Exterior of Moog Music building in Asheville, NC
(as R.A. Moog Co.)|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Headquarters||Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.|
|Robert Moog, Founder, Mike Adams, President|
|Products||Musical instruments, Guitars, Signal processing|
R.A. Moog Co. and the original Moog Music
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.
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 Bob 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.
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 plug-ins for Pro Tools TDM based on the moogerfooger effect pedal lines. Robert Moog worked closely with Bomb Factory to ensure the product would remain true to the classic Moog sound.
New Moog Music
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. 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.
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.
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.
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."  Standard versions and MIDI guitar synthesizer versions were later introduced.
In January 2012, Moog announced the Minitaur, a two-oscillator, pedal-less bass synth designed to be the successor of the Taurus bass pedals.
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. On September 9, 2013, Moog announced that it would discontinue the Little Phatty.
In 2014, Moog announced the Sub 37 synthesizer, a 37-key paraphonic version of the Sub Phatty. Moog also released the Werkstatt-01 synthesizer kit, which, after some assembly, yields a one-oscillator, monophonic, patchable synthesizer. Werkstatt was originally debuted at the 2014 Moogfest in an Engineering VIP workshop, and is designed primarily to be an educational tool. Moog announced it would discontinue the Slim Phatty module on November 11, 2014.
2014 also saw the rebirth of the Moog Modular synthesizer, when, in honor of its 50th anniversary, Moog Music spent three years designing and building a faithful recreation of Keith Emerson's Moog Modular, dubbed the Emerson Moog Modular System. Moog engineers used original circuit designs and production methods to create as accurate a recreation as possible. Moog Music plans to build a very limited number of these synthesizer systems.
On June 10, 2015, Moog Music announced that its 62 employees owned 49 percent of the company.
In November 2015 Moog Music released the Mother 32, a semi-modular, monophonic, single oscillator synthesizer. This is Moog's entry in the Eurorack format, a low-cost framework for modular synthesizers, which has gained a lot of popularity in the past years. Mother 32 includes a step sequencer and is internally hard-wired, which makes it easy to use for novice users. However it features 32 patch connectors, which let the musician use the device similar to a modular system, with the ability to create new sounds and to connect other devices. While being shipped in a desktop enclosure it is also possible to detach the front panel and include it in a Eurorack system.
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
- 1953–present - Various theremin (products/kits)
- 1963–1980 - Various Moog modular synthesizer systems
- 1970–1981 - Minimoog
- 1972–1979 - Moog Sonic Six
- 1973–1979 - Moog Satellite
- 1975–1976 - Minitmoog
- 1975–1979 - Micromoog
- 1975–1980 - Polymoog
- 1976–1981 - Moog Taurus 1
- 1978–1981 - Multimoog
- 1979–1984 - Moog Prodigy
- 1980–1983 - Moog Liberation
- 1980–1983 - Moog Opus 3
- 1981–1983 - Moog Concertmate MG-1
- 1981–1983 - Moog Rogue
- 1981–1983 - Moog Taurus 2
- 1981–1985 - Moog Source
- 1982–1985 - Memorymoog
- 1998–present - Moogerfooger effect pedals
- 2002–2015 - Minimoog Voyager
- 2006–2013 - Moog Little Phatty
- 2008–present - Moog Guitar
- 2009–2012 - Moog Taurus 3
- 2010–present - Minimoog Voyager XL
- 2010–2014 - Moog Slim Phatty
- 2011–present - Animoog
- 2012–present - Moog Minitaur
- 2013–present - Moog Sub Phatty
- 2014–present - Moog Sub 37
- 2014–present - Moog Theremini
- 2014–present - Moog Werkstatt-01
- 2014–present - Emerson Moog Modular System
- 2015–present - Various Moog modular synthesizer system reissues
- 2015–present - Moog Mother-32
- 2016–present - Moog Model 15 Synthesizer App.
- "Moog Archives". Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_plugins_aes_everything Mix Magazine , Plug-Ins At AES: Everything Old Is New Again , Dec 1999
- Bob Moog
- "Memories of Moog" , Mark Vail , Keyboard Magazine , 2005
- http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/bob-moog-original-synth-600460.html Bob Moog: Original Synth , The Independent , March 2003
- http://www.moogmusic.com/history History of Moog Music
- "Voyager by Bob Moog" , Sound On Sound , June 2003
- Ladies and Gentlemen, The Moog Metro. Retrieved on June 24, 2007.
- Paul Vo Collector's Edition Moog Guitar Prototype , Guitar Player , November 2008
- "INTRODUCING MINITAUR - Moog Music Inc". moogmusic.com.
- "Moog Announces Discontinuation of Little Phatty Analog Synthesizer - Moog Music Inc". moogmusic.com.
- http://www.moogmusic.com/products/phattys/sub-37 Sub 37 product description Accessed Nov 28, 2014
- http://www.moogmusic.com/products/werkstatt/werkstatt-01-moogfest-2014-kit Moog Werkstatt-01 product description, Accessed Nov 28, 2014
- http://www.moogmusic.com/news/so-long-slim so long, slim - Moog Music - Nov. 11, 2014
- http://www.moogmusic.com/products/modulars/emerson-moog-modular-system EMMS Product Description, Accessed Nov 28, 2014
- Byrd, Caitlin (June 11, 2015). "Asheville's Moog Music now employee owned". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- "Introducing Mother-32". Moog Music. Retrieved 9 October 2015.