Minimoog Voyager

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Minimoog Voyager
MinimoogVoyager.jpg
Manufactured by Moog Music
Dates 2002 – present
Price US$2995 – US$4995
Technical specifications
Polyphony Monophonic
Timbrality Monotimbral
Oscillator 3 VCOs, white/pink noise
LFO independent LFO
Synthesis type Analog Subtractive
Filter dual lowpass or highpass/lowpass
with cutoff, resonance, spacing
ADSR envelope generator,
keyboard tracking
Attenuator ADSR envelope generator
Aftertouch yes
Velocity sensitive yes
Memory 128 presets
expandable to 896
Effects 2 modulation busses
Input/output
Keyboard 44-note with velocity
and aftertouch sensitivity
Left-hand control pitch bend and mod wheels
External control MIDI, 14 CV/Gate inputs

The Minimoog Voyager or Voyager is a monophonic analog synthesizer, designed by Robert Moog and released in 2002 by Moog Music. The Voyager was modeled after the classic Minimoog synthesizer that was popular in the 1970s, and is meant to be a successor to that instrument.

Design[edit]

Like the original Minimoog, the Voyager has six sound sources. Five of these (three voltage-controlled oscillators with switchable waveforms, a noise generator, and an external line input) pass to a mixer with independent level controls. The mixed output of the sources is then passed through the voltage-controlled filter and a voltage-controlled amplifier, each of which has its own ADSR (Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release) envelope generator. The voltage-controlled filter can itself be made to oscillate, thus comprising the Voyager's sixth sound source.

In addition to similar features of the original Minimoog, the Voyager was designed to have a memory bank capable of storing 128 presets, a touch pad modulation control, dedicated Low-frequency oscillator (LFO), two modulation busses (one controllable via the modulation wheel and the other with a foot pedal), two ADSR envelopes for filter and amplifier control, a pressure-sensitive keyboard, 14 voltage-control inputs, and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) input/output.

Unlike the original Minimoog, the Voyager's modulation busses can be set to affect almost any parameter of the sound, not just the filters. Although the synthesizer features MIDI control and advanced patch storage, all audio paths in the Voyager are analog with the sound originating from any of three oscillators designed for high tuning stability, as the original Minimoog oscillators tended to slightly shift out of tune while playing.

With the Voyager, certain parameters that were fixed on the original Minimoog can be programmed to suit the player's preference. This includes selection between low-note, high-note or last-note priority. Also, the envelope generators can be set to re-trigger with each pressed note or they can be set not to re-trigger until all notes are lifted and the next note is played.

History[edit]

Minimoog Voyager (2002)

In November 2001, Moog Music (then Big Briar) announced that they planned to release an updated version of the Minimoog. The new synthesizer promised to have modern features, yet continue to be authentic to the original sound quality. The company offered a new synthesizer to the customer who could come up with a name for the project. Early in 2002, they announced that the synthesizer would be named the "Minimoog Voyager".

VX-351 CV Expander and CP-251 Control Processor

Late in the summer of 2002, Moog Music began shipping the new Voyagers. Occasionally a new system software release is made available, which can be downloaded from Moog Music's website and sent to the Voyager via MIDI. Recent software versions allow complex internal patching of control voltages, a very powerful and convenient feature for the user. Also available is the VX-351 Voyager Expander, an external box that is wired to the Voyager featuring 25 control-voltage outputs for physical CV patching.[1]

Recent versions of the Voyager software expand the original 128-patch memory to 896 patches by implementing seven selectable banks, A to G, with 128 patches each. The current model (2007) has most of the patches pre-programmed in groups corresponding to earlier software releases.

Models[edit]

The first 600 units could be preordered at the price of US$3495 and featured Bob Moog's personal autograph. The standard edition continues to sell for US$2995. Apart from the signature and price, the models are identical. Wood finish on the models is offered in walnut, cherry or maple.

Moog Voyager Rack Mount Edition (2005, left half)
Minimoog Voyager Select Series (2011)

For 2004, Moog Music released a limited 50th Anniversary Edition Voyager (AE). The wood cabinet was painted black and the control panel was backlit using electroluminescent technology. 2005 marked the end of production of these units, however Moog Music continues to sell a backlit model called the Electric Blue that features an iridescent blue cabinet finish. Both of these models have the same sound features of the non-backlit models but sell for US$3295. They now offer a customizable version of the Electric Blue[citation needed] named the Select Series, in which the customer can choose between mahogany, electric blue, traditional ash, white wash, maple, black, cherry, and walnut cabinets with red, blue, white, orange, green, or purple backlighting. Their retail price is the same as that of the Electric Blue model.[2]

Minimoog Voyager Old School (2008)

In 2005, Moog Music released the Voyager Rack Mount Edition (RME), a synthesizer based on the Voyager. The RME was designed to occupy 5 spaces in a 19-inch rack. The model has all of the features of other Voyagers but does not include a touch panel control and is sold without a keyboard. The RME is designed to be controlled via MIDI. Up to 16 RME Voyagers can be combined to achieve polyphony.

In April, 2008, Moog Music released the Minimoog Voyager Old School (Voyager OS). The Voyager OS has enhanced modulation busses, which are just modulation busses with more sources on the panel to compensate for the lack of software and an operating system. The Voyager OS also does not have a touch pad or MIDI inputs and outputs. Unlike other Voyagers, it features a keyboard pitch CV out and keyboard gate CV out, without the aid of the VX-351. The Voyager OS's pitch bender is set to +/- 7 semitones, and can be modified by an internal jumper. The OS is sold with only one wood panelling option, "traditional ash". However, a few limited edition models were housed in white wash cabinets. As of January 15, 2009, the Voyager Old School has been discontinued.[3]

Minimoog Voyager XL (2010)

In late 2010, for the 40th anniversary of the Minimoog Model D, Moog Music released the Minimoog Voyager XL model. It is an expanded Voyager that includes, in addition to the original Voyager features, a larger 61-note keyboard, a ribbon controller, an additional LFO/modulation bus, and most notably, an analog patch bay on the far left of the instrument—providing a similar modular functionality to the VX-series products.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Voyager by Bob Moog – Analogue Performance Monosynth". Sound On Sound (June 2003). 
  2. ^ "Voyager by Bob Moog – Version 2 OS Updates • Anniversary Edition • VX351 • CP251". Sound On Sound (November 2004). 
  3. ^ "Moog Voyager Old School". Sound On Sound (December 2008). 
  4. ^ "Minimoog Voyager XL announced – Moog give you a semi". Sound On Sound. 2010-09-28. 

External links[edit]