A Little History 3
A Little History 1
A Little History 2
A Little History 3
Ic, IIc, IIIc
Ip, IIp, IIIp
10, 12, 15
35, 55
Moog recordings
 
With the addition of a few ancillary circuits such as a noise
generator and some very simple mixers, the modular was ready for
business. After an appearance at the 1965 AES conference, success
grew slowly over the next couple of years, with sales spread mostly
by word of mouth and some rather minimal Moog advertising. At this
point the Moog remained a very esoteric piece of musical hardware.
The first few modulars were only available to special order, based on
module listings in the typewritten Moog catalogue. It was hard to buy
an instrument when you had no idea of what most of the parts did, or
how to put them together, so the first few customers were
experimental composers (such as electronic TV theme and advertising
jingle composer Eric Siday, who purchased the second ever Moog synth, and universities that had the technical background needed to make sense of the new machine. And the price remained prohibitive. A full set of modules might cost a few thousand dollars — easily equivalent to $40,000 and upwards at today's prices.

Compared to the instant gratification of today's hardware, beginners
found the Moog a nightmare to work with. In fact anyone playing the
keys on a newly delivered modular would be greeted by silence. Sound
wouldn't appear until a useful combination of modules had been
patched to the output lines. Because the system was completely open,
there was nothing to stop users attempting pointless patch
experiments such as connecting an ADSR directly to the output. There
were no Moog synth programming books available, no Internet, and no
patch-sharing — in fact, no patches at all, because patch memories
wouldn't be invented until the '70s. Users either learned by working
the system out for themselves, by word of mouth from other users, or
by attending the various Moog demonstration seminars that Herb
Deutsch and Bob Moog organised to help sell the hardware. Moog did
eventually contribute as Technical Editor to a magazine called
Electronic Music Review, starting in 1967. But this was still a long
way from being the kind of Moog user's support group web site we
might expect if a similar product appeared today.

All of these kept the Moog out of the trenches, and in the ivory
towers. It wasn't until Wendy Carlos released Switched On Bach, a
collection of Baroque classics synthesized entirely on a heavily
customised modular, that the Moog modular finally broke through into
the big time. After that everyone who could afford one wanted one —
whether they knew what to do with it or not.

modularmoog
18/11/03