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Synthesizer Pioneer Bob Moog Dies

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the electronica-fans-unite dept.

Music 258

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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Moog Archives (4, Informative)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373895)

Since Moogmusic is ./'d to hell, try Moonarchives [moogarchives.com]

Re:Moog Archives (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13373957)

try Moonarchives [moogarchives.com]
--
Sometimes I think/type fast, inadvertently causing spelling or grammar errors. My apologies in advance


Apology accepted

Bye bye Bob... (5, Interesting)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373967)

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.

Re:Moog Archives (0, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374005)

The passing of a BM is always sad. :(

Another good story (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374046)


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? Where would Rob Malda be without all of the handjobs he gave to Moog? 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. However, Moog keyboards and the music they graced began a cult following amongst players and aficionados, and Bob's inventions never quite left the spotlight. Interestingly, it was his first foray into musical electronics, the theremin, that was to enjoy an early 90's renaissance.

In response to the rise in interest, Bob designed the Series 91 theremins in 1991, and Big Briar produced them for the next five years. In 1996, Bob wrote a do-it-yourself theremin article, which was published in Electronic Musician magazine. The design formed the technical basis for the Etherwave® theremin, which Big Briar/Moog Music has built and sold continuously since then. In addition to the Etherwave, Bob designed the Ethervox® MIDI theremin in 1998. About this time, Bob designed the product line of Moogerfooger® analog effects modules, which are based on the technical principles of the original Moog modular instruments and were designed to bring the benefits of analog synthesis to all performing musicians. The result was instantaneous, as musicians worldwide scrambled to own one or all of these amazing devices.

In 2002 Bob resurrected his namesake analog synthesizer, designing the new Minimoog Voyager® for a new generation of Moog players. Like the Moogerfoogers, this instrument is based on the technical principles of the original Moog modular instruments and the original Minimoog, but in addition incorporates a wide range of contemporary features such as fully-implemented MIDI and a three-axis touch surface. Reviews have been nothing but positive, and Moog's Etherwave theremin, Moogerfoogers, and Minimoog Voyager have all won numerous musical instrument industry awards.

Bob reclaimed the right to use the MOOG MUSIC and MINIMOOG trademarks in 2002, and immediately changed the name of Big Briar to Moog Music Inc. In 2003 Moog Music released the MOOG PIANOBAR®. Invented by Donald Buchla, a long-time colleague of Bob's and a renowned electronic musical instrument designer in his own right, the PianoBar fits onto any acoustic piano and enables the player to use the piano's keyboard to control electronically generated sounds.

Moog Music's new products of 2004 (our fiftieth anniversary year) were the award winning Moogerfooger - the (MuRF(TM)) Multiple Resonance Filter Array and the Etherwave Pro, a professional theremin. The MuRF is a totally new effects processor that enriches the spectrum and animates the sound of all musical material. The Etherwave Pro is fully professional theremin that incorporates much of what Bob learned about theremin design over the past fifty years.
In short, the past 50 years have been an adventurous time in music, and Bob Moog's contributions become ever-important and evident in retrospect. His dedication to the craft of making instruments is as legendary as the instruments themselves, and Bob has helped make possible the creation of some of the most important music of the 20th century and beyond. Bob has employed two guiding principles that have helped shape Moog's reputation for fine music technology products, and have enabled Moog's musician customers to create so much of the great music of our contemporary culture. In his own words, Bob states:

"First, we have sought out musicians who make creative use of electronic instruments, and have asked them for their advice and opinions on what sorts of products we should offer, and what features these products should have. Keeping in constant touch with musicians from all fields of music, and from all over the world, has enabled us to design instruments that have proven to have enduring musical worth.

Second, our design work is an ongoing collaboration with many technically-trained people. For instance, many Moog products, including our recently-introduced Minimoog Voyager, have benefited from our collaboration with Rudi Linhard, a German colleague of mine. And of course, the Piano Bar, our latest product, is an ongoing collaboration between Don Buchla and us. Don has been a fellow designer for forty of the past fifty years."

In keeping with the tradition of excellence, the first new editions of 2005 from Moog Music Inc. will inspire and amaze. The Minimoog Voyager is now available in a new 19" Rack Mount Edition. With many features, including the backlit front panel and presets from the Voyager, this Rack Mount is "designed for anyone who is looking for an exceptional value in a state-of-the-art analog synthesizer." - Bob Moog

Moog Music Inc. has also announced a new edition to the Voyager family, the Minimoog Electric Blue. The Electric Blue incorporates virtually all of the functions of the original Minimoog Synthesizer with sound and beauty all its own. It is housed in an ash cabinet with a fractal blue finish and the electric blue backlit front panel.
Here at the beginning of the 21st century Moog Music is still producing the quality tools to create music that could not otherwise exist without them, making instruments so unique that they represent a genre of their own: Moog Music. Perhaps back in 1954, Bob Moog and his father were only trying to make something cool, to create a sound that as of yet was only in the realm of imagination, never dreaming how far their invention would take the Moog name. Whatever the original purpose, there is no doubt that Bob Moog has made his mark, and that modern music has been forever changed for the better.

Thank you Bob Moog.

Poor moderation, please mod up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374239)

Why is this modded troll? It's good information for anybody interested in the life work of Moog.

We will miss you Bob!

Re:Moog Archives (2, Informative)

Basehart (633304) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374100)

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 (3, Informative)

pjwhite (18503) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374113)

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 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374126)

MOOG dead. OOG sad. OOG break some skull

Synthesizers 'round the world have this to say (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374206)

...in tribute to Bob Moog:

bweeep boop bweep

What was he thinking.. (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373903)

about how his idea has developed. Moving from valve oscilators and mixers to digital music synthesizers and samplers...

Re:What was he thinking.. (2, Informative)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374317)

Moving from valve oscilators and mixers to digital music synthesizers and samplers...

He was thinking "...and back". Lots of contemporary electronica/trip hop bands actually use analog synthesizers (Moog included) for many reasons. If you don't understand these reasons, just listen to groups such as Air [wikipedia.org] .

Pronunciation (5, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373906)

FYI, proper pronunciaction of Moog is 'Moag', like 'moat' with a 'g', and not like 'Moo'-g, like a cow would say it.

Re:Pronunciation (5, Informative)

juangonzo (120048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373962)

That's how his name is pronounced. He has stated that his products can be pronounced either way but he likes the way that sounds like a cow better.

Re:Pronunciation (3, Funny)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374122)

Oh thank god. I prefer Moo-g, but the geek in me wants to be a know-it-all pedantic stickler for language. So now I know enough correct to get me uninvited to any future party!

"Yes, the name is pronounced Moag, but Mr. Moag has said that his instruments can be pronounced either way..."

Re:Pronunciation (1)

EatAtJoes (102729) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373969)

Does that mean the great stomp boxes he recently designed should be called MoagerFoager?

I always wondered if he actually cared how people pronounced the names of his synths. Until I learned the correct pronounciation of his name, I always felt moooooog was a great name for something that went mooooooooooooo (at least on a square wave).

Re:Pronunciation (3, Funny)

deliciousmonster (712224) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373979)

Cows' hooves and somewhat awkward purchase prevent them from playing instruments requiring greater dexterity than, say, a drum- and usually a timpany drum at that. As such, the odds that they need to pronouce Moog at all are slim, making your point... wait for it... moot at best.

Re:Pronunciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13373983)

and not like 'Moo'-g, like a cow would say it.

Actually, I'm pretty sure cows say everything like 'moo' so that might not be very helpful. ;D

Re:Pronunciation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374014)

not like 'Moo'-g, like a cow would say it.
Only English speaking cows. For example the Dutch ones go "Boo."

Re:Pronunciation (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374033)

No wonder I'm so afraid of Dutch cows...

Better Guide (5, Funny)

Rufus88 (748752) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374045)

Or, for the /. crowd:

It's pronounced "moag", as in, "Worf, son of".

Re:Better Guide (1)

pwroberts (600985) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374346)

That's "Mogh". But I still laughed :-)

Re:Pronunciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374084)

Mooooooogh!

Re:Pronunciation (1)

lupinstel (792700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374195)

I think a better way to describe the pronounciation would be to pronounce it like "rogue".

Re:Pronunciation (1)

nappingcracker (700750) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374343)

better yet:
 
like 'mogul' (A very rich or powerful person; a magnate; series of bumps you ski over)

or

'vogue' (prevailing fashion, practice, or style)

Haunted House (5, Funny)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373907)

Where would haunted houses be without the theramin?

And where would boardwalks be without haunted houses? Childhood as we know it would collapse.

Re:Haunted House (5, Informative)

Eggman27 (587963) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373940)

FYI, Bob didn't invent the theremin, but rather it was his work building and marketing them that led to his innovation of the modern synthesizer.

Re:Haunted House (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373961)

You insensitive clod, we know nothing of haunted childhood boardwalks.

Twilight Zone reruns OTOH...

BTW - Bob didn't invent the Theremin, it was Lev Sergeivitch Termen (later Leon Theremin)

Re:Haunted House (3, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373991)

When it happens, I'll blame those meddling kids.

Re: Bob Moog (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13373910)

I'll have to listen to all my Wendy Carlos CD's that are encoded on my iPod in a memoriam.

Re: Bob Moog (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374174)

I'm going to have to listen to my Walter Carlos version of "Switched on Bach" - on vinyl.

Re: Bob Moog (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374350)

Same person. Walter became Wendy between "Switched on Bach" and "Switched on Bach 2" She also did the soundtrack Tron, among others.

Re: Bob Moog (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374368)

Oh fuck. I have that record too. On vinyl. But nothing to play it on...

When I still had a record player, I played it a lot. Really great stuff. When you compare it to the awful "sampled on Bach" you'll notice that although the latter uses samples, the former sounds more ... real. The warmth and inprecision of the analog synths make it sound natural, even if the sounds themselves are crazy.

Re: Bob Moog (3, Informative)

burne (686114) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374178)

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.

Re: Bob Moog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374227)

>> I Feel Love by Donna Summer

Either that or just shoot yourself in the kneecap with a nailgun. Same effect.

God Speed, Bob... (1)

Eggman27 (587963) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373913)

My music technology professor knew (and worked with, I think) Bob... He's got a signed picture from Bob from the 70s in the teaching lab at the music school.

Re:God Speed, Bob... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374362)

I've always wondered this, maybe you can clarify:

Is godspeed really fast (because He is omnipotent and can produce miracles in fractions of a second), or is it really slow (because He is ageless, has all the time in the universe, and doesn't need to be rushed)?

Just curious. thanks.

Damn sad day... (2, Interesting)

Phil John (576633) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (5, Interesting)

Bjimba (31636) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373919)

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!

The server seems getting slower, so... (4, Informative)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373930)

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. However, Moog keyboards and the music they graced began a cult following amongst players and aficionados, and Bob's inventions never quite left the spotlight. Interestingly, it was his first foray into musical electronics, the theremin, that was to enjoy an early 90's renaissance.

In response to the rise in interest, Bob designed the Series 91 theremins in 1991, and Big Briar produced them for the next five years. In 1996, Bob wrote a do-it-yourself theremin article, which was published in Electronic Musician magazine. The design formed the technical basis for the Etherwave® theremin, which Big Briar/Moog Music has built and sold continuously since then. In addition to the Etherwave, Bob designed the Ethervox® MIDI theremin in 1998. About this time, Bob designed the product line of Moogerfooger® analog effects modules, which are based on the technical principles of the original Moog modular instruments and were designed to bring the benefits of analog synthesis to all performing musicians. The result was instantaneous, as musicians worldwide scrambled to own one or all of these amazing devices.

In 2002 Bob resurrected his namesake analog synthesizer, designing the new Minimoog Voyager® for a new generation of Moog players. Like the Moogerfoogers, this instrument is based on the technical principles of the original Moog modular instruments and the original Minimoog, but in addition incorporates a wide range of contemporary features such as fully-implemented MIDI and a three-axis touch surface. Reviews have been nothing but positive, and Moog's Etherwave theremin, Moogerfoogers, and Minimoog Voyager have all won numerous musical instrument industry awards.

Bob reclaimed the right to use the MOOG MUSIC and MINIMOOG trademarks in 2002, and immediately changed the name of Big Briar to Moog Music Inc. In 2003 Moog Music released the MOOG PIANOBAR®. Invented by Donald Buchla, a long-time colleague of Bob's and a renowned electronic musical instrument designer in his own right, the PianoBar fits onto any acoustic piano and enables the player to use the piano's keyboard to control electronically generated sounds.

Moog Music's new products of 2004 (our fiftieth anniversary year) were the award winning Moogerfooger - the (MuRF(TM)) Multiple Resonance Filter Array and the Etherwave Pro, a professional theremin. The MuRF is a totally new effects processor that enriches the spectrum and animates the sound of all musical material. The Etherwave Pro is fully professional theremin that incorporates much of what Bob learned about theremin design over the past fifty years.
In short, the past 50 years have been an adventurous time in music, and Bob Moog's contributions become ever-important and evident in retrospect. His dedication to the craft of making instruments is as legendary as the instruments themselves, and Bob has helped make possible the creation of some of the most important music of the 20th century and beyond. Bob has employed two guiding principles that have helped shape Moog's reputation for fine music technology products, and have enabled Moog's musician customers to create so much of the great music of our contemporary culture. In his own words, Bob states:

"First, we have sought out musicians who make creative use of electronic instruments, and have asked them for their advice and opinions on what sorts of products we should offer, and what features these products should have. Keeping in constant touch with musicians from all fields of music, and from all over the world, has enabled us to design instruments that have proven to have enduring musical worth.

Second, our design work is an ongoing collaboration with many technically-trained people. For instance, many Moog products, including our recently-introduced Minimoog Voyager, have benefited from our collaboration with Rudi Linhard, a German colleague of mine. And of course, the Piano Bar, our latest product, is an ongoing collaboration between Don Buchla and us. Don has been a fellow designer for forty of the past fifty years."

In keeping with the tradition of excellence, the first new editions of 2005 from Moog Music Inc. will inspire and amaze. The Minimoog Voyager is now available in a new 19" Rack Mount Edition. With many features, including the backlit front panel and presets from the Voyager, this Rack Mount is "designed for anyone who is looking for an exceptional value in a state-of-the-art analog synthesizer." - Bob Moog

Moog Music Inc. has also announced a new edition to the Voyager family, the Minimoog Electric Blue. The Electric Blue incorporates virtually all of the functions of the original Minimoog Synthesizer with sound and beauty all its own. It is housed in an ash cabinet with a fractal blue finish and the electric blue backlit front panel.
Here at the beginning of the 21st century Moog Music is still producing the quality tools to create music that could not otherwise exist without them, making instruments so unique that they represent a genre of their own: Moog Music. Perhaps back in 1954, Bob Moog and his father were only trying to make something cool, to create a sound that as of yet was only in the realm of imagination, never dreaming how far their invention would take the Moog name. Whatever the original purpose, there is no doubt that Bob Moog has made his mark, and that modern music has been forever changed for the better.

Thank you Bob Moog.

Re:The server seems getting slower, so... (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374234)

What would the world of modern music be like without the inventions of Bob Moog? One answer would be: very boring.

What? Does that mean that modern music depends on technology to be interesting, not on the creativity of the composer?

Hmm...that would explain a lot.

Re:The server seems getting slower, so... (1)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374363)

although I like new music (especially electronic), still, there isn't anything even close to the combination of mozart + piano.

Tribute (3, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373937)

Someone should posted a MIDI version of Taps.

Re:Tribute (1)

petsounds (593538) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374128)

Moogs never used MIDI until recent revisions, you insensitive clod. They were pure analog devices.

Re:Tribute (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374323)

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 (2, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374370)

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 (4, Insightful)

dstone (191334) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374142)

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 (1)

Zoop (59907) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374228)

No, it should be a series of CV gate voltages and timings.

Check out the Moog Cookbook (1)

schmidt4brains (890044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374336)

The Moog Cookbook is a cool duo from LA that does cover versions of 80s/90s/00s tunes using (primarily) Moog instruments. Available on iTunes, they have some great covers of Lenny Kravitz, Green Day, Nirvana, Soundgarden, an others.

Documentary about Moog (4, Informative)

Jason Scott (18815) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373938)

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.

So very sad (1)

Trizzledog (909406) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373942)

Synth dad. :(

My Respects before i bring a lightheart here (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13373945)

...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.

It's pronounced. . . (-1, Redundant)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373948)

Moog:
mOgh (hard "o" and "guh" sounds compressed into one syllable).
 
Just fyi. . .

Moog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13373950)

Hehe, Moog, that's a sweet name!

Since the site's dead, here's some cool info about him: www.obsolete.com/120_years/machines/moog [obsolete.com]

Re:Moog (2, Informative)

robslimo (587196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374116)

Speaking of obsolete analog in a digital world, these guys [paia.com] still make DIY analog synth kits (and other stuff). They've been around since the late 60s, early 70s.

Minimoog was released in 1970! (4, Informative)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373965)

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.

A sad day in music history (5, Funny)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#13373978)

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."

R.I.P. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13373985)

Thank you, Bob, for all the joy you have given to so many musicians through your electronic instruments. Rest in peace.

Listening Suggestion (5, Informative)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Listening Suggestion (4, Interesting)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374086)

Actually Wendy was going by the name Walter Carlos back then, at least that's how she's listed on my copy of the album, which is worn and scratchy from repeated playing. It's a groundbreaking piece of work, somewhat mindblowing at the time. Must dig it out again and find a turntable.

Re:Listening Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374147)

At the time of the recording, wouldn't that have been Walter Carlos?

Bury him in a 19" wide, rackmountable casket... (4, Funny)

dstone (191334) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374003)

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 (2, Informative)

magicchex (898936) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374015)

Wikipedia article on Robert Moog [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Wikipedia Article (3, Funny)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374175)

Google search for Robert Moog [google.com]

Cyberpunk Fuction (4, Funny)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374034)

"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..."

Re:Cyberpunk Fuction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374057)

For the uninitiated, see this: http://www.sonic-boom.com/review/cyberpunk.fiction -1.html [sonic-boom.com]

Refer to track 8 and substitute "Chemlab" for "Bob"

Re:Cyberpunk Fuction huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374109)

did you mean "fiction"?

Re:Cyberpunk Fuction (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#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!"

An archetect of many eras of music (1, Insightful)

DoddyUK (884783) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374040)

It's a shame to see he's gone. His work lead to generations of synthesizers, dominating the music scene of the 80s. Plus you just gotta love that little riff from The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" :)

Re:An archetect of many eras of music (2, Informative)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374302)

That riff is not thanks to Mr. Moog but rather to Paul Tanner [theremin.info] who built the electro-theremin, which was of course based on the traditional hands-waving-in-space theremin.

FreshAir interview (5, Informative)

kondrag (3980) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374055)

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]

Re:FreshAir interview (2, Informative)

solarium_rider (677164) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374349)

There is also an article [npr.org] on him today on Day to Day and an obituary [npr.org] on All Things Considered. There are about a half dozen or so [npr.org] articles on him on NPR actually for those interested.

Einstein? (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374064)

"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.

Re:Einstein? (0, Troll)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374232)

Without his genius, we might never have experienced music as we know it today

True, but it may have prevented A Flock of Seagulls and the Thompson Twins.

damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374079)

I`m gonna listen Rick Wakeman all day

Fuck you Moog (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374092)

Thanks for spawning the utter shyte that is electronica. Asshole.

Re:Fuck you Moog (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374226)

Well, the AC got modded as troll, probably because of his wording. But I'll rephrase his point of view and present the opposite as well:

Pro-electronic music: synthesizer and samplers are instruments, just like a harpsichord or a bassoon. Instruments are just tools that channel the creativity of composers and performers. Therefore you still have to be a good composer or performer to make good music with electronics.

Against electronic music: synthesizer and samplers sounds very good with little to no effort or talent. Therefore, a whole generation of people without talent, or the ability or patience to learn to play an instrument through years or practice, started to spew out what they think is music, but really isn't much more than a cold, soulless collection of sounds at best.

My opinion is: yes, both.

Re:Fuck you Moog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374369)

Rush playes music live which requires synthesizers, since there are only 3 of them sometimes Geddy Lee has to play bass and play synthesizers at the same time using the Moog Taurus bass pedals. Even though it's just triggerd sounds the coordination needed takes talent to pull off.

Polar Prize winner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374096)

Robert Moog playing in an abandoned nuclear reactor hall at KTH after being awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2001. movie+pictures [r1.kth.se]

Moog's Hometown Newspaper Story (1)

sjvn (11568) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374097)

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

Getting prurient (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374190)

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

Oh, come on.

Were you even born when the events you allude to happened?

Everybody with any familiarity with electronic music knows that Switched-On Bach had a different name on it. So did the first couple of others, including my favorite The Well-Tempered Synthesizer.

Nobody over the emotional age of five gives a shit.

a true pioneer (1)

hotsxx2004 (908204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374098)

its sad how another one bites the dust. May he rest in peace

emulators? (1)

notnAP (846325) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374106)

...the "Minimoog" is still highly praised, and often emulated, to this day."

Only the ancient synth geeks among us will have understood this emu pun/reference.


See here [emulatorarchive.com] for emu info.

The kingdom falls (1)

noiseusse (868442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374118)

Buchla Lives! But seriously, that guy deserves way more credit for advancing analog synthesis than Moog.

Mini-Moog inspired my career (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374121)

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.

FS: MiniMoog #4500 (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374124)

I have the 4500th MiniMoog ever made. I bought it to play my guitar thru its famous phat filters, but I never really cared for the effect when I finally got it. It's in perfect working condition (stable, all keys work, all knobs and everything intact), and it's A- cosmetically (it was stacked under another MiniMoog (#7500) for several years in a rack. Who wants to buy it? Bidding starts at $2200 (USD, plus shipping).

Sigh.... (5, Insightful)

aliensporebomb (1433) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374127)

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.

Quick and easy Theramin (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374132)

Any ham radio types out there with a 'grid dip meter' can easily play the therimin: just tune your ham rig to a frequency that the dipper is on, and wave your hand near the coil. I was doing it last night and it's strangly addictive. There's no volume control like on a real one tho.

I have an excerpt from his funeral... (4, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374137)

beeep boop booooooop beeep boop booooooooop beeep boop booooop, beeep boop boooooop, beeep boop booooop...

RIP Moog (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374139)

ah.. He'll be missed. I built a digital theremin in 7th grade for a science fair. One of the most awe inspiring instruments I'vehttp://hpweb100.interact.nonreg/iiAdmin [hpweb100.interact.nonreg] ever seen.

Had a MicroMoog (1)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374204)

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 his new synthesizer.

While the micro is now long gone (experimented on to death by my brother and I), synthesizers still hold a special place, and I own a Yamaha DX7 to this day, which is still awesome.

Rob Moog will be missed by this programmer dearly.

RIP (2, Interesting)

RiotNrrd (35077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374208)

/me queues up some Rush out of respect.

"Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone..."

a powerful instrument in the right hands... (1)

xenomouse (904937) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374245)

To get an idea of how powerful and diverse a Moog synthesizer can be, check out Joy Electic [joyelectric.com] . Ronnie Martin is by no means everyone's cup of tea. His music brings to my imagination an atari on crack, or a manic Trent Reznor on a sugar rush.

At the least, check out images of Ronnie's Lab [joyelectric.com] .

In honor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374269)

In honor of one of the great electronic music pioneers i'll go out an buy a "mooger fooger" first this tommorrow.

( dispite the fact that I still dont have a clue about what a "mooger fooger" does. But the name is fucking awesome! )

Retep Vosnul

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374282)

Warf Son-of-Moog, plans to honor his father by incorporating the Bat'leth into a new music synthesizor design to "imporve its killing efficiency ten-fold." His released statement concluded,
"many people remember my father for his defense of James Kirk. It was little known that he jammed with Jerry every time the Dead came to town. It was far out, man."
Truly a Klingon icon.

Posted anon for obvious reasons. Disclaimer: I'm an electronica fan, and of Goa-Psy trance especially, so this kinda stinks as my music enjoyment owes a lot to what this guy did.

Loss (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374300)

I was fortunate to meet Bob at the Theremin festival, in of all places Erie PA, when I was working on my senior thesis, a visual guide to playing the theremin.

I traded emails with him for a while and he reviewed my work which was a visual communications prpblem more than anything. He was extremely nice and down to earth. I even asked if he would be interested in publishing it and I think he might have even considered it for a minute or two, though nothing ever came of it.

I was amazed how approachable and interested he was in talking to people about his work even 30 years or more! He seemed quite introverted and shy, and a bit put off by the psychos who are typically obssessed with analog synths,

He gave a lecture on the history of electronic music, followed by a classically trained Thermenists performance.

I hope Big Briar will continue without him they make some amazing stuff...

Roland TB303 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13374314)

Not a lot of people know this, but this classic dance machine from '83 actually uses Moog's transistor filter stack.

Synthesizing the Moog (2, Informative)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374318)

Arturia [arturia.com] , for those of you with a few hundred bucks to spend, has a software model of the both the Minimoog and the wall sized Moog Modular. It's one of the best ways (that i've found) to get warm, analog synth goodness out of my machine. Bob Moog will surely be missed - and his contributions to the electronic world will live on, with or without the original, gargantuan equipment.

Synth genius, but not the first (2, Informative)

bitrex (859228) | more than 9 years ago | (#13374319)

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 are schematics available for similar tube synth circuits available at Metasonix [metasonix.com] , which also has tube synth modules for sale.

Switched On -- Honorably... (5, Interesting)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 9 years ago | (#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)...

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