Moogfest 2018 Engineer Pass Will Feature New Sub-Harmonicon, ‘A Semi-Modular Harmonic Kaleidoscope’

Moogfest organizers have announced plans for this year’s Engineer Pass – a special ticket that offers VIP access to the festival and a two-day synth-building workshop with Moog Music Engineers.

Moogfest 2018 is scheduled for May 17-20 in Durham, NC.

This year’s workshop will feature the Sub-Harmonicon, a new electronic instrument that festival organizers say has three main inspirations:

  • the Trautonium, an electronic instrument, created by Friedrich Trautwein around 1929, that uses an expressive ribbon pitch controller;
  • the Rythmicon, a proto-drum machine, created around 1930 by Leon Theremin and Henry Cowell; and
  • Joseph Schillinger’s system of music theory.

The Moog Sub-Harmonicon is described as ‘a semi-modular harmonic kaleidoscope that divides into itself until everything that is up becomes down’.

Pricing and Availability

Moogfest Engineer passes are available for $1,500 (plus a $172.86 Eventbrite fee). Standard passes are $199 (plus a 33.30 Eventbrite fee).

22 thoughts on “Moogfest 2018 Engineer Pass Will Feature New Sub-Harmonicon, ‘A Semi-Modular Harmonic Kaleidoscope’

    1. The majority of talented musicians wont ever distinct flat vs phillips screwdriver. These DIY things are for a small group of people who enjoy creating synths. But 99% of listenable music is not produced by this group. That is cruel reality of this world. Everyone is good at a single thing.

      1. Sounds like you’re very confused!

        It’s called the ENGINEER track, not the MUSICIAN track.

        Nothing cruel or unusual about that. Lots of music DIYers go on to become synth makers, which is great for the rest of us.

    2. 1) This isn’t a vaporware teaser for a new product, it’s an announcement that tickets are available now, with pricing, dates and details.

      2) Moog doesn’t have a tiring history of jerking people around with early announcements and annoying the bejeezus out of people, like Behringer does. Remember the 6 months of teasers for the Behringer D? They should have spent that 6 months getting the build quality right.

  1. I suspect it will be an interesting device, but “a semi-modular harmonic kaleidoscope that divides into itself until everything that is up becomes down” is meaningless babble.

    1. Oh I don’t know. There’s enough details given. It produces a tone and its first 16 harmonics across a 4 octave range. But it has a control allowing harmonic inner transposition (HIT) where the harmonics are divided by 16 down into the core range. But the waveform is still separately transposable. The HIT control is a kind of timbral modification and its controllable by a CV signal.

      So is it this? Hm, maybe.

      Point is whether I’m right or wrong they actually gave a bunch of hints that are NOT babble but are specific technical details obfuscated for fun so we can speculate. And why not. I think this is good, AND the particular features they mention are just the sort of thing Bob would love and are right up his alley and interests. This is some good news both for the company, finally getting in vibe with the Bob think, and the public getting new products.

    1. Yes – the fee is stiff – almost as much as the regular Moogfest ticket.

      From my experience, Moogfest is an opportunity to have some fantastic experiences and see some fantastic performers – which is great. It’s well worth $200 for the four-day event.

      But Moog has never got their act together on running an event of this size and complexity, because they do it once a year, vs organizers who do multiple events/year. I can’t see going for any of the VIP options, because they don’t have their act together enough to treat anybody as a VIP.

      Also – I liked it a lot better in Asheville, just because it’s a cooler town. And North Carolina has become a political armpit, with the politicians using anti-glbt sentiments to basically gut anti-discrimination protection for everyone. Certifiable douche-bags are running a good state into the ground.

    2. Supply and demand my friend! Moogfest has AMAZING top world class performers and a lot of good talks as well. It’s worth the $173.

        1. Sorry, you are right. I thought it was a reference to the standard ticket cost. You’re right, a $173 fee to process the ticket is totally absurd. But … they sell out these Engineer VIP Tickets every year and they will this year. Maybe they should increase it to $3000 plus a $346 fee and see if they still sell out. Find what price the market will bear. Lots of people willing to pay almost anything for Moog branded luxury goods.

      1. Yep. Supply and demand. One less demand here based on past experiences (I’ve been to both Asheville and Durham Moogfests). I used to love this event but it has gone steadily downhill. They now oversell the event. I stood in lines for hours to miss out on performances. The workshop signup process was a fiasco. I’ve seen VIPs, including Bob Moog’s widow blocked from events. To think they want to charge a VIP a $173 fee for a ticket is absurd. There are good performers but not as many quality acts as in past years.

  2. I was going to go to Moogfeast 2018 and do the whole Engineering Pass thing and was very excited, until I saw the line up . It’s seems to be full of a bunch of weird transgender performances . It seems like the whole event was catered to transgender , I’m not against anyones personal lifestyle but I didn’t feel comfortable spending well over 2 grand on a engineering pass , flight, hotel to feel like I’m at a transgender festival, agin I’m not judging anyones lifestyle do what makes you happy but I just don’t feel comfortable with the event seeming to be focused on that , sad because I luv Moog so much but this is a little to weird for me , maybe I just don’t understand how this event is run but thats the vibe I picked up from Moog advertisement, One Major female artist even quite the show because of it , weird, so sad I really wanted to go .

    1. It’s a “female, transgender and nonbinary” lineup. Caroline Polachek said she doesn’t “need a sympathy pedestal, esp from a male curator” which is very different from your apparent freakout about trans people.

      And she was wrong about it being “a male curator” as well as the team of people’s reasons for choosing her among others, but whatever.

    2. Says not against anyone’s personal lifestyle but calls it weird.
      Maybe checkout their MUSIC first and see if you might like it.

  3. I don’t mind the “female, transgender, and nonbinary” lineup – what bugs me is Chelsea Manning as a keynote speaker. WTF?

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