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Production, Beyond the Track: Mad Zach on Collaboration, Combining Tech and Technique [Interview]

“Producer”: in electronic music, this used to mean some person who makes tracks. Today, some special electronic musicians go way beyond that role. They’re combining skills partly because it means diversifying income, but also out of a real love for doing a variety of stuff. They’re holed up in the studio making music, sure – but they’re also finding collaborative ways of doing that, often online, and sharing skills and sounds as they develop them. It’s a more open, connected approach to electronic musical practice. And Mad Zach is a great example. He’s a producer and DJ, but he’s also …

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Moog Werkstatt-ø1 as Solder-Free Kit for $329 – But Expect a Fight to Get One

It seems popular demand worked. Moog’s peculiar, brilliant Werkstatt synth was a huge kit as a workshop-only build for premium Moogfest attendees in April in North Carolina. And not only that, the design swept the Internet. It seems your pleas were heard, as the instructional project is turning into a product. Just expect it to be in “extremely” limited quantities, says Moog, at a handful of their boutique-minded US dealers. Because it’s solder-free, even including those through-hole parts, the “kit” aspect is largely putting it together. But it’s still a clever, rich-sounding, versatile single-oscillator analog synth with some semi-modular routing …

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Watch Mick Jagger Rock a Moog Modular

Hard to add words to these few moments of Mick Jagger, apparently auditioning for the part of prettiest modular synth operator face ever, in a take from the 1970 promo for the film Performance by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg. Note to self: makeup needed for next performance, clearly. The narrator will likely make you smile a bit, partly for mispronouncing “Moog” like a cow (not that that’s a rare occurrence – rhymes with ‘rogue,’ people), but for the bold claim that a clever-enough operator can make any sound in the world. Much as I love analog and modular, that …

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Moog Werkstatt: Listen to its Creator Make Sounds; Why It Could Bring Moog Back to Modular

The newest Moog Music synth is in the hands of a select few. Werkstatt means, effectively, “workshop” in German. And so, Moog Music at Moogfest this year unveiled a synth you can’t buy anywhere but in a workshop. (Not to be confused with the one you might be able to buy, but can’t afford! Start on those lottery tickets!) Available exclusively to Moogfest Engineer VIP Package purchasers, Werkstatt was more than just a fun piece of gear. Designer/engineer Steve Dunnington of Moog Music, creator of the instrument, led participants in soldering and assembling the synth, then into exploring the world …

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Just Do It: Moog Engineer Explains Why They Remade Keith Emerson’s Modular [Videos, Audio]

It started as an April Fools’ Joke. Then it turned out to be real. But with plenty of new instruments to work on, why would Moog remake a dinosaur – both in form and literal size? Engineer Gene Stopp doesn’t blink when asked that question. In a tour of the modular for me and Keyboard Magazine – a magazine whose very existence is partly indebted to the legacy of Keith Emerson and Moog – he was confident. Do this once, and no one can ever question whether you know what it means to make a real, exact replica of the …

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Moog Really Is Recreating Keith Emerson’s Modular, in Biggest Analog Relaunch Ever

April Fools’ Day seemed an appropriate time for Moog Music to announce they were recreating Keith Emerson’s legendary, room-sized modular rig. I mean – that’s be preposterous. You’d need an unprecedented engineering team working round-the-clock for years to execute such a project. To do it right, you’d have to go back to the original circuit boards and reprint them, find surplus, vintage parts, source new parts that fit the specs, and assemble the entire thing by hand. So, uh – funny story. Turns out Moog Music had an unprecedented engineering team working round-the-clock for years, went back to the original …

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Live from the Moog Factory, Watch Erika, Teengirl Fantasy, and Survive

CDM here in the Moog Factory, downtown Asheville, North Carolina. I don’t care whether you’re a Boiler Room fan or hater – this one is special. Erika is here from Detroit with her circular sequencer and loads of gear. The wild and wooly Survive are new to me but they’re doing lovely stuff and have a synth museum worth of keyboard racks – fantastic. And in town from New York, hailing from Oberlin, Ohio, are Teengirl Fantasy. It’s already a great lineup, but novel for a second reason – Moog will keep assembling stuff in the factory as they play. …

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Band Sings Song Asking Why They Aren’t Playing Moogfest

What if you wanted to play Moogfest really bad, but Moogfest didn’t call? No, I mean really bad – like you started a band with this very dream in mind, outfitted your studio with nearly everything Moog makes, and put on a shameless amount of Moog-logo gear, just in the hopes of getting the booking. If you still couldn’t make it onto the bill at that point, well, I guess you’d have to actually write a song explaining your plight, upload it to YouTube, and hope it went viral. This is the Internet age, after all. That’s what the band …

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Moog’s Werkstatt for Moogfest is a Patchable Monosynth, Leaked in Image

Moog seems to have something special planned for Moogfest – na klar! “Werkstatt” looks to be a kit synth the company has prepared for the event in Asheville, North Carolina later this week. As Synthtopia observes, the photo was revealed on the Instagram feed for the event – and appears to coincide with a three-hour assembly workshop with the engineers. “Werkstatt” means “workshop” in German, so the kit function is obvious. Looking at the picture, a whole lot is clear. The architecture is a single-oscillator monosynth, switchable between saw waves and PWM. Both the filter and oscillator mod can be …

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Five Musical Tech April Fools’ Jokes We Almost Wish Were Real

Like the proverbial Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day, it seems that music tech writers this year saw their shadow and decided to stay in their hole rather than deal with the yearly deluge of fake news that arrives on April Fools’. That’s a shame. Because this year, a few ideas are preposterous enough that we wish they weren’t jokes. (Turning that fool into something real was something I proposed last year, too – and just heard we might see some fruits out of that. Stay tuned.) Emerson, Fake, and Palmer. Moog Music has a tradition of jests on the holiday, …

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