The History Of The Minimoog, From Model A To The Model D

At SynthPlex 2019, Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project (EMEAPP) made its first major synth event appearance – and brought the prototypes for the original Moog Minimoog.

We talked with Executive Director Drew Raison & Associate Director Vince Pupillo, Jr., who gave us an introduction to the organization and its mission. They also gave us a tour of their Minimoog prototypes, including the Minimoog Model A, Minimoog Model B, Minimoog Model C & Minimoog Model D.

They also shared some of the design decisions that not only led to one of the most iconic synths of all time – but many of standard features of the synths that have followed.

The Minimoog prototypes are not being restored to playing condition. The synths are being kept in their original condition, to preserve the unique prototypes for posterity.

EMEAPP is a non-profit group, dedicated to “Archiving and sharing the history, artists and tools of electronic music, keeping it alive and relevant for the future.”

Update: EMEAPP contacted us to clarify that, when Raison refered to the third ‘voice’ in the Model B, he meant that the prototype had three oscillators – one of the key features of the Minimoog.

Update II: EMEAPP contacted us to request that we take this interview down, because they felt that their representatives ‘were not properly prepared for a video presentation, and did not represent the educational aspect of EMEAPP effectively’ in the video as a result. We’ve taken the video down as a professional courtesy to the organization.


11 thoughts on “The History Of The Minimoog, From Model A To The Model D

  1. Kind of amazing to think that the synth that we know and love was pieced together from old junk. And that the idea of mod wheels was almost an afterthought.

    I’d love to see more of the EMEAPP collection.

  2. I know I am going to say what some may deem to be synth heresy, but the Minimoog isn’t all that. It’s limited in what it can do (e.g. no oscillator sync, no sample and hold, no ring modulator, no dedicated LFO, etc.). Yeah, it’s sound is big and phat, but its characteristic sound has been used to death for decades. There I said it. Now you can throw the vegetables at me

    1. TimS

      No vegetables – but the opinion you express isn’t really heresy as much as ignorance.

      Either ignorance of the importance of these prototypes as historical artifacts or ignorance of the fact that your contrary opinion doesn’t carry much weight against the very real significance of the Minimoog in shaping music and subsequent synth designs.

      1. You sound like someone who spent big money on a vintage Minimoog and is trying to talk themselves out of buyer’s remorse.

        No one said that the Minimoog wasn’t significant. It was all over recordings in the 1970s, and less so in the following decades.

        My comment was simply that the Minimoog is not as versatile when compared to many other synths (including its 1970s rival the ARP Odyssey, which is far more flexible and feature packed than the Minimoog).

        Doe the Minimoog have an oscillator sync function? Does it have sample and hold capability? Does it have a ring modulator? Does it have a dedicated LFO? Does it have a multi-mode filter? An ADSR?

        The comparative lack of features reduced the Minimoog’s flexibility when compared to many other synths. When you hear a Minimoog on a recording, you know right away what it is, and it sounds like the same Minimoog sounds that you’ve heard a million times.

        1. “and less so in the following decades”

          um what?

          I’ve got news for you buddy. All the 70’s prog rockers sold their minimoogs to techno and hip hop musicians who then used it ad nauseum for their respective genres of music, which was some of the most popular music at the time.

          1. Yes, less so in the following decades. You are fooling yourself if you think that the Minimoog was as widely used in popular music in the 80s and following as it was in the 70s.

            In the age of ROMplers, Minimoogs were going for a song compared to what they sell for nowadays (due to vintage/nostalgia reasons).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *