Twenty Dollars Could Put This Legendary Sonic Superstar in Your Hands
January 6, 2013 – We are delighted to announce that Mads Wilken of Copenhagen, Denmark has won the Minimoog Model D signed by Gary Numan. We talked to Mads this afternoon and he is “over the moon” with excitement. He’s promised to take photo of the synth when it arrives in his studio.
A massive Moog thanks to all of you who entered! The funding generated by the raffle will be put to excellent use educating children about the science of sound. You should all feel great about your part in inspiring the future through the work of the BMF!
In 1970, a mere six years after changing the course of musical history with transistorized voltage-controlled synthesizer modules and subsequent modular systems, R.A. Moog Inc. released a musical instrument that would change the landscape of popular music forever. The Minimoog® was a portable synthesizer that featured the most oft-used aspects of the Moog modular systems simplified and repackaged for use by musicians who sought basic electronic sounds in a more expressive and portable package. This “compact” synthesizer, with its functional (if simplified) design and great sound, caused a musical instrument revolution which left no genre of music untouched by synthesis.
While initially popular due to its uniqueness, it remained among the most popular synthesizers throughout its production due to its desirable trademark sound… a sound that had its foundation in Bob Moog’s excellent design and his musical and discerning ear. Even today, despite amazing improvements in technology and 43 years of synthesizer production, many keyboard players consider the Minimoog to be the best synthesizer ever made. As such, the Minimoog is an excellent and iconic celebration of Bob Moog’s incredible legacy of the intersection of technology and music. That is why the Bob Moog Foundation has chosen the Minimoog to be the subject of its synthesizer raffle this year.
The Raffle for the Minimoog Model D
The Bob Moog Foundation is pleased to announce that we are raffling off an early-1970s Minimoog synthesizer, serial number 4245, for $20 a ticket. Yes, that’s right… $20. You have the opportunity to win a Minimoog Model D for a mere $20. And, as is the case with Bob Moog Foundation raffles, even if you don’t happen to win, you’re contributing to the promotion and support of Bob Moog’s legacy through your raffle money. So, you win either way.
But that’s not all.
Signed by Gary Numan
The Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in October of 2013 saw a variety of incredible musical artists visiting Asheville, NC. One of these artists was the iconic electronic pop music star Gary Numan. The Bob Moog Foundation caught up with Gary, and asked him to promote Bob’s legacy by signing this Minimoog. The Minimoog was the inspiration for Gary to start using synthesizers, so he was glad to sign this one. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance not only to own a Minimoog, but to own what might be the only Minimoog ever signed by Gary Numan!
But that’s not all.
This synthesizer is in excellent working condition and has been upgraded with a Studio Electronics modifications. The modifications include:
Roland MIDI to CV conversion modifications: The Minimoog has been modified to integrate with a Roland MIDI to CV converter which allows features such as aftertouch to affect the sound production of the synthesizer.
Second Oscillator Sync: The 2nd oscillator’s waveform can be forced to restart with the first oscillator’s waveform, causing the desirable effect called “sync.”
CV and Gate Out jacks: This Minimoog, unlike a stock Minimoog, or even a Voyager, can control other synthesizers via CV, allowing you to play them with the Minimoog’s keyboard.
Bend: the ability to change the range of the pitch wheel has been vastly augmented.
But even that isn’t all. This raffle also includes the Roland MIDI/CV Interface it was modified to integrate with.
This unit converts MIDI signals to Control Voltage signals, and allows MIDI functionality to control various aspects of the Minimoog.
We have been told that this synthesizer was modified by none other than Rich Walborn. Rich worked for R. A. Moog while he was getting his engineering degree, and then was hired on to the original Moog Music as an engineer. From 1976 through 1987, Rich was the Chief Engineer at Moog Music. He was the co-creator of the Prodigy, the Rogue, the Liberation, the Realistic MG-1, and the incredible MemoryMoog. Rich was often asked to modify Moog products for big-name musical acts like Emerson Lake and Palmer (Rich was the keyboard tech for Keith Emerson for a tour in 1974!), Vangelis, and Jethro Tull. So, if anyone was to modify your Minimoog, this is the guy you’d want to have done it!
When asked about this particular Minimoog, Rich said that most of the modifications he did were for artists who had reached a fair level of popularity. We are working on uncovering the provenance of this particular synthesizer, but it’s likely that it belonged to someone who was relatively accomplished.
A word about the exterior condition of the Minimoog
Keep in mind that this is an ORIGINAL Moog Minimoog. It is now roughly 38 years old, and as such, has seen a lot of use. In addition to the modifications, there is a fair amount of wear on this synthesizer, which includes dings, chips, scratches, and marks (please see pictures). In addition to this, at some point, the synthesizer was reinforced with metal brackets to make it more durable. While these facts mean that this synthesizer isn’t a museum piece, they in no way diminish the experience of owning, playing, or admiring this vintage synthesizer, and of course they in no way interfere with the fantastic sound of the instrument.
This raffle is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity... a chance to own the most sought-after vintage synthesizer of all time for a mere $20… a chance to have what might be the only Minimoog ever signed by popular electronic music icon Gary Numan… a chance to have a synthesizer modified with unusual functionality… but most of all, the opportunity to support Bob Moog’s legacy by supporting the educational work of the Bob Moog Foundation.
If you’re not familiar with the functionality of the Minimoog:
It has three oscillators. One oscillator doubles as the Low Frequency Oscillator, and can control the synthesizer in a variety of unique ways. In addition to a variety of waveforms available, the third oscillator can be used in its audio range as a modulation source, and noise can be used as well. The Minimoog boasts one of the best filters ever to be put in a synthesizer: Bob Moog’s 24dB per octave transistor ladder filter. While you can get 24dB per octave transistor ladder filters today, this is a hand-wired discrete version… which has its own incredibly desirable tone. The Mixer section can add a distinctive overdriven quality to the oscillator’s tones if you want, and the unique ADS envelopes (with switchable sustain) add unique sounds to both the filter and the amp. This is the functionality which became the standard for many synths after, but few imitators live up to the specific layout, sound, and functionality of the Minimoog.
Minimoog® is a registered trademark of Moog Music, Inc. The Bob Moog Foundation is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting the legacy of Dr. Bob Moog, and is not affiliated with the companies referenced above.