Minitaur is a compact analog bass synthesizer that features a classic “one knob per function” layout. It is the first instrument in the Taurus family that does not have foot pedals.
Here’s what Moog has to say about the Minitaur:
“The Minitaur has all the growl, snarl and body associated with the Taurus family of bass synthesizers. We’re really excited to be able to offer this in such a compact package that is both immediately playable as an extremely versatile analog synth and also integrates seamlessly into the world of MIDI and USB control environments,” says Cyril Lance, Chief Engineer of Moog Music.
The Taurus Bass Pedals enjoy a nearly 40-year history and have made a seismic impact in the music world since their introduction in the mid-Seventies. “The Taurus opened up so many possibilities for me…it also opened up a whole way of looking at what I do,” says Geddy Lee, of the multi-platinum band Rush.
In 2009, Moog Music released the Taurus 3 Bass Pedals, a modern reinterpretation of the classic Taurus Bass Pedals. The Taurus 3 is currently used by artists such as The Black Keys, Animal Collective, Jean Michel Jarre, Yes, Weezer, Rush, and The Dave Matthews Band.
Since the inception of Moog Music, Bob Moog tested his ideas, instruments and sounds on musicians as a key part of the product development process. In keeping with this tradition, Minitaur has been presented to a broad array of producers, artists and songwriters including Geddy Lee of Rush, techno legend Derrick May, Flying Lotus, Moby, Holy F*ck and renowned record producer Nick Raskulinecz as a part of the final product development process. The enthusiastic response from these artists marks the beginning of the next generation in the Taurus Bass Synthesizer line.
- Two oscillators with Sawtooth (Original Taurus) and Square wave-shapes for each VCO. Recreate sounds of the original Taurus with sawtooth waves, or create new sounds with square waves or a combination of both.
- 2 Mixer VCAs for VCO levels control of Oscillators 1 and 2.
- Moog Ladder Filter with adjustable resonance, designed to deliver ‘classic Taurus 1 and 3 bass and boom’.
- Two Minimoog style ADSR Envelope Generators for modulating VCF and VCA. The Decay and Release segments are controlled by the Decay knob, while the Release segment is enabled or disabled via Release On/Off switch.
- Midi-syncable LFO with Controls for Rate, VCO LFO Amount, and VCF LFO Amount
- DIN MIDI and MIDI over USB offer complete control of the Minitaur’s sound engine.
- Analog Control inputs for Pitch, Filter, Volume and Gate. Use an EP2 or CV to connect and control MInitaur with everything from Modulars to Moogerfoogers.
- External audio input for processing external audio through the Mixer and Filter section of Minitaur.
- Headphone output with 1/8″ connection.
Here’s a quick demo of Minitaur:
Front Panel Controls:
- VCO2 Frequency – Sets the frequency offset of VCO2 from VCO1 from -1 Octave to +1 Octave. Center is unison with VCO1.
- Oscillator 1 & 2 Saw/Square Waveform Selector – Selects a Sawtooth wave (LED OFF) or Square wave (LED ON) Signal for VCO1 and 2.
- VCO1 Level – Sets the level of VCO1
- VCO2 Level – Sets the level of VCO2
- VCF Cutoff – Sets the Cutoff Frequency of the 4-pole Moog Lowpass VCF from 20Hz to 20KHz
- VCF Resonance – This sets the gain for the amount of signal from the output of the VCF fed back to the input of the VCF. This creates a peak in Frequency response at the Cutoff Frequency that can be increased all the way to self-oscillation.
- VCF EG Amount – Bi-polar control sets the (+) or (-) Amount of Envelope Generator modulation of the VCF. Center is no Envelope Generator modulation.
- LFO Rate – Sets the frequency of the LFO. Range is from 0.01Hz to 100Hz
- LFO VCO Amount – Sets the Amount that the LFO modulates the VCO
- LFO VCF Amount – Sets the Amount that the LFO modulates VCF
- VCA EG Attack – Sets the attack Time of a Minimoog-Style ADSR Envelope Generator used to modulate the VCA. Time ranges from 1 msec to 30 seconds.
- VCA EG Decay/Release – Sets both the decay time to the sustain level and release time of a Minimoog-Style ADSR Envelope Generator used to modulate the VCA. Time ranges from 1 msec to 30 seconds. The Release segment of the EG is enabled by the Release On/Off switch.
- VCA EG Sustain – Sets the sustain level of a Minimoog-Style ADSR Envelope Generator used to modulate the VCA.
- VCF EG Attack – Sets the attack Time of a Minimoog-Style ADSR Envelope Generator used to modulate the VCF. Time ranges from 1 msec to 30 seconds.
- VCF EG Decay/Release – Sets both the decay Time to the sustain level and release time of a Minimoog-Style ADSR Envelope Generator used to modulate the VCF. Time ranges from 1 msec to 30 seconds. The Release segment of the EG is enabled by the Release On/Off switch.
- VCF EG Sustain – Sets the sustain level of a Minimoog-Style ADSR Envelope Generator used to modulate the VCF.
- Release On/Off Switch – Enables (LED On_ or Disables (LED Off) the Release segments of both Envelope Generators.
- Glide On/Off Switch – Enables/ Disables the Glide function
- Glide – Sets the rate of Glide when the note controlling the MINITAUR changes.
- Volume – The Master Volume of the MINITAUR’s synth Engine.
- Fine Tune – Adjusts the frequency of the VCOs +/- 1 semitone.
- MIDI Indicator LED – Indicates incoming MIDI activity
- LFO Rate Indicator LED – Indicates the rate of the LFO.
- Audio Out – 1/4″ Unbalanced jack.
- Headphones — Jack for stereo headphone output.
- Audio In – 1/4″ Unbalanced jack accepts line-level input.
Analog CV Inputs:
- Pitch CV – 1/4″ TRS Jack accepts 0 to +5V signal (internally processed for 1 V/Octave) via passive Expression Pedals or CVs.
- Filter CV – 1/4″ TRS Jack accepts 0 to +5Vsignal via passive Expression Pedals or CVs.
- Volume CV – 1/4″ TRS Jack accepts 0 to +5Vsignal via passive Expression Pedals or CVs.
- Gate – 1/4″ Jack accepts a 0 (Off)/ +5V(On) Gate signal to trigger the unit’s EGs.
- MIDI (DIN) – Standard DIN MIDI input for MIDI Control of the MINITAUR
- MIDI (USB) – Type B USB connector for connecting MINITAUR to host for USB MIDI.
The Minitaur will be officially introduced at the 2012 NAMM Show, being held at the Anaheim Convention Center, January 19-22, 2012. The Minitaur is expected to ship in Spring 2012 for $679.