Werkstatt-01 is a compact, patchable analog monophonic synthesizer based on classic Moog circuits. The company is producing this DIY project kit as a perfect gift for your favorite synth-pop geek, budding electronics nerd, or yourself. The kit is bundled with a CV (control voltage) Expander that allows the connection of up to twelve 3.5 mm jacks between Werkstatt-01 and your compatible outboard gear (like Eurorack) or for creative patching between Werkstatt-01’s own modules. A standard instrument level 1/4-inch output jack connects you to your keyboard amplifier or recording rig. The kit is easily built in a single visit to your workbench with a small screwdriver; no soldering is necessary. The unit offers an ideal point of entry to learn about analog synthesis, while also serving as a dangerous “gateway drug” into the fascinating world of Moog and modular synthesis. No prior electronics experience is required – just a level of curiosity that Werkstatt-01 might easily pull toward an obsession!

The box arrives with straightforward instructions, and Moog also provides an assembly tutorial video on its website. In short order, you’ll be making bleepy-bloopy noises and space-age synthesizer tones with this versatile little 9x6-inch box. In addition to a myriad of knob-twiddling options, Werkstatt-01 is playable via a full octave’s worth of buttons laid out like piano keys. Werkstatt-01 includes a full-range analog oscillator with selectable waveforms and Moog’s Ladder filter for precision harmonic sculpting. The LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) can simulate the motion of gentle ocean waves, or unleash a flurry of laser bolts. Master the two-stage EG (analog Envelope Generator) to create electronic string swells, fat electro-bass, and percussive sounds reminiscent of your favorite Depeche Mode singles.

Moog’s website offers presets as jumping-off points for experimentation and includes further tutorial material to optimize, expand, and modify Werkstatt-01. The original kit was a big success at the 2014 Moogfest and has been expanded in 2020 to accept a CV Gate Input. If this is up your alley, you won’t want to miss this limited run of a powerful and affordable synth.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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