Moog Minifooger Drive
Jesse from Rogue Guitar Shop here to bring you a very interesting pedal. I've been interested in nearly the entire line of Minifoogers since their initial release. So I am very excited to get a chance to tell you everything I can about my experiences.
By now I'm sure you've heard of Moog (pronounced similar to vogue). The legendary analog synth (synthesizer) builders, offering sounds from other worlds without using 1's and 0's. Coveted by many artists since their incarnation, including one of my favorite bands in The Byrds and even more modern day acts like Queens of the Stoneage. This is not Moog's first plunge into the guitar effects pedals market, though. The original Moogerfooger series was released to expand guitarists minds into realms not typically explored via analog effects pedals. Offering many effects pedal standards such as delay, phaser, and envelope filter to wild tangents that change how we as guitarists approach the instrument.
Enter the Minifooger series, offering unique twists on more standard analog guitar effects at much more affordable prices, in more pedal board friendly sizes. Including an effect many guitarists/bassists had been hoping Moog would release, an overdrive!!! Sounds pretty mundane for Moog, doesn't it? But knowing Moog, one would be foolish to think so. All the Minifooger pedals feature a maximum of four knobs, and this is no exception. Three controls are very standard for an overdrive and do what you'd expect. These are Output, Drive, and Tone. The fourth control is a unique one though, a Filter knob. Highly unlike the Filter control on a ProCo Rat, which is really a version of a tone control. This filter control is a ladder filter similar to what's found in an envelope filter. The MF Drive also features two toggle switches, standard input and output jacks as well an experession pedal jack. The toggles are Drive and Peak, which I'll get more into below. The Expression pedal jack is meant to control the filter, to sweep similar to a wah. Only offering a more extreme and powerful effect. Sometimes expectations are quite different than reality. Before plugging in, I expected a high gain distortion of sorts. What I got was much more interesting.
The Gain control is meant to go from virtually no drive to sort of a medium-high level of gain. Output can go from well below unity to massively boosting your signal. While being a rather standard Tone control, it is extremely interactive with the Filter control. The Filter offers an extremely wide sweep and really acts as sort of a “voice” control for the drive itself. The two toggles are quite important themselves to dialing in your desired tones. The Drive toggle switches between two different gain ranges for the Gain control. In the down position the Gain knob range is from +6.8dB to +48dB. In the up position the gain range is from +16dB to +57dB. This is extremely important for dialing the pedal in for humbuckers or single coil pickups. The Peak toggle creates a 15+dB boost at the filter cutoff, effectively boosting the mids creating a more extreme effect with the Filter control.
Upon plugging in the pedal, I make sure the expression pedal is not plugged in as I want to experience the controls as they are at first. I have all the controls at noon, the Drive toggle in the lower position, the Peak toggle set off. First using a single coil equipped guitar, I quickly notice the Drive toggle should be switched in the up position for optimal sounds. Switching to the up position I'm greeted with a very organic “amp like” overdrive. Not overly piercing or overly murky in any way. I quickly realize this pedal is best at home with the Output pushing the amp a bit, which this pedal is more than capable of. Twiddling the knobs I am able to dial in anything from light OD, clean boost, to even fuzzy settings. Plugging in a high output humbucker equipped guitar yields different, yet similarly versatile results. Even with buckers I prefer the Drive toggle switched up, though it's nice to have the different options. I'm able to push the pedal into a much heavier crunch that is on the verge of heavy metal. Plugging the expression pedal in, I was able to get wah-like effects, but way beyond. Filter sweeping effects I have yet to see in a pedal, effects that usually are only available on a mixing board. This was my favorite use of the expression pedal. Even with all the drive pedals available at Rogue Guitar Shop, all thanks to Moog, I've never quite seen something like this.
Moog has exceeded my high expectations, which I didn't think was possible. You'd be hard pressed to find another unique and feature rich drive for such a low price. I'd really like to see Moog's take on a high gain distortion or a fuzz, but that is neither here nor there. While probably not for everyone, this is a complex pedal that is extremely easy to dial in.