Talking Analog Synthesis

This video features DJ/Producer Nick Hook & Moog engineer Gene Stopp discussing synthesis and modular synths at the Moog Factory, in Asheville, NC. 

The two bring very different perspectives to the discussion, with Stopp focusing more on the technical aspects of what synth modules can do and Hook focusing more on musical applications.

The video, via Converse, is a promo for their Rubber Tracks Studio’s Moog Week.

23 thoughts on “Talking Analog Synthesis

  1. moog I love ya, can you please give the synthesizer lovers at least one eurorack module. maybe a complete voice module and i will not beg any longer. this video is time that could have been spent building the module.

  2. The last White guy teaches all of Brooklyn before fading out…. “grew up hearing West Coast Hip Hop” and now loves the MOOG sound. What sort of marketing low level tricks will the company pull to sell to the Hip Hop crowd?

    1. So… What I’m hearing is you didn’t connect with the video. Ok. But if they want to stay in business they need to attract attention from people who weren’t born before the fall of the Berlin Wall so maybe cut them some slack.

      BTW, they could’ve done a lot worse in terms of the talent they pulled to make the vid. A lot worse.

      1. a lot worse…yeah…it’s already pretty bad when someone follows the explanation of a sine wave by saying “uhh yeah we’ve used it for dub music or like uhh drum n bass” WTF. what a shame they gave this retard a model 15. and they didn’t even show what he did with it. probably because he had no idea what he was doing with it anyway..ill say it again. hipsters! come to brooklyn with talent…not half assed handle bar moustaches

        1. Probably because the video was made by Converse in association with Moog. “A promo for their Rubber Tracks Studio’s Moog Week.”

          So 2 things:
          1. hardcore synthesists are not the target for this video. Clearly the idea is to raise interest from people who are typically making music in the ableton/logic/FL/reason box.

          2. You have no idea what kinds of things they discussed throughout the course of shooting. This isn’t a synth tutorial. Just because it was edited to only reference basic concepts doesn’t mean the artists only understands basic concepts or only thinks in terms of genres. The marketing folks and video editors probably decided to whittle it down so that a) the technical expert is the one who sounds technical and b) the artists translates the technical concepts into real-world uses for young, less-educated artists.

          Maybe not. Maybe you’re right. Or maybe you’re just butt-hurt that he gets to be in a moog video with a system-15 and you don’t. But either way you’re feeling pretty superior right now and I doubt anything is going to change that.

          1. feeling superior? im butt-hurt that I’m not in a video about a fucking model 15? maybe I own 1 already and you haven’t considered that. or maybe I own enough modular that I can recreate 10 model 15’s? so is this the answer all the geniuses online give to provide their defense? or maybe this video was fucking pointless in every manner of speaking and you forgot to mention that? maybe we dont need to bring the youth who have no money to look at model 15’s? plenty of software synths to train from. if kids need to physically touch a synthesizer to learn it, when there are plenty of trainer soft synths out there, then something needs to be re-examined here, including your rebuttal

      2. Strongly disagree.

        Moog needs a new “talent coordinator” or whatever.

        This tarnishes their brand, unquestionably, regardless of age.

        (I’m 22, BTW.)

      3. The problem is that Moog can’t have it both ways. It is out of character for an upscale, top-tier brand to dumb down their pitch like this.

        Don’t worry, Moog’s brand is alive and well (albeit priced out of reach) with the under-30 crowd. But with so much competition, this is bad marketing. It lures people to analog and modular synthesis without presenting a compelling advantage to Moog’s products.

        1. This would make more sense if their products were dumbed down, but they really aren’t. So the marketing is dumbed down… what does an experienced synthesist care about the marketing? Your concern should be the product.

          They’re doing it right and they absolutely can and SHOULD have it both ways.

    2. Cynical much? Moog doesn’t need sell anything they even have Teenage Engineering cameoing in this video… the least pretentious marketing video on the tube… all about the sound.

  3. Eventually, the kids growing up in this ‘analog’ renaissance (not that analog ever really went away) will be pitched ‘old school additive’ or ‘old school digital samplers/romplers’. Meanwhile, the rest of us old-timers will be plodding along with the ‘anything goes’ mentality that we’ve always had.
    BTW, am I to assume that that Moog has some affiliation with Converse? And if so, do we get a free pair of ‘old school’ high-tops with every Moog purchase?

  4. Brilliant speech about the square wave. I think i just lost a couple of iq points by watching this.
    Probably moog’s goal judging by their modular system prices…

    1. Not the most promising way to market a $10k synth – this is a sine wave used for dubstep, this is a square wave it sounds hollow… “We gave a wanker a System 15 and this is what happened – nothing!”

  5. Good to see criticism of the prices of Moog gear, their only successful synth at the moment regards cost and design seems to be the Sub 37, and they are not easy to get hold of as they are in demand.
    A lot of the old funk artists with record company advances used moog gear . Berny Worrel etc but the Hip Hop generation and house /Detroit started poor and from the streets (hence the second hand 808s and cheap samplers , not Linn drums and fairlights )
    The message Grand master Flash , seems a long way from the utter rubbish we are told his hip hop now. I do not see any relevance to moog and cutting edge social music . If NWA where sat by a moog , that would amuse me and interest me, or Digital Underground, or even Sleaford Mods or better still , Goldie looking Chain. Or CB4, or Don’t drink your juice in the Hood, or Rodney King or of course the Funk Queen her self BETTY DAVIES.Why have Vanilla Ice in this video?
    I have never seen one interesting artist video by Moog. I do think the Sub 37 is good .

    1. Unfortunately, it is. I’ve grown up here, and now there’s swarms of idiots gathering in one location of it that no one would have ever visited before. It’s amazing how gentrification works. Then again, it also brings morons like this “dj” (who probably doesn’t even use discs) here

  6. Don’t care about the hype, but that’s Gene Stopp. Do yourself a favour and check out his DIY projects. The ASM for instance. 🙂

    1. Gene Stopp has forgotten more than most of us have ever learned. In addition to designing the ASM he’s also been Keith Emerson’s tech guy for ages.

      Unfortunately, this video doesn’t really show off Stopp’s strengths. He seems like hes’ more of a guru on synth hardware than on teaching synthesis.

  7. Oh… so Moog is also throwing in some nifty woolen hats to go with their synths. Now I can be a hipster too!
    Serious guys, stop the freak show and start being individual…
    When I see what was done in the 70s and 80s with analogue gear, there is just no comparison.

  8. Great to see a conscious edge to these posts, respect to those who see music as being made in a socio economic context.
    Really heart warming to read.
    Greetings from Northern england

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