Best Minimoog Emulation Plugins in 2023
The Minimoog Model D synthesizer, first launched in 1970 by Moog Music, forever changed the face of synthesis and the music itself with its thick, rich analog tones. Even with all the software synthesizers available today, there’s still something magical about the Minimoog’s legendary sound that musicians yearn to recreate. Luckily, software developers have created some amazing Minimoog emulation plugins that get incredibly close to the real thing. In this article, we’ll highlight the top Minimoog emulation plugins that capture the classic Minimoog vibe. Whether you produce electronic, pop, hip hop, or any other genre, these Minimoog emulations provide an inspiring analog warmth that software synthesizers sometimes lack.
Arturia Mini V
One of the most acclaimed and authentic Minimoog emulations is Arturia Mini V. As the latest incarnation in their series of Minimoog recreations, Mini V meticulously models the original synthesizer’s analog circuitry and features an incredibly close sound. It sports the classic Minimoog architecture with three VCOs, a 24dB/octave ladder filter, and two ADSR envelopes to shape sounds. The oscillators capture the Minimoog’s punchy sawtooth and triangle waves, plus that juicy square wave for basses. The filter and amplifier sections are also spot-on for producing the rich, creamy tones the ‘Mini is beloved for. Beyond nailing the original’s sound and behavior, Mini V adds modern conveniences like midi control, an arpeggiator, and an integrated effects section with chorus, and delay. For synth fans seeking the genuine Minimoog experience in a software version, Mini V represents one of the most authentic reproductions available with its detailed modeling and intuitive interface mirroring the iconic synthesizer’s front panel.
Softube Model 72
The Model 72 synth captures the glory of a true vintage analog legend – an early 70s monophonic synth prized for sound quality. Softube replicated the original down to its quirks with meticulous component-level modeling, right down to the non-linearities that give analog its cherished warmth. The Model 72 authentically recreates the hands-on hardware experience, from the behavior of control slides to the freedom of patch cables. Four versions provide extensive creative options: Model 72 Instrument and FX, plus integration with Softube’s Amp Room and Modular platforms. Modular users can explore combinations impossible in the real analog world. Though impeccably retro at its core, Softube added some software-exclusive extras too like a doubler, stereo spread, and expanded controls. Whether you seek the growl of the original or new soundscapes, the Model 72 fully realizes this pinnacle of analog sound in virtual form for today’s music creators.
Beneath its slick, stylized interface, u-he Diva harbors a soul of vintage analog seduction—and comes tantalizingly close to the fabled Minimoog sound. Like the Model D, Diva’s all about the filters, specifically two Zero Delay Feedback filters exquisitely modeled down to the subtlest Moog-ish tones and behaviors. These filters can be tuned and pushed into self-oscillation, allowing Diva to function as a sound source itself. The filter controls bring that signature Moog “juiciness” even at low resonance settings. Crank it up higher and Diva delivers heavenly pads, scorching leads, and earth-rumbling basses. Dial up the filter drive and you’re in classic fat, fuzzy territory with tons of harmonic complexity but still defined. Oscillators snap to with punchy authority, especially in unison modes thick enough to shake the walls. You can blend saw, triangle, square, and even noise oscillators to taste. The intuitive panel design and signal flow make it simple to sculpt sounds. Modulation options like the looping ADSR envelopes and LFOs take things deeper. Stack and sequence sounds with the modular-style architecture and you’re sitting on seemingly endless possibilities—this is far more than just another Minimoog wannabe.
Native Instruments Monark
Native Instruments’ Monark has made quite a splash in the music production community with its inclusion in Komplete. This streamlined plugin brings the vintage Minimoog vibe to the masses in a user-friendly package. From the moment you dive into the interface, you’ll find essential controls for oscillators, mixer, filter, and envelopes that get you straight to the tones you desire. But there’s more to Monark than meets the eye. If you crave complexity, a second VCO and sub-oscillator modules are just a click away, along with additional modulation options. Despite these powerful features, Monark maintains its simplicity and faithfulness to the original, allowing you to craft your own unique sounds with ease.
The minimalist GUI perfectly captures the improvisational nature of the Model D, evoking the tactile joy of twiddling knobs and adjusting faders to achieve sonic nirvana. Monark represents the pinnacle of Native Instruments’ virtual analog prowess, combining bleeding-edge DSP tech with seasoned artistic finesse. Developed within the modular Reaktor Core environment, Monark leverages the proprietary Zero-Delay Feedback formulas devised by NI mastermind Vadim Zavalishin to mathematically predict and nullify sampling delays, nailing the most elusive nuances of the Minimoog’s analog feedback loops. The clinically accurate foundation then gets tuned by ear—NI’s engineers draw on their synth wisdom to massage the math into musical magic.
While Legend is not branded specifically as a Minimoog emulation, it appears to take inspiration from the Minimoog in its basic architecture and efforts to digitally recreate a detailed vintage analog synth experience. At first glance, the Legend synth from Synapse Audio delivers familiar vintage analog vibes. But beneath its retro-styled interface lies some clever contemporary twists on classic functionality. The oscillator architecture sticks to analog basics with three VCOs for mixing waveforms and modulation. But Legend expands the possibilities with extras like a sub-oscillator, noise source, and the ability to use Osc 3 as an LFO. The two modeled filter modes offer classic low/high-pass flavors in 12/24dB slopes. You can push the saturation with built-in drive and feedback circuits.While the amp and filter envelopes are standard fare, Legend adds some modern conveniences too. The modulation matrix enables complex routing between sources like aftertouch and velocity to destinations like filter cutoff. The arpeggiator and chord memory also increase playability. With nearly 700 factory presets (including sets from acclaimed designers like Kevin Schroeder) Legend spans synth eras in one virtual package.