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Minimoog At a Glance
User rating: 4.3/5 | Read reviews (57)
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|Brent Haeseker (Jetboy4000@aol.com) writes:|
The Mighty Minimoog - The Holy Grail of Synthesizers!
If you are a keyboard player, then you have not lived until you have played a Minimoog. With one hundred gallons of synth testosterone packed in it�s ten gallon hat, this little monster may be short on the octaves but it�s high on the octane.
I remember my first time playing a Minimoog. Everyone remembers their first time playing a Minimoog. It�s like the old saying: �Where were you when JFK was shot?Š. �Where were you when you first played a Minimoog?Š My first time was in the summer of 1991 while at school at Berklee College of Music. I was a student in the dorms peacefully doing my homework with my dime a dozen Korg M1 sitting faithfully beside me. Suddenly I heard the most amazing sounds literally screaming from down the hall. It was the roar of an analog beast. Although I had never before heard a Minimoog in real life I instinctively knew what I was hearing. Years of looking at pictures of it, reading articles on it and listening to records featuring it made me well aware of it. I quickly rose from my seat and raced down the hallway. I came across an open dorm room and peaked inside. There was my neighbor Kenny, running through scales and licks on his Minimoog. I watched him for at least ten minutes when,! finally annoyed by my standing over him, he asked if I wanted to play it. Play it? Hell yes! Pushing down the first key and feeling the power explode from within it was pure ecstacy. The Minimoog is a living breathing creature.
After years of searching, I finally found a used Minimoog which I purchased from a guy in Canada (Those synthsite classifieds really work!). I now own a Minimoog, and I�m all smiles. Thanks Paul. She�s happy in her new home. I�m surprised at how many sounds I can get out of this little bugger. When used with a good multi-effects processor you can really create some amazing sounds (in addition to the Mini�s already amazing sound). I have even created sounds from it that are very non-moogish in nature, including digital bellsy type sounds and an overdriven B-3 sound (believe it or not). And let�s not forget those killer filter sweeps that may serve little musical value, but sure the heck are fun to do.
According to synth legend, the Minimoog was the first commercially mass produced synthesizer. It was designed by Robert Moog (the founder of Moog, of course) who in the sixties built huge modular synthesizers. When the Minimoog was introduced in 1971 it was tiny compared to those huge modular synthscrapers. This would most likely explain it�s name.
The Minimoog was a success as it was produced well into the late å70s (mine is from 1978). That�s a market life of at least seven years! How many current synths can claim that? I�m not sure of when it was discontinued, possibly as late as the early 80�s when Moog went out of business.
The Minimoog is incased in a wooden frame. It has a hinged, swing up control panel that can be set to different height angles. It has a three and a half octave keyboard (44 keys), a pitch bend wheel, a mod wheel (leave that thing wide open for wild abandon), 3 beefy oscillators, glide (portamento), extensive modulation capabilties, and best of all, an external input for running any audio signal through it�s classic Moog filter.
So, can�t find a used Mini? Want a new one? Seriously? A new Minimoog? Check out Moog Music, Inc. They have a web site worth checking out. They have reissued the Minimoog in all it�s glory. I believe they quoted me a price of $1495. I had just pruchased my Minimoog (before learning about the new Minimoogs) for $1050. This is a little cheaper than most Mini�s I�ve seen advertised. Usually a used Mini goes for around $1100 to $1400 (from what I�ve seen). And more than likely, a used Mini is going to be a little beat up. So, for a few more bucks you can a new one. Still, that ain�t cheap. Make sure you really want one, and will have a use for a �monophonic, prehistoric, twelve years before MIDI, 3 and a half octave keyboard that doesn�t have any memory for storing those wonderful patches you createŠ synthesizer. As rewarding a synth to play as it is, the Minimoog is not for everyone. Buy one only if you got money to burn or get a genuine kick out of old synthesizers. It mi! ght not be best suited for many types of music, but please don�t pigeon-hole it as only a prog-rock or techno synth. I do neither types of music, and still find the Minimoog very valid.
Long live the Minimoog.
Jeffrey Coulter (firstname.lastname@example.org) : One of the most popular synths of all time. Still used today on thousands of recordings worldwide. Three oscillators, the third of which can doulbe as an LFO for modulation. The famous "MOOG-Filter" sound is still the most sought-after feature of any analogue synth made. The last 25 manufactured featured lighted dials and brass nameplates and can fetch inflated prices for collectors.
Afshin KArjoo The MINI is one of the first synthesizers that was compact (portable) and available to most musicians (compared to the Huge modulars). Seven years after the MINI was built and released, avantgarde musicians were mad for the the MINIMOOG. In 1968, Walter Carlos's Moog-powered "Switched-On Bach" became one of the bestselling classical albums of all time and Emerson, Lake and Palmer made the surreal sounds, a signature of the early 1970's. Cheaper, sleeker digital technology soon consigned the MINIMOOG to garage sales. The Synthesiser with its baffiling array of dials and oscillators were viewed as too cumbersome and too expensive. Bt as we all know there is a certain signature, and warmth to the MINIMOOG sound which has musicians today going ape over it. Dance and Techno musicans like the MINI especially for its capability to make "boomin' basses" and "in yer' face" leads and of course the strange noises!!!. The 3 oscillators can be routed and modulated with each other in a lot of unique configurations...hence its felxibility and synthesis capabilities. The open layout of the synth engine controllers (knobs and switches) makes it easy to experiment and to make sounds quickly. It takes some time to understand the "complete" synth engine. A bonus is that it does not require the steep learning curve as required for understanding more complex analog synths such as the Oberheim Matrix 6/1000. They have simple electronics and can be easily repaired if you have some knowledge or expereince repairing electronics.
Comments About the Sounds:
I gave it a good rating for Percussion/Drums because it can produce good procussive sounds, not because it can sound at all like a drum.
First rate analog sounds, the standard by which all others are judged!
Links for the Moog Minimoog
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