Most know the Moog Mother-32 as being a neat little semi-modular synthesizer. However, it also contains a step sequencer with lots of nice options.

If you like, you can just press (Shift) + Run/Stop (Rec) to enable recording, play a series of notes, and those will loaded into subsequent steps in a sequence with a default duration. Tip: Don’t forget to save your sequence by pressing Run/Stop (Rec) to seal off the sequence, then (Shift) + Run/Stop (Rec) for one second. If you want to save it to the current location, press (Shift) + Run/Stop (Rec) one more time; to save to a different location, use the Left/Right arrows to choose a sequence slot and then press (Shift) + Run/Stop (Rec).

However, while you’re paused on a note during the creation of a sequence – or while editing a step after the fact by pressing (Shift) plus the desired step – you can also edit the following additional parameters:

  • Duration: Turn the Tempo/Gate Length knob to set the note duration. The Octave/Location LEDs temporarily act as a bar graph to indicate the length of the gate in eighths of a step. This duration will be used for subsequent steps you create in this sequence. Tip: Rotate Tempo/Gate fully clockwise to 8/8ths duration plus set the next step to the same pitch, and those two steps will be tied together to create a note longer than one step’s duration.
  • Glide (LED 5): Turn the Glide knob up a little bit from fully CCW, and glide will be enabled just for this step. Octave/Location LED 5 will indicate if a glide has been set for the current step.
  • Ratchet (LED 6): Press (Shift) and turn the Glide knob to enable ratcheting – multiple rhythmic triggers – for a given step. The Octave/Location LEDs temporarily act as a bar graph to indicate the number of repeats for that step. When you’re done, LED 6 indicates a ratchet has been set for this step.
  • Accent (LED 7): Press Recent/Accent to add an accent, meaning the VCA and VCF will be opened more on that step. Octave/Location LED 7 will indicate if an accent has been set for the current step. Tip: Play a MIDI note with high velocity while entering a sequencer, and accent will automatically be set.
  • Rest (LED 8): Press Hold/Rest to set a rest (i.e. no note is triggered) for a step, indicated by LED 8 of the Octave/Location bar graph being lit while on this step.

The movie below from my course Learning Modular Synthesis: Moog Mother-32 demonstrates setting up ratchets and glides:

 

You can view the entire Learning Modular Synthesis: Moog Mother-32 course online on Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning. If you don’t already have a subscription to either one, you can use the link lynda.com/trial/chrismeyer to sign up for Lynda.com and they will not bill your credit card for 30 days while you try out the service and sample as many courses as you like – including my other Learning Modular Synthesis courses. If you decide to stay with Lynda.com, one month costs only $25, and they have hundreds of other audio & music courses as well.

And by the way, if you want to learn more about setting up ratcheting sequences on full modular systems, I created a set of videos and accompanying article here.