The Moog Model D is a synthesizer developed by Robert Moog's team at Moog Music in the late 1960s and released in 1970. The Model D is a subtractive synthesizer, meaning it creates sound by filtering out certain frequencies of a rich, complex waveform. The Model D was one of the first commercially available synthesizers and was widely used in pop, rock, and electronic music in the 1970s. It was also used in film and television soundtracks, as well as in classical and experimental music.
The Minimoog Model D was initially referred to as the "Minimoog," however, due to the fact that there were three previous designs of the instrument before reaching the final version, the "Model D" title became a colloquial term. Today, Moog Music has brought the Minimoog back to life, branding it as the "Minimoog Model D." If you're looking to compare it to something, the Minimoog can be considered a miniature version of modular synthesizers. It was popular among musicians for its portability and ease of use, and it was widely adopted by a variety of artists in the 1970s and 1980s, helping to shape the sound of popular music during those decades.
The Moog Minimoog Model D is a classic synthesizer that has been a staple in the music industry for decades. Taking a look at the keyboard section first we have 44 keys that range from F0 to C4, an updated spring loaded modulation wheel for snap-back action, a pitch mod wheel and an LFO frequency control. Pulling up on the LFO knob will let you change the LFO shape from a square to a triangle. Glide and decay are also available at the press of a large and classic switch.
The Model D keyboard generates velocity and aftertouch control voltages (CVs), but they are not connected internally. To use these CVs, cables must be inserted into the velocity and aftertouch outputs on the rear panel and routed to a desired destination. On the Minimoog itself, the four CV inputs (loudness, brightness, pitch, and modulation source) can be chosen as destinations for the VELOCITY Control Output.
One of the highlights of the Minimoog is its powerful triple oscillator, which offers a variety of waveforms to choose from, including triangle, triangle-sawtooth, reverse sawtooth, sawtooth, rectangle, wide pulse, and narrow pulse. You can use the triple oscillator to make paraphonic triads if you like! Additionally, Oscillator 3 can also be switched to LFO mode and decoupled from the keyboard, enabling it to be used as a classic modulation source.
The triple oscillator is accompanied by a user-friendly mixer, boasting three large volume controls to manage the mix for your waveforms, as well as a noise mixer and external input section.
The overload LED serves as a visual indicator, alerting the user when the input signal surpasses the "optimal" level, creating a desirable clipping effect that has been sought after in the classic Minimoog sound for decades. The latest iteration of the Minimoog features an output audio normalization to the external input, eliminating the need for self-patching and enabling seamless utilization of the overload signal.
The Minimoog Model D Ladder filter, originally developed by Bob Moog in the 1960s, is a key component of the classic Moog synthesizer sound. It is a type of low-pass filter that utilizes a series of cascading transistors to create a unique, smooth, and warm filtering effect, with the term "ladder" referring to the graphic representation of the transistor stages arranged in a ladder-like formation.
The Model D filter features an exponential slope and a 24 db/octave steepness, making it perfect for creating a warm and smooth sound. The Ladder Filter allows the signal to pass through multiple stages of filtering, resulting in a full and organic sound that has been a staple of electronic music for decades. With the ability to produce a wide range of sounds from subtle bass tones to extreme distorted effects, especially when used in combination with the overload signal and audio rate modulation, the Model D filter remains highly sought after by synth enthusiasts and continues to be a staple in the world of analog synthesis.
On the far right side, you'll find two important volume controls: the output volume and a headphone volume control with a 1/4" jack. This allows you to easily adjust the volume of your sound to suit your needs, whether you're performing live or just practicing. Additionally, there is a stable 440Hz tone switch available, which you can use to tune your Minimoog. Finally, the power switch is conveniently located right on the front panel, so you can quickly turn your synthesizer on or off as needed. With these features, the Minimoog is designed to provide a smooth and efficient user experience.
The Moog Minimoog Model D has been updated with MIDI connectivity. It has a MIDI IN jack that can receive note, velocity, and pitch bend information and now includes mod-wheel MIDI support. The MIDI THRU jack rebroadcasts the incoming MIDI signal to other MIDI equipment. The Minimoog Model D can also send MIDI note, velocity, and pitch bend information, mod wheel information, and aftertouch information via its MIDI OUT jack.
The Minimoog has several control voltage outputs, including an AFTER PRESSURE OUT jack that sends a control voltage signal based on the aftertouch, a PITCH OUT jack that sends a control voltage signal based on the pitch of the notes being played, a V-TRIG OUT jack that sends a trigger signal each time a note is played, and a VELOCITY OUT jack that sends a control voltage signal based on the velocity of the notes being played.
The Minimoog Model D has two main audio outputs: a LOW level output and a HIGH level output. It also has an EXTERNAL SIGNAL INPUT JACK that allows an external audio source to be processed and filtered by the instrument. The LOUDNESS INPUT and FILTER INPUT jacks allow external control voltage signals to affect the overall level of the loudness contour and the cutoff frequency of the filter, respectively. The OSCILLATOR INPUT jack allows an external control voltage signal to affect the pitch of the oscillators. The MOD. SRC. INPUT jack allows an external control voltage signal to be used as a modulation source and can also function as a send for the noise generator. The EXT. V-TRIG INPUT jack can receive a trigger signal from other electronic instruments.
The Minimoog Model D 2022 Edition Synthesizer is a true testament to the legacy of Bob Moog and the impact he had on the world of electronic music. With its all-analog sound, timeless design, and modern modifications, it is the perfect tool for any synthesist looking to capture the iconic sound of the 1970s. From the familiar feel of its locally-sourced cherry cabinet to its hand-finished aluminum chassis, this instrument is an exceptional piece of craftsmanship. Whether you're a seasoned musician or just starting out, the Minimoog Model D 2022 Edition Synthesizer is an instrument that will inspire you to create and explore new sonic landscapes. With its combination of classic Moog tone and modern functionality, it is truly a synthesis of the old and the new, and a fitting tribute to the inventor who changed the way we make music forever.