.

Speaking of the Moog part of the collection, Minimod is based on 5.000+ samples deriving from real Minimoog, Modular Moog, and Moog Voyager and it provides you with 143 sound presets.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We know that this has more than just a Minimoog sound. And, yes, there is a Minimod available as a separate purchase, but when you compare the prices and put down what you’re getting we won’t blame you if you shout “shut up and take my money!!” because we would act the same.

If you’re new or not yet professional, this collection can save you a lot of money while delivering insane sound quality and variety. It may not be completely spot-on for all instances, but it should be considered as a very capable collection of analog synth sounds.

Best Moog Modular VST:
Arturia Modular V

PROS

  • 24-step sequencer built-in
  • Unique scrollable user interface
  • More than 600 presets included
  • New creative modules included such as ring modulator
  • Contains all modular parts of the original Moog Modular

CONS

  • Not intended for preset-players
  • Oscillator behavior doesn’t completely match hardware copy

Features and Specifications

This software emulates the first Moog synth ever made - Moog Modular. It comes with 64-voice polyphony capable of working in unison mode. It contains all modular parts found at the original Moog - 9 oscillators, 2 LFOs, 3 filter slots, 6 envelopes, 2 VCAs, and a noise generator.

But, it also takes a step further and expands the offer with extra modules such as Frequency Shifter, Envelope Follower, Sample and Hold, 12-stage phaser, Ring Modulator, and Formant Filter. There are more than 600 presets for a quick start and 200 presets were made to utilize these new modules especially.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Having a real modular is an expensive “sport” so this may be a second-best for a while. The best part of it is that you can learn a lot about synthesis so next time you get your hands on a real modular you will have more experience and, therefore, more fun.

Tone and filters are wonderful like you would expect from the real Moog and the interface is true to its original. But it goes further and that’s why we love Arturia. Having a 24-step sequencer is an add on that can blast sound designers’ creativity through the roof.

Best Moog Synthesizer VST:
Synapse Audio Legend

PROS

  • 530 presets included
  • High-quality reverb and delay built-in
  • Outstanding sound with 8x oversampled engine
  • Fine-tune analog simulation drift and saturation
  • Vectorized core with Unison, Mono and Polyphony modes

CONS

  • Mediocre preset browsing
  • Very limited modulation matrix

Features and Specifications

Synapse Audio used physical modeling to recreate the Minimoog Model D sound. They used the Minimoog panel as a user interface and split it into two panels. “Front” panel represents the layout found in the original Minimoog with all the switches and knobs.

The back panel is made from the features not found on the hardware. There are high-quality reverb and delay modules, modulation, oscillator phasing, and overall analog drifting and saturation effect. It even allows you to switch the power supply type as it also affects the overall sound.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is probably the closest shot software could take regarding hardware emulation. We dare you to play any hardware vs legend videos with closed eyes and tell which sample is original. The filter is as fast as the real one and this is especially audible in quick and accented funk bass lines.

We also approve that despite perfect modeling they decided to take a step further and provide you with the polyphonic version. This is also the only software on the market that allows you to pick from Early and Late Minimoog models. This option is found on the back panel under the Model Revision switch.

Best Minimoog VST:
Native Instruments Monark

PROS

  • 3 instrument-tuning settings
  • Authentic Minimoog experience
  • 383 sounds at a professional sample rate
  • Monophonic “tribute” version of the Minimoog
  • Incredibly warm filter thanks to Zero-Delay Feedback technology

CONS

  • No stand-alone mode
  • Works in mono mode only

Features and Specifications

Monark is a virtual instrument that works under the REAKTOR environment. It replicates the Minimoog model D with all the limitations found in the original hardware, so, just like the original, it provides you with monophonic mode only. The same is applied to the filter and it has that famous warm and resonant-wide sound. There are 383 sounds to pick from and those patches are called Snapshots and they are followed with certain unique tuning settings that can be manually changed on the back panel.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Monark made an interesting decision to create a complete tribute to the original Minimoog. It actually used all the flaws as an extra trait of realism focusing only on how to make that Minimoog sound everyone loves with the knobs positioned at the same spot like on a hardware unit.

The only exception Monark made is to provide you with 3 options to tune between authentic vintage tuning with small analog drifts here and there up to the ultra-tuned modern player. So at least that slightly detuned sound of real analog synth is a matter of preference.

Best Moog Taurus VST:
IK Multimedia Syntronik Bully

PROS

  • Contains all three versions of the Taurus
  • Can be played as a polyphonic instrument
  • Recreation of Moog Taurus synth bass pedal
  • 7 Filters, including original Taurus low-pass filter
  • Over 1GB of sampled content in 100 presets included

CONS

  • Modulation matrix would be a nice add-on
  • Sequencer presets would come really handy

Features and Specifications

This software provides you with the 1GB of samples from all three versions of the Moog Taurus including that famous slow-evolving low pass filter.

It’s organized in a very straight-forward user interface so all the controls can be found at the front panel. It can be played as a monophonic and polyphonic instrument and includes two versions of legato playing. It has a dedicated envelope for both the amp and filter section and a basic set of LFO and the option to detune the second oscillator.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Moog Taurus is a very unique instrument and the good emulation of such a pedal is rare to find on the market. IK Multimedia decided to include all three versions of Taurus so that you may have a complete history within a single plugin.

Yes, is very narrow regarding sound options especially when compared with other synths, but it’s still irreplaceable regarding sound character. It will suit well to various types of rock genres and especially with progressive rock and you’re going to have fun with the arpeggiator provided within the Syntronik user interface.

Editor’s Pick:
GForce Minimonsta

PROS

  • Filters can be used as VST effect
  • Hybrid emulation of Minimoog Model D
  • Real-time morphing between up to 12 patches
  • 6000 factory patches, many created by Rick Wakeman
  • Includes some modern features such as Patch Memory

CONS

  • Arpeggiator not included
  • Preset browser could be organized better

Features and Specifications

Just like the Minimonsta word, its engine is also formed by two parts. The mini part is a true emulation of original Minimoog with all parameters carefully modeled. Monsta is the modular part that allows you to assign LFO to every single parameter and assign an envelope.

It gives you some performance-related features, too. You can also use filters as a VST effect on external tracks and Patch Memory will allow you to store up to 12 scenes of a certain patch that can be instantly recalled by a single click.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you’re familiar with progressive rock music at any level, there is a tiny chance you don’t know who Rick Wakeman is. Well, he actually made many presets for this software and the total of 6.000 presets is a number you’re definitely going to appreciate.

Anyway, the true gem of this software is the Melohman morphing feature that allows you to crossfade between patches by using a MIDI control. It’s almost the same as having 12 Minimoogs controlled by a single MIDI keyboard.

Overall, if you’re looking for another candidate at authentic Minimoog sound, this can be a very interesting choice, especially price-regarding.

Tips For Using Moog VST Plugins

Once you know that you need a Moog you probably know how you would use it. But here’s a friendly reminder of what you could do with Moog VST.

Filter is Your Friend

The low-pass resonant filter is something that made Moog synths famous. It was so good that it’s emulated in almost every significant synth and VST nowadays. So, don’t be shy, play with it, route it, automate or modulate! Think about applying that Moog filter to other tracks as well.

Bass Lines

No matter if you’re into 80’s pop, electronic music, or progressive rock, Moog bass sound will find its way in your song. Even if you have a real bass guitar, you can always blend another track with Moog bass and get that specific extra character that can make your song sound different in a good way.

Polyphony

Back in the old days, Moog synths were monophonic. This feature required a certain way to play it and sound organizing as you couldn’t play chords. Luckily, modern technology allowed us to have all the endeavors of having a polyphonic Moog synth so don’t hesitate to use it. If the resources were more affordable, rest assured that the original Moog would definitely be polyphonic.

Conclusion

We hope that you are aware now how important Moog was for music development and that probably every other analog sound you heard was performed on it. The idea of having such a piece of history on a hard drive today is amazing. So, go ahead and buy one as you will use it eventually!

People Also Ask

Now that we have provided you with enough software options, lets unroll some trivia regarding the first Moog model and lets find out a little bit more about Moog origins. You wouldn’t even imagine what would be the most correct way to pronounce the word Moog! And, no, that’s not the correct answer.

When Was the Moog Synthesizer Invented?

R. A. Moog Co. was established back in 1953 and the first Moog Synthesizer was Moog Modular. It was presented at the Audio Engineering Society conference in New York, October 1964 and it was one of the first modular synths that used a piano-styled interface in a way we think about it today.

Bob Moog (Source)

Who Invented the Moog Synthesizer?

Moog was invented by Robert Moog in North Carolina and, obviously, got the name by its founder. It was made to bring electronic sound to the music but due to its complicated modular operation never got the reputation as some later models did. It was mainly used to create jingles and soundtracks.

What Does Moog Mean and How to Pronounce Moog?

Moog is the surname of its inventor, Robert Moog. Unlike popular belief and pronouncing it in the most logical way, he stated that he prefers to pronounce it as “Mowg” (just like rogue). 

And the fun part is, as it’s originally a Dutch name, it should be pronounced as “moch” (the C is silent)!