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Minimoog D Analog Keyboard Synthesizer , c. 1972

Minimoog D Analog Keyboard Synthesizer ,  c. 1972

Minimoog D Model Analog Keyboard Synthesizer, c. 1972, made in Buffalo, NY.

The Minimoog featured three voltage-controlled oscillators, a mixer, noise source, VCA, and a warm resonant filter which could be controlled with a dedicated EG called a 'Contour Generator'. The Mini also had an external input which allowed external signals to be processed through the filter, as well as a voltage controlled 'S-Trigger' jack which allowed the Mini to be hooked up to a ribbon controller, sample-and-hold, or percussion (drum) controller.

Bob Moog had been making modular synths up till this time mainly for educational institutions, but was able, with a little forward thinking, to see a possible market for a portable synthesizer within contemporary music. Thus was born the Minimoog model A -- basically made up from existing modules with a small keyboard but still utilizing patch cords. This was tried out on a few musician friends, who liked it but found it still a little intimidating.

The model B surfaced -- a purpose built, single piece front panel, hard wired switches for signal routing; no patch cords. The encouraging response from musicians led to the model C -- basically the template for the production model Minimoog. This had the inclusion of pitch bend and modulation wheels and the lift up front control panel. This too, was sent out for testing with a number of musicians and was a resounding success.

Manufacturing commenced in 1970 with the Model D, the Minimoog as we now know it, starting with the production numbers of just 3 or 4 per week, increasing to around 75 units per week by 1973/1974.

Basically, the Minimoog is a monophonic, analogue synthesizer with a 44 note F to C single trigger, low note priority keyboard. It has 3 voltage controlled oscillators which are all independently tunable from subsonic through to supersonic audio frequencies. This means that you can assign one of the oscillators as a modulation source with (for the time) an extremely wide range of waveshapes.

There is also a white noise/pink noise (switchable) generator, again assignable as an audio or modulation source which can then be cross mixed with the third oscillator for complex modulation effects. The unit also has an external input for processing outside signals through the voltage controlled, 4 pole lowpass filter. There are 2 envelope generators, (ADS): one for VCA and one for the VCF with a contour amount control. Added to this are pitch bend and modulation amount wheels for greater player expressiveness.

"Back in 1969 and '70, Moog Music was not yet in the musical instrument business per se. Our modular synthesizers were sold as pieces of professional audio equipment. They were made to order, and we considered them to be too complex and high-tech to survive on the floor of a musical instrument store. Our original concept for the Minimoog was to take some of the basic features of our modular instruments and integrate them into a compact performance synthesizer that could be programmed without patch cords. We imagined that Minimoog customers would consist primarily of studio musicians who wanted a cut-down version of a Moog modular system to take on their gigs… We figured that we might sell as many as a hundred Minis before it would be time to update the design.

"We had no idea of what a small portable synthesizer should look like, so we asked our industrial engineers for some suggestions. They came up with drawings for some very sleek packages indeed -- white sculptured plastic cabinets that suggested computer terminals, gleaming multi-colored panels, and strikingly-shaped controls. We then polled our musician friends to see which designs they liked. We were in for a surprise! Nearly everybody shot down the sculptured plastic in favor of natural wood and simple lines. We simplified one of our designer's concepts to the point where we could actually make the cabinets in our own modest wood shop, then proceeded to create the Minimoog.

"The only Minimoog that was put into production is called Model D… We adapted some of the circuitry (such as the filter section) from the modular instruments, but designed other circuitry (such as the oscillators and contour generators) from scratch. In fact, Moog's first temperature-compensated oscillators were designed for the Minimoog.

"…We exhibited the Minimoog at the National Association of Music Merchants convention in June, 1971. It was our first exposure to the music instruments industry - and the industry's first exposure to synthesizers. [Moog's previous synthesizers, the modulars, were marketed to recording studios, audio engineers and schools.] We did not experience a warm reception. Most dealers didn't know what to make of a musical instrument with words like Oscillator Bank and Filter printed on the front panel." ----Bob Moog

Comes with its original operation manual.
Height is 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm.), 28 1/4 in. (71.8 cm.) wide, and 16 7/8 in. (42.9 cm.) deep.

Pinhole repair to one key. Minor wear to the wooden edges of the casing. "Mars Music" store sticker on upper left corner of control panel. Excellent Condition.

Item # 1648
This item has been sold.

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