Bark at the “Moog”

Robert Moog, The inventor of the Moog synthesizer

“My training as an engineer has enabled me to design the stuff, but the reason I do it is not to make music but for the opportunity to work with musicians” RM

 


Robert “Bob” Moog (May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005) was considered the father” of the synthesizer and a pioneer of electronic music.

 

Moog’s innovative electronic design is employed in numerous synthesizers including the Minimoog Model D, Minimoog Voyager, Little Phatty, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Moog Minitaur, and the Moogerfooger line of effects pedals.

 


A native of New York City, Moog attended the Bronx High School of Science in New York, graduating in 1952. Moog earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Queens College, New York in 1957, another in electrical engineering from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in engineering physics from Cornell University

The first Moog instruments were modular synthesizers. In 1971 Moog Music began production of the Minimoog Model D, which was among the first synthesizers that was widely available, portable, and relatively affordable.

 

“One always has to remember these days where the garbage pail is, because it’s so easy to make sounds, and to put sounds together into something that appears to be music, but it’s just as hard as it always was to make good music.” RM



One of Moog’s earliest musical customers was Wendy Carlos, whom he credits with providing feedback valuable to further development.

Through his involvement in electronic music, Moog developed close professional relationships with artists such as:

Don Buchla, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman,John Cage, Gershon Kingsley, Clara Rockmore, Jean Jacques Perrey, Pamelia Kurstin.

In a 2000 interview, Moog said, “I’m an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker and the musicians are my customers. They use my tools.”

 



List of some notable musicians who use Moog synthesizers:

 Don Airey, Charly Garcia, Dennis DeYoung, Ken Hensley, Jordan Rudess, John Medeski, Giorgio Moroder, Erik Norlander, Billy Preston, Claudio Simonetti, Larry Young, Chick Corea



Tony Banks – Genesis – Used a Polymoog mostly on “And then there were three” (1978)

The Beatles – on the album “Abbey Road”

Bee Gees – “Sweet Song of Summer” To Whom It May Concern (1972) One of the earliest implementations of a Moog in a popular music record (LP)

Black Label Society – Moog used by Zakk Wylde extensively on the 2005 “Mafia” Album.

Jim Crichton – Saga – Used a Multimoog like a bass player on most of the early albums from 1978

Christopher Franke – Tangerine Dream Known from the Virgin years records as a user of a massive custom modular system, and also a minimoog – Rubycon, Ricochet (1975)

Jan Hammer – Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Miami Vice – One of the very first user of the minimoog, known for his special bending style like a guitar.

Herbie Hancock – used a micromoog, minimoog and Polymoog who can be seen on the album “Sunlight” (1979)

“I was never worried that synthesizers would replace musicians. First of all, you have to be a musician in order to make music with a synthesizer.” RM

Los Jaivas – On the album Alturas De Macchu Picchu

John Paul Jones – With Led Zeppelin on the song “Friends”

Mark Kelly – Marillion – Used a minimoog, specially on early albums from 1983 with Fish

Jeff Lynne – Electric Light Orchestra – Used a minimoog on “Out of the Blue” (1977)

Ray Manzarek One of the earliest uses on an album, from the psychedelic rock album Strange Days by The Doors

Patrick Moraz – Yes, The Moody Blues – in 1979 he used for “Future Memories” live on TV a minimoog, a special custom double minimoog and a micromoog, a Polymoog can also be seen on stage.

Steve Morse – Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band, Deep Purple, Kansas – In the 70s and 80s Morse played a modified Fender Telecaster run through a homemade effects system using a full MiniMoog, both studio and live

Klaus Schulze – minimoogs, micromoog, polymoog, modular, Memorymoog.

Isao Tomita – Moog modular 55 and Custom modular Synthesizers and Polymoog

Kit Watkins – Used a minimoog with Camel in 1979 on “I can see your house from here”, also on solo album “Labyrinth” (1980)

Richard Wright – Pink Floyd – Used on “Wish You Were Here” (1975)

“To those of you who are wearing ties, I think my dad would appreciate it if you took them off.” RM

 

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