Pity the poor power supply. When economies have to be made and budgets beaten, it's often the first bundle of electronics to be booted out of house and home. Though these rather famous American chaps have tackled cheaper models before (remember the Micro-moog?) this is money saving with a vengeance, hence the departure of the volts. The supply is in a separate black box which helps keep down the size, and therefore price, of the main unit. Don't forget it when packing for the gig.
The major difference between this and rival monos is the inclusion of a second voltage controlled oscillator. The CS01 and SH101 are both single VCO jobs. So the Rogue is capable of tuned intervals (fifths or octaves, for example), has a sweet and full tone when they're set slightly out of tune, and manages the fierce, growling effects which come from syncing two VCO's together - harmonics of one are forced to follow the changing pitch of the other — it's like a very irate flanger.) You can sweep it using the envelope generator, but not the LFO.
Good points are the rich filter (a Moog trait) and the wide options for LFO modulation — triangle, square and sample-and-hold waveforms, plus an auto trigger for repeating pulses. The noise source is pink rather than white. The envelope generator has sliders for attack and decay times, plus a switch for sustain on or off — not subtle, but fast for on-stage setting up.
The oscillators boast ramp and pulse-width waveforms at footages of 32, 16 and 8. Oscillator two can be jacked up an octave higher to hit the chirpy levels of 4 foot, and the filter will track acceptably across three-quarters of the keyboard for still higher pitches. It also turns in a strong percussive click for organ voices. Sliders for the volumes of the two oscillators and the noise source are tucked into the bottom right-hand corner of the black front panel which sits across the top of the two-and-a-half octave keyboard.
Past eight on the scale of one-to-10 on the VCO sliders they introduce an effect Moog have dubbed overdrive — don't expect a heavy metal guitar solo. It enriches the middle harmonics of the VCOs to give an edgier sound. Useful for recording, but maybe not so noticeable on live work where the overload of the amp or PA would most likely do a similar job.
Great for fat bass sound, and the pitch and modulation wheels coupled with a sharp top end produce a good lead player's synth. Maybe it doesn't match the present fashion for particularly clean and prissy notes — plinky ones as we are sometimes wont to say — but it does retain a Moogness despite the economies of production. It's about 21in long and 12in deep. The keyboard is OK if a bit clacky and as whole it's a machine which is unfairly overlooked by a lot of people on the synth trail.
Review by Paul Colbert
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