Morphagene or Phonogene

I’m interested in the Morphagene and Phonogene modules. My assumption is that the Morphagene will be the better choice, however the Phonogene is available second hand relatively inexpensively. If any one has had experience with both modules, I’d love to hear your thoughts on their relative merits - and how their uses do or don’t overlap.

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just here to follow the responses - i’m not too close to pulling the trigger on this, but i’ve been wondering about it as well.

I can’t be that helpful in comparing, but Morphagene is the best music/sound thing I own, hands down. I had watched videos of Phonogene in the past, but it didn’t quite click to me, but then I checked into Morphagene, came across some other folks here who like it a lot (@stripes, certainly others) and it’s amazing. @madeofoak has/had both, I think, so maybe he has some tips?

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I’m with @joshhh on this one. Can’t say too much about the Phonogene, but Morphagene is such a bottomless hole of fun and excellence. I’ve seen the guys at Make Noise saying they don’t really want to compare the two (I think Walker touch on the subject in this: https://vimeo.com/244920175 ?)

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I’ve had two phonogenes, and currently own a morphagene. I wouldn’t trade a morphagene for four phonogenes. The morphagene has pristine quality and is so hands-on that I have absolutely no complaints.

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though there seems to be a lot of overlap between them, in use they feel and sound very different. I would totally recommend you get the morphagene first since it’s just a world of amazing possibility, easily my favorite single module. while it can technically do what the phonogene does (record a short sound, splice it into segments, play/scrub through those splices at varying gene sizes/speeds/directions), they feel, behave, and sound very different. phonogene is dirtier and more prone to interesting accidents, more ‘momentary’ than the morphagene since it only records for around 2 seconds and has no preset memory. think of it in the category of other sound source modules - oscillators, etc. they sound beautiful.

morphagene on the other hand can do all of those things (sounding quite cleaner and with slighly different granular abilities) but where it really shines is when you run your entire patch through it, using it almost as an effect or snapshot sampler with a wet/dry knob. recording long segments of a running patch, rearranging different loops, repitching/granularizing on the fly, all while still moving between the recordings it’s making and the live playing of the rest of the patch. think of it more in the emerging category of modules like the er-301.

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Used to have a Phonogene and ended up selling it to fund an ER-301. Morphagene is pretty much what I wanted the Phonogene to be, with longer recording time. Since Morphagene came out, I’ve toyed with the idea of getting one, but have quite a bit of sampling/granulation in my rig already with ER-301 and Clouds.

Phonogene at this point excels at creating grainy textures and deterioration…you can slow down the recording speed and get longer recordings than the (higher quality) 2 seconds. It sounds great if you filter it. Some good examples of this can be found in Taylor Deupree’s studio diaries on soundcloud. (I recommend everybody check those out regardless!)

Morphagene would excel at longer recording, better quality, and the overlapping slices/morph is a unique feature that you won’t find on the Phonogene.

Both of them have end-of-cycle/splice outputs, which is a simple feature yet holds a lot of possibility - I don’t see that mentioned a lot. You can have the module trigger other events in your system. Also, both of them have sound on sound modes that are similar - Morphagene: Time Lag Accumulation and Phonogene: Broken Echo.

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I didn’t really grasp how fun the EOSG and envelope follower/CV outs on the Morphagene are until I actually had mine, but agreed, they’re super useful, also for self-patching!

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I’ve had both. I have to say, I was always a little frustrated by the Phonogene. It has a great gritty sound and it’s awesome for music concrete/sound design but I could never get it to do the things I wanted it to do musically speaking. The Morphagene is way higher quality (not that this makes it better) and much more musical in my opinion. It does everything I wanted the Phonogene to do and then some. Looping and layering with it is amazing and it definitely has a unique sound that I haven’t heard in other modules. In the end it really comes down to your personal preferences for sound and features.

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I suppose it means that I really haven’t tapped into the full potential of Morphagene, but most of what I’ve done with it since I got it is feed it samples of recorded music, mostly isolated instrumentals that I manually “splice” in Reaper using markers before loading it from the SD card. Working in this way, I find the Morphagene and endless fountain of amazing sounds and I never could have used a Phonogene this way so for that alone, I’d save for that Morph.

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+1 to the rad CV outs on Morphagene.

It was at the top of my to-buy list (along with Teletype) when I finally pulled the trigger on modular. I have no second thoughts on that. Morphagene is incredible and clearly learned from Phonogene. It is hard to imagine wanting to sell it.

If I were to try to come up with a downside, it’s that the “Morph” knob makes a specific twinkle sound. That sound will be the telltale, “Yeah, they own a Morphagene,” sound. It can be used in a ton of less obvious ways, but the module definitely pokes you to want it to make a characteristic sound. If you don’t like that sound though, you probably aren’t considering it. :laughing:

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Many thanks for all the fantastic response. This has confirmed in my mind that the Morphagene will be best for my use case - but the it’s also left me interested to play with the Phonogene at some point. I think there’s a real beauty in the low quality of first generation technologies - perhaps the Phonogene will be the modular equivalent of an early digital camera.

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It was announced today that Make Noise has retired the Phonogene:

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This is definitely true. While I think the module has a lot of sonic territory, the morph knob tends to provide a pretty similar effect for most samples.

That said, it can sound fantastic. https://instagram.com/p/BfE1NKyg4L2/

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It was my first eurorack module.

:raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

:new_moon:

:tulip:

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also, if you keep the morph knob/CV in the lower ~half of the range, there is still quite a bit of room to “morph” without the characteristic pitch shifting, which I think is the really distinct aspect.

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I just posted something about this in one of the synth forums on Facebook. I had the Phonogene and sold it to buy the Morphagene, but now I am missing the lo-fi weirdness of the PG. Something about that digital dust that it imparts on everything especially when pitched down. I plan on buying another one very soon to pair with MG! Crazy or what?

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So i picked up a Phongene last week. because it was a really good price and I’d always been interested. I’m loving it and the lo-fi dustiness and I’m trying not to think about what I’m missing in the MG. Stereo for me is the main thing but with some nifty patching I’ve got a work around. I’m even thinking about finding another cheap one and maybe having them parallel. But maybe its just a gateway drug to the MG.

Stereo and audio quality are the main things, plus the ability to save and load your reels. Also, the morph thing is pretty cool along with the envelope follower thing. Patch that to the varispeed and you got a broken cassette player sound! :slight_smile:

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You really can get some unique sounds from the Phonogene. There’s no doubt the Morphagene offers more options, but I already have a slew of options in my 12U, and there’s always going to be a new module that expands on the idea. What I like most about the Phonogene is the lofi sound and the front panel playability. It really invites tweaking!

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