theremini

Making the Theremin Digital: How the Moog Theremini Works, What MIDI Brings

Let’s get one thing straight: Theremins aren’t digital. (Apologies for the headline for a moment, but stay with us.) Theremins are based on perhaps the most important analog process there is in sound, heterodyning. And Leon Theremin can’t claim credit for this, nor Bob Moog or USA or Russia or Germany – it’s initially Canada, in the form of one Reginald Fessenden. (Go, Canadian engineering! Later on, Edwin Howard Armstrong develops the superheterodyne circuit that most resembles the Theremin, so that’s actually one gold medal each to USA, Russia, Canada.) It’s a fancy word, but the concept is dead-simple: you …

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See Moog’s Cool New Instruments: the Flying-Saucer-Shaped Theremini, the Packed Sub37 Synth [Details]

In two instruments, we’ve seen the latest future of Moog. One looks like the future, white and flying-saucer-like, a 70s retro-scifi egg/baguette with an equally futuristic sound. The other expands on the latest Moog synthesis ideas to create a vast timbral galaxy that we’ll hear more in the future. Moog’s Theremini gestural instrument and Sub37 synthesizer made their debut, and we’ve talked to engineering to learn what they mean. You might not knowing it looking at one of them, but the latest stuff from Moog charts new sonic territory by building on recent successes. Those first departures for the North …

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Sub 37, One of Two New Moog Instruments, Features Arpeggiator, Loads of Control

Moog Music says they will release two new instruments this month. For one, they’ve shared the front panel as a PDF on their site. And it looks like a real departure for Moog – an instrument with extensive arpeggiator and sound controls that looks unlike anything they’ve done before. The Sub 37 is a “paraphonic analog synthesizer.” “Paraphony” means the ability to play multiple notes, but without truly independent voices as on a polyphonic instrument. In the case of the Sub 37, the instrument appears to be duophonic. With that duophony, though, you get some extensive sonic controls and an …

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Synth Geeks in the Hills: Legends and Legendary Machines at Asheville’s Mountain Oasis [Gallery, Videos]

Mountain Oasis, indeed. Asheville, North Carolina, that land of impassioned musicians and Moog manufacture, is unusually blessed in musical riches, especially of the electrified variety. And where once Moog gathered informal performances from synth fans, a recent split in festivals has spawned not one but two blockbuster events, turning this southeastern US hamlet into a kind of mecca for musicians of all stripes. These multiply rather than dividing the events. So, now there’s Moogfest, which this year will happen in spring. And then there’s Mountain Oasis, which took place last month. Both are overflowing with spectacular headliners, in the form …

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Leaked: Moog Minifooger Stompboxes, $139-199 [Uninformed Analysis]

American retailer Sweetwater leaked news of Maschine Studio yesterday; today, it’s pocket-sized, affordable versions of Moog effects that seems to be out of the bag. Yes, it’s a rumor, non-official, unconfirmed, yadda yadda – but this one’s hard not to believe at face value, it makes so much sense. The units, many of which appear to be intended for combination with an expression pedal: Delay, US$199: bucket-brigade analog delay. Tremolo, $179: Tremolo pedal with sub. Boost, $139: Both volume pedal and “boost” functions, each with either a more Moog-like voltage-coltrolled amplifier or a classic-sounding operational transconductance amplifier for overdrive. Drive, …

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Moog Says Goodbye to Little Phatty with Lush Video, as Company, Synths Grow

What an extraordinary time of transformation it’s been in music instruments – one which has coincided unintentionally with the development of this site. When the Little Phatty first hit the market in 2006, it really was a very different era. While Moog Music had already shipped the Voyager and brought back Bob Moog’s name to their products, the market was dominated by digital instruments and in particular big workstations. Now, a whole lot of keyboards follow the path established by the Little Phatty: provide affordable instruments for musicians, use analog circuitry, embrace the monosynth, adopt one-to-one control of parameters. It’s …

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Plans to Move Moog Archives to Cornell Ignite Controversy, Concern for Bob Moog Foundation

This story has been updated based on an FAQ and official response to CDM from the Cornell University Library, responding to some of the concerns. The not-for-profit Bob Moog Foundation has been working since the synth pioneer’s death to restore and make accessible his archives, undertaking preservation efforts, mounting exhibitions, and recently acquiring a space to house them. They were therefore surprised last week, they said, to learn these archives were instead being donated to Cornell University, Moog’s alma mater. The announcement has quickly inspired an outcry from the music technology community, with critics arguing the move would cripple years …

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Surprise! Animoog from Moog Shows Up on … BlackBerry Z10

In the exciting world of Things That Aren’t An iPhone, Moog Music have announced, out of the blue, a version of their popular Animoog synth for BlackBerry Z10. Animoog for BlackBerry Z10 In a tweet to CDM, Moog Music reflected, “The more creative tools artists have the more music the world will have.” I couldn’t agree more. But platforms have posed some serious hurdles to making development pay off for independent music software makers, with technical hurdles that can make performance a challenge. If BB10 is something different, that’s good news.

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A Dirtier Moog: Inside Moog’s New Sub Phatty Synth; Gallery, Behind-the-Scenes Interview

Forget clean: we want things dirtier. What can you do with a two-oscillator synth to retain the classic design, but give creative sound makers a twist? This is looking like yet another week of new analog synths, as California celebates the biggest American music trade show, NAMM. Moog this week unveiled the Sub Phatty analog synth as their answer to the question. It’s still a very Moog approach to what a synth should be, but adds an aggressive edge thanks to the addition of the new Multidrive circuit, a filter-stage distortion and overdrive. We saw the guts of the Sub …

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Animation: Watch Moog Sub Phatty, Flying Lotus in Psychedelic, Fluid Color

The best music videos don’t just flow well with the pacing and feeling of music. They enhance it. And that’s certainly the case with the work of regular FlyLo collaborator and Adult Swim animator Adam ‘lilfuchs’ Fuchs of Atlanta, Georgia. Add in Moog, and things get seriously trippy for lovers of synthesizers. The resulting short, “Such a Square,” features Flying Lotus-produced sounds, made on a prototype of Moog’s new Sub Phatty synth. The liquid-smooth animation takes us on a psychedelic journey via Bob Moog’s mind, tracing circuitry and patch cords in acid-glowing washes of electric color. It feels like a …

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