No need to be a Moog with Foals’ recommendations
No need to be a Moog with Foals’ recommendationsWith three albums and numerous awards under their belt, Foals are one of the UK’s more popular Indie Rock bands. They released their most critically-successful album to date, ‘Holy Fire’, in early 2013 and it won the Music Producers Guild UK ‘Album of the Year’ Award in February this year. Holy Fire may have a rockier feel than the previous two albums, but synths and samples still play a prominent role.
Foals’ keyboard player Edwin Congreave found his perfect synthesizer in the Moog Voyager Performer Edition a few years ago, and included in Foals’ sonic arsenal are two Moog Voyagers: one for studio work, the other for touring. The synth is housed in a rugged steel chassis that is secured in a custom finished ash cabinet; but it isn’t just a pretty face, as the Voyager showed reliability by holding its own on the road.
“It doesn’t break and nothing ever goes wrong with it – and things go wrong on the road all the time, so it stands up because of that.”
The Voyager also provides an uncommon luxury that most synths can’t provide, which is a decent sized keyboard. With all the dials right at your fingertips it makes the creative process a smooth one, so all artists have to do is focus on making great sounds. The 800 onboard presets add to the Voyager’s exceptionalism - even Edwin has admitted to using the preset features after previously finding pre-loaded patches “a bit dubious”.
“Everything is just there in the Voyager: it comes with the space that the big keyboard provides, so when you load a preset you can edit it really carefully from where it is. On smaller synths you have to go through so many screens to find what you’re looking for and it goes on and on and you get lost in the process.”
Many bands have worked hard to craft a signature sound and stuck with it because it works. Not true for Foals, who have changed sonic course album after album, keeping anticipation high among fans. Edwin explains how the Voyager keeps his sounds fresh and enables him to expand with the band’s music-style.
“When you’ve got a laptop setup running everything you do, you can define your own parameters with which you can f*ck around in, but you can’t go outside that, whereas with the Moog Voyager every time I go to it I’ll do something a bit different. There are a few songs that we play where I have the liberty to do whatever I like, which keeps the live experience fun for me. It’s easy for keyboardists to find themselves just doing the same thing over and over again. Particularly if you’re playing an auxiliary role, you’re not really supposed to go ‘out there’, you’re not supposed to make a scene… but I’ve been having fun with it.”
Features of the Moog Voyager Performer Edition include:
- 100% Analog Signal Path
- 3 Ultra-Stable Oscillators
- 2 Legendary Moog Ladder Filters
- 2 Four-Stage Analog Envelope Generators
- 2 Flexible Modulation Busses
- Assignable X/Y/A Touch Control Interface
- Over 800 Onboard Presets
- CV/Gate Expansion Port
Catch Foals live in the UK at Parklife Festival, Manchester this June and again at Bestival, Isle of Wight in September.