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  Little Phatty Stage Edition At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 2007  Specifications
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Paul Donaldson (paul.donaldson@ic.ac.uk) writes:
The Little Phatty Stage Edition is a later incarnation of the Tribute edition, which was produced in limited numbers in 2006 after Bob Moog passed away. The Mk I Little Phatty Stage was released in 2007 and the Mk II version in 2008. The Stage edition differs from the Tribute edition cosmetically in that it has rubber side panels instead of wooden ones and red/orange lights instead of blue/pink. Hardware wise, the differences are slight. The Little Phatty Stage mod matrix has an extra destination, making it 1->2 (instead of 1->1 on the Tribute) and it also has more flashable memory, allowing for OS upgrades with extra features. A recent update included an arpeggiator and midi-syncable LFO. The Mk II Little Phatty Stage differs from the Mk I version through the inclusion of a USB socket, a black rear panel and a modification reducing high frequency noise (available to Mk I Stage owners for a small fee).

Little Phatties are all monophonic 2 oscillator, 1 filter, 2 ADSR and 1 LFO keyboards with analogue oscillators/filters that resemble those used in the original Minimoog. They sound fantastic. With a curvy rear end, tilting panel and big knobs/buttons Little Phatties look fantastic too. The knobs are real pots (not encoders), but knob positions are still saveable in patches, a system known as real analogue control. There are lights around each pot to let you know where the patch settings are (like the Nord Leads) and the system gradually relinquishes CPU control to analogue control as you turn the knob, so no jumps.

The filter is the bit that really makes a Moog a Moog and on any Little Phatty it definitely does that. Interesting features are an overdrive parameter that gives extra grit/acid/buzz/zap and also the ability to adjust the number of filter poles from one to four. The LFO section is basic and you can modulate the filter cutoff, the oscillator waveform, Osc 1+2 pitch and Osc 2 pitch (think oscillator sync sound sweeps). I think many synth users will miss not having LFO amplitude modulation on board (you can however get it using an external CV in). The filter cutoff can be modulated via the velocity sensitive keyboard, though like the LFO, the volume cannot. The single LFO provided is digital and with the usual waveforms goes up to 500 Hz. You can also use Osc 2 or the filter EG as a mod sources. An OS update on all Phatties provides additional noise and random S/H-like waveforms as mod sources. Moog have been kind with their updates and for Stage I and II users, a cool little arpeggiator and midi syncable LFO recently became available, greatly expanding the Phatty's sonic pallet and making it easier to use for dance music productions.

Little Phatties are simple synths to work with and feel/play/sound more like musical instruments than pieces of hardware. Although the simplicity means that you won't be constructing complex patches, that doesn't mean that the sounds can't get interesting. They can.

Comments About the Sounds:
The Little Phatty Stage Edition makes those big, fantastic and distinctive Moog sounds, which as a Moog is what one expects. Although the sound chain is comparatively simple, one can also get quite unexpected and pleasing timbres with just the two oscillators into the Moog ladder filter.

(Thanks to Paul Donaldson for this info.)
and Sonic Bot for the pic

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