Ten Great Things About The Minimoog
Computer Music|September 2021
Some of the greatest songs, artists and icons that all owe a huge debt to Bob Moog’s wonderful mono

01 WENDY CARLOS

Apart from being an incredible musician, Wendy Carlos was a long-time collaborator with Bob Moog. While the creation of Carlos’ Switched on Bach album, and subsequent spin-off albums, was centred around an early Moog Modular, the feedback she offered to Moog at the musical level was imperative for influencing the design of the Minimoog. It was the perfect blend of music and electronics that gave rise to this classic synth.

02 GARY NUMAN

Gary Numan arrived at a studio with the intention of making a punk album. Located in a shadowy corner of the control room, was a Minimoog, switched on and ready to trigger. Numan walked over to the machine, played a note, and the entire room shook! By complete chance, the previous Minimoog user had left the synth on a sound that inspired Numan to such a degree, his musical course altered immediately. The Mini is the sound of his infamous track Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and synth pop was born.

03 PROG ROCK/RICK WAKEMAN

As well as owning many capes in many colours, Rick Wakeman has been the user of many Minimoogs, with up to nine Minis being owned at one time. During his epic shows, several Minis could be seen lined up, patched and ready for keyboard action. His extraordinary virtuosic playing, coupled with a genuine love of this classic analogue, meant that Minimoogs could frequently be heard in a soloistic capacity, on much of Rick’s solo output, as well as on his albums while a member of Prog-pioneers Yes.

04 24DB/4-POLE LADDER FILTER

While the Mini’s artistic credentials span far and wide, it is the many technical innovations that were way ahead of their time, forging a path where other companies would follow. At the very heart of this was the Moog Ladder filter, with its 24dB/4-pole design, which became the sound that these other companies wanted to emulate. It can sound sweet and harsh; something for every musical eventuality, and with a whole load of character.

05 KRAFTWERK – AUTOBAHN

Techno-pioneers Kraftwerk made extensive use of the Minimoog which, during their early career, was the only synthesiser they had. The architecture of the Mini, with its three VCOs, allowed them to create chords, providing the harmonic backbone for their groundbreaking concept album Autobahn. When they played live, they would frequently have issues with sound systems which would often struggle to handle the Moog’s low end content, without blowing speakers.

06 OVERDRIVE – HEADPHONE LOOP

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