What is the one synthesizer that we all think about when referring to what a synthesizer actually is — yes you guessed right, it’s the Moog Minimoog Model D. And rightly so, it was the first portable synth made about 50 years ago and continues to weave its sound across all music styles, not just electronic music. Moog has just announced they will be putting the Model D back into production once again! Before we continue to reveal the details of this amazing synth, do you know how to pronounce the Moog name correctly? It’s pronounced like mauve, not like the sound a cow makes (moo), ok cool, now you are free to read on!
Originally released in 1970, Minimoog Model D was the world’s first portable synthesizer and served as the archetype for all electronic keyboards that followed. The all-analog instrument gained acclaim for combining the colossal sound of the 1960s Moog modular synthesizers with the accessibility of pre-wired modules—meaning that it could be played instantly and intuitively with no patch cables required. It was quickly embraced by a diverse roster of performers, with artists like Herbie Hancock, Kraftwerk, Rick Wakeman, Sun Ra, Piero Umiliani, Giorgio Moroder, Bernie Worrell, and Gary Numan all shaping unique sounds and forging new musical genres using the instrument.
More than a half-century since its invention, Minimoog Model D is back in production at the Moog factory in Asheville, North Carolina. An exceptional sonic tool and one of the most beloved and iconic synthesizers ever designed, it returns to the hands of synthesists of all kinds and serves as inspiration for the next generation of electronic musicians.
The three-oscillator, monophonic, analog synthesizer is securely housed in a locally sourced Appalachian cherry cabinet and hand-finished aluminium chassis. Sounding as vibrant and deep as ever, its legendary low-pass ladder filter, powerful oscillators, and rich saturating mixer retain the exact component placement and through-hole design of a 1970s-era Minimoog Model D.
While no changes have been made to the original sound engine or audio signal path, the 2022 Minimoog Model D includes a series of popular functional modifications that expand this legendary instrument’s sonic capabilities. These modifications include a dedicated analog LFO with triangle and square waveshapes, a premium Fatar keybed with velocity and after pressure available via top panel CV jacks with onboard trimpots, MIDI integration, and a mixer feedback modification which allows the Minimoog Model D to overdrive and scream with the turn of a knob. And, for the first time in its history, the Minimoog Model D now features a spring-loaded pitch wheel with centre deadband, allowing for improved playability and wild performance flourishes.
A full list of specifications is available via the Moog website
Moog is distributed by Innovative Music Australia in Australia.