The Minimoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog. It was released in 1970 by R.A. Moog Inc. (Moog Music after 1972), and production was stopped in 1981. It was re-designed by Robert Moog in 2002 and released as Minimoog Voyager. In May 2016, Moog announced a limited-run "pilot production" reissue of the Model D which has subsequently gone into full production.
Historically, the Minimoog is considered the very first synthesizer for musicians! Compact, affordable, simplified and based on the megalithic modular Moog synths, the Minimoog became the most popular synth of all time, and still is to this day! Prior to the Minimoog, synthesizers were custom built to order, and required a great deal of technical knowledge to be able to wire up and create a sound. The Minimoog changed all that by hard-wiring the most basic but essential of components into a compact keyboard any musician could not only play, but dial up some great sounds on! Thus, the Minimoog was the first synthesizer to show up on the shelves of music stores around the world.
Though its design impacted the industry in a way that set the stage for all the synthesizers that came after it, the Minimoog is probably most famous for its excellent analog sound and arguably the best filters in a portable synth. It featured three oscillators (one of which can be used as an LFO) that could be individually tuned and offered multiple waveforms. The Minimoog is monophonic (only one note can be played at a time) so the three oscillators allow for an incredibly rich sound - three de-tuned oscillators each playing a different waveform can create some pretty thick analog sounds! There are also some very cool modulation possibilities when using one of the oscillators as an LFO.
But you can't talk about the Minimoog without mentioning its filters. The Minimoog uses a 4-pole (24 dB/octave) low-pass filter with cutoff, resonance, ADS envelope, and keyboard tracking controls. Amazingly, Dr. Moog's filter design has yet to be surpassed by a better sounding filter. It's a filter that sounds so warm and smooth that Moog's rival, ARP, tried to copy it for their 2600 and Odyssey synths.
The Minimoog is responsible for some of the warmest and best analog synth bass, lead and whistle sounds ever. Its control panel can lay flat or propped up perpendicular to the keyboard. It also has a great wood casing. Very rugged. A very versatile synth, useful in all styles of music and easy enough for anybody to operate.
Polyphony - Monophonic
Oscillators - 3 VCO's
Memory - None
Filter - 24dB/oct, 4-pole lowpass filter with cutoff, resonance, envelope generator, keyboard tracking
VCA - ADS Envelope generator
Keyboard - 44 keys, single-trigger, low-note priority
Arpeg/Seq - None
Control - CV /GATE
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