The Minimoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog. Released in 1970 by R.A. Moog Inc. (Moog Music after 1972), and stopped production in 1981.

The Minimoog was designed in response to the use of synthesizers in rock and pop music. Large modular synthesizers were expensive, large, and delicate, and were not ideal for live performance; the Minimoog was designed to include the most important parts of a modular synthesizer in a compact package, without the need for patch cords. It later surpassed this original purpose, however, and became a distinctive and popular instrument in its own right. It remains in demand today, nearly four decades after its introduction, for its intuitive design and powerful bass and lead sounds.

Design

At its most basic, the Minimoog control panel can be broken up into 3 sections:

The signal generators (the 3 VCO’s or Voltage-controlled oscillator and Pink or White Noise)
The filter (the VCF or voltage-controlled filter)
The amplifier (the VCA or voltage-controlled amplifier)

The Minimoog is monophonic (only one note can be played at a time) and its three-oscillator design gave it its famous fat sound. Four prototypes were made over the years before a final design was decided upon to release as a commercial product. The Minimoog Model D adapted some of the circuitry (such as the filter section) from earlier modular instruments, but designed other circuitry (such as the oscillators and contour generators) from scratch. To produce a sound, the musician would first choose a sound shape to be generated from the VCO(s) and/or the type of Noise (White or Pink). The VCO provides a choice of several switchable waveforms:

triangle wave
Reverse sawtooth/ramp wave
Sawtooth/Triangle(only in oscillators 1 and 2/ sawtooth wave in oscillator three)
square wave
two different width pulse waves

The signals are routed through the Mixer to the VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) where harmonic content can be modified and resonance added.
The filtered signal is then routed to the Voltage Controlled Amplifer (VCA), where its contour is shaped by a dedicated ADS (Attack, Decay/Release, Sustain) envelope generator. Part of the appeal of this instrument over the early modular Moogs was the fact that the Minimoog required no patch cables; its signal and control voltage path is hard-wired, or “normalled”. While this imposed the signal flow limitation outlined above (VCO -> VCF -> VCA), there are ways to tweak the sound. For example, in reality, the Minimoog has six sound sources. Five of these sound sources pass to a mixer with independent level controls:
Three voltage-controlled oscillators (see above)

A noise generator
An external line input

And the VCF can itself be made to oscillate, thus comprising the Minimoog’s sixth sound source.

The voltage-controlled filter (VCF) and voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA) each have their own ADSD envelope generator (or Attack-Decay-Sustain-Decay). Musicians who are familiar with more modern synthesizers might expect the last letter to be R for “Release” (as in ADSR). However, on the Minimoog, the envelopes are ADSD as the Decay setting also sets the time for what’s regularly known as Release. In other words, there are 3 knobs to control 4 sections of the sound (most modern synths have 4 knobs, one for each section) — a “shortcoming” that doesn’t seem to diminish the Minimoog’s popularity in any way. There is also a switch above the pitch and modulation wheels to engage the final decay stage as well as a switch for engaging the glide circuit.

The VCF is of transistor ladder type, a famous, even envied design patented by Moog (US 3,475,623).. Rumors that Moog had to go to court over the patent seem to be nothing more; ‘differences’ with ARP at one point were settled amicably.

The output of the third oscillator and/or the noise generator can also be routed to the control voltage inputs of the filter and/or oscillators. The amount of pitch or filter modulation thus realized is controlled by the modulation wheel, which is the right one of the two plastic disks located to the left of the keyboard. In this way the third oscillator is frequently used as a low-frequency oscillator to control pitch (oscillator modulation) and/or harmonic content (filter cutoff frequency modulation).

The Minimoog can be controlled using its built-in, 44-note keyboard, which is equipped with modulation and pitch-bend wheels or by feeding in an external one-volt-per-octave pitch-control voltage and triggering the envelope generators with an inverted Switch trigger (S-Trigger in Moog terminology). External pitch control does not pass through the glide circuit, nor is presented to the VCF tracking switches and thus, the external inputs were not designed for external keyboard control. The lowest note played on the keyboard determines the pitch, a condition that is referred to as low-note priority. The envelope generators do not retrigger unless all notes are lifted before the next note is played, an important characteristic which allows phrasing. The modulation and pitch-bending wheels were an innovation that many instrumentalists found to be extremely playable. The pitch-bend wheel is on the left of the modulation wheel. It is normally kept in the centered position. It is not spring-loaded; the player must return it to the centered position to play in tune. There is a delicate detent mechanism to help the player find the center position tactually. In sharp contrast to later synthesizers that also have pitch-bend wheels, there is no deadband near the center of the wheel’s travel; the wheel produces minute changes in pitch no matter how slightly it is moved in either direction. The wheel can therefore be used to introduce slight vibrato or nuance, as well as accurate pitch changes. However, Moog later recommended adding a deadband mod and published this mod in their factory service notes. The detent mechanism can be somewhat adjusted in its strength.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Share →

31 Responses to 1970 Minimoog

  1. go g says:

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful information specially the closing phase 🙂 I deal with such information much.
    I used to be seeking this particular info for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  2. to g says:

    Great post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I
    am inspired! Very useful information specifically
    the closing part 🙂 I handle such info much.
    I used to be looking for this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  3. here g says:

    Nice answers in return of this query with solid arguments and
    describing the whole thing about that.

  4. It’s in fact very difficult in this busy life to listen news on TV, therefore I just
    use world wide web for that purpose, and take the hottest news.

  5. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand a lot about this, such as
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few p.c.
    to force the message home a bit, however other than that, that is great blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  6. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  7. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did
    you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to
    design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    thanks a lot

  8. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a visit
    this website on regular basis to take updated from newest gossip.

  9. I have read so many articles or reviews on the topic of the blogger lovers however this paragraph is truly a good piece of writing, keep
    it up.

  10. Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is
    simply spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with
    forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  11. Hi there Dear, are you truly visiting this website regularly, if so after that you
    will absolutely obtain good know-how.

  12. Howdy, There’s no doubt that your site could possibly be having internet
    browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your site in Safari,
    it looks fine but when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, excellent site!

  13. Hi everyone, it’s my first go to see at this website, and article
    is truly fruitful for me, keep up posting these articles or reviews.

  14. Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  15. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that
    I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all
    I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope
    you write again very soon!

  16. I am truly glad to glance at this webpage posts which contains tons of helpful facts,
    thanks for providing such information.

  17. Hi, I check your blog on a regular basis. Your story-telling style is witty,
    keep doing what you’re doing! adreamoftrains website hosting

  18. Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a
    comparable matter, your web site came up,
    it appears to be like good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hello there, simply became aware of your blog via Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I’m going to be careful for brussels. I will be
    grateful when you proceed this in future. A lot of other folks
    will likely be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  19. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of
    hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?

  20. I seriously love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own site and
    would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called.

    Cheers!

  21. Fantastic blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get
    advice from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Many thanks!

  22. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website.
    I really hope to view the same high-grade content by you later on as
    well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired
    me to get my own website now 😉

  23. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you
    are using? I’m experiencing some small security issues with my
    latest blog and I would like to find something more safeguarded.

    Do you have any recommendations?

  24. I think the admin of this site is actually working
    hard in favor of his website, as here every material is quality based data.
    cheap flights 32hvAj4

  25. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my
    own website now 😉 cheap flights 2CSYEon

  26. I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also pay a
    visit this weblog on regular basis to obtain updated from hottest news update.
    cheap flights 31muvXS

  27. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between usability and
    visual appeal. I must say you have done a very good job with this.
    Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Internet explorer.
    Exceptional Blog!

  28. Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good spirit.

  29. black mass says:

    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  30. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this website needs
    far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for
    the advice!

  31. website host says:

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come
    back later. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.