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:


The entire Learning Modular Synthesis: Moog Mother-32 course s available through this web site as well and LinkedIn Learning. 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.