Moog Music

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Moog Music Inc.
Type Corporation
Founded 1953
Headquarters Asheville, North Carolina
Key people Robert Moog, Founder, Mike Adams, President
Products Musical instruments, Guitars, Signal Processing
Website www.moogmusic.com

Moog Music is an American company based in Asheville, North Carolina which manufactures electronic musical instruments. The current Moog Music is the second company to trade under that name.

R.A. Moog Co. and the original Moog Music[edit]

Based in Trumansburg, New York, Robert Moog's original company was founded as R.A. Moog Co. in 1953, manufacturing theremin kits and, later, modular synthesizer systems. This company would eventually become Moog Music in 1972, and through Bob Moog's collaboration with people like Herbert Deutsch, Moog Music produced some of the most popular synthesizers of all time.

In November 1971, the company moved to Williamsville, New York. An old factory at the north end of Academy Street was purchased. The company was renamed Moog Musonics, then Moog Music. In 1976 the company moved to much better facility on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga.[1]

After becoming Moog Music, the company went through various changes of ownership, eventually being bought out by musical instrument manufacturer Norlin (who also owned the Gibson guitar company at the time). Norlin produced a number of synthesizers under the Moog name in the late 1970s, but they were less successful than Robert Moog's own designs.

Poor management and marketing led to Dr. Moog's departure from his own company in 1977. Moog Music was forced into bankruptcy in 1986. The company liquidated and officially ceased operation in 1993.

Big Briar[edit]

Robert Moog re-entered the music industry after leaving Moog Music in 1977, starting Big Briar to produce theremins under the name Etherwave. Big Briar expanded its range to produce a variety of analog-electronic musical instruments, mainly effects pedals called moogerfoogers.

In 1999, Big Briar partnered with Bomb Factory to co-develop software modeled plugins for Pro Tools TDM based on the moogerfooger effect pedal lines.[2] Robert Moog worked closely with Bomb Factory to ensure the product would remain true to the classic Moog sound.

New Moog Music[edit]

Moog Music building in Asheville, NC

In 2002, after a legal battle with Don Martin who had previously assumed the rights to the name Moog Music, Robert Moog reacquired rights to the Moog Music trademark in the U.S., and immediately changed production of Big Briar products to Moog.[3] Another company, Moog CE, was selling modules for the original 1970s systems, and agreed to change their name to allow Moog to re-enter the market. It was also in 2002 that Moog Music hired Michael Adams as Vice President in charge of business operations.[4][5]

After the company's name change, Moog released the Piano-Bar, a Don Buchla -designed device which converted the physical movement of the keys on an acoustic piano into MIDI information.[6]

That year, Moog Music began production of a modern version of the classic Minimoog synthesizer, the Minimoog Voyager Performer Edition, based on the same electric principles as the original, but adding modern appointments such as MIDI and a three-axis touch control surface. The Voyager name was selected through a contest where keyboardists could submit their own ideas of potential names for the new Minimoog. But because Alex Winter of Wales had acquired the UK trademark rights to "Moog" and "Minimoog" in 1996 and had been producing Moog branded instruments since then, early UK Minimoog Voyager models were instead branded as "Voyager by Bob Moog.". It wasn't until later that Bob Moog regained the trademark rights to "Moog" and "Minimoog" in the UK.[7]

2004 marked Moog Music's 50th anniversary year, and Moog Music released a Voyager Anniversary Edition, the Moogerfooger MF-105 MuRF Multiple Resonance Filter effect pedal, and the Etherwave Pro Theremin. In 2006 Moog Music introduced a new 37 note, 2 oscillator analog synthesizer, the Little Phatty. It would be the final Moog synthesizer to be designed by Moog himself. Upon its release, it was considered to be the true heir to the Minimoog legacy. The instrument also broke new ground, as it was the first Moog synthesizer to feature USB connectivity, as well as the first of the new Moog products to offer the option to daisy-chain other Little Phattys to create a polyphonic instrument.

Robert Moog died in August 2005 due to complications arising from brain cancer. Michael Adams continued managing the company as its President.

Hungarian band The Moog requested permission from Moog Music to use the name. This was granted on the condition that the band precede the name with "The".[8]

2008 marked the release of Moog Music's first entry into the electric guitar market, the Moog Guitar, an electric guitar with the unique ability of being able to magnetically sustain or mute its strings. Developed by inventor Paul Vo, the technology was designed into guitar bodies provided by the Zion Guitar Company to Moog specifications and the instrument was manufactured by Moog. The first guitars released were "Paul Vo Collector Editions." [9] Standard versions and MIDI guitar synthesizer versions were later introduced.

2011 saw the introduction of the Slim Phatty, a module version of the Little Phatty.

In 2013, Moog released the Sub Phatty, a 25-key monophonic synthesizer which featured a more aggressive analog sound than the Little Phatty. Many who reviewed the instrument likened the Sub Phatty to the original Minimoog in spirit, if not in sound. It would be joined the following year by the Sub 37. a 37-key paraphonic version of the Sub Phatty.[10] On September 9, 2013, Moog announced that it would discontinue the Little Phatty, but the Slim Phatty module would remain in production.[11]

Legacy[edit]

In 2005, the Bob Moog Foundation was formed by one of Moog's daughters and is not affiliated with Moog Music in any way. The mission of the foundation is "to educate and inspire children and adults through the power and possibilities of electronic music and through the intersection of music, science and innovation,' and plans to carry out that mission with construction of the "Moogseum," a Student Outreach Project initiative, and the Bob Moog Archive Initiative.

Timeline of noteworthy products[edit]

Main article: Moog synthesizer

See also[edit]

Related instruments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moog Archives". Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  2. ^ http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_plugins_aes_everything Mix Magazine , Plug-Ins At AES: Everything Old Is New Again , Dec 1999
  3. ^ Bob Moog
  4. ^ http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/memories-of-moog/nov-05/14880 "Memories of Moog" , Mark Vail , Keyboard Magazine , 2005
  5. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/bob-moog-original-synth-600460.html Bob Moog: Original Synth , The Independent , March 2003
  6. ^ http://www.moogmusic.com/history History of Moog Music
  7. ^ http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun03/articles/moogvoyager.asp "Voyager by Bob Moog" , Sound On Sound , June 2003
  8. ^ Ladies and Gentlemen, The Moog Metro. Retrieved on June 24, 2007.
  9. ^ http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/paul-vo-collectors/nov-08/89527 Paul Vo Collector's Edition Moog Guitar Prototype , Guitar Player , November 2008
  10. ^ http://www.moogmusic.com/products/phattys/sub-37
  11. ^ http://www.moogmusic.com/news/moog-announces-discontinuation-little-phatty-analog-synthesizer

External links[edit]