Moog and Elektron Both Embrace Dark Side With All-Black Versions of Popular Synths

Is the synth world running out of dye?

Twice in two days, two of the electronic music world's largest manufacturers have released all-black versions of popular instruments.

Elektron was first out of the gate with new black versions of the Analog Rytm MKII drum machine/sampler and Analog Four MKII tabletop synth. Since some Elektron fans did take issue with the light-gray chassis offered so far, they'll be happy to see the same black aesthetic found on the Digitakt and Digitone.

Elektron's upgrade announcement video, which also shows off the new black colorways.

But many more Elektron users will be happy to hear that all Analog Rytms and Fours (including MKIs and MKIIs) have free OS updates available.

According to Elektron: "The MKIIs are bringing Class Compliant USB Audio with advanced voice routing capabilities onboard, while both MKI and MKII versions of the machines (and Analog Keys) get boosted with Step Recording, Trig Probability, Trig Review, a bevy of bug-vanquishing performance improvements, and much more." (Already an owner? You can download the new OS for these machines at Elektron's site here.)

Today, Moog announced that it too would be releasing all-black versions of two synths from its popular semi-modular line, the Grandmother and the Matriarch. Shown off in a video by Lisa Bella Donna as part of her "Mothership" of Mother-32s and other Moogs, the company has dubbed the new black models the Dark Series.

Lisa Bella Donna plays a Dark Series Grandmother and Matriarch in "The Mothership II: Night Flight"

"The new visual twist for Grandmother and Matriarch is a nod to the modular control panel designs that inspired their very creation," Moog writes in a press release.

Like Elektron's releases, Moog's also come equipped with some new firmware (v1.2.0 for the Matriarch and v1.1.0 for the Grandmother)—and owners of the original colorways can upgrade theirs for free as well. The updates include a new sync engine for the machines' arp/sequencer, analog clock, and MIDI; a new Envelope Multi-Trig mode for the Grandmother only; and a new method for resetting to default settings on both, along with minor bug fixes.

Visit the Moog registration site here to get the new firmware.

Pre-orders for the all-black Analog Rytm MKII and Analog Four MKII are already on Reverb. And you can order the Moog Grandmother Dark Series now. Check back soon for availability for the Dark Series Matriarch.

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