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Synthesizer Pioneer Bob Moog Dies 258

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the electronica-fans-unite dept.
Sigalarm writes "CNN is reporting that synthesizer pioneer and all-around vanguard of electronic music Bob Moog has passed away at age 71. Dr. Moog built his first electronic instrument -- the theremin -- at age 14 and made the MiniMoog, 'the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer,' in 1964. He was the first to bring the electronic synthesizer within reach of most musicians, and his MiniMoog is still highly praised and often emulated, to this day."
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Synthesizer Pioneer Bob Moog Dies

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  • Moog Archives (Score:5, Informative)

    by bigwavejas (678602) * on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:30PM (#13373895) Journal
    Since Moogmusic is ./'d to hell, try Moonarchives [moogarchives.com]
    • Bye bye Bob... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MsGeek (162936) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:37PM (#13373967) Homepage Journal
      I remember meeting Robert Moog at a music technology convention in 1981. He was still designing new instruments, but was in the paradoxical position of not being able to put his own name on them...thanks a lot CBS Music.

      He was able to get his trademarks back and his designs, and a new version of the Minimoog came out at the most recent NAMM convention in California in January. Here's a non-sponsored link to it. [zzounds.com]

      He was a geek's geek, and put the tech in techno. He will be missed.
      • C'mon... the Polymoog?!? Who in their right mind would buy a glorified organ when the Prophet-5 was available for the same price? Typical tale of small business owner who got caught up in the hype and innovation died. He milked the mini-moog for over 10 years and didn't have a true polyphonic sucessor until the Memorymoog... and it's tuning issues are legendary.

        His latest products rock! I have the MF-101 and 104 and they are truly a delight. Hope his sons further the business.

      • Re:Bye bye Bob... (Score:4, Informative)

        by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Monday August 22, 2005 @07:18PM (#13375476)
        I remember meeting Robert Moog at a music technology convention in 1981. He was still designing new instruments, but was in the paradoxical position of not being able to put his own name on them...thanks a lot CBS Music.

        CBS Music never owned the Moog trademark. In the 1970/80s it was owned by Norlin, who also owned Gibson guitars, Lowrey organs, Maestro FX pedals, Pearl Drums, among others.

        The Moog trademark lapsed by the mid 90s and was snatched up by Don Martin. After promises of reissued Moog products, accepting 50% deposits, and very little product delivered, Don was forced into bankruptcy and the assets were liquidated. Bob Moog stepped in to reacquire the trademarks to his name and the instruments, and operated as Moog Music since 2002.

        Bob's 21st century Minimoog, the Voyager, is an outstanding product. I have one of the early Voyagers and it is a high quality product, as is the other Moog products they currently make.

        We lost a great man this weekend.

    • Re:Moog Archives (Score:3, Informative)

      by Basehart (633304)
      This is a very sad day indeed.

      Bob's musical instruments not only helped create the electronic music genre but also subtly changed many other musical genres.

      With the introduction of ever more powerful instruments you'd be hard pressed to turn on the radio and not hear a synthesizer of one form or another in the mix.

      There's an interview with Bob here [electronicmusic.com] which is also mirrored here [kurzweilai.net]
    • Re:Moog Archives (Score:4, Informative)

      by pjwhite (18503) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:01PM (#13374113) Homepage
      Many nice tributes to Bob can be found in the guestbook at CaringBridge [caringbridge.com]. I was especially impressed to see a recent entry from Isao Tomita, a true pioneer from the early days of electronic music.
      • Re:Moog Archives (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bani (467531)
        a lot of artists are indebted to moog:

        Isao Tomita [wikipedia.org]:

        SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2005 06:56 PM CDT

        Dear Dr. Moog,

        This is from Isao Tomita. I was shocked by the news from Roland that you are in the hospital. I am very much anxious for your quick recovery.

        In 1972, even before the release of my first album from RCA Records, I made a visit to MOOG Factory in Buffalo with my friend interpreter, Mr. Ayugai, and had a chance to show my recorded tape to you. I had already purchased MOOG III through Jap

    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...in tribute to Bob Moog:

      bweeep boop bweep
  • Pronunciation (Score:5, Informative)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:32PM (#13373906) Homepage Journal
    FYI, proper pronunciaction of Moog is 'Moag', like 'moat' with a 'g', and not like 'Moo'-g, like a cow would say it.
  • by kevin_conaway (585204) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:32PM (#13373907) Homepage
    Where would haunted houses be without the theramin?

    And where would boardwalks be without haunted houses? Childhood as we know it would collapse.
  • Re: Bob Moog (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'll have to listen to all my Wendy Carlos CD's that are encoded on my iPod in a memoriam.
    • Re: Bob Moog (Score:4, Insightful)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:10PM (#13374174)
      I'm going to have to listen to my Walter Carlos version of "Switched on Bach" - on vinyl.
      • I've got the "By Request" Album (vinyl) with `Walter`'s caricature and credits on it.

        Needless to say, I also have SOB and WTS as Walter. SOB-II album I have and Sonic Seasonings has `Wendy` on it.

        20 years ago, I build my own monophonic synthesizer using (I think, it's been a while) 755 and 756 Voltage Controlled Oscillators with Bob Moog and Wendy clearly being the motivation.
        We (had a friend in with me) built a 1-octave key bank and kept most everything on breadboards.
        We did etch a few copper plates for o
    • Re: Bob Moog (Score:3, Informative)

      by burne (686114)
      If you have it somewhere: I Feel Love by Donna Summer. Baseline is Giorgio Moroder and the classic MS-10/SQ-10 pair. Must have been the first introduction to a sequencer for most people. Little did they know.. He will be missed.
  • Damn sad day... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phil John (576633) <phil@webstarslt d . c om> on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:33PM (#13373917)
    ...a pioneer in the truest sense of the word. I found out he had a brain tumour a few weeks ago. Hope he died surrounded by friends and family.
  • RIP Bob (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bjimba (31636) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:33PM (#13373919) Homepage
    As a tribute, I'm queueing up one of the first mainstream albums to use a Moog: The Beatles' "Abbey Road".

    So long, and thanks for all the samples!
    • Small point. Moog synthesisers are analog and produce their sound 'from scratch'. There are no samples involved. (In the time domain at least.) To quote Moog [tripod.com]

      "Synthesizers (at least Moog synthesizers) do NOT use manufactured effects and they do NOT use pre-recorded samples."

      I think you will find that the first digital sampling synthesiser was the Fairlight [wikipedia.org].

      The first analog sampling synthesiser was the Mellotron [wikipedia.org].

      Anyone know what the first digital synthesiser was?

      That covers both meanings of "sam

      • Generally the Yamaha DX-series (particularly the DX-1 and the hugely popular DX-7) from about '83 are considered the first digital synthesizers, tho there are various hybrids (microprocessor controlled analog synths with some digital components to the oscillators and envelope generators) and lab prototypes (first digital synth prototypes probably existed around 1974) before that.

      • That would be the PPG Wave [synthmuseum.com], although I believe only the oscillators were digital; the filters were still analog.
  • by rd4tech (711615) * <emilijan AT cpuedge DOT com> on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:35PM (#13373930) Homepage
    The following is link from his biography on the same website:

    The Man Behind the Machines

    What would the world of modern music be like without the inventions of Bob Moog? One answer would be: very boring. Bob Moog's namesake analog synthesizers have affected popular music in ways he might not have expected back in 1954 when he began building theremins with his father. But 50 years later, Bob's musical instruments have catapulted so many styles of music into the future, and his contributions to both players and technicians grow even more profound in retrospect.

    Where would R&B, rap and hip-hop be if groups like Parliament and Funkadelic hadn't used Moog keyboards? Where would rock and roll be if groups from Yes to the Beatles hadn't used Moog keyboards? Would jazz music have branched off into fusion without Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea using Moog keyboards? And would classical music have enjoyed such resurgence without Wendy Carlos and her modular Moog synthesizer? The questions are hypothetical, of course, because synthesizers have infiltrated every style of music, and so many companies have tried to recreate that analog sound. But above all the copycats and spin-offs, it always comes back to one name: Moog.

    After ten years of making theremins, providing unearthly sounds to science fiction movies and avante garde musicians, Bob Moog met experimental composer Herbert Deutsch, whose search for electronic sounds inspired Bob to create the first Moog Modular Synthesizer. Though Bob took on the project just for fun, when he premiered it at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in October of 1964 the response was immediate and Bob started taking orders on the spot. By the time he received a graduate degree (PhD in Engineering Physics, Cornell University) in the summer of 1965, the R. A. Moog Co. had delivered several modular synthesizer systems, mostly to academic and experimental composers. But it would be a few years later when public awareness of Moog synthesizers would leap ahead beneath the nimble fingers of Wendy Carlos.
    Carlos' renowned album "Switched-On Bach" was released on Columbia Records at the
    end of 1968, achieving immediate success. The album went on to sell over a million copies, creating a sharp demand for Moog modular synthesizers throughout 1969 and early 1970. Many "switched-on" records were produced during that period. By the end of 1970, the now incorporated R. A. Moog Inc. introduced the Minimoog®, a compact performance synthesizer based on the technology of Moog modular products, enabling keyboardists to take the Moog on the road. And that began a decade of music that would be forever altered by the Minimoog and its incomparable sounds.

    R. A. Moog Inc. officially changed its name to Moog Music Inc. in 1971 and became a division of the now defunct Norlin Music in 1973. Moog synthesizers were widely used by professional musicians and the "Sound of the Moog" became an integral part of our musical culture. The list of songs is far too long to print here, but from rock to R&B, from jazz to classical music, the Moog sounds were everywhere.

    At the end of 1977, Bob left Moog Music and in 1978 founded Big Briar for the purpose of developing and building electronic musical instruments with novel player interfaces. Actual Moog keyboards were made for the better part of the next decade by Norlin Music, but with the heart and soul of Moog gone, Moog keyboards ceased production by 1986. Though gone from his namesake company, Bob's interest in synthesizers and instruments could not be quelled. From 1978 to 1992, Bob operated Big Briar on a small scale and kept building custom instruments. He was also representing Synton, a Dutch manufacturer of modular equipment, and providing consultation services to other music technology manufacturers. In addition, Bob served as Kurzweil Music Systems' Vice President of New Product Research from 1984 through 1989, and taught music technology courses at the University of North Carolina at Asheville from 1989 to 1992.
  • Tribute (Score:4, Funny)

    by saskboy (600063) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:35PM (#13373937) Homepage Journal
    Someone should posted a MIDI version of Taps.
    • Moogs never used MIDI until recent revisions, you insensitive clod. They were pure analog devices.
      • No, but he was one of the lead developers of one of the greatest digital instruments out there, the Kurzweil K2000.

        That was mid-80s, so you've had two decades of Moog that could play midi.
      • Re:Tribute (Score:3, Insightful)

        by marcello_dl (667940)
        ok but be a geek, run it through a midi to cv gate converter :)

        I used the novation bass station's built in converter to talk to a Moog Rogue, worked fine.

        Goodbye, mr Moog.
    • Re:Tribute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dstone (191334) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:05PM (#13374142) Homepage
      Someone should posted a MIDI version of Taps.

      That would make for an awful tribute, in my opinion. Moog pioneered and championed analog, imperfect, and continuously variable signals. MIDI is all about crisp, quantized, digital, perfectly sequencable and recordable signals.

      A better tribute, in my opinion, would be to play taps on some his own gear (or at least a Theremin or something) run through a class Moog ladder filter.

      That would get him self-oscillating, I'm sure.
      • Re:Tribute (Score:2, Informative)

        by kurzweilfreak (829276)
        Actually, MIDI is all about being a language of messages and control, not about actual sound signal itself. MIDI is actually what seperates the performance from the sound generation.
        • Re:Tribute (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Actually, MIDI is all about being a language of messages and control, not about actual sound signal itself.

          The entire control aspect of MIDI, the entire frequency range and "note" aspect of MIDI, all of MIDI's timing, and every other control or signal is quantized, perfect, reproducable, and digital.

          You can't -continuously- vary the tempo, the frequency of gate signals, the frequency of any oscillator, the resonance value of any filter, etc. Oh, sure, you can get 16 bits or more of resolution on these dig
      • Re:Tribute (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JazzHarper (745403) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:17PM (#13374666) Journal
        Moog's low-pass VCF circuit is a brilliant design.

        Matched, differential transistor pairs are stacked to form a ladder. The transistors aren't being used for gain, though. The control voltage varies the current through the stack which causes the conductance of the transistors to vary... a lot. The cutoff frequency can be swept through five orders of magnitude by the control voltage alone.

        I showed that circuit to quite a few EE profs before I found one who could give an adequate explanation of how it worked.

        Sheer genius.
    • No, it should be a series of CV gate voltages and timings.
  • by Jason Scott (18815) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:35PM (#13373938) Homepage
    A documentary about Robert Moog, called simply "Moog", came out last year, directed by Hans Fjellestad. A site about the movie is here:

    http://www.zu33.com/moog/ [zu33.com]

    While the movie doesn't work for everyone (it's a little arty and a little weird), it has a lot of interview footage with Bob Moog and his unique outlook on life. It's well worth getting and a very dreamy, very loving portrait of the man.

    How lucky we are that Fjellestad took this project on.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...Makes ya think, is he really gonna settle for just playing a harp 'up there'?

    So long, and thanks for all the BASS.

    respect,love, and continuation,

    jamesr.
  • by Trurl's Machine (651488) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:37PM (#13373965) Journal
    As far as I know, the original article is wrong. Moog synthesizer in 1960's were modular. They were indeed easier to use than the competition because at least they included normal musical keyboard (oddly enough, Bob Moog was one of the rare engineers who understood that musicians want to play their synths just like piano or Hammond organ). Minimoog [wikipedia.org] was the compact one, but it wasn't released until around 1970.
  • by Adrilla (830520) * on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:39PM (#13373978) Homepage
    As a friend said "...that guy was a legend.

    Robots, Computers and Satan would have nothing to dance to if it weren't for him."
    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:04PM (#13374549) Journal
      What's really sad is how persecuted those who enjoy electronic music are. Just last weekend a rave in Utah was broken up by the national guard. Hundreds of peaceful dancers threatened with guns, and dozens beaten and arrested. This was a fully licensed event, and the police simply ripped up the permits and waved their guns. Here is a video of the raid, and some [unnet.net]first hand accounts. [utrave.org]

      The government is waging war on its own citizens under the guise of the war on drugs, now blatantly violating the constition. It's clear that if you are not a good christian who drinks beer and watches football, you're a second class citizen. I'm just glad nobody died.

      • looks like the video link is gone.
        I found more info at wikinews [wikinews.org] with links to videos.

        -metric
  • Listening Suggestion (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ann Elk (668880) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:40PM (#13373990)

    Switched on Bach by Wendy Carlos, especially the last track (Initial Experiments). You can hear Wendy working with a prototype Moog pressure-sensitive keyboard, trying various settings and arrangements. Wendy's narration provides great background to the experiments. As a geek, it is (by far) my favorite track on the CD.

    RIP, Bob.

  • by dstone (191334) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:43PM (#13374003) Homepage
    powered by +/-12V DC, with lots of silver toggle switches, red LEDs, black plastic knobs, and a big patch panel of jacks for audio and Control Voltage in/out.

    Oscillate wildly, Robert Moog.

    See also: Robert Moog [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia page.
  • Wikipedia Article (Score:2, Informative)

    by magicchex (898936)
    Wikipedia article on Robert Moog [wikipedia.org].
  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:47PM (#13374034) Homepage

    "Whose synthesizer is this?"

    "It's a sampler, baby."

    "Whose sampler is this?"

    "Bob's."

    "Who's Bob?"

    "Bob's dead, baby. Bob's dead..."

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:18PM (#13374231)
      > "Whose synthesizer is this?"
      > "It's a sampler, baby."
      > "Whose sampler is this?"
      > "Bob's."
      > "Who's Bob?"
      > "Bob's dead, baby. Bob's dead..."

      ...riffing on Cyberpunk Fiction [sonic-boom.com] , a parody of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. (I'm going from memory here, it's been a while since I've heard it... but it's also probably a fitting tribute, since without Bob, none of the following suggenres would have existed...)

      "Y'know what they call industrial music over there? Electro Body Music!"
      "Electro Body Music? What do they call techno?"
      "Well, techno's techno. Except in Paris they call it 'le techno'."
      "What do they call house?"
      "I don't know, I don't listen to that shit. But you know what put on drums in Holland?"
      "What?"
      "Flange."
      "Goddamn!"
      "They fuckin' bury 'em in it..."

      The first track of the album [ink19.com] album also features a bit of dialog that, by itself, is worth the price of the entire album:

      "All right, everybody, be COOL! I'm your new SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR!"
      "Any of you fucking Ewoks move and I'll terminate every last motherfucking job on the mainframe!"

  • FreshAir interview (Score:5, Informative)

    by kondrag (3980) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:50PM (#13374055) Homepage
    Terry Gross interviewed Robert Moog back in 2000. The interview is available online here:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story Id=1113447 [npr.org]
  • Einstein? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday August 22, 2005 @03:52PM (#13374064) Journal
    "He's like an Einstein of music," Carlini said. "He sees it like, there's a thought, an idea in the air, and it passes through him. Passing through him, he's able to build these instruments."

    Wow, deep stuff, man, but don't bogart that joint. At first sight, I though Mr. Carlini must be some hack that CNN tapped for a quote. Turns out, Carlini is a force in the NYC entertainment industry -- http://carlinigroup.com/pdf/bio.pdf [carlinigroup.com]. Sorry for the PDF.

    Let me join the rest of the music world in wishing Dr. Robert Moog peaceful journeys. Without his genius, we might never have experienced music as we know it today.
  • When I moved to Asheville, NC a few years back I was pleasantly surprised to find that Moog, who work I had long admired, was also living here.

    http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article ?AID=/20050822/NEWS01/50822006/1001 [citizen-times.com]

    Good-bye, and thank you.

    If was your instrument and Walter--later Wendy--Carolos'work, which brought me to classical music.

    Steven
  • It was ELP's Lucky Man, and when I heard that thing I said "Man, I've got to do that." When my Vox Continental keyboard kept breaking down I got started in electronics, and when the Fairlight came out I switched to software.

    I got to meet him once at an Audio Engineering Society convention; just shook his hand and said "Thanks".

    He was the real thing.
  • Sigh.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aliensporebomb (1433) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:04PM (#13374127) Homepage
    I think what we think of as "modern music" would not sound the same without it.

    Keith Emersons' heart stopping sounds at
    the close of the single "Lucky Man" was
    probably my first exposure to synthesizer
    music. I later heard Switched on Bach as
    well as many of the electronic german bands
    who specialized in synthesis.

    Some synthesizer-predominant artists
    such as Tangerine Dream, Synergy,
    Kraftwerk, Michael Hoenig, Klaus Schulze,
    Ash Ra Tempel, Vangelis, Wendy Carlos,
    and SFF among many, many others simply
    wouldn't sound the same OR actually
    sound at all without them.

    I think of an interview with the canadian
    band Saga who at one time owned "one of
    everything" that Moog made and was offered
    an endorsement deal from Moog and they said
    "why bother? We already own everything you
    make!" That's a ringing endorsement.

    And the secret to the Moog sound was the filters
    in those instruments. Every synthesizer made
    had their own unique sound. But everyone tried
    to copy the Moog filter sound and didn't quite
    succeed.

    I bet they will still be buying Minimoogs' in
    100 years - something about that design and
    sound with tweakable knobs urges playing.

    Small wonder that in the 80s when synth
    makers went to touch panels or increment and
    decrement buttons players liked them less
    even though the sounds were unique because
    the interface made you play a certain way.
    The sound was more alive when you could
    manipulate the sound with knobs while
    playing.

    Notable makers who used the "knobs as sound
    shaping devices" were Wolfgang Palm of the
    venerable PPG (and later Waldorf) as well as
    Roland who resurrected the "plethora of knobs"
    idea with their JD800. Knobs work and Mr.
    Moog must have just understood this. Some
    others did too.

    But the Moog sound was instantly identifiable.
    And it is still used today. And very likely
    100 years from now. That Minimoog voyager
    with blue LEDs is an object of lust for more
    than just a few.

    Bon Voyage, Robert:
    Let's hope he'll rest in peace or spend eternity
    driving God insane with giant filter sweeps on
    the biggest modular in the universe.
  • by Quaoar (614366) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:04PM (#13374137)
    beeep boop booooooop beeep boop booooooooop beeep boop booooop, beeep boop boooooop, beeep boop booooop...
  • Back in the day, I owned a Micromoog, this thing was so analog, that internal crossover effects itself could create new sound effects!

    My old man owned a copy of Switched on Bach when I was little, and I loved Walter (later Wendy) Carlos' interpretations.

    As I grew up learning the piano, then getting to love electronics and later computing, the Micromoog was in my electronics lab right beside the soldering iron, so I could riff while I worked. I got it as a cast off gift from a musician when I repaired hi

  • RIP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RiotNrrd (35077)
    /me queues up some Rush out of respect.

    "Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone..."
  • Though Bob Moog was obviously a genius of electronic instrument design, he is often credited with being the first to develop the voltage-controlled oscillator and voltage controlled filter. Actually the credit should go to Dr. Freidrich Adolf Trautwein and his Trautonium [obsolete.com], a vacuum tube behemoth constructed in Germany in 1930. The VCOs were thyratron tubes (similar to solid state SCRs) that were used as relaxation oscillators, which were tuned by applying a negative voltage to their control grids. There a
  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:31PM (#13374341)

    Bob Moog proved that the term "honorable businessman" is not an oxymoron, at least not in his case.

    Bob had the occasion to visit Raymond Scott in his studio, and see one of Scott's secret inventions-- the sequencer. Scott unfortunately, was very protective of his ideas-- so much so that he undoubtedly took many of them to his grave. Scott didn't want his secret invention to get out-- though apparently needed some confirmation from someone qualified to appreciate it, else why would Bob be seeing it in the first place?

    Consequently, the Moog Synthesizers did not have sequencers until the competition came up with them and started beating Moog up in the marketplace, so finally Scott let Bob off the hook and allowed Bob to manufacture sequencers for his synthesizers. Bob probably could have just stolen the idea, though in fact it's likely he would have arrived at it independently, but because Bob was honorable, he didn't use the sequencer concept without Scott's OK.

    Just one of a wide variety of great stories. They don't make them like that anymore...

    I got to meet Bob briefly in L.A. at the unveiling of the Fairlight CMI in the 1970s (or was it early '80s, I forget)-- he was involved in some of the PR of the instrument. It was a small group, and Bob gave a nice talk on music technologies. Great guy...

    The Moog VCF is still being emulated (along with most of his other components) in digital "virtual analog" synthesizers today. I had a chance to pick up a classic Moog modular setup in the '70s for about $500. I still kick myself for passing it up. (big darn thing though, I had an Arp 2600 at the time (still have) and preferred the convenience of it, but while the 2600 has increased in value, not nearly as much as an original Moog modular-- plus the coolness factor now of a big 1/4" jack patched synth would now be pretty hard to beat)...

  • Back in the late '80s I found one for sale at a used record store in Miami
    Only $300...
    That thing was fun to play with...

    I kept going to the store and amusing the owner with all the weird noises I made with it, but I just kept procrastinating over buying it and eventually someone else got it...

  • As a fan of Walter (now Wendy) Carlos, Tangerine Dream, Tomita, Brian Eno and Stevie Wonder I bid you farewell sir and offer these few words of thanks.

    Regards

    Ed Almos
    Budapest, Hungary
  • What kind of name is that, anyway? Perhaps Comanche Indian, like Poon(1)?


    (1) See Fletch: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089155/ [imdb.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The "Moog" name comes from Holland.

      From this link [google.com] (or Google cache [64.233.187.104],

      Spelling variations include: Moges, Mogge, Mogg, Moog, Mogges, Mogge-Pous and many more.

      First found in Holland, where the name became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region.

      Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Hugh Moger, who settled in New England in 1632; Tho Mogg, who settled in Virginia in 1674; Hans Michael Mo

  • He "got it" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Monday August 22, 2005 @04:44PM (#13374444) Homepage Journal
    When it came to technology and art, Bob Moog actually "got it" compared to nearly everyone else in the IT world. (See my Slashdot profile for my statement about why I believe technology exists) He knew that he was the engineer (a brilliant one at that) and not the musician. He knew that the musician was the one with the "magical connection" to the instrument. This is what seems to be lacking in the rest of IT when thinking about the end users. He "got it" and nearly everyone else doesn't.
  • I have a signature series theramin from Big Briar, back when he had lost the use of his own name in his business. It's a beautiful instrument, painted black with chromed antennas and since it's the signature series it has his name on it in silver pen.

    Back when I was a kid my dad made one for my mom, that used optical sensors. It always fascinated me, and I enjoyed the way it was used in so many shows and movies, everything from The Outer Limits to The Day The Earth Stood Still.

    Guess I'll get it out tonight

  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Monday August 22, 2005 @05:18PM (#13374673)
    Born in 1934 in New York City, Moog paid for his studies at Queens College and Columbia University by building and marketing theremins, which are played by passing the hand through and around vibrating radio tubes. Theremins were used create the spooky "eww-woo-woo" sounds on the soundtracks of science fiction films such as "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

    Um, no. Theremins are not played by "passing the hand through and around vibrating radio tubes."

    There are two ANTENNAS protruding from the cabinet and you wave you hands around the antennas.

    FFS, how can someone be so blinking ignorant?

    I saw an old film of the Theremin being played by Termen and I fell in love with it. I have found schematics and other instructions to build one with tubes. I'm currently scrounging around garage sales for the stuff I need to build one as they were originally designed.
    I've read that the tube based ones sound much better than the IC based ones..

  • by MoogMan (442253)
    Oh crap..

  • I remember being a kid and listening to this album [franklarosa.com] over and over and over again on my father's 4-channel system (while tripping out on the cover art).

    My father still has that old Sansui quadrophonic setup (and the original speakers).

    Come to think of it, he might still have this vinyl sitting in the middle of his "Kingston Trio" collection...
  • When I was about 8, I remember hearing Switched on Bach in someone's car. The sound of the Moog synthesizer intrigued me, and after that point I tried to find recordings and information about synthesizers. In my teens, I started tinkering with electronics kits to make various oscillator circuits, and I continued to collect synthesizer related material. I went into electrical engineering in college and have since made a career out of electronics.

    Just last year, I bought a Moog Theremin, which included an

  • Farewell, Dr. Moog (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheOldCrow (260653)
    Dr. Moog was perhaps the best at bridging the gap between artists and technology. He'd be the first to admit he was not the first synthesizer inventor, but he is widely regarded as the synthesizer pioneer because he worked closely with musicians to bring the technology out of the lab and into the studio. Many of his modules are the direct result of trial-and-error testing: he would build a module, say a coincidence switch, then have for example W. Carlos try to work with it and get feedback on what it d
  • I remember hearing... I don't know when... that once when there was a band, heavily into synth, who were doing a concert and Robert Moog happened to be around. During the interval they were talking backstage, and the band members managed to persuade him to come on stage at the beginning of the second half.

    The audience went absolutely apeshit. Everyone there knew about him, about the instruments, and to say they were glad to see him was an understatement --- the way it was reported to me he got more applau


  • ... by which other electronic instruments would be judged. Tone is king and I've yet to heard anything that can create the incredible variety of tones his synthesizers could produce. Only a handful of artists were able to tap into it's full potential. Much of the synth work I subsequently heard in the 80s and 90s just didn't touch the early stuff played on the massive Moog Modular by Keith Emerson and Walter/Wendy Carlos.

    I own a Moogerfooger Low Pass Filter (and a Control Panel) and it is way cool as an ef
  • by Cliff Stoll (242915) on Monday August 22, 2005 @08:00PM (#13375718) Homepage
    From 1968 to 1973, I worked with Robert Moog.

    I was just an undergraduate, assigned to maintain the synthesizer at the University/Buffalo; Bob would often visit and show me nifty wrinkles and hacks for the system. It was a time when your fingers were likely found on a sliderule, an oscilloscope probe, or the cork of a soldering iron.

    For his large synthesizers, Moog's circuit cards were etched and soldered by hand, and fitted into a wood frame work, with a spiffy black anodized front panel. The potentiometers were a constant headache: even milspec pots developed noise after a month of hard use by musicians.

    Bob standardized on one volt per octave for his voltage controlled oscillators; my job was keeping these working ... along with Bode ring oscillators, third-octave vocoders, two flat-plate echo chambers, and a handful of multitrack Ampex tape decks.

    A visit from Bob Moog might mean experimenting with nonlinear mixers, measuring how an audio expander could minimize apparent noise, or the Fourier transforms of trumpets and coronets. With patch cords hanging around his neck, Bob helped rewire my homebrew Theramin to minimize drift, using a 2N107 germanium transistor as a thermal sensor.

    Thirty five years later, I've been an astronomer, computer jock, writer, lecturer, and Klein Bottle mogul. But I'll never forget Bob Moog ... a creative engineer, artistically aware, supportive of everyone from egocentric musician to a hopeful but uncertain technician.

    - Cliff Stoll 2005/8/22
  • "the first compact, easy-to-use synthesizer"

    Having used a Mini-Moog, I can tell you it is far from compact, and it is certainly not easy to use. Other than that, the Mini is nothing short of brilliance. Two VCOs form the basis of its authoritative sound. It falls short of a full blown ADSR, but it gets the job done.

    One interesting thing I read is that there was a club that used to have jam sessions where guys would bring out their Minis and set them all to the same EXACT settings and exhibit completely diff

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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