If you’ve been around the world of music for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Moog, which has become synonymous with one of the most popular synthesizers of all time, the Minimoog Model D.

What stands out about it? Well, it depends on whom you ask, but I think its unique, rich, raw, cutting, rumbling tone has something to do with it. What do you think?

Whenever I’m looking for the perfect lead or bass synthesizer tone for my tracks, I often turn to a Moog.

So, what’s the deal with the 70th anniversary? Well, hang on tight, because you’re going to want to stick around to the end to learn about all the new, amazing stuff Moog Music has prepared for you.

Let’s start here…

70 Years of Moog Synthesizers

Founder and namesake Robert Moog established Moog Music Inc. in 1953, 70 years ago.

Robert Moog passed away on August 21, 2005, aged 71. He was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor earlier in April of the same year. But his legacy lives on.

Bob Moog was born on May 23 (1934), and today is also May 23! See the connection?

Moog is not the kind of company that can go without honoring its history. And so, today, they’ve announced:

We explore each of these developments below…

Minimoog Model D

Moog synthesizer

The Minimoog Model D was originally unleashed upon the world in 1970. The iconic Moog synthesizer changed musical history, paving the way for synthesizers that were soon to follow.

Previous models required users to connect modules using patch cables. Modular synthesis is very much back in vogue today, but the Model D was ground-breaking for its time, featuring pre-wired modules out of the box. This meant users could start playing the instrument without any setup.

Many of your favorite musicians gravitated towards the Minimoog Model D, including Parliament Funkadelic, Herbie Hancock, Jan Hammer, Gary Numan, Pink Floyd, and plenty of other recognizable names.

At a Glance:

  • The new Model D was based on the old Model D, capturing its essence, and feeling to a tee.
  • It comes with the same signal path and sound engine as the original, except with several popular modifications (or mods as we musicians like to say).
  • It also features the same thought-hole design and component placement.

Features:

  • 44 keys, from F0 to C4.
  • Synthesizer spring action keyboard.
  • User selectable note priority (low, high, last).
  • Three oscillators, noise generator, and external audio input.
  • Oscillator frequency range of 0.1 to 20 kHz (in six overlapping ranges).
  • Oscillatory stability of (short term) > 0.25%.
  • Oscillator waveforms – triangle, triangle-sawtooth (oscillator-1, oscillator-2), reverse sawtooth (oscillator-3), sawtooth, rectangle, wide pulse, and narrow pulse.

Mini Moog Factory

Mini Moog Factory

Welcome to the fun, colorful, and delightful world of the virtual Mini Moog Factory.

The website consists of eight primary sections: Archives, Gift Shop, Juke Box, Moog Practice Room, Face Synth, Build-A-Synth, Theatre, and Model D App.

We’ll be covering each of these sections below, but no doubt you’ll want to check out the site for yourself too.

Archives

If you want to learn more about the history of the Minimoog Model D, how it was created, and how people experienced the synth for the first time, you’ll certainly want to dig into the Archives. This section of the site effectively consists of four articles.

Gift Shop

The Gift Shop will take you to the official Moog website, where you can enter to win a Minimoog Model D Serial #1, and check out Moog merch, including the Model D knit hat, vintage logo tee, Model D tee, vinyl slipmats, stickers, minimug (brilliant), Model D pint glass, Model D hat, diner mug, and more.

Juke Box

The Minimoog Model D synthesizer inspired many classic songs. In this section of the Mini Moog Factory, you can check out songs like:

  • Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Stir It Up”
  • Parliament – “Flash Light”
  • Herbie Hancock – “Rockit”
  • Chaka Khan – “I Feel For You”
  • DEVO – “Whip It”
  • Michael Jackson – “Thriller”
  • Tubeway Army – “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”
  • Nine Inch Nails – “Head Like A Hole”
  • Ozzy Osbourne – “Mr. Crowley”
  • Rush – “Tom Sawyer”
  • Heart – “Magic Man”
  • Ultravox – “Vienna”
  • Kraftwerk – “Autobahn”
  • Pink Floyd – “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 1-5)”

This section of the website didn’t work for me, but the music is available as a Spotify playlist that isn’t too hard to find.

Moog Practice Room

Inside the Moog Practice Room, you can access Moog presets from an array of hits, record a tune, and even share it with your friends.

The virtual keyboard can be played with your computer keyboard, and I found this approach surprisingly intuitive. I discovered you can even layer several tracks, which could make this a very addictive pastime.

I ended up writing a very rudimentary riff, which you can find here.

Face Synth

Face Synth has been designed to be explored with Instagram. It’s nothing crazy. It will add a Moog synth effect to your face. You can share your crazy creations with friends on social.

Build-A-Synth

Ever wanted to build a Minimoog Model D? Well, you’re in luck, because inside Build-A-Synth, you’ll find a PDF document that walks you through the process of creating your own cardboard replica.

Theatre

Inside the Theatre, you can watch several videos, including:

  • A Brief History of the Minimoog Pt. 1
  • A Brief History of the Minimoog Pt. 2
  • Dr Bob Moog Demonstrates the Minimoog
  • Steve Porcaro – Synthesizer Basics Minimoog Bass Ounds
  • Thomas Dolby – The Ghost of Faffner Hall – The Jim Henson Company
  • Are Friends Electric? – Tubeway Army
  • Stir It Up – Bob Marley
  • Autobahn – Kraftwerk
  • Love is Alive – Gary Wright
  • Magic Man – Heart
  • Whip It – Devo
  • Sexy Boy – Air
  • Chase – Giorgio Moroder
  • Vienna – Ultravox
  • Minimoog Model D | The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble | Archimedes Screw

Model D App

The Minimoog Model D Synthesizer app costs $9.99 USD. The app is a software emulation of the original hardware synthesizer.

The Model D app works on iOS and Mac devices.

Features:

  • Over 160 presets with hundreds more available in the app store.
  • Up to four-note polyphony.
  • Share presets and recordings with friends.
  • Arpeggiator with note-hold and chord latch.
  • Stereo ping-pong delay.
  • Bender time modulation.
  • Real-time looping recorder with overdub and sharing.
  • Selectable envelope shapes and triggering.
  • MIDI CC mapping.
  • Preset backup to iCloud.
  • Play mode.
  • A fresh take on the classic feedback/overload path.

Bob Moog Birthday Raffle

The raffle was created in collaboration with the Bob Moog Foundation. You could win serial #1 of the latest edition of the Minimoog Model D by entering.

The raffle begins today at 10:00 AM EDT and closes on June 23, 2023, at 11:59 PM EDT.

My advice? If you’d like to win a Minimoog Model D, Get your tickets now!

Final Thoughts, Minimoog Model D

The Minimoog Model D is back, and it’s as cool as it ever was! The Mini Moog Factory website is a great place to learn about the history of the instrument and even have a little fun coming up with riffs in your spare time. And if you want to win a serial #1 Model D, you’d better act fast and enter the Bob Moog birthday raffle pronto!