Moog Ladder Filter 500-Series Module Details
The Moog Ladder Filter 500-Series Module is a Dynamic Transistor Ladder Filter that is based on Bob Moog's original ladder filter designs. Don't be fooled by its small size, The Ladder is a powerful and fantastic sound sculpting tool that allows for creative and unique sound shifting and shaping. By design, The Ladder sports the smoothest all analog Low Pass and High Pass filter section. Simply adjust the Cutoff knob to add vibe, warmth or tonal adjustment. Choose LP to add analog vibe and warmth to a sound or select HP for sweetening and relieving the heft of a sound.
The Envelope section of The Ladder is where things get really cool:
- Variable Attack and Release: Controls allow you to perfectly dial in the behavior of The Ladder's envelope section. Use these controls to open and close the envelope as fast as lightning, or slow as molasses.
- Amount: Use this control in Positive or Negative mode for mild to extreme sound shaping and manipulation. From slight timbral excitement and voicing to extreme compression-like behavior. Even reversed filter action is achievable!
- Resonance: Use this control used with The Ladder’s other features allows for the creation of sweet, dynamic and even speech like behavior. Use it to tune The Ladder to a sound source… or not. You can excite or accentuate specific frequencies as well as create completely new unique and wild sounds.
The Ladder's Resonance control will increasingly push the unit into self-oscillation as it's level is raised. This can be used for effect, if desired. Why make a Moog if it didn't oscillate, right?
Let's face facts - Life is much more fun when it's oscillating ;-)
The 2Pole/4Pole switch allows you to select how aggressive your filter slope is. 2 pole is equal to 12db per octave which is smooth and sweet, while 4 pole is 24db per octave which is hard and aggressive.
You also have a hard wire Bypass for totally transparent routing and A/B comparison
The Ladder isn't your average filter. It's a big step up
Moog Ladder Filter 500-Series Module Features
- Low Pass and High Pass Filter: The Ladder has inherited the smoothest all analog filter section possible.
- Cutoff: Simply adjust this knob to determine where The Ladder begins to sculpt your sound.
- Attack and Release: Variable controls allow you to perfectly dial in the timing behavior you to perfectly dial in the timing behavior of The Ladder's envelope section.
- Amount: Use in Positive or Negative mode for mild to extreme sound shaping and manipulation.
- Resonance: Controls the amount of harmonic bump at the cutoff frequency. This is the voice of The Ladder.
- 2Pole/4Pole: Select how aggressive your filter slope is.
- 2Pole: 12db/Octave - Effective yet smooth and natural filtering slope
- 4Pole: 24db/Octave - Very steep slope is aggressive and is perfect for special and unique sounds
- Bypass: Totally transparent relay bypass for routing and A/B comparison
Moog 500 Series Ladder Filter Specifications
- Audio I/O: XLR (Via 500 rack) Balanced line level
- Level Controls: Input and Output level
- Bypass: Hard Bypass
- Filter Type: Dynamic Low Pass and High Pass
- Envelope Type: Variable Attack/Release
- Envelope Control: Positive and Negative Modulation
- Input Impedance: 20KΩ, balanced
- Output Impedance: less than 50Ω
- Max. Output Level: +24dBu, balanced
- Drive Gain: -15 to +15 dB
- Output Gain: -15 to +15 dB
- Noise Level: better than 73dB below +4dBu, 0-30kHz
- Power Consumption: max 88 mA
Moog Ladder Filter 500-Series Module Downloads
What People Are Saying...
"That thing is endlessly deep. You could use it on about every instrument to make it more interesting or give it it’s own character… I could play with it for days" - Michael Wagener
"Its a really powerful tone shaping tool. While I thought I would be using it like one would use a filter in a modular synth, I found more varied positions for it to play as an EQ and subharmonic helper. It's great for helping anemic drums explode, creating dub bass sounds and modern guitar textures. Pretty awesome and a great companion to my old Moog 3 band Parametric EQ!" - Ryan Hewitt
What We Think
The Moog Ladder Filter 500-Series Module is not just some whack-wild-Kool-Aid-style device that you're never going to need more than once in every Blue Moon. The Ladder is an incredibly useful tone shaping tool that works more outside the conventions of the traditional equalizer or High-Pass / Low-Pass (HP/LP). So, when you need to tame a crisp top-end, the LP filter in 2Pole mode will yield results that should be quite favorable to a plug-in. The Ladder can work in a traditional manner, cleaning up sub-sonic garbage and high-frequency zing in ways far more musical and pleasing than a digital filter. That's right - like with all Moog devices, there's no digital audio conversion happening here. So, there's no stair-stepping when you've got The Ladder!
(NOTE: We here at Front End Audio appreciate you, the reader, humoring the corny-yet-clever musings of the reviewer - It's a much needed creative outlet for him and keeps him usually well-behaved and out of trouble).
But beyond the natural filter settings, things get really fun and can run the gamut of whacky from subtly creative to an all out slope-assault. The functional combination of the Drive/Output, Envelope, and Resonance Controls make The Ladder a natural choice for crafting really funky and nasty electric bass guitar, drums, and electric guitar sounds. Honestly, anything can be run through The Ladder. But the creative application of it's extremes are all your call. But it's nice to know that one device can be so flexible as to give you as much creative control as the Ladder gives.
The only potential downside to the Moog Ladder Filter is that it wasn't released as a dual-mono/stereo unit since it's perfect for processing a stereo drum-bus. In fact, I really don't see people stopping at just one Ladder. In fact, the pro engineer is probably going to have four or more in their own rack. This is why Front End Audio cuts to the chase and provides pre-configured pairs and multiple unit bundles. You're going to need them!"
Alan Moon - Certified "Moog Pro" Dealer - Front End Audio
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