Moog Grandmother vs Mother 32 (Synth Shootout!)

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  • In the market for a new synth?
  • Tossing up between the Moog Grandmother vs Mother 32?
  • We break down the differences to help you find the right choice for your needs.
  • Also check out our shootout of the Moog Grandmother vs Matriarch

The Mother-32 and the Grandmother are both very different from one another.

The Mother-32 is more modular-centric, has a fancier sequencer, and can integrate easily with Eurorack setups

The Grandmother is much more immediate in its workflow with a keyboard, clearer layout, and easy-to-use functionality which works better for the modern DAW producer.

In this article, we’ll first go over the specifics of each. After that, we’ll dive deeper into the differences, breaking down reasons to choose one over another.

What Is Moog Grandmother? 

Moog Grandmother

Whether you need it for stage or studio, the Moog Grandmother offers a fresh take on the classic Moog sound.

Why We Love It:
  • Great portability
  • Unique sound design capabilities
  • Analog spring reverb
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The Moog Grandmother is a semi-modular analog synth that comes with a built-in arpeggiator, a sequencer, and built-in spring reverb

This synth does not need any patching, it is “plug ‘n’ play”.

It has a reconfigurable front panel, and the hardware is inspired by the classic Moog’s modular synths, which makes it a great addition to a Eurorack modular system, DFAM, or the other compared product in this article, the Mother-32. 

Key Specifications

  • Semi-modular monophonic analog synthesizer 
  • 32-note velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard
  • Integratable with Eurorack systems (though not as easily compared to the Mother-32)
  • 2 oscillators with triangle, saw, square, and pulse waveforms, with PWM and Linear FM inputs
  • Arpeggiator/sequencer
  • MIDI connectivity 
  • Filter Cutoff 
  • 41 patch points include 21 inputs, 16 outputs, and a parallel-wired 4-jack passive mult

Pros

  • Comes with a MIDI keyboard attached 
  • Built-in spring reverb 
  • The design is incredibly versatile and quality
  • Looks sleek and cool
  • ADSR envelope generator 

Cons

  • Higher price
  • Less preferable overall sound to the Mother-32 
  • Limited key range
  • Small sequencer memory 

Is Moog Grandmother Polyphonic? 

No, the Moog Grandmother is not polyphonic. However, there are ways to turn a monophonic synth into a polyphonic synth (like with multisampling). 

How Many Modules Does The Moog Grandmother Have? 

The Moog Grandmother is classified into nine modules. These modules go from left to right: Sequencer/Arpeggiator, Modulation, Oscillators, Mixer, Utilities, Envelopes, Output, and finally, Spring Reverb. 

Does Moog Grandmother Have Presets?

The Grandmother does not come with any presets or recall. 

Does Moog Grandmother Come With Patch Cables? 

Yes, the Moog Grandmother comes ready with 6 patch cables. These patch cables are 3.5mm and purchases also come with a Moog Slinky. 

What Is Moog Mother-32?

Moog Mother-32
$699.00

A distinctive analog instrument that adds raw analog sound, sequencing, and extensive interconnectivity to any electronic or modular ecosystem.

Why We Love It:
  • Awesome raw analog sound
  • Classic design
  • Powerful
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The Moog Mother-32 is more of your classic Moog analog synthesizer that offers raw sound, versatile interconnectivity, and step-sequencing to a modular or electronic ecosystem.

However, notably absent is a keyboard of any kind. This cuts down on the cost and makes it more suitable for Eurorack setups.

It’s handy for live performances and is designed to provide experimental musicians, audiophiles, and synthesists with the creative tools that inspire musical exploration.

With a powerful synthesizer and patch bays galore, this thing is an incredibly versatile instrument despite its small size.

Specifications

  • Vintage sounding Moog oscillator with both pulse and sawtooth wave outputs included 
  • 32 patch points 
  • Modern step sequencer with MIDI control
  • Analog subtractive synthesis 
  • Moog Ladder lowpass and highpass filters with voltage-controlled resonance
  • Attaches easily to a Eurorack case
  • White noise generator for electronic percussive sounds 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Ability to combine multiple Mother-32’s together 
  • Great for experimenting with sounds 
  • Great for synth drum sounds
  • Quality step sequencer 

Cons

  • Confusing layout compared to more traditional synths
  • Not well suited to commercial music styles

Does Moog Mother 32 Come With Patch Cables? 

Yes, the Moog Mother-32 comes with 5x 3.5mm patch cables.

Does Moog Mother 32 Have MIDI?

No, the Moog Mother-32 does not come with MIDI from when you buy it, however, you can hook the Mother-32 to an external MIDI device such as the Moog Grandmother. 

Is Moog Mother 32 Polyphonic? 

No, the Moog Mother-32 is a monophonic synth. 

How Many HP Is Moog Mother 32? 

The Mother-32 can be used as a 60HP Eurorack with synthesizer electronics attached, as the power, audio, and CV inputs and outputs are compatible with Eurorack systems. 

Moog Grandmother Versus Moog Mother-32. Which One Is Better?

Price

Winner: Mother 32

The Mother 32 comes in at just under $700, while the Grandmother comes in at well over $1000, so this one isn’t close.

But, regarding the value, it can be argued that Grandmother provides more value by way of its additional features, albeit with the price difference of $450.

Ease Of Use

Winner: Grandmother

The Grandmother wins in this department. The workflow allows you to start playing and having fun right out of the gate, featuring a sturdy 32-key MIDI keyboard and even all the cables to go with it.

On the other hand, Mother-32 requires a bit more of a setup.

Having said that, if you already have a Eurorack setup, or it’s something you’re looking at getting into, then the Mother-32 will be more intuitive for you to use.

Sound

Winner: Mother 32

Many users have reported that the sound quality overall on the Mother-32 is preferable to the Grandmother, but the differences between the two will likely be subjective and up to your own taste.

The Grandmother will give you more versatility with the sound, allowing you to attach reverb and other modules onto it, but we’ll give the Mother-32 the slight nod here based on pure sound.

Design 

Winner: Grandmother

Speaking purely as someone who uses a DAW, the Grandmother wins this one by a long shot.

It comes with a ready-to-play design and looks a lot more modern and sleek. Conversely, the Mother-32 resembles an electronic circuit box. 

Again, if you’re into modular synthesis, then you’re already well into synths that look like this, in which case you will prefer the design of the Mother-32.

Overall

Winner: Grandmother

Overall, the Grandmother wins between the two because it offers a full velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard, much more versatility, and fits better into a traditional setup.

However, it should be said that these two pieces of gear, while both analog synthesizers, they are very different from each other.

There’s a general split between sound enthusiasts who prefer the Mother-32 and keyboard players who prefer the hands-on nature of the Grandmother, but even then both sides can agree that these are two fine products from Moog.

FAQs

What Is A Eurorack System? 

Eurorack is a modular synthesis standard that helps synth enthusiasts create custom setups using modules from various manufacturers that all work together.

Eurorack is one of several modular synthesis formats and by far the most popular.

You can read more about Eurorack in our article Modular Synthesis Basics (How It Works and How to Dive In).

Is The Moog-Mother-32 Worth It? 

The Moog Mother-32 is worth it if you prefer a Eurorack system to a more modern synthesizer workflow.

It is geared for synth enthusiasts who want to patch their sounds, prefer a quality step sequencer over an intuitive interface, and for Eurorack lovers who want the power of a Moog in their modular setup.

Is The Moog Grandmother Worth It? 

It depends. The Moog Grandmother, while expensive at around $1149 retail, is worth it if you prefer analog synthesizers over software synthesizers. 

It has a 32-key velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard and enough patch points to get creative.

If you already have a Eurorack or any other modular synthesis hardware, you can easily connect the Moog Grandmother and combine the two’s capabilities. 

However, it is still a mono synth, so it’s best for leads, basses, and SFX.

What Is The Cheapest Moog Synth? 

The cheapest Moog synth is the Moog Werkstatt-01 analog mono synth. It retails on the market for the low price of $199 with a simple catch – you must assemble it yourself.

It now includes a CV expander which allows the hardware to be interfaced with Eurorack Moogs or any other semi-modular Moogs.

Summing Up

Regarding modular systems, Moog is one of the top companies in the industry.

The Moog Grandmother and Mother-32 might sound like similar synths, but they will cater to two different types of users.

For our money, the Moog Grandmother is the best overall synth when comparing the two because of its intuitive design, MIDI connectivity, and functionality more in line with the modern music producer.