Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal Review: Simple, Sturdy Expression

If you're looking for a new expression pedal, you'll probably be spoilt for choice – which can make it hard to settle on one model.

Expression pedals are a great addition to any electronic instrument setup, whether it's a guitar, bass, keyboard, synth, or other rig. They let you control certain parameters of your gear using your foot, helping you to bring an extra layer of expression to your performance and open up some new sonic possibilities.

The Moog EP-3 is a universal expression pedal, giving an extremely smooth performance at an affordable price. The wiring of this pedal means you can use it as a volume control, or insert it in the expression connection of enabled devices to control other effects values with your toes.

I'm a big fan of the EP-3. I love that it's very affordable, yet the quality is still pretty high – it will withstand years of being stamped on. However, there are some other models like the Boss EV-30 Dual or Electro-Harmonix Expression Pedal that might be more to your tastes, which we will touch on briefly at the end of this article.

In this review, I'm going to share my experience of the Moog EP-3 and help you to work out whether it's the best choice for your needs, or if you're better off looking elsewhere.

Moog EP-3 - Overview

Average Rating: 4.25/5

Why I Like It

  • Affordable with excellent value for money.
  • Features a scalable output knob for adjusting the expression range.
  • Durable, sturdy, and smooth to use – just plug it into your expression input and get moving!

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • Works best when paired with other Moog effects, not particularly universal.
  • You may need to use a different cable length for your setup, which will cost extra.
  • Doesn't work as a CV controller, so can't be used with a CV input.


  • Type - Expression Pedal
  • Outputs -1 x 1/4" TRS
  • Controls - External level adjustment knob
  • Dimensions:
    • Height - 4"
    • Width - 3.5"
    • Depth - 12"
    • Weight - 2.6 lbs.

The Moog EP-3 Universal Expression Pedal, is (as the name would suggest) an expression pedal made by Moog, one of the most pioneering and historically rich brands in the synthesizer world.

This pedal is simple but effective. It's designed to be plugged into the 'Expression' output jack on a synth, effects pedal, or other compatible device, to give you control over the parameter with your foot. These expression values are usually used to change parameters like filter cutoff, volume, effect depth, or articulation, but they can often be configured by the user depending on the device.

The EP-3 is an improvement from its predecessors. Per Moog, it "features a newly designed cam system with extremely smooth performance and durability," giving you musical expression without any jumps or bumps.

It also comes with a couple of other nice new features, including an output scaling knob, which lets you set the control range of the pedal. This gives you a bit more precision, meaning you can fine-tune the musical range of the pedal so it perfectly suits the effect you're controlling (I think these should be mandatory on expression pedals).

An additional polarity switch "ensures compatibility with non-Moog products," although this admittedly "works best when paired with Minifooger or Moogerfooger analog effects."

Moog EP-3 Features & Benefits

Durability & Design 4/5

When I first received the Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal, I was immediately impressed by its sturdy build. Constructed from a durable plastic, it held up well against rigorous use in my home studio. It isn't going to be as rock solid as metal pedals, but I'm sure that it's strong enough for the expected use situations. (This is an expression pedal, not a stomp box).

Its shape and footprint were good, and it felt well-balanced. I've tried some expression and volume pedal models before, where they're a bit wobbly and honestly have a pretty unstable feel, which can be annoying. I didn't experience this with the Moog EP-3, which was comfortable and steady.

The smooth travel of the pedal made it incredibly easy to control dynamics and modulation, enhancing my ability to express musical nuances during performances. This is a well-built pedal; it's got smooth action with no clunky feelings or sticking.

Ease of Use 5/5

Setting up the Moog EP-3 was a breeze. All you need to do is stick a cable in the front panel and then connect it to your expression input. I appreciate its plug-and-play simplicity, which means it's super easy to connect it to my synthesizer and effects modules without any hassle.

You can find the polarity switch on the base of the pedal, which lets you get it set up for different types of gear. The level adjustment knob is located on the side of the pedal, which is also easy to reach and tweak mid-performance.

I've used other pedals that (quite stupidly) put these features inside the pedal, which is a massive pain and means you have to unscrew it to change the calibration. There is no such issue here!

Compatibility 4/5

The versatility of the EP-3 is one of its strongest points. It worked seamlessly with all my Moog synths and pedals, as well as other brands. I also tested it out with a few MIDI keyboards and controllers, which are a lot of fun. You can use this to control expression parameters in your virtual synths and DAW, letting you step into a new dimension of foot-based expression.

However, you will need to switch the polarity depending on how your gear is wired to ensure optimal response. This was a minor inconvenience, but once adjusted, the pedal performed flawlessly.

Value for Money 4/5

Considering its robust design, ease of use, and compatibility with a wide range of musical equipment, I found the Moog EP-3 to be an excellent investment – especially with such a reasonable price tag.

The pedal is very fairly priced, particularly when compared to the best expression pedals on the market that offer similar features. I think this could easily become an indispensable part of any musical setup without breaking the bank.

I will make a note here, that you should only consider getting an expression pedal if you have the right gear to use with it. These are not stand-alone devices like other effects pedals – they're used for controlling other gear. But, if you have the gear, these are a lot of fun to link up and play with.

Best Alternatives to Moog EP-3

While the Moog EP-3 is clearly a formidable expression pedal that offers great value for money, it might not be for everyone. Despite the simplicity of these pedals, there is still a lot of variation in their design, features, and functionality.

Here are some other expression pedal models that might also float your boat.

Roland EV-5 vs Moog EP-3

Roland EV-5

The Roland EV-5 is slightly more expensive than the Moog but offers a slightly larger footprint, better stability, and even sturdier build quality. It's a little bit more expressive and articulate than the Moog.

But one thing I don't like about this pedal is that it comes with a built-in cable, meaning you are restricted to the length and can't use your own cable. (But you can use an extender).

Boss EV-30 Dual vs Moog EP-3

Boss EV-30 Dual

The Boss EV-30 is a high-end expression pedal that offers exceptional build quality and an expanded set of features that might make it attractive to more advanced users. Most notably, this is a dual expression pedal – meaning it has two outputs, for controlling two separate devices from one pedal.

This opens up a whole new level of expression – and, given that each output has a separate range control, you can really dial in your settings.

This is pretty clearly a more premium pedal than the Moog, but it's also more than twice the price, making it a bit of a niche choice.

Electro-Harmonix Expression Pedal vs Moog EP-3

Electro-Harmonix Expression Pedal

This EHX expression pedal is another popular choice. I like the longer footbed offered by this pedal, and I've always been a fan of expression pedals that let you use your own cable, rather than limiting you to a built-in one.

This is largely a very similar design to the Moog, just with a slightly longer footprint, and different material choices. It has polarity and expression tuning. One neat feature is a reverse switch, that changes the direction of expression, which can give you a few more interesting options with your gear.

Moog EP-3 Expression Pedal: Final Verdict

Overall, I think the Moog EP-3 is a great expression pedal for the price. It offers decent value for money and comes with all the features and quality you'd expect in this affordable price range. It's well-built, and doesn't come with any of those annoying design flaws you see in some devices.

Sure, it's a pretty basic pedal – but it does exactly what it's supposed to, and has a couple of extra tricks up its sleeve. It's stable, it lets you change the expression range, and it's very smooth to use – which are the most important things, I think, when it comes to this type of pedal.

I would recommend this to just about anybody looking for an expression pedal. But, if you have the budget and are looking for something a bit fancier, I would suggest looking into the Boss EV-30 Dual, which will open a lot more depth to your performance thanks to the dual output.

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Images courtesy of Moog

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