Moog Music’s MF-108M MoogerFooger Cluster Flux pedal is not new to the scene but perhaps this is rather new territory in the boom bap sense. At any rate, the Cluster Flux is a Flanger and Chorus pedal with a few tricks up its sleeve. In fact, it can be rather ballsy and girthy (I know, that’s not a word but context clues will let you in on where I’m going there… Girthy seems most appropriate here.), wild even, if that’s what you like.
Moog describes the Cluster Flux as
More than just a simple Chorus/Flange pedal, the Cluster Flux is the ultimate time modulation pedal! From subtle swirling to complete insanity, the Cluster Flux defies the laws of time and space. This limited edition 100% analog Moogerfooger features a Bucket Brigade Chip based delay line that oozes vibe and tone. Like all Moogerfoogers, it’s built like a tank for a lifetime of use.
I requested the Cluster Flux for review because I wanted to put it thru it’s paces on boom-bap drums and in my beatmaking process. So when I received it I just so happened to be receiving my brand new Roland Boutique units. It was perfect timing seeing as though I’d get the chance to use them as source synth material for the Cluster Flux to chew on.
In use with synths, you can see that the Cluster Flux is a premium analog Chorus / Flange pedal that instantly adds weight and smooths things our rather nicely. even with the delay settings down and just using the drive adds some really appealing color and warmth to anything that goes through it.
Using the recommended settings for classic flange and chorus will yield great results for smooth wavy tones and effects. But for my tastes, I prefer a more of the Cluster Flux’s extreme flavors. I’m totally one for pushing the extremes on the Time, Feedback, Rate & Amount. but yeah, dialing it back a bit makes for sweet sweet analog goodness added to any signal fed to the Cluster Flux.
One note for those that see BBD (the beloved bucket brigade delay) and think this unit will serve their delay needs as well. This is designed to be a flange and chorus using the BBD chip for shorter delay times. The LFO modulates the delay time but the delay time itself is not synch-able because the delay times are just too short by design (of course that is the nature of a flange and chorus). But the LFO is indeed synch-able via midi. “This allows you to crank the feedback and play the Time as Pitch via MIDI.” as per Moog Support.
That said, Flange delay times are adjustable from 0.6mS to 10mS and 5mS to 50mS in Chorus mode.
The bypass and tap tempo are as advertised and it’s worth mentioning that this pedal lives as comfortably on your desk as it would on the floor as a stop box. I’d like to also mention that the bypass and tap buttons are easy on the fingers as well. My initial thought was that they would be tougher to operate with the fingers because it’s a pedal made for the stomp box sort of application but I was pleased to see that clicking these controls were much easier than I suspected.
As per usual, the build quality of the Moog build is as solid as a brick wall. All knobs are solid. The casing is metal and the wood is real.
Because these moogerfooger pedals are control friendly and made to integrate easily into your CV lifestyle, the Cluster Flux comes kitted up with CV to boot. It makes controlling “Time, Rate, Mix, Feedback and Amount via the Moog EP-2 Expression Pedal, CV or other Moogerfoogers.”
Back Panel Features
- AUDIO IN: 1/4” phone jack – accepts any instrument-level to line-level audio signals.
- LEFT / MONO AUDIO OUT: 1/4” phone jack 1/4” phone jack with adjustable output level for instrument or line level output.
- RIGHT / Stereo OUT: A Second output dip switch configurable for either Stereo out (two types), Delay only out, or dual mono out.
- FEEDBACK, TIME, LFO RATE, MIX, LFO AMOUNT: all of which are stereo 1/4” jacks that accept Moogerfooger EP-2 (or equivalent) expression pedals, or 0-5V control voltages from either two-circuit or three-circuit 1/4” jacks.
- FEEDBACK INSERT: A 1/4” TRS Insert jack for inserting effects in the feedback loop of the delay chain. Line level output.
- MIDI IN: A 5 Pin DIN input for controlling the MF-108 via MIDI Control.
- +9V POWER INPUT JACK – accepts standard 9 volt center positive barrel power adaptor (power adaptor included). 300mA minimum required.
Front Panel Features
- TIME: Adjust delay time 0.6mS to 10mS in Flange mode and 5mS to 50mS in Chorus mode.
- RANGE: Select between Flanger and Chorus mode
- FEEDBACK: Continuous control from no feedback to infinite feedback. Bi-Polar control allows the feedback to highlight even or odd harmonics.
- DRIVE: Allows between -7dB and +28dB of gain or attenuation of the input signal for optimum signal path, level matching and distortion sounds.
- OUTPUT: Allows gain and attenuation of output signal for compatibility with a wide range of input devices.
- MIX: Cross fader control to vary the amount of wet or dry signal heard on output.
- LFO: Six position rotary switch to select the LFO wave shape for delay time modulation. Select between Sine, Triangle, Square, Ramp, Saw and Random stepped modulation.
- LFO RATE: Adjust the LFO rate from the sub audio to audio rates. Control from 0.05 Hz to 50 Hz from the front panel (more from the CV).
- LFO AMOUNT: Controls the amount of LFO modulation of the delay time.
So how does it stack up? Well, its one of the best pedals I’ve heard. Particularly for my tastes on beats it’s a little known weapon. It surely thickens things up to wildly booming proportions or if you prefer it warms and sweetens pretty nicely and gently. For my beat making purposes, the Cluster Flux is a winner. It is worth noting that I find separate chorus and flange pedals to be best for flexibility and simultaneous use but the Cluster Flux is perfect for switching between functionality. For any Rhodes EP and synths sent thru it the results are as sweet as sugar cane.
The Cluster Flux can be had for $499 at MoogMusic.com