Moog’s Expensive Moogerfooger Pedals Are Back in Awesome Software Form

It’s all about connection

  • Moog’s iconic Moogerfooger pedals go for $2,000 used.
  • These new software versions sound as good as the originals.
  • Moog has even kept their amazing analog interconnectivity.
person using Moogerfooger software pedals/plugins on a MacBook


Since Moog discontinued its Moogerfooger series of guitar effects pedals, their prices have shot up to as much as $2,000. Now, you can get all seven of them in software form for $250. 

Many music hardware makers sell software versions of their effects, and Moog is one of the best at this, with incredible virtual recreations of its classic synthesizers. But Moog is also known for modular synthesis, which is where you take lots of small, single-purpose units and combine them into a custom whole. This kind of interconnectivity was unheard of in the guitar world before the Moogerfooger. It's also quite uncommon in the world of computer effects plugins, making these new ones so special. 

"Connecting plugins together in this fashion allows a musician to also control the signal levels, noise levels, and DC offset between each effect. This makes it incredibly easy to get the best audio quality by having complete control of the signal. Signal transfer is often one of the biggest challenges when it comes to adding plugins or effects pedals to a DAW," guitarist, musician, and electronics engineer Don East told Lifewire via email.


Moog is well known for its fat-sounding analog synthesizers and its experimental approach to, well, to everything. But for a while, it also made guitar pedals. Or rather, it put various modular synthesizer effects into separate boxes and sold them to guitarists as rather oversized effects pedals. 

These weird pedals gained a following thanks to their amazing sound and unusual capabilities, and since Moog stopped making them, prices have continued to rise. They remain some of the only pedals that can be connected together via control voltage (CV), and to understand why that’s a big deal, let’s take a quick look at how analog synths work. 

Analog gear works by sending variable voltages between its various parts. Press a key on the keyboard, and a voltage is created. Press the next key and a slightly higher voltage results. Unlike digital synths, where the key is just a trigger that tells a computer to play a B-flat note, for example, the voltage in an analog device can fluctuate slightly, meaning nothing is ever quite the same. 

And—here’s the neat part—because it’s all just voltages, you can pipe that voltage anywhere you like. You could, for example, take the voltage that corresponds to how hard you press a key and send it to a delay effect, so the delay is longer the harder you hit, and so on. 

Usually, these units talk to each other via simple analog voltages. The software Moogerfooger pedals don’t send voltages to each other, but this aspect has been modeled in the digital realm, and the result is the same: you can combine all these pedals, cross-linking them to come up with all kinds of weird and wild effects. 

And you don’t need cable either. You just click one of the virtual CV inputs of the current pedal, then choose from the available outputs of the others. 

Software FTW

One of the big advantages of software over hardware, apart from the lower cost, is you can use many instances at once. If you need two delays, you don’t need to buy two boxes. Other advantages include portability, and the convenience of saving presets—on the physical Moogerfooger pedals, you have to make a diagram of the knobs and mark their positions. 

But in this case, it’s about having access to these unique effects at all, without having to pay thousands of dollars for a single effect. 

And it’s worth it. I’ve been testing them out, and they sound fantastic. Just what you’d hope from Moog—warm, full of sweet spots and classic sounds, but able to get weird when you want to. The CV connectivity is also very useful; it’s easy enough to invite experimentation, and after a while you start getting ideas about sounds you could build. 

Moogerfooger plugins on a desktop


But there is one downside: these plugins are for the desktop only. The plugins run in a host app like Ableton Live or Logic Pro. They don't work on the iPad, which is a real shame, as Moog has some of the best iOS music apps around. But it's a technical limitation.

"We consider the virtual CV connectivity between the Moogerfooger effects an essential (and powerful!) part of the feature set. At this point, we have not found a suitable technical solution to provide this functionality on iOS," said Moog in an AudioBus forum thread started by Lifewire. 

Still, if you have a computer and are interested in music, there's a free 7-day trial to get started. Dig in.

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