Moog Music 500 Series Ladder Dynamic Filter


The Ladder brings a new dynamic dimension to the 500 Series. It smooths out the harshest of tracks and adds warmth and body to any sound. The Ladder excites dull or lifeless tracks, and has the power to shape sound in a way that is excitingly unique.

What we think:

The Moog “Ladder Filter” is one of the most useful and surprisingly powerful units ever designed for a 500 series frame. Its versatility is nearly unparalleled, and it can be used on so many different sounds, and in so many different ways I sincerely wish we had twenty of them in our mix room!!


The first thing you notice about the “Ladder Filter” is its envelop control capabilities. You can add some front end “whack”, or soften the blow with little struggle. Used in a parallel manner you can bring all kinds of life, energy and excitement to just about any track – from drums to bass, from guitars and keyboards all the way to vocals.


The next feature you realize is completely over the top are the high and low pass capabilities. Having always been in love with a lot of what Bootsie did on the P-Funk recordings, I've always wanted to have a rack mountable “voltage control filter”. The “Ladder Filter” does just that, but oh so much more!!! Not only have I been able to get the expressive “talking bass” parts I'd been questing to attain for decades, I have also been able to link the two we have here and process a parallel kik drum path that mates flawlessly with the bass part and adds a dimension of excitement I have never before experienced.


The unit can be used in very dramatic and radical form, or by adding just a touch or a tad it can bring well recorded tracks an entirely new dimension of depth and dimension. It can add motion to sounds we think of as “static” in a mix situation, and it can even take the “mosquito” buzz out of loud guitar sound enabling an emotional connection that allows the guitar a better sense of space in the mix – and gets that guitar entirely out of the way of the vocals.


The uses for this tool are nearly infinite. I can't think of a mix I've done in our studio since the unit arrived where I haven't found a new and exiting application for it. If I began to chronicle all the uses I have discovered this blurb could go on for 15-20,000 words [and even then I doubt I could cover all the uses and applications!!].


If you're serious about your music, and the way your music is presented, you owe it to yourself to give a couple of these units a serious trial. The really cool thing is that its applications aren't limited to Hip-Hop, Techno, or Rock and Roll. I have found applications for the Moog “Ladder Filter” in Bluegrass and Acoustic music presentations where one would intellectually think such a powerful effect would be highly out of place. When used tastefully [which is remarkably easy to do], the Moog “Ladder Filter” can be successfully employed in even the most organic of Acoustic music productions!!

Manufacturer Description:

The Ladder - Moog Music’s first 500 series module!?Step up with The Ladder?? ?   The Ladder is a Dynamic Transistor Ladder Filter that is based on Bob Moog's original ladder filter designs. Don't be fooled by it’s small size, The Ladder is a powerful and fantastic sound sculpting tool that allows for creative and unique sound shifting and shaping. By design, The Ladder sports the smoothest all analog Low Pass and High Pass filter section. Simply adjust the Cutoff knob to add vibe, warmth or tonal adjustment.  Choose LP to add analog vibe and warmth to a sound or select HP for sweetening and relieving the heft of a sound.?? The Envelope section of The Ladder is where things get really cool:

 - Variable Attack and Release controls allow you to perfectly dial in the behavior of The Ladder's envelope section. Use these controls to open and close the envelope as fast as lightning, or slow as molasses.?? 

- Use the Amount control in Positive or Negative mode for mild to extreme sound shaping and manipulation. From slight timbral excitement and voicing to extreme compression-like behavior. Even reversed filter action is achievable!

 - The Resonance control used with The Ladder’s other features allows for the creation of sweet, dynamic and even speech like behavior. Use it to tune The Ladder to a sound source… or not. You can excite or accentuate specific frequencies as well as create completely new unique and wild sounds.

NOTE: The Ladder's Resonance control will push the unit into self-oscillation. This can be used for effect if desired.??The 2Pole/4Pole switch allows you to select how aggressive your filter slope is. 2 pole is equal to 12db per octave which is smooth and sweet, while 4 pole is 24db per octave which is hard and aggressive.??You also have a hard wire Bypass for totally transparent routing and A/B comparison

The Ladder isn't your average filter. It's a big step up

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