50 Years Of The Moog Modular Synthesizer

Moog Music today released this mini-documentary to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moog Modular Synthesizer.

Fifty years ago, on October 12, 1964, Dr. Robert Moog introduced, at the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES) New York convention, an instrument that would revolutionize the world of music and instrument design.


The first Moog modular, above, is smaller than the Moog modular rigs made famous in the late sixties. But, within a few years, Moog had created a wide variety of modules and the era of the modular monster synth was born.

No modular is more famous than Keith Emerson’s imposing system, which is the focus of most of this mini-doc. Earlier this year, Moog announced a limited edition ‘reissue’ of the instrument, the Emerson Moog Modular System.

The video features Moog engineer Gene Stopp, musician/historian Brian Kehew and Bob Moog himself, discussing the origin of the Moog modular and Emerson’s system, and also the process that went into creating a modern ‘reissue’ of the iconic modular synthesizer. And Keith Emerson shares his thoughts: “when you crank it up…..it can hurt!”

According to Moog, the mini-documentary celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Mood modular and ‘explores Moog Music’s quest to resurrect the original methods, materials and designs used in the foundational modular synths’.

13 thoughts on “50 Years Of The Moog Modular Synthesizer

  1. I once had a girlfriend who owned a Moog IIIP, running into some very stout speakers. As total noobs at that time, the most we could do was wrestle it into a few standard shapes that were easily playable on the keyboard AS a keyboard. I had a MiniMoog, but of course, that IIIP beast took you far out in the woods and made you find your own way home. We fiddled with it for hours on end. Talk about weird dates! I AM a lucky man, as one of the relative few who have had the privilege of playing the real deal. Keith is right, it IS dangerous. One of her cats was laying on a desk and when I hit a big bass note, it was out the window like a streak. Good times!

  2. Every child should be issued a taser, $3000 in gold bullion, an omnibus of Warren Ellis’s PLANETARY and at least a Moog low-pass filter at birth, if not a SubPhatty.

  3. The idea that Moog is the be all and end all of synthesis is laughable. Well done Bob, but I wish your evangelicals would tone down the rhetoric.

      1. They are absurdly expensive,they don’t know what polyphony is.
        They lost a million on the moogfest and people where complaining about bad sound. Arrogance and decadence in huge amounts.
        Comical charity work also….gold plating a synth in times of recession.

        1. Moogfest was the best electronic music event I’ve ever been to, by a long shot. Absolutely worth the money.

          The sound was great at most of the shows. At one of the smaller shows, the Holly Herndon show, it was just too loud.

          But I got to see Keith Emerson, Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk, a bunch of cool Euro makers, Roger Linn, Tom Oberheim, Dave Smith, Giorgio Moroder, the list just goes on and on.

          Every single person that I know that went to Moogfest thought that it kicked ass and that Asheville was very cool, too.

  4. that bit where kieth emerson turns and looks to the camera and says ‘when you crank it up, in a stadium’ he has a crazed look on his face like we’ll never know cos only the gods get to play in stadiums. i don’t give a f**k though kieth, nothing relevant ever happens in a stadium, it’s just a place where idiots part with their money so that other idiots can get rich.

  5. Maybe it’s a litlle over the top this video. Nevertheless I own a SubPhatty and I can say it’s a very fine machine with endless possibilities. The sound is deep and real warm analog also the SubPhatty is not so expensive. The service of Moog is just oké and they answer you right away when you have a question. So interresting to read all the comments on this forum ????

  6. Moog customer support has NOT been great for me, ignoring emails or replying weeks later with no result.

    The gear is OK, back then, nothing sounded like a mini, today, many great synths have overtaken! The pricepoint of 330 dollars for a werkstatt, which is essentially cheap parts on a tiny lcb with a crappy enclosure is ridiculous!

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